A digital day's work

19th November 2004 at 00:00
Returning from an exhausting day of re-enacting Victorian life as part of a history project, my class seemed likely to struggle with producing a coherent and detailed recount. Three Year 5 groups had carried out different activities at different stages of the day.

I soon realised that the photographs offered the perfect framework for structuring our recount. As the pictures downloaded, the images told the different groups' stories of their day, as each group's camera was simply recording each event in chronological order. Many of the children find that hard to achieve in a piece of writing.

Many of our learners prefer a visual and kinaesthetic approach to language and so we printed "thumbnail" sheets of their pictures. They could cut these up into individual small pictures which they could move around, repositioning the images until they were satisfied with their chronological order. We also worked with the interactive whiteboard we have just had fitted. Pupils could use the drag-and-drop facilities to move the photos around on-screen and create a visual timeline of events. They did this first in small groups and then the whole class shared the whiteboard. The children could zoom in on a picture and relive the event in greater detail.

Our visual timelines were ideal for sentence and word-level activities such as asking what adjective would best describe a room or what verbs they would associate with an event, and then what adverbs. Working with photos structured our writing in a fresh and exciting way and provided a stimulus for different learning styles. The recounts were some of the best work that the children had produced.

Colin Richardson, Year 5 teacherICT co-ordinator, St Monica's Primary School, Bootle, Liverpool

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today