Category Archives: Forms of Writing

Choose Your Own Adventure Stories

Do you remember reading the old Choose Your Own Adventure Books?  

cyoa

Students can create these wonderful stories using either Google Forms or Google Slides.

Google Forms:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:
https://goo.gl/n8H92a

Key Skill:  

  • Students must learn how to select “Go to section based on answer” inside their google form.
  • Don’t forget to add images to make the story more interesting.
Google Slides:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:

http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/01/interactive-slideshow-story.html

Key Skill:

  • Students must learn how to link to “Slides in This Presentation”
  • Add an animated GIF to make the presentation more compelling.

 

Ipad Xmas Projects for Visualization in Reading and Writing

We know that when our students can visualize, their writing is descriptive and engaging.  Here are two seasonal projects teachers can do:

1. Create a rebus letter to Santa.

  • This can be done using applications of Book Creator or Explain Everything
  • add text and images to create the letter
  • extend the activity by asking students to include sound effects

2. Create a iMove

  • find a winter poem, and create an iMovie
  • find images, and sound effects
  • record the poem in iMovie
  • add effects and transitions
  • extension: have students create a movie for their own poemsSeasonal activities do not need to be crafts and music, try using WWP applications to create unique and engaging activities.

Creating Fictional Origins of Idioms

Idioms and jargons are used everyday in our lives. We know that for our EL Learners and a lot of students in our classes, idioms and jargon can be difficult.  As a literary device, idioms are extremely effective and add to “style” of writing.  Idioms are colourful, personal and vivid.   I could describe our WWP project as an effective or as a well oiled machine.  In order to have students use and understand we need to explore idioms for all our learners.

Exploring the literal  meaning of an idioms is fun and allows students to be creative with pen and pencil, or specifically with an app (Pic Collage, Explain Everything, Drawing Box etc) .fullsizerender

Years ago, students and I watched a funny podcasts from Animal Planet called Animal Crackers.  In this podcast actors portrayed two fictional and one historical story of where specific idioms originated.

Podcast

After watching one podcast an activity would be to challenge the students to create a similar type of media presentation.

  1. They could research meaning and origin of an idiom. 
  2. Create a literal and actual visual representation of idiom (as above)
  3. Create a script for two fictional origins and true origin. (Pages or Doc)
  4. Use another App to illustrate
  • Explain Everything
  • Bookcreator
  • iMovie
  • StopMotion
  • Scratch Junior

Using Stop Motion for A Compare and Contrast Poem

Students can create a variety of projects using Stop Motion, but using it to illustrate their poetry, can allow to students demonstrate their own perspective through visuals.  Creating an audio bite and back drops can established the mood of the poem.

Poems which contrast things are most effective.  Also Poems which have action words can be used.

Some Suggestion of Poems:

Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain, Quinzaine, Diamante or Contrast

Example of a Diamante:

I[youtube]https://youtu.be/Py4s-5ZVLMQ[/youtube]

 

Writing Newspaper Articles

Have you ever considered having students create newspaper stories or articles?  Or even full newspapers?

Students will learn to choose descriptive concise language when writing an article.

Keep these in mind:

  1. Start with a lead which captures the audience
  2. Give important details and facts (who, what, where, when, why and how) which are necessary components of an article
  3. Follow up by talking more about the main facts
  4. Try to remain unbiased
  5. Write a conclusion which restates the important facts
  6. Use pictures and captions

The basics of an news article can be taught by having students create bogus stories. One of my favourite examples of a creative writing activity is to have students find a picture and create a headline and article which misleads the reader.

Example of bogus story

Websites

http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/

Newspaper Article

http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/newspaper-generator.html

http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp

http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online

http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/
http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/

 

There are several online sites that allow the student to generate an article or newspaper.

http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online
http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online

Creating Comics on your iPad

Comics are very powerful pieces of writing.  Students enjoy reading and creating comics. Two apps on the iPad,, Comic Life and BookCreator, allow students to create their own comics. ComicLifeSample

One of the best ways to engage your students in a story writing dialogue activity, is to use Comics.   What better way is there to show how writing dialogue needs to appropriate, clear and effective?  If their characters’ dialogue does not drive the plot, then the audience cannot follow their story.

Students can use Comic Life or BookCreator  to display their understanding of any topic in their non-fiction writing:

  1. Autobiographies or Biographies
  2. Speech Plan
  3. Instructional/Procedural Write
  4. Travel Guide
  5. Poster

Comic Life and BookCreator have many unique comic features and the purpose for using these features needs to be explained to students.

