Creating an effective opening for an Epic Citadel story

mzi.xgxvkslb.175x175 75 Year 5s Epic Citadel Journey begins...In year 5, we are using the app Epic Citadel as a focus in Literacy. Last week we started by producing word clouds generating words to describe this fantasy setting – read more about this lesson here. 

Today they had to use these words to write an introduction for the magical land.

To fit in with the theme of this fantasy setting we used the app ‘Keynote,’ to present our work.

Keynote is the apple equivalent to Microsoft powerpoint. For a class of children who have only ever used office software it took some time getting used to the different tools and functions of keynote. I think it was a valuable lesson to get the children used to using keynote or pages to word process on the iPad. However it did have some teething problems which ate up some of the lesson time. After a few more lessons getting used to moving and formatting on pages or keynote, I feel the children would be able to use it confidently to produce some fantastic work.

So using some of the templates within Keynote, children imported a screenshot from the app and then wrote a short introduction for the setting. As I wasn’t expecting a massive amount of writing I decided to focus on the children thinking carefully about their writing so used the SLOW WRITING TECHNIQUE. The conditions for their six sentences were as follows:

  1. Must be an imagine 3 examples: sentence ending in an exclamation mark.
  2. Must have an embedded clause.
  3. Must start with an adverb
  4. Must only contain seven words.
  5. Must contain three adjectives.
  6. Must be a question.

I love this approach, I think it is a great way to really focus the children to think carefully about their writing. Sometimes we put too much emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Slow writing purposefully encourages the children to carefully consider word choices, openers and punctuation.

Due to the time spent getting used to keynote, not all the children finished their 6 sentences however most did enough to create an effective, atmospheric opening.

This will be a basis to a more detailed piece of work in the coming weeks, I feel the final result produced a really good eye catching piece of work. I asked the children to take a screenshot of their Keynote page as I am looking to use it in an iMovie project next week.

Here are some of the children’s efforts: