Bringing Picture Books to Life!

Ever since John Murray (@ReadingExplorer) visited our school around 5 years ago, our school's approach to reading has changed massively. One aspect of the training which has really engaged our teachers and students was the use of picture books as a stimulus in English. It is something we have embraced right from EYFS to Year 6 and every class do at least one unit of English based on a picture book.

Since then, there's been a wealth of resources and support for using picture books to inspire English. One of my favourite people to follow on twitter is Simon Smith (@SmithSmm) who, for me, is like the guru of children's fiction. I was truly inspired by his session at Reading Rocks around the brilliant Arthur and The Golden Rope picture book. Click the picture to read Simon's blog post on this:

Year 4 have started looking at the beautiful book 'Flotsam.' Having explored the first few pages, we decided to create short videos telling the story in our own words.

To do this, we used the app Clips. I have blogged about this app previously and the potential to this app is huge. This app is quickly becoming one of my favourites in the classroom. The only downside is that it needs iOS 10 to run. A lot of schools I work in still use slightly older iPads where it isn't compatible. As an Apple app, it is almost like a condensed version of iMovie. It is a fantastic way to create visual content and allows you to add subtitles, different effects and filters, stickers, labels and it very easy and straightforward to use. 

To let you into a little secret, it is the app I use when creating a lot of content for my social media channels. 

With the app, the pupils recorded themselves narrating over the images from the book and even use their fingers to zoom in or pan across the image. The text labels were a great way to add speech bubbles and thoughts to characters and scenes. It meant the children could animate the pages from the book to create their own comic video of the story. Rather than describing this anymore, it is probably easier to just show you one of the children's finished efforts:

For me, this is a brilliant way to allow children to explore, predict and infer about texts in particular picture books.


  1. Thanks for sharing this ideas. I've often used picture books in the past, but never thought of the children deconstructing them in this way. I'll definitely have to give this ago in the future. Although as I don't have Ipads, I'll need to find a manageable alternative app, that doesn't require lots of editing.


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