Writing stories: communicating information using text

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MAPS-ICT™ Task: What happened next?

Teacher’s Notes
Designed for use with QCA Unit 2a “Writing stories: communicating information using text”


Task Title: What happened next?

Year Group: Year 2

Curriculum Refs: 2a, 3a, 4a

Levels: 1 – 3

Scheme of Work: ICT Unit 2a

Unit Title: Writing stories: communicating information using


Unit URL: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/it/itx2a/

What happened next?” is designed as an assessment task for unit 2a of the QCA’s scheme of work for Key Stage 1 ICT for Year 2.

The following statement is the first things pupils will read when they open the task:
“What happened next?
Your challenge for today is to use a word processor to write a story that somebody else can enjoy reading.
You will:

  • use a word processor to write sentences

  • save your work so that you can go back to it again to make it even better and to correct mistakes you might have made.

Your first step is to look at the ‘Starting off’ page which will help you with your ideas.”

The following files are posted in the MAPS system to form the resources and can be downloaded, opened and edited by teachers and pupils. They provide instructions, ideas and support for the task.

File 1: Starting off (Introduction)

File 2: Ideas page (Background)

File 3: Getting ready (Planning)

File 4: Writing my story

File 5: How did it go? (Evaluation)
After opening the task and reading the text on the screen, the pupils should look at the ‘Starting off’ file which should spark their interest and motivate them.
The Ideas file gives more ideas about how to tackle the task.
The Getting ready (planning) file provides a framework for their writing. This and the Writing My Story file can be used in different ways to enable differentiation. Some children might just write the answers to the questions but as complete sentences. Others might do this and then continue the story, whilst others may just go on to write what happened next after having established ‘who, where, why and what’.
As pupils move through their school years they are encouraged to develop their reflection and evaluation skills. At this stage written evaluation would not be expected but it is essential that, at least, verbal review and feedback happens. An evaluation sheet is provided in which children can use smiley faces to indicate how they got on with the task. This could be completed on-line or printed out for pupils who need help to discuss and circle how they felt they did.

1. Resourcing the task: (what you will need to run the task)

Word processing software (if possible with a talking/speech facility).


A pre-prepared template, writing frame or set of pictures to prompt or support the children’s writing as appropriate to their needs.

  1. Managing the task

Tips and suggestions

  • There are plenty of opportunities throughout the learning in key stage 1 for children to apply what they have learnt about using a word processor. It will develop their understanding that words communicate information and messages, and that ICT lets them correct and improve their work, as they do it or by retrieving it later.

  • There should be plenty of opportunities for ‘time to talk’;

for instance about what skills and techniques children have learnt to use in word processing software.

  • Show the children the book, on-line story version or other presentation of the contextual text.

  • ‘What happened next’ can be adapted to almost any writing purpose where a clear sequence of events or information is important;

    • Children could re-tell a familiar story or write the text to go with the pages or parts of a picture book.

    • Or they could write about something related to a topic such as pages for an information book. Pictures could be provided as prompts, linked to the chosen topic.

    • Another option is to use photographs to support writing about an activity the children have taken part in.

    • The writing could be combined after completion into presentation software, onto a school website; or printed out as a classroom resource, book for the reading corner or to be read to children in another year group. A book template is available at http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/resources/book.htm
  • Children should type / write their stories quickly; and not copy from a handwritten draft. They should save their work and retrieve it later to check it, correct it, and make changes to improve it.

  • If a talking word processor is available the children could also be encouraged to listen to their complete sentences to hep them check that they make sense.

  • More able pupils could be challenged to write a story which they have made up themselves, perhaps by being given a ‘story starter’ or an image eg a ‘treasure map’ to get them started. They could also be expected to use effects such as ‘bold’, coloured fonts or capital letters.

  • On-line stories such as Sebastian Swan, BBC Schools ‘Famous People’ can provide a starting point and often provide photographs which can be used to stimulate and support writing. (see more links below)

  1. Curriculum Links – opportunities for Unit 2a in Key Stage 1

Literacy: many opportunities to link to familiar stories from a range of genre; stories linked to cross-curricular topics; writing information texts


Recounts of what happened in an investigation, or observation/information eg about a lifecycle or scientific process.

Information about a topic of study such as mini-beasts.

