Saturday, November 23, 2013

Different Ways To Generate Ideas Using Technology

After meeting with the 5/6 teachers at my school and discussing how we teach writing to our students, it got me thinking.  I have always taught writing by teaching the different forms of writing and modeling sentence structure, revising, editing etc through the forms.  The 5/6 teachers at my school first teach how to generate ideas, then how to write a great introduction sentence and so on.  This intrigued me because if you work on ideas first and develop a great introduction, then a great conclusion and so on. Then the thought is, that when you start to teach different forms of writing, students' writing pieces would be better developed. I started with searching the internet for intriguing pictures that would peak my students curiosity and imagination. To my surprise, there were plenty. The first lesson began with my team teacher creating an anchor chart of different ways to brainstorm ideas. The students came up with, webs, lists, talking to peers and drawing pictures. We then introduced the 5 W's - Who, When, Why, Where and What. We told the children that if they wanted to generate great ideas to use in a piece of writing, we need to answer the 5w's. I then projected a picture up on our white board and we used the popplet app to answer the 5w's. We then let the students pair up to complete their own popplet. Here is an example:

The next day I made a padlet wall with another image I found on the internet. Instead of making a QR code for my students to scan, I used the Chirp app. If you have not tried this app and you teach young children, you are missing out! See about this awesome app here Click Here Here is one of our padlet walls:

The third way we are working on generating ideas is with the Write about this app.Click Here There is an option for this app to create your own writing prompt. I found a fun image that I knew my students would love!

Prompt and photo courtesy of

I took a screenshot of the minion prompt and saved it to our school photo stream. All of our iPads have access to the photo stream so they could choose the minion image in the photo stream to use it in the app. I love that the students were able to generate the ideas on the app, then it can be saved to the photo roll. The students then embedded the prompt and their ideas onto their personal blogs.

How do you teach writing in your classroom?


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