Saturday, February 18, 2012

Writing Should Be Fun

The class has been working on various types of writing, including formal essays--the five-paragraph essay format, among others. On Friday afternoon, after some writing review, Mr. Mitchell decided to let the students explore another type of familiar writing in order to let them have fun with the writing process.

He started the lesson using Story Cubes, a fun story starter that randomly selects images from nine dice cubes rolled by shaking the iPad. The students were asked to construct fairy tales using at least three of the images for ideas. (To make this easier, Mr. Mitchell took a screen shot of the results and sent it out to each iPad.) They had a little over 30 minutes to agree on a story, compose it, create illustrations, incorporate the illustrations into the text, and finally email the first draft to Mr. Mitchell.

The students used the Pages app to compose the story and Drawing Box to create the illustrations. The illustrations were saved, opened through Pages, and inserted into the text. Once the drafts were received, Mr. Mitchell reviewed them from his iPad on the projector.

The students' fluency with Pages and Drawing Box is impressive. They move back and forth between the apps with ease. They are able to keyboard efficiently on the iPads. Most prefer to use styluses for drawing and for creating the page layout in Pages.

Writing should be fun. For this class, it clearly is.

Here are a few of the first drafts. Click to enlarge: