Adverts using iMovie

So after two weeks looking at persuasive writing, and the children writing some very impressive letters to Nicky Morgan as to whether or not iPads should be used (uninfluenced by me of course), we decided to have a no writing couple of lessons.

We investigated different adverts and debated the ethics of advertising on TV. This all built up to the pupils creating their own advertisements for a holiday destination of their choice.

Here being one of the results:

image (7)

After looking at all the features of persuasive writing, I decided to see if the children could embed these in a different format. We used iMovie to create our adverts. This can be done through the trailer option within the app; providing ready-to-go trailer formats. First step, was to show the children what was expected, cue a silly modelled version of an advert by myself (they love it, and it allowed me to work out how to use the app).

imovieThen, and probably most importantly, I gave the pupils a planning format, as you can see. I can’t take credit for these as they were found here thankfully. This allowed children to see clearly how many pictures and titles they had to complete, steering them think through their structure of the advert.

Once they had finished their trailers, I challenged them to come up with a voice over to sell their product further. This can be done by saving the finished product, opening up a new movie on the app and then loading the exported trailer into the movie version of the app.

This was both a fun activity for the pupils and a good final assessment point to see who knew how to take the features from their writing and use them in this context. Enjoy.


Why Blog?

The question I seem faced with by many colleges is why blog? Or maybe not so much why, but how?

Take a trip down memory lane to six months ago, when our school was lucky enough to have a visitor called Deputy Mitchell (don’t get your hopes up, not a real deputy). If you haven’t heard of him, I suggest you check him out on twitter; the blogging font of all knowledge.

Anyway, he came in and worked alongside pupils and set up my class with a blog. They were hooked. They were engaged. They were inspired. Through this online forum, we managed to get even the most reluctant writers, to write! And, as a teacher, you will know ‘those’ children. Those who almost seem to need a drink/tissue/toilet/new pencil/rubber/ruler/new chair (yes I’ve had it) every two minutes. Well, those children didn’t move an inch from their chair. Magic..

If you don’t have a blog, I fully suggest you get one! Why? Children are growing up in a digital world, children are using technology everyday, yet as schools we are not tapping into this?! The blog creates a platform to motivate those who don’t like to write in books, excites those do not see it as ‘working’, allows pupils to think creatively, inspires collaboration between pupils and forms links between working at school and at home.

Long gone are the days of writing having no purpose. Imagine to be a child. You work hard for an hour, to produce an amazing piece of work. The teacher marks it (on the day if you’re lucky), leaves a little comment (if you’re lucky), and the books shuts, page turned, not to be looked at

Blogging transforms this. In one term my class blog has had over 4,500 visitors, from 14 countries and comments from around the globe. This speaks volumes, this makes children want to improve, to better themselves. This, is the key.

To set up a free blog, check out WordPress, Edublogs or Primary Blogger.

If you want help with this. Deputy Mitchell can provide training and trial blogs. Alternatively, our whole site has been set up by John Sutton from Creative Blogs (who is amazing!).

R.I.P Lollipop sticks

May lollipop sticks with your cname3lass’ names be a thing off the past (not extinct mind you, as technology can never be 100% reliable).

However, the app replacement is an excellent tool to spark a little more engagement in the classroom. The exciting nature (and our guilty pleasure of the theme music) make the children want their name to pop up, who’d of thought!



You can create more than one group or class and add as many students as you wish to the classes. The App randomly selects a pupil from the  group, with all names being displayed before a name is displayed for a second time (the pupils don’t need to know this) However, if you do have that ‘relaxed ‘(lazy) pupil you can change the settings so each name can be displayed up to three times, so the pupils never know when they may be called upon again!

This once free app, now can be purchased for £1.99 through the app store.



2k14 ‘poetry’ using Garageband

rap3So, as it loomed upon the year group.. poetry. Yes, the unit which we all fall guilty of leaving until last, especially with a boy heavy class as mine.

However, this time I thought I would approach it from a slightly different manner. After investigating the rhyming patters, I gave my class the task of writing their own rap song. Immediately they were hooked.


This here being the result, all made, recorded and produced by the children.

We wrote our verses all around our topic focus of space, with the whole song being done on an iPad- using two apps; Garageband and iMovie.

rap1Easier to do than you may believe. Step one, pick a song and simply purchase the backing track on iTunes (69p). Place the backing track in Garage band and you are set to go.

Then, using the microphone record your solo/group vocals, we used several platforms as you can see enabling the children to overlap vocals so they can hear the person before them singing.



rap2Once complete, the children exported this into iMovie and we went on to record our own rap video- the icing on the cake for unmotivated boys (not on Youtube due to parental consent- so we did a lyrics only version).

Extremely easy and extremely engaging for those less motivated. They loved it and couldn’t wait to write another ‘poem’. Job done!