It can be difficult to get learners writing, especially young learners who often see writing as an imposition on classroom fun and games – so fun ways to encourage learner writing are always welcome.
At the FoldPlay website, they’ve come up with FoldBooks. As the name suggests, these are mini-booklets made out of A4 paper, which have been pre-printed with images and text.
If you go to the FoldBooks page you’ll find input boxes there to work with, once you’ve filled everything in, click the “make your book” button, then print and follow the folding and cutting instructions precisely.
There are eight boxes that need text adding to them, and consequently eight pictures that need to be included. In order to maximise the amount of text that can be put on the page, it’s best to reduce the font size to about 12 and the text margin to about 18, which is roughly the same as the image margins. Pictures though, can only be uploaded from the computer, so if learners want to use pictures from the internet, they’ll need to download those to the computer, before uploading them again, which is a bit of a hassle, but there you go.
I think with learners, particularly younger learners, I’d ask them to write a first draft in the classroom before adding the excitement of the computers. All that’s needed is eight smallish – say two or three sentence – paragraphs. It might fit nicely with some of the circle writing tasks along the lines of “describe a man / describe a woman / the place they met / what did they say to each other / what were their dreams / what was the problem / what did they do / how did it end” (for example).
Once learners have got a set of accurate texts they’re happy with, they can think about pictures they want to illustrate their books.
That, I think, is the point to take them into the computer room and let them have a go at making their FoldBooks.