  1. Panels and Pages
    • a panel is like a paragraph, with one main idea
    • size of panel shows time and importance
    • we read panels left to right, top to bottom
  2. Pictures
    • Background
      • shows us setting
      • develops mood
    • Foreground
      • Characters and important objects
  3. Text Features
    • Captions
      • carries the narrative of the story
      • tells us about setting
      • explains what happens between panels
    • Speech and Thought Bubble
      • displays characteristic of characters
      • Is often the core text feature, giving the most information
    • Lettering
      • Onomatopeias
      • Title
You can also have students explore App Smashing by:
  1. Adding themselves as characters on a background in PicCollage
  2. In Drawing Box, create their own drawings and add to their comic
  3. Create their own characters in Avatar Creator

Here is student instructions for using Comic Life

ComicLifeiPad

and Comics in BookCreator

BookCreatorComics

Collaborative Writes Benefit all Students

Collaborative Writes Benefit all Studentsstudents-148163_640

  1. Collaboration strengthens writing skills and improves Communication 
  2. Sense of Responsibility to complete a task improves growth in Personal Awareness
  3. Sharing of Ideas with a diversity of opinions and styles promotes Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
  4. Sharing of Expertise with Peer Editing develops Critical Thinking Skills

*Bolded Core Competencies 

Using the iPads, collaborative writing can happen easily in the Google Environment.

Students can use either Google Slide or Google Docs to create and share the writing assignment.


Forms of Writing

Persuasive Writing (debate) using Google Slides or Docs

  • A pair of students choose to debate a topic on the same document.
  • Give Topics such as “Every child should or should not have a tracking device placed on them” or “Curfews”, “Uniforms” etc.
  • One student creates the doc/slide and shares to partner
  • When completed the writing, the students would edit, giving a strong argument for one, or decide to let the reader choose (more of a editorial write)

Research Writing Using Google Slides

  • Students in pairs or triads, research a topic together dividing the topic  into subtopics
  • One Student creates a Google Slide and shares with group
  • Students are each responsible to present the information on their own Google Slide pages, within the original document
  • Remind students that this is an oral presentation, with visual cues
  • Show students how to turn on the speaker’s notes, where they can add script to refer to in presentation

Narrative Writing Using Google Document

  • Give students a genre of a traditional/parody story to rewrite (Fractured Fairy Tale,  Animal  Story, Fable)
  • Divide students into pairs or triads
  • One student creates the doc and shares with the group
  • Put a table on the document, so that each student has a place to write
  • The (2×6) table could include: Introduction, Setting, Protagonist, Antagonist,  Problem, Attempt to Solve 1, Attempt to Solve 2, Attempt to Solve, Solution, Conclusion
  • Students divide the task and write in their chosen cell
  • Completed text can be copied and pasted into another application

Poetry

  • Choose a poetry form with a distinctive form  such as sonnet
  • Discuss the characteristics of the poetry form
  • Sonnet 14 lines, 3 quatrains, 1 couplet,  each line 10 syllables, rhyming scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg
  • Divide students into groups
  • One student creates the document and shares
  • Create a table 2×14
  • Label  Column with rhyming scheme
  • Each Student completes their assigned line

 

Using “Book Creator” or “Explain Everything” to create a How To Book

“How to Videos” are a craze on YouTube.  To bump up the “How to”  use Book Creator or Explain Everything.  Both of these apps give a variety of extra tools to create a better procedural writing.

Bring in artifacts, such as skipping rope, card game, etc

Criteria:

  • at least one video

  • a picture

  • a soundbite

  • a drawing

  • text,  explaining  sequence

  • Uses transitional words to show sequence:

  • A, B, C, and so forth.
  • first, second, third, and so forth.
  • after, afterward, and then,
  • at this point, at this time, before this,
  • concurrently, consequently,
  • finally, following this,
  • hence, next, now,
  • previously, simultaneously,
  • soon, subsequently,
  • then, therefore, thus

*Students can also use iMovie

Using iMovie to “Produce” a Poem

Use this poem to create an iMovie.

The Bluebird Poem 1

or on Canada and government

I am Canadian Poem

imovieipad2 for iPads

imovie8greenscreen for Macbooks

  1.  Read the poem
  2. Chunk the poem into parts (stanzas, couplets, etc)
  3. Find images for each of the parts (google image search, search tools, usage rights) and save to device
  4. Create a new iMovie
  5. IMovie must include:
  • Titles
  • Digital stills
  • Theme music, which fits the poem
  • Sound effects
  • Audio of reading of poem, making sure to capture the mood

 

Using iMovie Trailers to Compare and Contrast

orangebanana2Using iMovie is a creative way for students to practice the language of Compare and Contrast.

Here is a document  with key words used in both compare and contrast.

Compare and Contrast

Use one of the Storyboards to have students compare and contrast two things.  Each text line needs to be a sentence comparing or contrasting.  The images in the storyboard will link to the text.

Ideas:

  • their self with a peer
  • their self with a character from a book
  • two animals
  • two countries