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Heather McCreadie

on 1 December 2013

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Sending children home with a journey book so they can record what they watch, listen and read and what medium they use to do it.
Results from our research of popular culture and literacy at home:
Popular Culture and literacies used at home
Printed Books, Magazines and Comics
Only 4 out of the 8 children interviews read books

Only 2 out of the 8 children interviewed said they read magazines

None read comics
Computers and Game Consoles
All children had access to the internet and they all had some type of game console.

Children played various mini games online or played on children's social sites.
Programmes and Films
All children liked watching programmes and films.

Girls tended to like the same things while most boys liked different things.

One child said they liked a horror movie.
Age Appropriate:
Most children played Tekken 6 which is classed as

Some children watched Doctor Who which is classed mostly as PG (Parental Guidance) and some as

Horror film
All girls listened, watched and read about today's bands and singers.

None of the boys interviewed liked or listened to any form of music.

There was nothing that just the boys did.
Activities based on our research and also linked into the National Curriculum
Gaming in the Classroom
Home and school: What are the differences? Can home literacy be used in school?
The National Curriculum states:
"All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised."

Using Sarah Jane Adventures instead of Doctor Who
Sarah Jane Adventures was made for children of primary school age to watch.

Sarah Jane is a spin off from Dr Who as she use to be the Doctor's Assistant.

Dr Who visits Sarah Jane and gang on some of their adventures.

Games, characters and videos on CBBC

Michael Morpurgo
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift
Story Bird
This book was made by a child on second research visit:
marvelkids.com allows children to access many types of media. One of which is making your own comic strip or book. There are no charges and no sign up to complete. You can watch full animated shows of the Marvel characters.
National Curriculum Links:
Blurb: make your own books from scratch and can be sold as an ebook or printed.

Story Book 3: Add own photo's, narrative and captions.

Social Media
E-safety: children need to be taught safety as well as usage when using the net. Rules must be made and made clear with children.

"children and young people are far more willing to embrace an online audience and to post information that is accessible by anyone using the internet." (CEOP, nd)
Very popular with KS1 children and there are many products for sale from lunch boxes to clothing to toys and games. Their website has a news paper "The Daily Growl" and this contains news articles, puzzles and prizes and fact files.
Bin weevils is free to access and play games, plant a garden and chat to friends, but saying this the pressure to pay for membership is emense.
"Twitter can be a great educational tool for fostering precision and conciseness in communication - skills today's kids all need."
(Prensky, 2013)
Websites and Blogs
Can Games Help Children With literacy
Games Information Based on Our Research
All children played online mini games, however, in the classroom some of these games may be inappropriate due to the content or theme of game. Also there are adverts and links at the side of the screen and you never know what they may be.

Also, some children played fighting games such as martial arts at home but at school the games should be suitable for everyone and kept to a standard where we do not encourage violence to solve problems.

Sarah Jane is on CBBC and Dr Who is on the BBC. What we like about Dr Who he does not use weapons but instead uses his 'creative ideas' to save the world as well as the sonic screwdriver/lipstick!

Most common game consoles were the PS3 and the Wii. Both consoles have games for children, however, there are more for 7+ then there is 3+. The Xbox 360 has far less games than any of them.

The Wii has more games for children and families, it is social and though not excessive exercise it does get children to move around. Uses gross and fine motor skills.

Lots of strategy guidance books to help with games which are an added resource for reading and new vocabulary. It also acquires more skill and problem solving but awards them when they achieve it.

A home corner for internet/video game access where children take turns or work together in games.

Researching children's popular culture and literacies can help plan engaging and interesting activities.
Being inclusive: A Italian study has concluded that video games that promote 'mayhem' as opposed to literacy could improve the reading skills of children who suffer from dylexia." (Bond, 2013)
-Wii / 20 children / 7-13 years old. Reading sppeds increased which lasted up up to 2 months after / action games increased attention and participation.

Speaking and Listening: Sanger et al. suggests "The games appear to offer a range of opportunities for interaction as children swop experiences, exchange news on games and trade information relating to the navigation of the programs." (Cited by Marsh. 2000)

"Teachers dislike computer games because of the "controversial issues such as racism, sexism and violence." (Marsh, 2000)

"Games also develop problem solving skills as children have to work out the rules, plan ways of achieving a goal and solve difficulties presented to them along the way. Greenfield also argues that computer games develop children's skills in parallel processing...their ability to absorb information from a number of resources all at once. Who Rumelhart suggests is central to the reading process." (Cited by Marsh, 2000)

Being the narrative in the story: children become the main character in the story and can make few choices of what to do next.

Some children may read related story books, comics and strategy guidance books.

Write reviews on games/compare to ones in magazines: using critical analysing skills.

Games such as Dr Who also have Top Trumps card games, Pokemon has it's own card game and so do many others. This will also develop reading skills.

Collaborate/social learning: Children can work in groups or two players or more to problem solve.

