When I first started teaching, I remember teaching a lesson about bonfire night where I got the children to close their eyes and use their imagination to sense what was going on around them. Fast forward a few! years and here we have a much more exciting stimulus to develop emotional writing: involving the children in their own disaster movie!

Imagine a monster walking through the school playground, a giant spider landing on the children's desk or a rock fall destroying the children's classroom. Even better, what if the children were in the school, in the video, when the disaster happened? Using a free ipad app called Action Movie FX this is all possible at no charge.

A great idea which I saw demonstrated was a rockfall landing in the room whilst lots of people were in the room. To set this up, film your class on an ipad where they're not looking for a couple of minutes. Then import the video into Action Movie FX. Towards the end of the video with about 10 seconds to go, add the special effects. Alternatively, let the children know that you're filming them and get them to scream as actors in the film.

There are lots of special effects that you can apply to your movies, including spider strike, missile attack and demolition rocks. This is a great way to get boys excited about writing and to write about the emotions that they feel, especially if they're starring in the movie.


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