Tag Archive for 'Literacy'

Storybird – art-inspired creative writing

Storybird is a brilliant site for creating stories based around pictures. There’s a wide range of artwork and illustrations to choose from and be inspired by. The site is extremely easy to use with simple drag and drop page creation. Stories can easily be shared allowing for peer review. With a Teacher account you can manage your class’s stories, create assignments and review work.

Celebrate Burns on Glow this week

There are some great live events on Glow TV this week to celebrate the life and work of Ayrshire’s own Robert Burns.

On Wednesday 25th January there are two events specifically for primaries, both live from Dalgety Bay Primary School in Fife. The events feature Kevin Thompson from Burns 250.

Primary 1-3, 9.45 am

This first session live from the school will involve story telling about the life of Robert Burns, his poems, and lots of opportunities to sing along to many of his famous, and sometimes funny songs!

Primary 4-7, 11.00 am

The second session will tells Burns’ life-story based around his songs and poems. The songs and poems are woven into a narrative about key points in Burns’ life from his birth in 1759 to his untimely death just 37 years later. The best way to enjoy Burns is to take part so audience participation is encouraged where songs have choruses!

Thursday 26th January – Primary 6 – S4, 11.00 am

Authors Live session with Liz Lochhead, via Scottish Book Trust. The Makar will be talking about what Burns means to her and will also be reading some of her own poems.

East Ayrshire’s Scots Poetry Wiki

Please also remember that pupils of any age can contribute their poems to the Scots Poetry Wiki on East Ayrshire Glow. Just follow the simple instructions and share your poems!

(Photo of the statue of Burns at Kilmarnock’s Burns Monument Centre)

Digital storytelling with Little Bird Tales

Little bird tales is an excellent, free digital storytelling tool. You can upload audio and drawings / photos to create pages of a storybook. Nice and easy to use.

Dobble the Letter Collector game

Dobble – The Letter Collector is an excellent little game for younger primary pupils learning their letters. The character jumps around collecting letters for a word.

Tools for digital storytelling

Here’s a really useful post from www.whiteboardblog.com with a list of 10 great sites for digital storytelling (mainly Primary level) -

10 tools for digital storytelling in class

Creative Writing with Prezi

Prezi is a fantastic presentation tool that can be used for all sorts of things (as well as an alternative to Powerpoint).

For example, it can be used as a writing tool for pupils and is particularly suited to poetry or flash fiction. There is an example and brief description of this at the Poetry Foundation blog.

Prezis can be embedded in Glow pages very easily – simply copy the embed code provided and paste it into the xml editor on your Glow page.

Look out for a new EA Glow group giving more ideas for writing with ICT (blogs, wikis, prezi, Glogster, etc) – coming soon.

Robert Burns Glow Meet

Shortlees Primary School and Sorn Primary School pupils took part in the national Glow meet from the National Archives of Scotland – ‘The Life of Robert Burns: A New Discovery?’ Hundreds of pupils from schools throughout Scotland took part in this event, which included discussions with National Archives staff about the discovery of a letter from Burns’ final days. You can find out more information and see a recording of the event here.

The Shortlees and Sorn pupils taking part in the Glow meet thoroughly enjoyed the event and are keen to take part in more national events like this one. As one of the participants said: “We were all amazed by the Glow Meet. The session brought Glow to life!”

Using Wordle to compare texts

Mauchline Primary School P6/7 pupils are using Wordle (www.wordle.net) to compare and analyse texts relating to religious festivals (P6) and World War Two speeches (P7). Wordle is an excellent tool that allows you to create word clouds from any piece of text. It can be displayed in different styles and colours – see example below.

The P6/7s are using their class Glow group to access Wordle and the instructions for the activity. The Glow group will also contain the links the Wordles created.

Wordle can be extremely useful as a tool to analyse and compare texts, particularly as a way of looking at texts that otherwise might seem dry or difficult for pupils, e.g. historical texts, speeches, etc. It could also be used as a tool to analyse literary texts.

For more info on the Mauchline Wordle activity contact Mrs Cross, Principal Teacher.

Google Fast Flip

Again, another non-Glow tip but a great tool from Google Labs.

Google Fast Flip displays overview images of newspaper headline pages. You can search for a current topics and view a wide range of up-to-date headline pages from newspapers around the world. Clicking on one of the newspapers gives you a readable viewer, with a page flip tool to go through multiple newspapers very quickly.

This tool could be very useful for pupils looking at current affairs topics / comparing news coverage in Social Studies, English or Media Studies. It could also serve as a tool in media literacy and information skills lessons.

Google Wonder Wheel

This tip has nothing to do with Glow but it is so good I had to include it here.

The Google Wonder Wheel sorts your search results into a wheel diagram, like a mind map, e. g. World War One search. Each result from the search can be further displayed in Wonder Wheel mode. Great for pupils, and useful for teachers too, e .g. lesson planning, topic research. Also ideally suited to information skills lessons.

How is it done?

Do your search on Google as normal, then once the results are displayed go to the More Search Tools link on the left-hand side. One of the options here is Wonder Wheel.

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