This morning we are exploring Folding Story with Year 10 English Functional Skills students. After a converted effort on writing skills, I felt that the creativity offered by Folding Story would be a fun and a neat end to that focus.
Folding Story is a very simple writing game we all played at school that I stumbled upon a few week ago. So, to prefix this post, here is a quick overview.
With netbooks booked, the students created and then authenticated their accounts. Our students expected an instant sign up and get started, so make sure students provide an accessible email account for quick authentication.
As with many collaboration tools, a recognisable but safe username can pay dividends later on when connecting with others and recognising student contributions, I always recommend using their school username or ID.
As with any network, growing the network takes time, this can be a little frustrating for students. Acknowledge this and outline that Folding Story will come to into its own in the second half of the lesson.
Create a FOLD (the first line of a story). Now there are two options here;
- create a FOLD prior to the lesson and make the direct links available to each of them.
- create a FOLD just before introducing the exercise and it will appear in the recent list but be quick, it soon moves out of the recently added list.
The good news, once you are using Folding Story, you get recently added feedback.
Get every students to follow you! Through that process students can then use that list to quickly follow one another.
With students have connected, now set the expectations for writing.
- Spelling and grammar are not corrected and post can not be edited, so DO take care to get it right. Remember, this is going out to the world.
- DO write with purpose, it makes for better folds.
- DO remind students that there are only 10 folds in a story so DO be descriptive.
- DO remember you can only contribute to a Folding Story once.
- DO remember ‘the terms and conditions.’
Now to get writing. Get every student to click CREATE and write the first line of their folding story. Folding Story now fuels itself with students adding FOLDs to one another’s stories. The students seemed to be having a lot of fun, sharing posts and laughing at previous posts, the students seemed to forget the fact they were writing. Your role, well you have a choice, you can either support the students writing or get stuck in yourself.
As noted, you can only add to a ‘folding story’ once. We thought it could be fun to create a story in partnership? The ability to define the number of folds permitted by each contributor a possible feature request.
Then came the questions
Can we leave sentences unfinished? For example can we write ‘dah dah dah until…. or dah dah dah suddenly or then.’ Yes, Why not? There are no rules.
It would be handy to know how far through the story, this is shown by the horizontal fill icon – look out for it on top of your avatar.
We thought it would be neat to be able to define the lead character as with male female, may be a blue / pink icon? Some of the stories were a little….. well, weird.
We didn’t get to finished any of the stories, it was only a small group of 11 students but it was fun. Maybe one or two of the stories will be finished over the weekend? Feel free to contribute. The notification setting can be used to…. notify you.
Finally – you can extend the task by asking the student to define and on focus on a particular writing style (detective, romance, comic, historical) after all this is an English lesson.