Traditional Tales with a Twist: Rashomon through Tweets!


Today Year 4 were given a mammoth challenge in English. We introduced the idea of a Rashomon story: a story told from different perspectives. They had to choose a familiar story and retell it from two different character's perspective. That sounds a challenge in itself but I decided to take it a step further by explaining that the character's version of the story had to be told through 5 tweets, each of 140 characters EXACTLY!

The children relished the challenge and had my new app. 1-4-0 to help. The app allows children to write a story or text within a grid of 140 boxes. The app has a word counter and a character counter to make sure children keep to the constraint. This is an idea I have previously blogged about and share on my training to actively encourage pupils to play and experiment with words and language. What I love about the idea of using twitter as a constraint is that a character can be a letter, a space or a punctuation mark. So children will actively muck about with the use of different punctuation marks to help reach the 140 goal. The idea was inspired by all the constrained writing challenges featured in Alan Peat's books. 

To make sure the app enhance what can be done on paper, alongside the character and word counter, there is the option to turn the message into a fake tweet. This is a great teaching tool, as teachers can use this to create fake tweets from celebrities with deliberate mistakes for the children to spot and correct.

The children had to tell the story as a character through 5 tweets of 140 characters exactly. It was a tough task but one the children enjoyed. They worked brilliantly, trying ideas, changing words and phrases to make their story fit.


For most of the children, there wasn't enough time in the session to complete the whole task but all of them managed to get a few tweets done. Here are a couple of examples from stories such as: Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretal. 











For those children who did finish, they could put all their tweets together using the app Adobe Spark Page. I have previously blogged about this cracking app, where children can create stunning web pages for a variety of tasks. Here is one of the finished efforts from the class:

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Comments

  1. Wow, this sounds like a really fun, intelligent, and easy way to use tech in the classroom! It seems like you've really made the most of the 1-4-0 app, and it looks like a fantastic way to teach students about word length, editing, story telling, you accomplish so much with such a simple app, it is very impressive. It is nice that you keep it very simple as well, there are not a lot of elements involved so it is easy to get the students up to speed and involved.

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  2. Great idea mate, love the thinking, as well as the tool!

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