Kodu and Scratch: Children can make their own games. Kudo has been used in America in their primary schools. Scratch has been used with 9-11 year old's in British schools. These programs are for about 7+ years. We do not think these are suitable for younger children.

Gaming can be used to cross curricular links. Geography: some games have actual places in their games and most have maps Computing: using and designing software. Mathematics: especially game design or reading scores and earning money/buying things.

Access homework.

Websites and blogs can be used to discuss lessons, things they have learnt and to put up work that children have done.

It can be used for social interaction between the class or school.

Share experiences such as school trips, visitors and special days.

Is accessible to parents and they also can have a page or comment box to leave or start conversations.

It can lead to people leaving comments such as authors or people they have researched.
Home Literacy:
"Home and community literacy experiences and texts are increasing digital and connected to popular media culture, yet experience and text in educational settings are predominantly paper-based and generally exclude popular media culture.

The practice marginalises many children, particularly those from diverse cultural, social and linguistic backgrounds whose experience may be with television, computers and popular culture texts in early years settings is a way of valuing and building on all children's 'fund of knowledge' (Moll et al, 1992) and assisting children to reach their literacy learning potential." (Arthur, 2001)

Other digital literacies they may use are kindles/Kobos, app's for their phones that can range from social media, messaging, games, news app's.

Other types of literacy they may see are newspapers, religious books, road and street signs, shop signs, CD covers. Artifacts from home such as something that means something to them.
"Our students' realities in terms of the way they communicate and learn are very different from our own...They are "out there" using a wide variety of technologies that they are told not to use at school. They are building vast social networks with little or no guidance from adults." (Richardson, 2009)
"The first question to ask
any student if you don't
already know the answer:
"What are you passionate about?"" (Prensky, 2013)
Answering a question set by the teacher.

Asking their own questions and receiving answers.

Putting up something they have learnt new in a lesson or that day.

Discussing school issues.

Constructive feedback to one another.

Posting images of their work

easy access to the internet in class

Discuss safety issues

Little Big Planet 1 & 2

Lots of problem solving, reading and listening with plenty of visual things and audio such as music and instructions.
Can play in four player.
Also, can be played online with four players (social).
As a parent myself, I have let my own son play games and watch films with an older rating because I can judge whether he can understand it or not.

He isn't scared of things like I am such as the daleks! He tells me "It's not real, Mum!"

Although, some parents may be too busy working or too tired after work.

They see no reason in why they should not watch them.

Another reason may be games and films are owned by older siblings and they all share.
When we researched popular culture we
asked the children a set of questions and
to draw their favourite character or toy.

The children enjoyed talking about what interested them and were fully engaged in the activity.

Though some of the children said the items were theirs I found most had to share with their family.

As a teacher to find out what children's popular culture and literacies are that they do at home I would like to give the children a small book and ask them to record their activities anyway they like such as printing, drawing, writing or sticking things. Possibly as homework over a weekend.
Teacherfirst (2013) states "As a teacher you have a powerful opportunity to model blogging as thinking, using a a teacher reflection blog or a teaching area within your whole class blog. Share your teaching philosophy with parents and teachers. model blogging styles and show your openness to comment and feedback."
Martin Waller (2013) said "I believe that the education system should equip children with the skills necessary to successfully participate in today's society. My teaching therefore reflects this ethos.

Most School Literacy:

Schools use PC's and educational mathematics and literacy games.

Teachers read stories from printed books.

Shared and guided reading use printed books.

Children have access to libraries full of printed books or picture books.

Independent reading is mostly printed books.

Books taken home are printed books

Some schools have ipads.

Floor games and jigsaws.

Displays on walls.

Presentation in PowerPoint is used by children in primary schools.

Mircosoft word is used at home and school.

Research on the internet at home and school.

Children create news reports, newspapers and multimodal texts that suit what work they are doing.
Prensky (2000) stated "Students, especially digital natives, today show a propensity for reading more digital texts than printed ones." (Cited by Visual and Digital Texts, 2013)
Children younger than 7 can't easily distinguish between fantasy and reality even if you tell them "it's not real.""
(common Sense Media, 2013)

From the research that we have done in schools and reading educational research material based on today's fast moving technology some schools and teachers are holding children back. We need to match and get ahead of children so that we can teach them the inside knowledge and safety when using all these different types of literacies and technology as well as using print based literacy.

Using popular culture engages and uses things that actually interest children. At home children use various and complex literacies and technology gadgets, however, they then come to school they are expected to learn from just a couple of resources. To us, this is holding them back from the true education that they deserve.

We were both surprised that one child had watched a horror movie that had a lot of naked scenes mainly women and lots of blood and gore where they get ripped and were eaten by piranhas.

We were not shocked about children not reading many books as they do accessing the internet for gaming and social media. This change has been occurring for quite awhile but we were shocked that schools are hardly taking any notice.

Prensky (2013) said "Educators who don't adapt to the new context are "past-ucaters." They're now less and less help to our kids."

