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Story Scaffolds (Hopscotch)
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CoL link

I met the Hopscotch crew a couple of years ago and I was really impressed with the print materials they were producing for for KS2. Their Story Scaffolds idea really grabbed me and the result is a computer-based version.

Story Scaffolds main page

The idea is to break down the story-writing process into six stages to help children develop narrative skills. There are 12 Scaffolds covering a variety of content types: Pirates, Detectives, Mystery, Adventure, Funny, Fairy tales, Science fiction/fantasy, Historical, School life, Greek myths and Ethnic tales. Each scaffold has two levels for differentiation giving a total of 24 different stories.

Story Stage

Each scaffold also provides an example story, a word bank and a set of nouns. The noun bank includes a variety of pictures that can be dragged into the story as it is written. The whole thing is speech enabled and includes a help system that uses MSAgent.

The aim here is to give children a starting point for story writing and to provide nudges along the way. The story layout on the screen encourages them to write in a non-sequential way; to hop back and forth between different stages and add ideas as they arise. The word processing features have been stripped right back - no formatting, basic font options, no spellchecker, etc. so that children will concentrate on the story. The application provides the facility to paste the whole story directly into other word processors or layout editors where these elements can be refined as a final stage in the process, rather than a distraction thoughout it.

I've also provided a Scaffold Editor which allows teachers or children to modify those provided or create their own from scratch.
Update: In 2007 I released versions for years 3, 4 and 5.

Visit the Story Scaffolds site.

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