Twitter Literacy (Twitteracy?)
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 | Author:

Today I tried another Twitter lesson (here was another attempt). As PPA teacher I often don’t find out what I’m doing until the day before and this was no exception. As part of the literacy in Year 3-4 they were looking at writing newspaper reports based on traditional tales and nursery rhymes. For today’s lesson we were due to hotseat as a character and write questions for them. I thought that the children would enjoy this, but I also knew that people on Twitter would too. Normally when I tweet a response for a Twitter lesson I get maybe 10-20 replies, but this one went, well, just a little bit crazy.

The basic question was: “If you could ask a question for a traditional tale character, what would you ask?”

I asked people to include #class6interview in their reply and they came thick and fast. I spent around an hour laughing (out loud – lol) at some of them that were incredibly funny.

Now, the plan was to use visible tweets to show the tweets on the board as the lesson was going on so that the children had ideas to draw from. I have done this a number of times and had never had any problems. I don’t usually check the tweets completely beforehand but this time I’m glad that I did. One tweet mentioned the old lady in the shoe and her lack of contraception, others were also not appropriate. Now some people might not have realised that this was aimed at 7-9 year olds and were just joining in the fun but it meant that I was limited to what I could share with the class. Unfortunately I didn’t notice this until around 8:30 this morning. I planned to copy and paste some of the tweets to share with the children instead but Kevin McLaughlin (@kvnmcl) Storify-ed them for me here so that I had some to use. @e_gran also offered to collate the best ones too, so thank you too.

I tweeted that I was upset that my plan was ‘ruined’ and many people offered suggestions for tools that I could use and agreed with my anger that people had spoilt it. Others apologised if they were to blame (@bellaale it wasn’t you! – political satire might not be appropriate for 7 yr olds but they wouldn’t have noticed)

So…the lesson. I started by explaining the task and then showed some of the tweets. We spent about 10 minutes going through the tweets and laughing at them. I also spent a bit of time hotseating as the wolf and explaining why I had tried to eat Red Riding Hood. The children were inspired and went away buzzing with ideas. Throughout the lesson they wrote questions for the characters and if I spotted a great one, we tweeted it. 10minutes from the end we came back and they had a go at interviewing each other and sharing answers. As a final exercise I chose a child to be a character and we spent some time asking her questions too. All-in-all it was a fantastic lesson and the children had a lot of fun asking and answering questions.

The best ones can be found through our @stjohnswaltham account. For the full list of Tweets from everyone, try looking here.

So, will I use Twitter again even though some of the tweets weren’t appropriate? Of course I will. I just need to be careful and have a quick look through before displaying them.

Have you used Twitter in your class? How did it go? Could you use it in a future lesson? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.