How do you inspire your class to write and engage with literacy? Writing is an essential skill for children across the curriculum. But how can we support pupils to make progress and have fun while doing it?
When Y4 teacher Niki Louise started posting on Twitter about how she was using now>press>play to deliver a series of literacy lessons that produced outstanding writing with class 4BT, we were so blown away by the quality of the writing that we just had to share it!
Six steps to use #nowpressplay effectively for literacy — a story in several tweets:
[These lessons used our Natural Disasters Experience and Mission to Mars Experience as immersive stimulus to link to their main topic The Iron Man by Ted Hughes – how’s that as a way to blast through a topic!]
1. Select a topic
‘We are linking it [the Natural Disasters Experience] to Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man – the earthquake helped them visualise what it was like when The Iron Man started to rise out of the ground. The pupils have never experienced an earthquake before so how were they supposed to write about it? Empathise with it? This is where now>press>play came in.’
2. Act out the immersive story
3. In class discuss the vocabulary & setting
4. Give them time to write
5. Showcase their work
6. Perform the writing
7. Build on previous work (aka rinse-and-repeat)
Within The Iron Man, a ‘red star’ is described as hurtling towards the earth. This is why Niki chose ‘Mission to Mars’ to help children relate to the text. Many pupils haven’t been on an aeroplane, never mind space! So now>press>play came to the rescue again to help immerse pupils in their learning. This learning helped children imagine what it would be like to experience a meteorite crashing towards Earth and would help them write a newspaper article from the right perspective.
Niki Louise has also very kindly shared two of her week long lessons plans for inspiring literacy…
We’ve loved seeing how Niki Louise uses now>press>play to inspire literacy! And completely agree with her that ‘you can’t write about it if you have never experienced it!’ It’s been so exciting to see what 4BT has been creating and we look forward to seeing more of their adventures and purposeful writing soon.
Recap of steps to build out literacy lessons around #nowpressplay:
- Select a topic
- Act out the immersive story
- In class discuss the vocab and setting
- Give them time to write
- Showcase their work
- Perform the writing
- Build on previous work