Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. With artwork from illustrators and animators around the world the pictures inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories. Free use for educators.
We really like this site: A soft murmur plays ambient sounds and lets you mix them up as you wish - rain, thunder, a coffee shop... Use it in class to give an ambient, non-distracting background for work/writing/reading, for relaxation or circle time, or as a sound stimulus for fiction writing. This mix is birds singing in rain with a bit of singing bowl.
There's also iPad and Android app versions.
Here are some great sites that support the teaching of writing:
KeyStage2Literacy - packed full of fabulous writing resources; a quality site
The Literacy Shed - inspiration for writing
Classroom writing ideas - images to inspire writing
Writing bugs - short prompts for writing
Can the iPad really help improve children's writing? - discussion & deas for using iPads to support writing
What makes good... features of different writing text types:
Everyday Edits - grammatical errors in short extracts to edit for a morning challenge. On theme of animals.
We really like the simplicity of this online mind mapping tool MindUp. Can be used online but you can store your mind maps to your computer and save them as pdf files. Here's one for a partial plan for a biography of a writer that we're using to teach detailed planning skills for writing. You can access MindUp by hovering over the Links tab.
One of our teachers was at the One Direction concert the other day and got talking to Harry Styles backstage about our school's writing target bookmarks. As you know, Harry's very interested by sublevels and assessment; but he decided that the old bookmark targets needed some examples to illustrate what the targets meant. Why not have a look and see what Harry came up with? *
* Actually Harry didn't have anything to do with it, but it's fun imagining he did, isn't it?
Here's a scavenger-hunt activity for spotting/using organisation & language features of different text types. Cut up the sections & students label and example of the text with feature, purpose & description.
Find example texts & place on A2/A3 paper. Give students envelopes with cut-out boxes & they’ve to find an example of the element & put the purpose & description alongside. Could do activity with all three parts (element, purpose & description), just focus on one part, or join together two boxes to scaffold task (eg, give element & description boxes together & students match purpose).
Could also use for writing as prompts or success criteria.
Use these links for further text-type work: Skillswise, BBC Bitesize.
Create storyboards for scripts & stories with ACMI Storyboard Generator
Create interactive stories with Inklewriter. Readers can choose what happens next & writers create branching versions of stories. Good for class stories - give each child/group a branch to write & collate the branches here. Also good for simple paragraphing of stories/texts & rearranging of paragraphs.
The best educational web links in Rotherham!