Library - Using Lure of the Labyrinth to Support Reading

Using Lure of the Labyrinth to Support Reading

While most of these supporting materials focus on Lure of the Labyrinth's math content (and that is the primary academic content of the game), there are also elements within Lure of the Labyrinth that can be used to build your students' literacy skills. The parts of the game that are most likely to help in this area are:
  • Lure of the Labyrinth's game story, which is told via graphic novel sequences (what some of us oldsters used to call "comic books")
  • The in-game written communication that students engage in with teammates - and with the game itself - via Lure of the Labyrinth's TPC (remember, though, that students only have access to the TPC when they're playing the game, not when they're playing the puzzles)
If you're so inclined, you may come up with some of your own ways to use Lure of the Labyrinth to advance your students' literacy skills. But to help get you started, here are some of the strategies we've come up with ... and the theories behind them.

Prediction and Purpose

Theory: Students can benefit from engaging in stories prior to reading. Predicting the outcome or next event gives students a purpose for reading as they attempt to verify or refute their predictions.

Application: Lure of the Labyrinth's graphic novel sequences offer clues to the next stage of the game or to the task players have to complete to reach the next puzzle room. Students can benefit from guidance in identifying the clues within these sequences and then connecting that information to the math tasks they'll complete. Ask your students what they think will happen next and then have them explain their answers.

Tap Prior Knowledge

Theory: Students benefit from activities that help link their previous knowledge with new knowledge.

Application #1: The monsters in Lure of the Labyrinth are drawn from mythology and folklore. Tap your students' prior knowledge of these creatures and then visit the Bestiary section of the TPC to verify their predictions about the monsters (you can also use this as an alternative resource since monsters only appear in a player's TPC after they've encountered them in the game,). Students who are less skilled readers will particularly benefit from the chance to connect new information to their prior knowledge. (And knowledge of the monsters will help all students complete game tasks.)

Application #2: Review the vocabulary in the graphic novel sequences that may be difficult and essential to understanding the text. Provide your students with guidance in using the context to determine meaning and/or cite synonyms that will be familiar to them. Have your students try to determine the meanings of the words, share their ideas with a partner and then confirm the definitions through class discussion or the use of reference materials.

Use Graphic Information

Theory: Graphic information can clarify and reinforce textual meanings for students. Some students, however, may not yet be adept at using graphic information in this way.

Application #1: Lure of the Labyrinth's monsters often offer clues for solving game tasks via the use of speech bubbles. Model for your students how to use the information to enhance their understanding and ability to solve the problems.

Application #2: Additional graphic information is presented in the maps players use in the game. Lure of the Labyrinth's maps are incomplete so students must interpret the visual information within them to locate the various rooms they are to visit. Work with your students to develop repeatable strategies for utilizing these maps.

Application #3: When trying to free captured pets in Lure of the Labyrinth, players must analyze graphic information showing how pets are being held captive and then compare that information with text descriptions of the tools they can use to liberate the pets. Help your students make the connections between these two kinds of media (graphic and text) and point out to them how these media work together here to communicate important game information.


Theory: Students often understand information more easily when they transform it into a different form.

Application: Many students will benefit from creating diagrams or pictures relating Lure of the Labyrinth's math puzzles. They can also benefit from using the game's pre-made graphic organizers when working on the puzzles. Diagrams or pictures can help students discover and analyze the patterns and rules of the game.


Theory: A series of scaffolded questions can help students to understand new information.

Application: Have students use such questions to comprehend the information in the graphic novel sequences and then apply it to solving Lure of the Labyrinth's puzzles. Examples of these kinds of questions include:
  • What do you notice?
  • What do you find interesting?
  • What do you predict? Why?
Similar kinds of questions can also be used to help students grasp Lure of the Labyrinth's math concepts during classroom instruction following game or puzzle play:
  • What patterns do you see? Why are those patterns happening?
  • What surprises you? Why is that surprising?
  • What does this pattern, or relationship, remind you of?
Reading and Listening, Speaking and Writing

Theory: Students may also benefit from processing information in a wide variety of ways.

Application: Students may work in teams and communicate with one another via Lure of the Labyrinth's TPC. Show them examples of appropriate ways to communicate mathematical concepts so they will be able to help their team members (and as a reminder, the puzzles use different variables each time they're to be solved; students will not be able to share answers with teammates, but they will be able to share ideas about strategies). Tell your students about some of the questions that might help them compose logical solution statements:
  • Why do you think the pattern or relationship is happening?
  • What else do you notice?
  • How did you figure this out?
  • What is going to happen next?
  • Why does this answer make sense to you?
Students will, of course, also need to read their teammates' messages in the TPC and act accordingly to solve game problems. Some of your students may need assistance analyzing their messages and determining the steps to be taken as a result of the message.