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Friday, 11 October 2013

Writing for a real audience!

This half term I have been working with a year 5 class on a Thursday afternoon. We have been basing our work around the theme from the Film Blackfish about Whales in captivity. In the first week back in September, after discussing the film with the class, the class created an awareness video, which supported the fight to free Orca whales in captivity. Here is the video:


The reaction to video was inspiring, to see some of the feedback CLICK HERE.

From this reaction, it has provided the class with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. I had to use this opportunity and the platform of the blog to share children's writing about this topic. 

The amount the children have been blogging about this topic has been amazing! The standard and quality of writing is clear to see as children know that their writing is being read by experts and professionals all over the world - You can read some of their work here.

I have seen this in the tasks we have completed in class based on this topic. Once we had completed our writing, we have used the iPads to try and present our work in a more creative and entertaining way. 

We first looked at some poetry about Captivity as part of  National Poetry day, the theme for the poetry was Acrostic poems however we tried to push this style further by looking at hidden acrostics and tele stitch poems. The idea came from Alan Peat and his free resource “Beyond Acrostics,” 

We firstly listed some words that related to our project such as – Captivity, Orca Whales, Killer Whales and Free Morgan.

We then wrote an acrostic poem, once we had finished we edited and changed our poem to try and add either a hidden acrostic or tele stitch.
Once we finished and were happy with our poems, we decided to present them using an app Videoscribe.

This app is fantastic for bringing pieces of writing to life and adding added elements such as images, drawings, music and also getting children to think about the pace of their presentation.
The finished poems portray a very powerful message while demonstrating the children’s ability to challenge themselves following some tricky poetic styles. Knowing their poems would be shared on the school blog and be read by different people added a real incentive to create a high standard of work:

Another task the children completed was based on a clip from the film showing how wild Orcas were captured and kept in captivity. Here is the clip:


Using a mixture of Slow Writing and Alan Peat's Exciting Sentences children wrote the story of this capture from the Whale's point of view. Again using the iPads to create a more powerful outcome with their writing, the children used the app iMovie to narrate their writing over some emotive pictures of the whale capture. This takes their writing and creates a task incorporating spoken language skills where children can use their voice for effect. Some children also were adding music to accompany the mood of their video. Here are some efforts:




We have a couple of weeks left of this half term and I have more ideas planned for the children to use this topic to write other text types knowing that they will continue to write with a real purpose and for a real audience. If you are blogging, try using a real issue to help build an audience for your children's work, the outcome will be immense.

This project took the children's work global and they were awarded with a PETA award for all their hard work!





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