The Flitlits/ Guide for Educators

 

Providers of Education may wish to consult this guide to examine means by which the FLITLIT concept may be adapted to the specific context of their programmes.

Individual course instructors in and out of the classroom environment are invited to identify sections of this guide that relate most closely to the courses that they teach.

The resources provide learners with experiences designed to:

  • Enhance their knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • Increase their language proficiency for study, leisure and personal enrichment
  • Contribute to life-long learning so as to enhance their personal and intellectual development

The evolving concept is designed to provide positive links between schools, homes and libraries by means of multi-platform, cross-curricular resources and social interaction.

 

The Flitlit Concept

 

THE FLITLIT concept grew from a series of bilingual: English/ Welsh stories written in a humorous, lyrical format for children ages 8- 11 years, but with a wider interest age. The content bridges the divide between picture books and early chapter novels.

The concept links to a FLITLITS JUNIOR edition that serves the needs of pupils aged 7+, with both concepts acting as stand alone or as complementary, one to the other. This offers bespoke opportunities in terms of choices that satisfy a range of needs and abilities within classrooms, homes and libraries.

A MAP of the ethereal setting has been integral to the project since its inception and the material has been successfully piloted at schools in the U.K. and beyond.

A series of iOS apps for the iPad from the Flitlit series features U.K. and U.S. English/ Welsh versions of the text and narration within each app. Each main adventure is accompanied by introductory stories about the characters and setting, an interactive map and a series of guides for educators.

The books and apps were created thanks to the support of the Creative Industries Sector of the Welsh Government. 

Further bilingual print book titles are planned to follow Book One from the Flitlit series: The Funny Fair/ Miri Yn Y Ffair as printed by John Catt Educational Ltd. as both first and second language editions. 

The bilingual Flitlit adventures and Flitlits Junior stories are available on CDs for blind and partially sighted young learners free of charge by Talking Books Wales, Llyfrau Llafar Cymru.

Pending bilingual e-book versions, along with CLASSROOM RESOURCES, will add to the multi-modal package to assist multi-platform, cross-curricular learning.

The combined concepts featured at Gamescom, Cologne 2016, having won a prestigious international competition set by the Frankfurt Book Fair. Subsequent interest generated in a Flitlit video game resulted in an expression of interest by a Welsh university to create a video game prototype, with extensive potential for educational and entertainment purposes.

 

Philosophy and Approach

 

The concept is committed to the advancement of literacy and numeracy skills and to assisting pupils to become more creative and capable of developing innovative solutions to problems. It enables pupils to enhance analytical and critical capacities as well as the ability to synthesise ideas and adapt to new situations.

It equips pupils with a range of skills and attributes to help them succeed in a wide range of tasks and responsibilities and to contribute to the society in which they live.

The characters are stylistically diverse and appear timeless in order to stimulate debate and to champion differences.

The concept enhances existing curricula by making available multi-platform and cross-curricular resources.

The material can be adapted as needed in courses that are specific, or infused into other courses within the context of the curriculum.

The concept provides opportunities to link to the components of generic skills that are fundamental in enabling pupils to learn about:

  • Collaboration
  • Engagement/ Learning through enjoyment, immersion and humour
  • Communication, conversation, discussion and debate
  • Cognition
  • Critical thinking
  • Evaluating feelings, interests and ideas
  • Curiosity
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-esteem, confidence, self-management and making choices
  • Relationships
  • Responsibility and respect
  • Personal and social values
  • Attitude
  • Beliefs
  • Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Study skills and creativity
  • Presentation
  • Numeracy
  • Information Technology
  • Music and musicality
  • Art and design
  • Dramatic interpretation and presentation
  • Exercise and physical well-being

 

Values and Attitudes

 

Values we develop underpin our conduct and decisions and can be positive and negative in their effect.

Attitudes, being personal dispositions, may affect behaviour positively or negatively.

