Story Writing and Grammar App – Make Dice Lite

About the App:
This app is an adaptation from story dice which gives children and teachers’ a chance to adapt, make and use their own story dice. On the lite version you can have up to six different dice, which can also be different colours. This is the same as the brought version (for £1.99 on the app store), however pictures and photos can also be added on the brought version. This could be useful for younger users or children of a lower ability. This app is easily available in the app store and is quick and easy to use.

Suitable For:
We would mainly use this app for children in Key Stage 2, as it is useful for descriptive writing, sentence structure and for teaching grammar. However, as the paid version allows for pictures and photos, this may be useful for younger children as well.

Some Teaching Ideas:
1. This app could be used as an introduction to a lesson. The teacher could prepare the dice before the lesson (depending on the focus of the lesson). The iPad could then be linked up to the smart board and children could roll the dice and create a whole class sentence / description.
2. This could also be used to help teach children grammar. As the dice can be differentiated by colour, this can be used to distinguish between the different word classes (eg verb, noun). Children can begin with basic sentences, such as “Sam ran to the door.” This can then be developed by adding in another dice with adjectives, which can help make the sentence more descriptive. Additionally, as the dice are very structured, it can cause discussions on how we might change sentence structures and if other words might fit better in the sentence. This can be used as an extension for children who fully understand the task.
3. The app can also help with characterisation of a new character or to develop a character in a story. The different dice can be used to describe different areas, for example one dice could be used to describe the characters appearance (tall, beautiful, short, blonde) and another dice could be used for personality trait (grumpy, friendly, caring, evil, sociable). This can then be edited and adapted depending on the development of the character.
4. If you buy the full version of this app, pictures or photos can be used to begin writing basic sentences or telling a chain of events. When using pictures this can also be used cross-curricular as children could put the dice in order depending on the pictures, for example if the pictures were of 1 boat, 2 boats and 3 boats, children could then discuss the order which the dice should go in.
5. This app could also be used by the teacher in lessons such as PSHE. The teacher can colour co-ordinate the dice by stating basic words for scenarios and then options of different outcomes. Pupils can then discuss which outcome is best and why.
6. It could be used as phonics cubes with different graphemes. Children can then see what words they can make by the graphemes on the dice. However, this will have to be prepared by the teacher and the teacher must make sure that all the graphemes are able to make words and make sense.

Learning Benefits:
We thought that this app is really useful for developing children’s learning. The app is interactive and can be used as a whole class or with individual children. This app also develops on from story cubes, but gives children (or the teacher) more ownership over the outcome of the dice.

Advantages:
– It can be quickly prepared before a lesson by the teacher or used by the children themselves during a lesson.
– It is interactive.
– It can be used individually or with a class.
– There are a range of teaching ideas that this app can be used for.
– It has cross-curricular links

Disadvantages:
– You have to pay to get the full version, which includes using pictures.
– You can only have a maximum of six dice with six colours.
– You can only have one set of six dice at a time and these cannot be saved – To start a new you have to overwrite the last
set of dice.
– It is only available for iPads.

What We Did:
During our ICT and English lesson, we practised using this app. We focused on sentence structure and used the dice to make simple sentences with the dice. We colour co-ordinated the dice depending on the different types of words we used in our sentences and were also able to name the dice, for example preposition, verbs etc.

Examples:

 

By Keisha Setoudeh and Samantha Pozella

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