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Sunday, 3 November 2013

More useful Twitter accounts to use in the Classroom

A few months ago, I wrote an article looking at how certain accounts on twitter are fantastic for providing amazing pictures that can be used to spark creative writing, discussion and other useful activities in class. To read the post - click here.

To make it easier to keep an eye on all these accounts I have created a twitter list which you can subscribe to here - Media in The Classroom.

None of these accounts are ran by teachers or people working within education, so you cannot always guarantee that they will post material appropriate for the classroom, so always find pictures you want to use in your own time without children present in case there are tweets they shouldn't see.

Since writing the original post I have found other twitter accounts that provide some simply spectacular pictures that can be used in so many different ways in the classroom. Here are some examples:

@AbondonedPics


This account provides hundreds of great pictures similar to the one above of places that have been deserted by humanity. As far as finding an amazing setting for a story or just for some descriptive writing there are so many to choose from this account. Using the picture above, the children could imagine waking up one morning to see this scene out of the window - what could have happened? What could have caused this? What sort of mood do we feel looking at this picture? How can we create an atmosphere through describing this setting?
For some useful ideas on improving locational writing please have a read of this great article by Alan Peat - Making Setting Effective.

@AnimalMashups / @AnimalEdits

These two very amusing accounts provide pictures where two different animals have been mixed together to create a new, often hilarious looking, animal. The pictures look very realistic and open the door to some really interesting descriptive writing. Children could choose one of the hybrid animals and describe it, think about features of the two animals it has come from and write a non chronological report about where it lives, what it eats, how it catches food and how it hides from predators. The children can be really creative about writing a profile for each of these animals and it links brilliantly with Science topics looking at habitats and adaptation.

@Picswithastory


The account 'Pics with a story,' provides some intriguing pictures with a heartfelt and often inspiring story linked to it. These provide the basis for some great discussions within class linking to PSHCE topics but can also be used as a stimulus for writing. Take the example above, what a great way to show children that sometimes it is more important to help others than to think about their own materialistic needs. After some discussion with the children, you could ask them to write their own letter to Santa asking for something other than presents. This could be help for someone they know, or link it to an issue in the news, basically getting them to think about helping others less fortunate than themselves.

@CombinedHistory


I absolutely love this account for the pictures it provides where it mixes older pictures within current day pictures. Quite a few link to war and show how places have changed since it has been destroyed because of war. A great point for discussion leading up to Remembrance Sunday. I think it is a brilliant way for children to contrast and compare the pictures and the differences between the two generations. This could then link to work interviewing Grandparents and learning more about life in the past. To continue this further, children could then use a new feature on Google Earth - Historical Imagery. Where children can compare the satellite views from the past to present and just see how different the landscape in certain places has changed. They can even look at their own house and street and see the difference from when Google Earth was first released. For more famous landmarks the images can go back as far as 1945. For most local streets you can compare todays satellite pictures with those from 2000, which is still before Primary School children were born and may not be a massive difference in time but just comparing my own street is was amazing to see how many houses have had extensions and gardens changed.

These are just 3 of the newer accounts I have stumbled across and added to the twitter list. Remember you can subscribe to that list by visiting this link - MEDIA IN THE CLASSROOM. If you have any other accounts that you feel may fit in with this list please tweet or comment on this post.


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