Here’s a different idea for getting pupils twrite up science practicals that makes a change from the usual method/results/conclusion format using a website called Xtranormal.

Xtranormal is a website which makes it very easy to create a simple animated movie. You can choose between one or two people and then write the dialogue. The website uses text to speech technology to read your script out, so there’s no need to use microphones.

The obvious use would be for MFL or English teachers to write short pieces of dialogue. (See Jose Picardo’s blog to see how it’s being used in languages) But there’s no reason why it can’t be used for other subjects too.

So for Science, one character could be explaining what they have found out to a second character. Like this:

You could also just have one speaker. Maybe make it into a news report explaining their findings. It could also be used to explain scientific concepts or to model important points in a debate about a controversial issue in Science.

The voices are a little stilted, but for those pupils who are too embarrassed to record their voices using microphones, it’s the next best thing.

The finished videos are hosted on Xtranormal, and you can embed them into blogs/VLE etc. You can also upload your videos to YouTube too if you wish.

You can’t use Xtranormal if you are under 13, according to their terms of service, so this activity would have to be done with KS4 or Post-16 students. Also be aware that not everything on the site is free.

But if you are looking for something different to do with a class, then this might make a change from always presenting the results of an experiment the same way.

If you do use Xtranormal for something like this, I’d love to see what your pupils have produced!