Year 6 Literacy Ideas

I was emailed over the weekend by a year 6 teacher who wanted some ideas for using ICT with his class, and in particular for literacy.

I set up an Etherpad to collate ideas and threw the question out to my network of Twitter friends. I invited them to visit the Etherpad and add their thoughts.

http://etherpad.com/6QDYopW6Mo

You can see the Etherpad here, and if you wish you can add your ideas.

Thanks to @kvnmcl, @joysimpson, @LynnShellard, @AllanahK @pam_thompson, @psycho65 for their comments. If anyone else did add stuff please put your name on the Etherpad so I can thank you too!

Here is a summary of the ideas that were shared so far:

Flat Life

Its not a website however Flat life available via You Tube is a great 10 minute animation that can lead to a range of writing development and own animation am currently using with my year 6 class.

http://www.teachit.co.uk/custom_content/wordwhiz/titlewhiz_notes.doc , gives random book titles – this is a teachers guide! and children can then write about characters setting etc to go with title.

PicLits

http://www.piclits.com/compose_dragdrop.aspx writing to go with picture – lovely.

Wordle

Wordle is a great tool for developing comprehension skills in literacy.  Wordle the first paragraph or two of a text and see if you can work out what you think the big ideas might be about in the text. You can also see if you can group words together and then give them a heading.  Both activities will help tune children into a text. http://www.wordle.net/

Can also use photos from Flickr to create a wordle

Mind Mapping

I am just in the middle of blogging about myWebspirations at http://www.mywebspiration.com .  It is a fantastic tool for collaborating on mind-maps and creating a plan for a piece of writing.

VoiceThread

Using Voice Tread http://www.voicethread.com is particulary good for gathering opinions about a book, illustrations etc and for generating ideas to write about.  For instance if writing a persusavie text as series of related images can be uploaded and then children can then add their opinions, information etc about each one.  This then provides a resource for ideas when writing.

Podcasting is a great way of enabling children to share what they are learning. Podomatic is great but if it doesn’t get through the school filter then create in audacity and upload to gcast.

Blogging

For some ideas about what you could blog about see this post http://literacyresourcesandideas.edublogs.org/2009/05/12/what-might-you-write-about/

If you want to generate lists of resources and communicate with children through microblogging then try www.Edmodo.com.  This is great for setting challenges for the children, reminding them about homework, creating lists of useful websites for a project and generally communicating with each other whether in school or at home.

For another way to do online discussion – try http://www.think.com – or look at what your VLE already provides in-school.

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a great project and any number of tools could be used for this: http://literacyresourcesandideas.edublogs.org/tag/digital-storytelling/

You can’t go wrong with collaborative writing and nothing beats a wiki for this purpose.  I use pbworks at http://pbworks.com but there are several wikis that are good for school use.  The world is your oyster here.  Create a collaborative document about anything.
@joysimpson

Animoto

Animoto http://animoto.com/education is great for year 6 and you can apply for an ‘education account’. All you then need is a google mail account and you can create accounts for each child.

with animoto you can make mini music videos… my class are making videos for leavers assembly.

Story Starters

another site worth looking at is http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/storystarters/storystarter1.htm , according to their blurb “Scholastic Story Starters are a quick, fun way to inspire students to write.” I have a class of reluctant writers and they enjoy this so I guess thats a good recommendation… anything to get EBD kids to write works for me.

PhotoStory 3

PhotoStory3 is fab, free and easy to use combining photos, text and music http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/PhotoStory/default.mspx

Animation

If you’ve got time animation using freeware such as monkey jam is very effective – 2D with cut paper is quicker than 3D models! http://www.giantscreamingrobotmonkeys.com/monkeyjam/download.html

Be Funky

I’ve just been using http://www.befunky.com/ with my class (year 5) this morning to upload some photos from a school trip yesterday. You can apply various effects to these including adding text and speech bubbles. The class enjoyed doing this and want to continue.

You could then use www.animoto.com to create a ‘movie’ slide show of the images and http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ could be used to record the voice over.

You could use http://www.stupeflix.com/ for slide show presentation combining voice overs and music, http://www.glogster.com/ for creating a poster wall of information including movies and recordings.

Writing Fix – Story Ideas

http://writingfix.com/traits_primary.htm#forkids

Scroll down for the interactive random writing ideas. My Year 6/7 students loved using these and were very amused by some of the combinations they were presented with. (Pam Thompson)

Telescopic Text

http://writingfix.com/traits_primary.htm#forkids

We had great fun using this very simple site. It really made students think about the value of words. We then used it as a collaborative writing task with another school using Etherpad. (Pam Thompson)

Persuasion Map

http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/persuasion_map/

This tool from ReadWriteThink is a great way for students to organise their thinking as they plan a piece of persuasive text, whether oral or written. (Pam Thompson)

Web Links

I have Year 4/5 so these websites will generally be close to what you might wa nt. http://delicious.com/AllanahK/Literacy
Also http://www.delicious.com/dannynic/digitalstorytelling

Also check out:

http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/curriculum/literacyresources/index.php
http://www.sgfl.org.uk/englishandliteracy/primary/y6network
http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/english/contents.htm
http://www.twomilehill-jun.bristol.sch.uk/literacy.php
http://thedowns.wikispaces.com/

And that’s it for now. If you have any other ideas that you wish to share, please add them to the Etherpad here, or put them in the comments to this blog post.

Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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