Keynote, Powerpoint and Google Slides/Presentation don't just have to be used for making presentations. They are great tools to engage reluctant writers - they see themselves as making a slideshow rather than "doing writing" and that drops many of the barriers.
Watch this video of Jill working with a group of year 5 & 6 students at Ashhurst Primary to engage them in the writing process.
Following the session Jill debriefed with the teachers at the school.
To have a go at making non linear presentations yourself (or your class) open Powerpoint (instructions for keynote to follow below) and insert the slides for the story or information presentation. NB These should be storyboarded beforehand so that you know how many slides you will need and where the slides need to go to.
Now work through your slides putting action buttons on the necessary slides and determining which slide they will go to. See Pick-a-path and penguin examples.
Penguin presentation example
To insert the action buttons, click on Insert -> Shapes and choose "Action buttons". Select the button that suits your purpose - a plain square if you want to write text on it, forward and backward triangles as arrows, house button for a home button (back to the beginning), the symbol for internet information, video camera button for online videos etc.
Once you have clicked on the choice of button a screen will open for you choose the action for that button. In this case you are wanting the button to move you to a particular slide in your presentation accordng to your storyboard diagram. Choose "Slide"
and then select the number of the slide that will be accessed.
If you were linking to internet information or an online video as part of a presentation, you would choose "Url" instead of "slide" and copy and paste the url from the particular source.
In Keynote the process is very similar. You place your shape or a text box with border on the page as the button. You then open the Inspector and choose the hyperlink inspector, select "Enable hyperlink" and select the particular slide.
Note that the border is added to the text box from the Graphic Inspector.
For links to online video or internet information use a text box and "Enable hyperlink" to "Webpage"
In Google Presentation/Slides to achieve this go to the insert menu and add a shape e.g. an arrow. Then while the shape is highlighted, go to Insert -> Link -> Slides in this presentation -> choose the relevant slide.
NB. When in presentation mode, for screens that have buttons you use your mouse to select where you want to go. A hand appears over the button as you move your cursor across it.
You will find that most students will be really engaged with this writing activity, particularly those boys who don't normally enjoy writing - they see this as "Making a Powerpoint" rather than "Doing writing" :-( and therefore the barriers are down. However, the writing will only improve in quality if you specifically work on that with the students once they are underway. You need to "feed stuff in to get stuff out" - the literacy strategies are just as important as the tools.