Literacy - 'New concept in reading'

15th October 2010 at 01:00
A story said to mark a new type of reading has proved a hit in several Scottish schools.

A story said to mark a new type of reading has proved a hit in several Scottish schools.

Inanimate Alice follows an eight-year-old girl in China as she grows into adulthood, by combining written word, photography, moving images, drawing, painting, puzzles and computer gaming.

It was designed by Ian Harper, a Scot living in Minneapolis, US, who calls himself a "digital first, trans-media storyteller".

"In other words," explained educational consultant Bill Boyd, "this is not an adaptation of something which originally appeared in print, nor an e- book in the now commonly-accepted understanding of the term, but a genuinely new concept in reading."

Neil Winton, principal teacher of English at Perth Academy, described it as a "fantastic stimulus" to storytelling, although pupils had been sceptical at first about the mix of media.

"Once they get beyond this, they start to see how there are more elements to telling a story than the traditional linear narrative," he said. "They want to bring pictures into their own storytelling. Before they know it, they are fully immersed in the story."

Pupils can amend the story's dialogue, setting, plot and character, which Elgin Academy English teacher Dave Terron found useful as a starting point for creative writing.

The story, which will be told in eight episodes, has proved popular in several countries across a range of abilities and ages.


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