Using iPads to Develop Writing Skills

The students in my class recently completed a writing project entirely on the iPad. Here is an explanation of what apps were used!


The students planned their story using the app MindMeister a brainstorming app.


First Copy:

The draft copy was written using the app iAWriter. This is a very simple and uncomplicated word processing app. The keyboard is very basic and easy to use. The students quite prefer doing their writing projects on this app. I also really like the word count on this app. The students were given a guideline to write a story that was to be about six hundred words. They also used the word count to ensure it had a balanced beginning, middle and conclusion.


To make the illustrations for their book some of the students used one of the art apps on their iPad and simply saved the completed pictures in their camera roll. See the post titled Selecting Quality Apps for Your Students: Part 3 for the art apps we use Plus some of the students drew their pictures on paper and photographed their art work with the iPad camera. It was their choice.

This illustration was drawn using an art app.

This illustration was first drawn and then photographed.

Final Copy:

The students copy and pasted the text of their story into Book Creator.  They then inserted their illustrations from the camera roll. The final product was a book with a front cover, story and an about the author page at the back of the book. This app also has an audio feature allowing the students to add in sound effects, audio notes or turn it into an audio book by reading the whole project into the iPad built-in microphone.

Backing Up:

The students emailed their completed books to their gmail account and opened it up in the class Drop Box on their iPad. I created a folder for each student where they keep a collection of all of their work.

Sharing The Completed Projects:

The Drop Box is available to all of the students. They can now go into each others’ folders and open up the books in iBooks. After the book has been read they move it into a new bookshelf called ‘Read Books’.



I am able to retrieve their book for assessment purposes by simply going into their folder in Drop Box and open it up in iBooks.

Writing Assessment for Grade 4 – Term 3

Name: ________________________    Date: _________________________


  1. Consistently demonstrates excellence in meeting of grade level learner expectations
  2. Meets grade level learner expectations
  3. Meets grade level learner expectations with significant support
  4. Not meeting grade level learner expectations at this time


Content – I took into account the following when I planned and wrote my story: 

audience, ideas, balanced organization (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), balance of events, balance of details, describing and dialogue, who is telling the story, is the story in the present, past or future, is it original or a retelling

Score: _________

Organization – The following are clearly evident in my story:

Part 1 – Beginning: hook or lead, introduce characters with show not tell, describe the setting with when and where, foreshadowing

Part 2 – Middle: Introduce the main problem, develop the main problem with describing, develop the main problem with details, develop the main problem with 2 or 3 sub-problems,

Part 3 – Resolution & Ending: Introduce how the problem is being solved, develop the resolution with describing, develop the resolution with details, tie the ending to the resolution and the beginning of the story

Score: ___________

Writing Techniques – I used some of the following writing techniques to enhance the writing quality of my story:

Show not tell, Foreshadowing, Create a visual, Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Metaphor or simile, Question sentence, Very short sentence, Added adjectives, Vivid verbs, Ly sentence beginners, Sentence connectors

Score: ___________

Conventions – My story was written with the following:

Accurate spelling, accurate use of punctuation, accurate use of capital letters, accurate use of quotation marks if I used dialogue

Score: ___________

Final Product – Using the app Book Creator, I made my story into a book with the following:

Illustrations that enhanced the meaning and attractiveness of my page creative use of fonts and formatting, used the audio feature to add voices and sound effects (optional), included an about the author page at the back of the book.

Score: ___________



The students are also able to enjoy each others’ stories by going into each others’ folders and opening up their selection in iBooks on their iPad. Every student now has a book collection of student created books in their iPads.

My observation is that it was quite amazing how the students were able to produce high quality finished products with clear guidelines and expectations and the intuitive apps and features available on their iPad. Hope it helps.

Using iPads to Develop Writing Skills – Lessons Learned… Lessons Shared






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