Using iPads and Football to encourage reluctant boys to write

As my role this year involves me teaching across the whole school using a class set of iPads, I feel it is important to really experiment to see how using the iPads can impact across the curriculum and not just within ICT. Consequently, with the Year 5 cohort I put together a project linking Literacy with football. I decided to do this project for two reasons: a) to see whether using the topic of football can engage the more reluctant boy writers in the class and b) to see how well linking digital media and speaking and listening can impact on the children's writing.

As I was working with the classes once a week, the lessons ran over a half term. However it was the lesson the children looked forward to each week, they were completely enthralled and engaged as a lot of the activities worked on speaking and listening whilst using the iPads. I have found that the children's confidence and willingness to write after having the quality time to discuss ideas and experiment leading up to a finished piece of writing had a massive impact on the final product.
Photo 14 11 2012 14 44 26 300x225 Year 5 start their Literacy Football Project
Lesson one was putting the project into context and looking at an examples of a football recount. The children used the app Skitch to annotate the features that the children need to be aware of. 
Lesson two/three was using the app Explain Everything to make pre game analysis videos. Children had to research facts and data about players and present them using the app. 

Class 5A Football Project Pre Game analysis from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

(Lesson three involved the children doing some pre match interviews with players of managers using the app Funny Movie Maker.)

Football Project Pre Game Interviews from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

Lesson four involved the children watching highlights of a recent football match and making notes. Notetaking strategies were taught and children were given the chance to make their own set of notes.

Lesson five - the children recorded their own commentaries over the highlights of a recent football match, they had their notes from the previous lesson to help. The children used the app pinnacle studio to record their efforts.

Class 5B commentate on Man United vs Aston Villa from Mr L Parkinson on Vimeo.

Lesson six - Was the lesson where the children finally put pen to paper to write up their recount. We decided to use the slow writing technique to really focus on producing quality writing.

Overall this was a fun and exciting project that included literacy topics such as notetaking, drama, researching, reports and recounts but also ICT skills and good collaborating exercises. It was a great way of engaging reluctant boys and with quite a lot of girls playing football within the year group they were just as enthusiastic. 

It has given me a real indication of the impact providing quality speaking and listening exercises with a real engaging activity can influence and benefit the writing process.


  1. Thanks for sharing, inspired me to download skitch and I will be using it in my practice.

  2. Thanks for the article. Keep posting. Best wishes …


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