Using ‘Score! Hero’ in the Classroom

I recently came across this App called ‘Score! Hero’ on the AppStore. It’s currently featured by Apple and free to download at the moment. It has been created by the same team who made Score: World Goals and Dream League Soccer. Check it out, here.

In this particular game, YOU are the player, journeying through your career right from the early stages in your footballing life.

Start right from the trials, aiming to impress the scouts and possible future managers. And, if you’re successful, get signed up on a contract.

  

In play, you are rated by the commentator on screen for how well you’ve taken a goal, made a pass or a move. This vocabulary could possibly be put into a news-report or diary entry from the player’s perspective. A possible suggestion is, in pairs, one child could be the reporter/commentator and take notes on their partner’s performance – this can be reviewed and analysed later.

Users can create their own player, just like FIFA or PES. This could be an opportunity to create the player bio and description.


As you are probably aware, football games and apps are incredibly popular. What I like about this one is its potential use in class, placing the user in the first person, immediately engaging the player.

Possible Uses in Class:

– Produce a diary entry for one of your stages/matches. (Each stage is fairly short at the start, becoming more complex and longer the further you progress. This would be more appropriate in class, as time is vital.)

– Conduct an interview of with the player using Cover-it-Live, a live blogging website where You can virtually hot seat characters/people etc. Here’s an example of how I’ve used it before in class:

Interview with Ariadne

…and here’s some of my class’s writing based on our interview with Ariadne from Theseus and the Minotaur on Pobble:

Ariadne Blogs on Pobble

– Use a green screen to conduct a post-match interview. I’ve always used Doink’s Green Screen App as it’s easy to use and you can adjust background colours so they don’t just have to be green either. You could also do a Carragher and Neville Sky Sports style analysis before and after the game. 

– Based on this headline, children could produce the orientation and following article. Alternatively, learners could generate their own headline and byline too.

– Generate vocabulary in-game. Depending on how you’ve controlled the ball, delivered a through-ball or finished off a series of combination passes, adverbs, verbs and adjectives can be generated which can be included in their future writing.

– Create a back-story for yourself/your character. What’s your situation? How did you make it? What’s your player’s life like, or what was it like, before the trials?

– Write about the emotions and feelings at a key play or point in the game. You could use Disney Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ characters as a prompt here.

 – As suggested in Lee Parkinson’s ebook, you could create a Roy of the Rovers style comic, but using a key moment in ‘Score! Hero’ to write the remaining story. In Lee’s 15 iPad Lessons for the World Cup, he suggests using Comic Life – a great app that is really worth having.

– Accompany the game with sound effects from an actual football game, adding to the suspense and atmosphere in the classroom. Of course, I’d suggest using Celtic Park on a Champions League night. Particularly, this memorable game versus Barcelona.

Finally, ensure you model to the children how you want them to use the app as part of the writing process. I can guarantee they’ll love it!

Thanks for reading. Now, where’s my football and that old game of Sensible Soccer?

Using Question of Sport’s ‘What Happens Next?’ as a Writing Stimulus

I have fond memories of watching quiz shows growing up. In particular, BBC’s Question of Sport. Recently, I wondered about the possible use of the ‘what happens next’ game as a writing stimulus in the classroom, and wanted to share some potential ideas with you.

In case you haven’t seen QoS before, here’s an excerpt from the show, airing a snippet from a game involving Exeter City.

As a part of the programme, contestants in the game are given options to what they believe happens next based on selected sport footage. As you can see from watching the conclusion to the question, Jamie Mackay scores but the ball sneaks through the net and has to be finished off by Adam Stansfield (RIP). Somewhat unpredictable I know, but engaging and it will hook the learners.

There are so many other videos available online and they don’t have to feature short snippets of edited footage like this one below.

In this video, ten questions are presented requiring an answer for each, which are great fun and thoroughly entertaining. (Please be careful though, as this particular video shows Cantona’s famous stamp on a fan in the crowd.)

I believe such footage is an excellent hook and could possibly be used in many ways to engage writers, generating discussion and stimulating possible ideas and imagination.

1) You could ask the children to discuss in teams what they believe happens next.

2) Share their ideas from one (or more) excerpts from what they think may follow.

3) Finally, show the class what happens. Were they close? Was anyone right?

You could do this with any video, pausing at the moment before and allowing the learners to delve into their imagination. It’s always incredible what they come up with!

Gathered suggestions may resemble the following:

‘The player takes on the keeper, chips it towards the goal but misses an open net!’

– Firstly, to extend this, you could create a narrative from the first or third person. Using carefully chosen Alan Peat sentences (such as ‘3 Bad – (Dash) question’, ‘3ed’ and ‘_ing, _ed’, emotion word (comma) etc.), invite the children to extend their original idea. A superb writing opportunity.

– A brilliant way of organising this, is to use Mat Sullivan’s (@InspiredMind5) comic planner approach. Using screenshots from the clip, which can be placed on the template, ask the children to produce a Roy of the Rovers style comic, using speech, internal monologue and detail to continue their story. In my opinion, Comic Life is the best software (currently) for producing this digitally, allowing users to add speech, thoughts, captions, onomatopoeia and narrative; even their own photographs to create a dramatisation/reenactment of what will happen.

PageRoy0021413618-roy_panel1

Children could also write from the perspective of the opposition, instead of the sports person in question. It could even from the viewpoint of a fan! In addition, I’ve blogged before about writing from the perspective of an inanimate object before. This could be a goal post, the ball, the stadium or the floodlights…

– Also, learners could recount the event, either in the form of a diary, blog or newspaper or online article. Lee Parkinson (@ICT_MrP) has some good ideas on his blog http://mrparkinsonict.blogspot.co.uk and in his ebook https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/15-ipad-lessons-for-world/id880547720?mt=11 about the use of iMovie and Morfo to create commentary.

– Pupils could use Explain Everything to analyse what happened. It could even be used by the children to note and discuss what they believe could have happened next. This would be great fun! And remember, it doesn’t even have to be sport – plenty of short films and animations can be used too.

– Finally, I leave you with a great video from The Masters at the weekend. Jordan Spieth, the outright winner and only 21, is stuck behind a tree on the 14th at Augusta and is up against it, with an object right in his line. I wonder what he was thinking? I don’t think anyone could have guessed what was about to happen next – I certainly couldn’t!

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 21.55.52

Jordan Spieth at The Masters, Augusta, 2015

This is one short video that I’ve found but it is important to add that the app Vine is a superb tool for accessing footage online. This app shows six second footage and great for pausing at any chosen moment, just by tapping the screen. Video is looped continuously but the material available online is huge! You just have to choose carefully.

I hope some of these ideas are useful and if you have any suggestions, please share them!