Introducing a literacy unit

Being a digital leader I wanted to use  my placement as an opportunity to put in to practice some of the new skills I have learned during my digital literacy sessions at university and see how these could have a positive impact in the classroom.  I was teaching a year 1 class and I decided to use iMovie to create an exciting hook for  our literacy focus; writing an information text.With the help of my daughter who posed as ‘Penny the Explorer’ I made a short  film (see above)  in which Penny asked the children to help her with her mission to create some animal fact files to publish in her new book. The children were so excited to watch the movie which mentioned their class name  as we commenced the new topic.Creating the character Penny really engaged the children with their task, the children all wanted to help Penny  and were motivated to  find out lots of interesting facts for Penny’s book. I also used the video to introduce our new class mascot Terry the Toucan who proved a big hit with the children and was used during many of our rain forest lessons across the curriculum.Following the success of  my initial video , seeing how it had motivated and engaged the children in literacy, I built on this momentum by  editing  the video to make an additional clip to set a challenge for maths. This time Terry had broken his wing and Penny was asking the children to use their doubling and halving skills  to make him a special medicine. Because i had already made the original clip it took very little time for me to edit  and add content to create a new video. iMovie is such a versatile tool to enhance a creative classroom with endless possibilities to be integrated across the curriculum. I would recommend all teachers to  familiarise themselves with the software, it is very easy to navigate with a little practice and  of course, a tool that the children can use too!

by Gemma Wade