The following post is written by Microsoft Teacher Ambassador Natalie Burgess, and looks at the progress being made by schools with the Microsoft Sway competition inspired by Enid Blyton’s Famous Five story series.
The competition is still open for entry until July 7th, and more information can be found on education.microsoft.com/famousfivesway.
2017 marks the 75th anniversary of The Famous Five, Enid Blyton’s best-loved and phenomenally successful book series. To celebrate this landmark year, all 21 books in the Famous Five series have been re-released in May 2017 with brand new contemporary illustrations from rising star Laura Ellen Anderson.
As part of this, we invited all schools to take part in our exciting competition as a Literacy Project for their class or an after-school club project, in collaboration with Hachette Children’s Books.
We have had so many schools across the country taking part in creating their own exclusive Famous Five Adventures and have loved seeing your enthusiasm for writing on Twitter!
In this blog post from Mrs Manssen, Year 4 teacher at Simon De Senlis, she tells how her students are having a great time planning and creating their stories: Enid Blyton and Microsoft Sway are a match made in heaven!
Other examples of how the competition is inspiring students and teachers can be found on Twitter:
— James Protheroe (@DpDarran) May 25, 2017
— Darren Hurley (@DarrenDazHurley) May 26, 2017
As educators, we know that providing our young people with meaningful, real-life contexts and real audiences for their writing is so important. That’s exactly what this project allows you to do in your classroom! By allowing the children to create their own eBooks using Sway that can be shared with the world, allows them to have the perfect tool and platform to showcase their own writing flare!
As a teacher, I love that within Sway we can add audio voice notes of the young people speaking, sound effects, music, pictures and videos to make their stories come alive on the screen! This is perfect for differentiation and for the creative children in your classroom. Giving our young people the opportunity to create their own eBooks can be a great tool to engage reluctant writers and children with additional support needs who may need their writing scribed for them. Allowing them to insert their voice makes them feel like they have accomplished something amazing without feeling ‘different’ from the rest of the class.
You still have time to take part in the competition as it closes on 7th July 2017. Check out education.microsoft.com/famousfivesway for more information, resources and entry form!
Ps don’t forget to check out the prizes! They are amazing!