Resource Spotlight! Twine Programming Language

12 March, 2024

Resource Spotlight! Twine Programming Language: How to enhance Social Studies and English lessons using interactive storytelling and Twine.

Today, digital tools are a necessary part of the classroom. Innovation in schools can seem daunting, but tools like Twine interactive stories allow students to engage in immersive learning experiences while also gaining knowledge. CodeVA has developed creative, interactive, non-linear stories that are tailored to Virginia SOLs and bring history to life!

What is Twine?

Twine programming language is a powerfully user-friendly tool that can be as simple as making flash cards. The concept, here, though, is that each Twine story card can be linked to as many other cards as you have in your story. Like pages of a website or a nicely cross-referenced binder, your stories can help build connections between historical elements or character relationships. Plainly, Twine allows users to create interactive stories with branching narratives.

When to use Twine?

Twine can be used in any classroom, but it is especially effective in Social Studies and English.. In social studies, Twine is effective at promoting critical thinking and creativity in students as they build interactive timelines to see how historical events intertwine (pun intended).

In English classrooms, Twine is brilliant at showing a character’s development, but also themes and motifs within narratives. Showing the connections between storylines and building a single character’s arc helps students with their comprehension. Breaking down a story into individual elements strengthens computational thinking skills as well, bridging the gap between English and Computer Science principles.

Every lesson CodeVA creates on our new website is free to Virginia teachers and students. We have lots of Twine resources and lesson plans ready for you to check out!

Student Projects and Self-Expression: Writing stories in Twine allows students to create interactive narratives that run in a web browser—sort of like “choose your ending” stories where the reader gets to make choices and determine the outcome of the tale, but on a website instead of in a book.. Adding new passages, along with images, links, and even sounds, is easy. Something as simple as a book report can now involve computer science principles that strengthen critical thinking skills. And the process of building something that is uniquely their own provides confidence and boosts self-esteem.

Twine has a long history in the indie publishing and game development community. It’s open-source (meaning that it’s free to use, read, modify, or extend the software), and it’s easy for beginners while offering a lot of functionality to experienced programmers and authors. You can check out some amazing Twine stories in the Interactive Fiction Archive ( and the Interactive Fiction Competition (

CodeVA’s Twine Trail Guide is a great place to start if you’re interested in learning how to create interactive stories with Twine. You can visit the trail guide here:

Examples of Twine usage:

In Social Studies Lessons: Taking a historical event, students create Twine narratives that branch out to different outcomes based on different decisions made by a figure in the narrative.

In English Lessons: While studying a novel, students can use Twine to map out character relationships and plot points, creating a visual representation of the story’s structure.

Check out this lesson sequence, which provides an example of how you might teach coding as students investigate American history through writing:


Twine is an excellent tool for novice programmers in and outside the classroom.. Students can create expressive stories and interactive games with Twine The act of building individual blocks of stories and making connections creates an immersive learning experience that is engaging and innovative. Tools like Twine are out there and ready to be used. CodeVA hopes to build out an educator’s tool kit with easy-to-implement, exciting new tools. Computer science is as much about computers as astronomy is about telescopes, as we like to say.

Power to the teachers!