Each week my Flipboard app, Twitter responses, my kids, my Kindle Fire and my Google reader deliver a collection of new web tools, apps, books, crazy experiences, random rants and must read articles or books.
An Alternative to the Piano
Don’t you just love the National Literacy Strategy Unit on the Piano. I never tire of the Aidan Gibbons film and all the great talk and writing you can inspire from it. But it is down as both a Year 5 and a Year 6 Unit. It can happen that both Year Groups want to cover this unit, so is there anything else that could be used.
I had given this some thought and was reminded on Twitter of a very powerful film that throws up a lot of questions and has no conventional beginning, middle or happy end. Last year, I showed my Year 6 class Replay and their writing was amazing. It may not be a flashback narrative, but it does lend itself to voice overs, explorations of emotions and a wealth of unanswered questions to discuss and back stories to fill in. Thank you to @Tomsale on Twitter for reminding me of this one.
And then – thanks to another very kind Twitter pal, @garethk007, I was alerted to these two fantastic animations. He claims that that this one made his TA cry and the kids loved it. Well see what you think:
Gareth must have been on a bit of a role as he gave me this one from Vimeo too. Though Vimeo is blocked in my school, so I will need to download it first. This film, Ruin by Wes Ball, is a post-apocalyptic vision of a world that has been overrun by nature. It feels like an action movie and there is not a hint of old men tinkling the ivories anywhere. But, there are lots of unanswered questions and an engaging if albeit brief chase narrative to stimulate some amazing writing,
RUIN from Wes Ball on Vimeo.
An App that Gamifies Geography Knowledge
I have been playing with Geo Brain 2. An app that quizzes you on Geography and by that I mean locations and facts about countries and cities, not oxbow lakes and cliff erosion. What I like about this app is that it not only corrects you, it also gives you direct links to Wikipedia pages about the place you are being asked about. It feels like the ICT lesson we have all done, where you ask a child to do some research about a place except with this app you have more direction and frankly more fun.
I made a short video / screen grab below to give you a flavour of just part of it.
BTW it is free.