The Flitlit concept helps to develop positive values and attitudes pertaining to:

  • Honesty
  • Self-esteem
  • Perseverance
  • Equality
  • Interdependence
  • Tolerance
  • Open-mindedness
  • Cooperativeness

These, along with positive attitudes to language learning, are integral to the concept, map and stories.

 

The Map and Setting

 

 

FUSSBUT, SELDOM SEE is a wondrous land lost in time, so named since children may fuss, but access it only by means of their imagination.

The map and setting set up a small world area that enables children to interact with it independently or in groups. It is a land that invites them to visit, discover and explore.

Four stars: SOL-FA, SHIFT, AGLOW and GLEE govern the ethos of the concept. They influence the musicality of the characters and language, action, vibrancy and fun.

Each plot and its associated landmark/s links to an appropriate element of curricula through humorous, entertaining and engaging means. These enhance imagination and stimulate children to create adventures of their own.

 

Cognitive, Physical and Social Skills

 

The concept provides cognitive skills support pertaining to:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Auditory, visual and processing speeds

 

Interpersonal strand support pertains, for example, to:

  • Relationships
  • Conversation
  • Discussion
  • Debate
  • Evaluating feelings, interests and ideas

Dreaming up new plots and characters engenders creativity, artwork, logical thinking and play-acting.

Hot seating and role-play corners can be based on places featured on the map with masks, props and puppets enabling children to retell and act out the stories. They may imagine different scenarios to change endings. Based on the children’s understanding and knowledge of the characters, they may place the characters in different situations and relate how they feel the characters would react.

IMAGES of the characters, surrounded by adjectives that best describe them, are extremely effective. The illustrations lend themselves to the development of descriptive writing and free role-play, particularly with the use of role-play cards in role-play corners. A simple key prop for each character, such as a hat or cloak, would be all that children need to project what they know of a character into a role-play situation.

Adult roles in terms of response and facilitation of good quality questioning are crucial.

Knowledge strand support includes, for example, information-gathering through activities, such as:

 

  • Ordering
  • Describing
  • Defining
  • Classifying
  • Comparing
  • Explaining
  • Justifying
  • Predicting
  • Inferring
  • Evaluating
  • Drawing conclusions

 

Language

 

The concept recognises the importance of fostering connections between language and other subjects through cross-curricular collaboration.

It enables pupils to make connections among ideas and concepts so that their motivation will be raised and their learning strengthened.

The stimulating language aims to help learners to achieve a balance between the breadth and depth of language learning.

It aims to facilitate articulation and to give equal emphasis to language learning and language use.

 

Listening, Speaking and Reading

 

This supports learner-centred pedagogy relating to:

  • Thinking and communication
  • Application, development and acquirement of knowledge
  • Responding and applying expression to experiences within these contexts
  • Development, application and understanding of how language is organised, used and learned
  • Participating in presentations
  • Identifying, interpreting and discussing themes
  • Participating in dramatic presentations and reflecting on the way in which the author uses language to create effect
  • Giving expression to imaginative ideas through oral, written and performative means
  • Use and understanding of gestures
  • Creating poems and lyrics
  • Creating short dramatic episodes

 

Pre Reading

Involving:

  • Examination of text structures, activating prior knowledge, building schema and making predictions
  • Discussion of the prologue to the stories
  • Discussion about the author and what is her purpose in writing the text

 

During Reading

Involving:

  • The use of the map to enable tracking of purpose, movements and destinations
  • Discussion about the role of the setting in the initial events of the stories
  • Discussion about ‘What the author means by…’
  • Summarising the key elements, events, characters and stories

 

Writing, Vocabulary and Grammar

 

The apps offer selective text highlighting, narration, music, auto play speech and page number display.

Line-by-line text highlighting is a feature of the apps that has been carefully considered. It allows the author’s unique lyrical voice to prevail in both an auditory and a visual sense for best effect.

Further grammatical analysis such as sentence structure may be incorporated into structured language and grammar exercises.

The vocabulary encourages engagement, development, innovation and expression within the understanding of text types.

