“No sentences please, no capital letters, no full stops or any of those semi – hemi – demi – colons that you all need to use to be effective writers in our society…apparently….”
Yep I got some funny looks from the children this morning from St Benedicts and Riverdale Primary schools when I told them the plan for the day. The teachers didn’t bat an eyelid, they’ve been here before and know that we offer a very different sort of day to being back in school. I also told the children that nobody was wrong today, the only ‘wrong’ that they could do was in terms of collaboration and communication with their partner.
So what were they doing?
Writing emotion basically. The day is based on some work I did a few years ago in Handale Primary with some Y1 children. Use Garageband to write a simple score for a short story (in the form of a film clip today). Previously this has led to some fabulous writing because the children begin to understand the emotion of the scene through a different medium; one which they are bathed in when watching stories on a screen but hardly ever notice.
A day isn’t long so we warmed up by doodling what different scenes a range of music clips evoked. We followed this by an excellent example of a piece of music and animation in perfect harmony. I’ve used ‘The Beauty of Life’ several times in the past and the rich textures of music, animation style and content could easily spawn a week’s quality work but today it provided a great example of how the visuals and the sounds work together.
After break was understanding how to create music in Garageband and layering tracks. The children rarely have an issue with this in my experience as long as they are guided to the key functions they need. Using the smart instruments and some simple tempo changes the children wrote the score for ‘a walk in the dark’, simply a phrase I threw at them. They now had the skills!
The playlist that will appear below will illustrate their work and inevitably some will be more on the mark than others but that is not the point. They have thought about the emotion, the connection with audience, in a way that working on improving noun phrases and adjectival rarely can. For now enjoy some of the images from the day so far:
And here is the finished work. Bearing in mind that the children looked at me blankly when I asked who had ever used Garageband…or iMovie just 4 hours earlier: