Using Keynote within a Fantasy Writing Unit

As teachers of writing, we recognise the power of visual images as a stimulus for creativity. During the Grade 5 Fantasy writing unit, the students were tasked with composing short powerful writing extracts. They explored strategies for developing compelling leads, and describing characters and setting in detail.

Some classes used the ‘Epic Citadel’ app on iPad which allows users to explore a dynamic fantasy setting, with high resolution graphics.

Students searched for a selection of high resolution,powerful fantasy images to assist with the generation of story ideas. Students used these images as inspiration for drafting their extracts. After trying out a few ideas in their notebooks, they selected one to develop further through the revision process.They focused on how to use descriptive language to describe setting and how to develop characters through detailing actions, thoughts, dialogue and feelings.

Keynote was selected as the tool to publish these extracts which enabled the combination of oral and visual language. Using the transition tool, Magic Move, students were able to create simple movies by zooming in or panning out of the image. They then recorded a voiceover of their story to accompany the slideshow.

Teachers noticed that the inclusion of visual images enhanced the enthusiasm and also provided a support to students who sometimes struggled to generate ideas.Here are a couple of final movies and detailed instructions can be found here.

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