  • Year 1 Unit 1A - Ourselves

  • Year 2 Unit 2B/2C - Plants and Animals – Variation & different habitats

  • Year 1 Unit 1D – Light and Dark

Geography: (describing places)

  • Year 1/2 Unit 5 – Where in the World is Barnaby Bear?

  • Year 2 Unit 3 – An Island Home (write about a picture of a character or place)


  • Year 2 Unit 4 – Florence Nightingale

  • Year 2 Unit 5 – Fire of London


  • Evaluation of a design and make project. (eg. ‘Making my puppet’)


  • Year 1 Unit 1b - Using a word bank

  • Year 2 Creating pictures (which could match the writing produced)


All year groups

A range of instances where a religious story is told /retold.


All year groups

Telling stories linked to citizenship, bullying, events in own experience.

  1. Assessing the task

Children in Year 2 would typically be working within Level 2 which is characterised by the use of ICT to explore options and make choices to communicate meaning. By the end of Year 2 children would be expected to be achieving level 2 and beginning to work towards level 3.
When linking ICT assessment activities with other subjects it should be remembered that ICT remains the focus of the assessment The subject provides the context for applying their skills, and does not assess their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
Level expectations based on National Curriculum and QCA guidance:
Level 1

This is characterised by the use of ICT to explore options and make choices to communicate meaning. Pupils develop familiarity with simple ICT tools.

Typically, pupils:
  • explore information from various sources, showing they know that it exists in different forms

  • present and share ideas using text, images and sounds. They talk about using ICT

  • recognise that everyday devices respond to signals and make simple choices when using devices

Level 2
This is characterised by purposeful use of ICT to achieve specific outcomes.

Typically, pupils:

  • gather, organise and classify information to present their findings.

  • explore real and imaginary scenarios.

  • generate and amend work

  • plan and give instructions to make things happen, and describe the effects

  • record, save and share ideas in different forms, including text, tables, images and sounds

Level 3

This is characterised by the use of ICT to develop ideas and solve problems.

Typically, pupils:

  • find and use appropriate stored information, following straightforward lines of enquiry

  • explore ICT-based models or simulations to help them find things out and solve problems

  • generate and amend work

  • create sequences of instructions to control devices and achieve specific outcomes

  • generate, develop and organise their work. They use ICT to present share and exchange their ideas with others

Outcomes and differentiation:

Pupil self-assessment statements

The following statements appear in the Outcomes screen for this task. This is designed for pupils to read or listen to and to use the smiley faces to indicate how they got on with the task. This could be completed on-line or printed out for pupils who need help to discuss and circle how they felt they did. You can edit both the text and the levels - which means that, for example, you could create different versions of this task to assign to pupils of different abilities:

Demonstrating aspects of level 1:

  • I have used the space bar to make spaces between words

  • I have used the shift key to make capital letters

  • I have used the enter key to start a new line

  • I have used the backspace key to make corrections

  • I have tried to use two hands on the keyboard to help me type more quickly

Demonstrating aspects of level 2:

  • I have used the space bar, shift and enter keys to make my writing clear

  • I have used the backspace key to delete a letter or word so that I can correct a mistake.

  • I have typed text so that it is clear and easy to read

  • I have saved my first attempt (draft)

  • I have retrieved (found and re-opened) my draft; and worked on it to make it better

  • I have talked about what a word-processor can do

Demonstrating aspects of level 3:

  • I have used special keys on the keyboard to make my writing easy for someone else to understand

  • I have checked my work for mistakes and put them right

  • I have tried to present my work to make it useful for others

  • I have talked about ways in which word processed text is used and who it was written for.

5. Useful Links
There is a range of resources for teaching and assessing ICT on the QCA website "National Curriculum in Action"

The ICT section can be accessed here: http://www.ncaction.org.uk/subjects/ict/

And you may want to visit some of these sections:

About the ICT attainment target and level descriptions

The level descriptions

Making a judgement

Progression in ICT

Sebastian Swan http://www.sebastianswan.org.uk/index.html,

BBC Famous People

Fairy Tale Land - Little Red Riding Hood (and others)

Goldilocks, & The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Story Time

Spot the Dog

The Gingerbread Man


This document forms part of a MAPS-ICT™ assessment task and is licensed for use only with MAPS-ICT™ ICT assessment system.

© 2006 TAG Learning Ltd, www.taglearning.com

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