The best iPad apps to facilitate Talk for Writing

I recently attended a series of workshops on Talk for Writing, a strategy for teaching children to write.  Developed by the English educational writer and poet, Pie Corbett, Talk for Writing is based on the principle that before children can write it, they need to be able to say it.  The approach uses a three-stage pedagogy:

1. Imitation – Engaging activities help children internalise the pattern of language required.  Children recite aloud an exemplar text, supported visually by a story map and physical movements to help them recall the text.

2. Innovation – Shared writing is the key activity at this stage, helping children become independent writers by “doing one together first”.  By developing their ability to choose appropriate words and phrases, this stage enables children to then write their own versions.  After working in response partners, the whole class can discuss some of the more successful writing with the aid of a visualiser.

3. Invention –  This stage provides children with an opportunity to alter, develop and polish their writing in light of what they have learnt.  The teacher continues to focus on the next steps necessary to support children’s progress, so that they can become independent speakers and writers of the text being studied.

Technology for learners…

In order to facilitate this pedagogy, the following five iPad apps are perfect tools.  I have put together some quick video demonstrations and tutorials below to explain how they can be used for the teaching & learning of Talk for Writing:

Action Movie FX – A great special effects app for providing “hooks” to engage reluctant writers!


Aurasma -Using augmented reality, Aurasma can bring stories to life (think Harry Potter-type newspapers) and help to develop children’s use of ambitious vocabulary.


VideoScribe – This app is perfect for creating story maps.  By providing an animation in which a hand visually draws out the text, children are more engaged and more likely to remember the text they have just read.


Adobe Voice – Particularly good for non-fiction writing, this app provides an efficient way for children to quickly make engaging presentations.


Puppet Pals – Using this app, children can easily create their own animated stories.








Will Fastiggi
Will Fastiggi

Originally from England, Will is an Upper Primary Coordinator now living in Brazil. He is passionate about making the most of technology to enrich the education of students.

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