Teachers' Tales

Combining digital tools for purposeful writing: A Tale Unfolds and Pobble

by Sarah Doughty
on May 25, 2017


At Pobble HQ, we get to witness the impact of digital technology in education every day. Proud pupils from across the globe publish their writing and discover inspiration through the work of others. But rather than viewing Pobble as a standalone tool, we think it’s important to maximise the power of digital literacy by working alongside organisations that share our vision.

One such company is A Tale Unfolds – a team of primary teachers who design downloadable writing and filmmaking projects to increase writing engagement and ultimately attainment (all of which can be found on our resources page).

Rachel Preece-Dawson, a primary teacher (and digital literacy advocate) at Sheriffhales Primary, regularly combines ATU projects and Pobble in her teaching practice, enabling her pupils to showcase and celebrate their creative achievements in many ways. Here she explains why:

“It’s long been apparent to me that children produce higher quality writing when they are engaged with the context. It’s also pretty obvious that, if the context is a real-life one with a tangible purpose and real audience, their engagement will be even higher. These ideas are, to me, inextricably linked: engaging context plus real audience equals high quality end result.

So why do so many pieces of writing never see the light of day outside of the classroom? We make class books of poems that sit in the reading corner; we make e-safety leaflets and compilations of non-chronological reports, but seldom are they read by anyone other the children themselves. What if we could find a way for children to produce work for a real-life audience? What if we could find a way for children to work together in a collaborative, exciting way with a creative end product in mind? What if we could use technology to enhance and enrich the learning, and bring the world into our classrooms at the same time?”

Finding answers to these questions is what inspired us to create Pobble in the first place. Not only do we want children to be able to share and celebrate their writing – we want to provide busy teachers with purposeful, exciting and collaborative resources like those by A Tale Unfolds, that can inspire great lessons.

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Rachel says:

“From the moment we started using A Tale Unfolds projects, my class were hooked. The impact on writing in my class was enormous: reluctant writers were heard to ask if they could carry on through break and lunchtimes. The projects are well structured, incredibly well thought-out resources comprising video clips, lesson plans, project overviews and paper-based writing frames. The whole unit culminates in one amazing film that we can share both in school and with a wider audience through Pobble and social media.”

After uploading her pupils’ movies to the Sheriffhales Primary YouTube channel, Rachel publishes their accompanying written work onto Pobble, where it can be shared with the world (not to mention relatives, friends and the wider school community). Already, work uploaded from Sheriffhales has had a combined total of over 80,000 views! Plus, with over 1,700 comments already made on the school’s Pobble page, the platform has helped Rachel’s pupils to see the value in peer assessment:

“The children love receiving comments and feedback on their writing – be it from classmates, teachers, parents and (if they’re lucky!) visitors from all over the world. Equally, they enjoy the freedom to explore and comment on other pupils’ work – often gaining inspiration for their own writing in the process. Working in a rural community, with limited transport links and school budgets, opportunities to communicate on a global platform like this allow me to bring the outside world into the classroom.”

Take a look at some of the ATU writing Rachel has published on Pobble, from news reports on plastic pollution to setting descriptions that have inspired some very frightful film trailers!

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Start planning your first ATU+Pobble project.