Good understanding and experience of using the internet, different applications and using popular culture is needed for effective teaching.
Instead of having a bore in the library have some AWE!!!
"The internet has ushered in a wide array of new social practices, ways of communicating and being in the world...Internet literacy can be redefined to incorporate the skills and strategies required to read, write, view, listen, compose and communicate information on screen." ( Carroll, 2013)
of children have come across harmful or inappropriate content online.

of children say their parents don't really know what they do on the internet.

(UKCCIS, 2009)

Spoken Language, Word Reading, Reading Comprehension.


Spoken Language, Word Reading,
Reading Comprehension, Writing Transcription, Handwriting.

Social Media:

Spoken Language, Word Reading,
Reading Comprehension, Writing Transcription.


Spoken Language, Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing Transcription, Handwriting.

Watching films:

Spoken Language, Word Reading, Word Comprehension.


Spoken Language, Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing Transcription.

News and events has articles featuring the cast of SpongeBob
all have instructions
some are educational but all
have problem solving activities
Character bios gives you a little look
at each character
Each episode on the website includes
a title and a synopsis

There are 114 Moshlings and each one has their own biography fact file, which are available to access on their website.
This was a quote taken from the moshimonsters.com website
"Education is right at the heart of the Moshi Monsters experience. Every day your child's monster will create a series of fun puzzles that test everything from vocabulary and arithmetic to logic and spatial skills. The better your child does at these puzzles, the more Rox they'll earn to buy cool things for their monster. The difficulty level of the puzzles automatically calibrates each day, so puzzles get harder if they are doing well, and easier if they are struggling.
Even though there are many products available to buy from Marvel, some of which are very pricy, they are not plastered all over this website.
This was Marvel's statement to parents, which is simple and to the point: "The goal of MarvelKids.com is a child-friendly environment where kids can be entertained and educated about the Marvel super heroes they know and love. Whether they've read a comic book, seen a Marvel character in a TV show, a movie, an older sibling's video game or maybe they own a few Marvel toys our super heroes have a way of becoming a big part of a child's imagination.

Here at MarvelKids.com, we want to nurture that imagination and further their creative thought by presenting age-appropriate (and super fun!) videos, games, challenges and so much more.

Children could write their own magazine and open a photo studio, if they pay. The membership is a cost and then there is the monetary tender to purchase goods withing the weevil store.
Apart from all of the subscription information and how to activate payments this was all the website had to say about the children using the site: "Bin Weevils takes safety very seriously. We use a sophisticated chat filtering system in conjunction with live moderation to ensure that our chat environment is as safe as possible for users of all ages. Bin Weevils blocks inappropriate and profane language as well as attempts to exchange personal information including emails, phone numbers, real names and location. The system profiles every player’s behaviour, monitoring them over time. If a player breaks the rules, they will receive a moderator warning followed by a series of escalating chat suspensions, and our moderation team may also contact the player's parent."
On the website we found
Character Bio's
News and events
In a classroom, SpongeBob could be used if you choose very carefully what content you use.
"Computer and video games offer unique opportunities for a child to play with rules within a make-believe setting." (Salonius-Pasternak, Gelfond, 2005, p.8)
'The potential of the Internet as a communications tool is realized when we speak not only in the old language but in the new language, “in the syntax of new media.” (Stevens, 2005, p. 1)

Movie maker project:
Planning of story, acting out story, narrative, filming scenes, speech, tone of voice, writing, reading, time of scenes, converting to video.

BBC website: Different genres of games such as strategy, spot the difference, puzzles, adventure, jigsaws and quizzes


You can also look at the latest news, characters and monsters.
- Discuss in groups the news, make news reports, interview different characters, write or film a story using an appropriate program, talk about different logos, design their own.

IMBd/quotes: You can view scripts and quotes from Dr Who or for most films and programmes.
- Act out small scenes, discuss in groups what the paragrapgh's mean, how does the character feel why do they think they are saying to whoever? can they invent their own quote or script.

Lots of figures and toys available brand new or second hand.
-Play in groups or alone, play out scenes, speech and narravtive.

Can be watched on Youtube if you have not got access to DVD's.
-Reading images, facial and body language/expressions, how does the music affect the film, what do they think happens next, character feelings or role, plot and theme of story, invent own story with writing and images.

Audio CD's: Storytelling by past Doctor's such as Tom baker, Paul McGann and David Tennent.
-Listening skills, retell story in own words, draw images with cation, make a podcast of their own story of Dr Who.

Top Trumps or playing cards/make own set of cards or game.
playing in pairs or larger groups, speaking and listening, reading of text and images, mathematics (bigger/smaller).

Same things can be done with Sarah Jane
"Games, whether digital or analogue have the capability to motivate learners, challenge them to improve the dexterity, problem solving and reasoning skills, encourage teamwork and collaboration (Nemerow 1996 cited by Wheeler, 2013) and performance is under constant peer review." (Wheeler, 2013)
Full transcript