Before we started this unit of work, there was a little bit of preparation work required to ensure that staff were not caught out with anything that occured during the story. It was also important to have gone through both the app and the movie to be aware of what would happen. This was important so that staff were aware of how far to proceed each week, and to end on a 'cliffhanger' where possible each time.
Note: the app is available for anyone to purchase, and the Movie can be found online too with a little searching. It's a good idea to try and avoid promoting it, so that pupils aren't tempted to download at home and jump ahead of the planned lessons.
Here is an overview of how the weeks were planned out (it's not in detail, I never go into detail as things always change, and new ideas spring up during the work anyway).
Work through the iPad. Do this more than once as there may be additional features that you miss frst time (I did!). Take your time with the app. Immerse yourself in it. Use the home / power button combination to grab screenshots of the app that you want to use within the lessons.
Introduce pupils to new topic – learn about Morris Lessmore. Who is Morris Lessmore? Show first image in the presentation (you can see this presentation on the resource page). What can they deduce about Morris from that image?
- He likes reading / writing?
- Where does he live? - house / apartment / hotel?
- What location could this be? Country? Town?
- When does he live? - use the clothes / objects around him as clues
Show second image from the presentation – what is happening?
- A Violent storm? Tornado? - why could this be (location)?
- No one else seems to be around. Why?
Explain that the pupils are to take on the role of Morris, and write his diary entry for that day using Word / Pages / etc. Completed diary entries will be copy/pasted into the template used for the presentation before being displayed. For those who cannot write / reluctant to write voice record is option. Use Audioboo for website / Aurasma for display.
Set extended home task of identifying their favourite book and saying why – link to future work.
Show the next 3 presentation images
- Why are all they in black and white? - link to Wizard of Oz in reverse? Grey = sad / lost / miserable.
- What has Morris lost? Discuss what his diary meant to him.
- Was it important to him? Why? It contained his life in thoughts / the diary was his persona?
- Discuss a range of powerful words that could be used to describe how Morris is feeling / what is life feels like at the moment.
Children to write a second diary entry about what has happened to his world using emotive language. For those who cannot write / reluctant to write voice record is option. Use Audioboo for website / Aurasma for display.
Show the next 3 presentation images. There is a woman flying through the air, and books are in colour / then the building and land become coloured
- Why is this? - is it related to the books? What do they bring to the land / to people?
- Morris is still black&white– has he not found what he needs yet? What could this be?
- Discuss what the building could be – look carefully at it for clues.
Greenscreen task – taking the role of Morris as he sees the building – voice his thoughts and feelings (then use Aurasma video to place onto wall display??)
Children to write a third diary entry about what he is discovering in the land. For those who cannot write / reluctant to write voice record is option. Use Audioboo for website / Aurasma for display.
Show the next 6 presentation images, up to the point that Morris becomes old and completes his own book.
- Why is Morris now in colour?
- What has he found that he was missing?
- How does this make him feel?
- What does he spend his days doing.
- Who does he help? (How do you know that they need some help?)
Recreate the scene from the app when Morris enters the library - with the books that speak. Use a static image on a webpage, record audio and add it to the image using a imagemap (see the resource page for more information)
Children to write a fourth diary entry about what he is discovering in the land. For those who cannot write / reluctant to write voice record is option. Use Audioboo for website / Aurasma for display.
Discuss where Morris might be going to, now he has decided to leave.
View the remaining images in the presentation.
- What happens to Morris as he leaves? Is this possible? What could be happening?
- How does Morris leave? Where have we seen something similar before? What was the significance of that earlier moment now?
- What does he do with his diary (again, where have we seen something similar)? Why is this?
- Who is the young girl? What is she going to do?
- As the story ends, who are the photographs of on the wall?
Discuss whether this was a real event, or otherwise. What evidence is there for either thought? Could Morris have dreamt it all? Why might this have been (injured in storm?) Could he really have been in a place that restored his lifelong passion?
Record (audio / video) a discussion between the two opposing viewpoints - remember to argue with evidence and logical, sensible ideas.
Create a Graphic Novel of the story of Morris Lessmore - use Comic Life and the images from the app that are stored on the school server. Pick out the key points, and tell the entire tale with mimimal use of words. Use the skills previously taught in Comic Life to add background and character elements to a frame / resize images / etc
View the complete movie within the app to end the topic (have tissues ready!). As an extension task, ask the children to think about the tale, and what it means to them, what it has taught them about books (are they important / what would happen without them?) Children to record their thoughts in their learning spaces. Copy / paste into template and display.
As mentioned at the top of this page, these are just some basic ideas - there are lots of other possibilities of work to create from / with the story.