Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Create Texting Fiction to Keep Your Teens Engaged

Texting fiction is a new emergent genre of fiction writing that is becoming very popular among teens and I have to say when I started reading a few of these creations I can see why.

Basically the narrative is structured as a phone based text conversation and can include images and videos as well as text and audio messages.

The reader taps their way through the messages as a kind of voyeur, following the interaction between the two people to build their understanding of the story.

The most popular platforms at present for marketing this type of genre are:

These apps are freemium and allow you to download and read through the narrative, but if you are on a free version you may have to wait a few hours for the next part of the story or in some cases you don't get some of the rich media elements of the story.
This is a great format for language learning as the texts are very similar to spoken conversations and the chunks are short and easy for students to read.

Creating Texting Fiction

There are a couple of tools we can use do build this kind of narrative for our students.
  • Russell Tarr of ClassTools has developed a the SMS Generator that enables you to create single screen, short text exchanges that you can save and embed into a webpage.
  • Alternatively Chat Story Maker is a free app that enables you to create a longer more complex interaction and include images. The dialogues can then be downloaded as a video clips for students to watch. (I found this one on Larry Ferlazzo's blog).

We can also get our students creating this kind of narrative by giving them images of two characters and a scenario and then asking them to write the script. They can take turns writing a part each. I hope you and your students enjoy these useful tools and create some engaging texts.

You can find more tools and activities like these in my ebook 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

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Nik Peachey





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