ENGLISH VR CASE STUDY: Out of this World Writing (Age 9 - 11)
Penybont Primary School, Bridgend, Wales
“This session slotted into a teaching sequence for narrative writing, which linked well with our studies in Science (finding out about the Earth and space). Prior to the lesson, students had already used the ClassVR headsets in pairs”
“They had read a number of texts linked to space exploration, and identified key vocabulary from these texts. They had also been learning about how narrative structure can build suspense.”
Age 9 – 11 Primary School Teacher (UK)
Each student’s strengths and weaknesses were complemented by working together. One partner wore the headset and described everything they could see on the moon’s surface, while the other partner acted as a scribe. This approach is particularly helpful for those students who find writing difficult, as they could practise their verbal skills and really get creative with vocabulary, while their partner listened and noted down key words and ideas. Difficulty in recording ideas can really put some children off writing, creating a huge barrier to learning. The combination of an exciting stimulus, which they instinctively want to talk about great detail, and a partner to write down ideas is extremely powerful and managed to engage even our most reluctant writers.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
The notes made during the partner work were invaluable when it came time for the writing session. Students wrote poetry from the perspective of an astronaut on the moon. Their Virtual Reality experience had given them all sorts of details about textures and colours; it allowed them to consider what objects or senses they might include and supported their ability to use more ambitious vocabulary in their writing. In combination with visualising the striking image they had experienced earlier and revisiting their peer-created notes, the final outcome on the quality of writing was really impressive.
- To select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning.
- To describe settings, characters and atmosphere skilfully.