Digital Media in the Primary Classroom

Lessons using the IWB

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Sample IWB lesson based on ‘The Lost Thing’ by Shaun Tan: 

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.55.57 PM

Lesson notes:

Aim: To identify and use adjectives to add more information in writing a description of a picture/scene.


  • ‘The Lost Thing’ by Shaun Tan – book and short film
  • IWB and slides
  • Student workbooks and pencils

1. After reading the book or watching the short film, explain to students that they will be writing a detailed description based on a still image/picture.

2. Show students the prepared IWB slide, introducing the use of adjectives in describing a picture.

3. Start with the first picture, call students one at a time to come up to the board and choose appropriate adjectives that describes the picture, dragging it in its box. Ask students which noun the adjective relates to and where they see that in the picture, obtaining class opinion/agreement on their peer’s choice.

4. Repeat with second picture. Using the ‘infinite cloner’ tool, advise students they can use the same adjectives for the second picture if they think it is appropriate and can justify their choice. Discuss with students why the same adjectives can be used to describe different nouns.

5. After completing the drag-and-drop activity, ask students if they can think of any other adjectives that describe either picture, and write these on the slide.

6. Advise students they will now commence an independent writing activity, using the adjectives already scaffolded/brainstormed or any others they come up with.

The sample IWB lesson has been designed to use student-led “handover” to facilitate learning. Latane (2002, as cited in Higgins, 2007, p.219) suggested that interactivity with technology needs to be between students as well as the student and the teacher, have instant feedback and the opportunity to explore ideas in addition to the presentation of material. The lesson allows these practices, as each student is asked to think and interact with the material as well as justify and discuss his/her choices with the class and receive peer feedback. This was concluded by a class brainstorm of other ideas/words that are not already on the board. The teacher’s role is to guide the learning activity and prompt discussion, providing a strong scaffold for the subsequent independent writing activity for students.


Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology32(3), 213-225.


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