Basic grammatical structures are complemented by examples of:

  • Cadence and assonance
  • Expressive adjectives, adverbs and verbs
  • Alliteration and Onomatopoeia
  • Metaphors and Similes
  • Unusual word combinations
  • Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Half or Near Rhymes
  • Repeated patterns and words, especially in association with character, Jake MacJake’s duality in terms of speech and choices.

 

Sounds and Imagery

Each app in the series is action-packed, with exciting atmospheric sounds and imagery.

 

Music

Star Sol-Fa governs the musicality of the language, characters, nature, Pine Plot and the winged ship, Sonic, in particular.

The FUSSBUT FLING composition Ⓒ aims to encourage children to sing, act, dance and keep fit. It offers them opportunities to become creative and expressive and to unwind following long periods of concentration.

 

Extension Activities

 

The concept offers many opportunities for the development of extension programmes based on the special needs and interests of your target audience and the purpose of the education. This applies across the curriculum and to more able and talented pupils, for example in relation to:

  • Script writing
  • Character design
  • Story telling
  • Story development

 

Numeracy

 

Numeracy will be supported by a pending series of Flitlit card games and digital apps. These will stimulate and challenge young minds to develop and enhance numeric skills.

 

Additional Resources

 

Pending resources may be seen as a menu from which instructors can select those that fit their course/s and teaching style. Being generic in nature, they can be used accordingly.

They include:

A MAP of Fussbut, Seldom See, printed in various sizes
A4 PRINTS of the Flitlit characters
A4 PRINTS of the characters with their associated home plots and plot landmark/s 
Prints of SELECTED IMAGES from the books and apps
Sets of numeric CARD GAMES and DIGITAL APPS

Additional resources at various stages of development that will be detailed on www.theflitlits.com

 

About the Author

 

Eiry Rees Thomas grew up among a creative family comprising a poet, illustrators and a calligrapher/sculptor.

The coal-mining community where she spent her formative years was mostly Welsh-speaking, with English being introduced to the school curriculum at the age seven level. The musicality of the Welsh language is apparent in the author’s unique lyrical voice, described in Welsh as ‘telynegol’ or harp-like, true to her Celtic roots.

Her love of writing bilingually since a young age was given expression following a serious accident in 1998. This ended her career as a public health practitioner, peripatetic teacher and medical translator.

Her experience in the field of child development and the privilege of having worked with children and families with additional needs contribute to her work as an author and concept creator.

 

Acknowledgements

 

Creative Industries Sector of the Welsh Government

James Field, award winning Illustrator

Chaos Trend Team/ App Design and Programming.

Welsh translation: Iwan Rhys, with Eiry Rees Thomas

Staff and pupils of Palmerston Primary School, Barry, Wales, UK, with special recognition of the continued, invaluable input of teacher / literacy coordinator, Melody Jones.

Staff and pupils at Llanedeyrn Primary School, Cardiff, Wales, UK. With special thanks to teachers, Lisa Jopson and Ian James.

With gratitude to F and KSI Deputy Head, Elizabeth Robinson, and Literacy Coordinator, Sian Scott Wilson, JESS School, Dubai for their accomplished assessment and guidance.

Narrators:

English: Noni Lewis, Geraint Pickard, Samuel North, Tim Luther Lewis and Colin Thomas

Welsh: Noni Lewis, Geraint Pickard, Samuel North and Colin Thomas

U.S. English: Denis Campbell, Tim Luther Lewis, Jann Seal, Paul Seal and Samuel North

Composer: The FUSSBUT FLING: Darren Adams Ⓒ

Welsh Digital Educational Initiative: Life 1881, with special thanks to Simon Pridham, Executive Head/LIFE Programme

Manager Sound Technicians: Ian Mason, WJEC Studios, Cardiff; Darren Adams and Ellis Shale

Video production: Hywel Jones

Web Design: Chas Shaw, Cardiff Web Design Ltd

Ⓒ Eiry Thomas 2017/ All Rights Reserved

Download Guide for Educators.pdf