Engaging Children in Story-writing Activities through Kidblog and WhatsApp
Keywords: story writing, blogging, mobile learning, reluctant writers
AbstractNarrative writing is any kind of writing that recounts a story. While the love of stories among children is innate, getting them to put the stories down in writing can be perceived as a daunting task, especially when the task is associated with a high-stake test. The use of story prompts through the integration of technology and writing pedagogy can make this task less daunting for children. This paper aims to present findings based on a project involving 31 Year 6 students in one suburban primary school. The strategy was to engage digital-native children in story-creating process through the use of blog and mobile apps like WhatsApp and editing software for images, videos and sounds. Students used mobile devices to create a story prompt (an image, a video or a sound clip) for writing a story. The students used the story prompt to stimulate ideas about the setting, the characters, the mood and the plot of a story. The stories and the story prompts were shared on the class blog and the class WhatsApp group. The students’ personal reflections in their reflective journals demonstrate the positive effects story prompts have on reluctant writers’ attitudes towards narrative writing. The students’ scores in pre-test, progress test and post-test also suggest that story prompts have a role to play in improving the students’ performance in narrative writing tests.