ENGLISH VR CASE STUDY: Writing a Christmas Story (Student Age 8 - 9)
Marlorough Primary School, London
“We used VR to write the third section of our Christmas stories, describing the journey on Santa’s sleigh to the North Pole. Prior to this, children had been given the opportunity to meet a reindeer and ask questions about what life was like in a cold climate. In their writing, our main focus was for children to extend their ideas and add detail as this was a real struggle for them. Initial ideas were quite limited and children were using quite basic vocabulary. Up to this point, children had been exposed to a variety of different story openings and we had done quite a bit of work on figurative language.”
Age 8 – 9 Primary School Teacher (UK)
The children worked in groups of three; each group had an observer, scribe and creator. In addition to the published Christmas Playlist and the Santa Sleigh Ride track, I created a bespoke Playlist. This allowed the children to journey across the arctic and identify the intricate and specific details of the landscape and physical geography; they discussed some of the synonymous adjectives which could be used to enhance their writing and used the imagery to scaffold and springboard their written language. Finally, the children enjoyed the Santa’s Sleigh Ride track, which helped the children to understand and visualise what they had heard in many Christmas stories and apply some of the grammar-based learning prompted by this visual experience.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
Children were excited and engaged in their writing as they felt as if they were actually seeing the Northern Lights; this sense of immersion and reality provided a near-tangible experience, which enabled many children to draw upon their grammar learning, recall the vocabulary and then apply it in a more skilful and scaffolded way. In their writing, the quality and range of vocabulary used was of a much higher level and children were also now using figurative language and detail. They are beginning to increase their writing stamina and were more engaged throughout the writing process.
- To know the key features of a narrative story.
- To use figurative descriptive language.
- To make sure there is a clear sequence of events.
- To begin to think about different writing techniques.