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Sample Structured Writing Software

Initially, cognitively young or inexperienced students need to be provided with a successful means of taking risks. Structured writing programs can provide a first step to risk taking. In addition, several of the programs mentioned in the "Creative Writing Software" (Emergent Literacy Success, pp. 142-143) can be modified for structured writing using adaptive equipment and software programs.

A DAY AT PLAY (Macintosh - Don Johnston)

Each program comes with four animated stories for students to complete. These are set up in a "fill-in-the-blank" style. Each of the stories offers animation, bright graphics, and auditory cues or feedback. A small printout of the completed story is available at the end.


The Make-A-Story activity offers a slot-filler story construction activity that is picture-based. The student clicks on various parts of the scene to fill in blanks such as, "This is a story about Sammy. Sammy likes to ride in a bathtub." Each story line is read aloud in children's voices, highlighted, and animated. At the end, children can choose to replay or print their stories. Instant Access setups (IntelliTools) are available to use with IntelliKeys, and Ke:nx Easy Overlays (Don Johnston) can be chosen to use with alternate keyboard or switch. Setups may also be developed for ClickIt (IntelliTools).

STORY MIX (Apple II series - Berta Max)

This series permits students to choose from categories (e.g., who, when, where) to create a story. The story is then graphically presented, spoken, and animated. Premade setups are available to support use of the Adaptive Firmware Card plus various peripherals, such as: Unicorn, scanning, Touch Window (using AFC Emerging Literacy Setups from Don Johnston) and Multiple Switch Box (using AFC Emergent Literacy Fun Setups from Creative Communicating).



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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998.

ŠEducation Development Center, Inc.