Learning activities/Making Reports

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Short description.

Created By

Pia Waugh on the advice of Australian teachers. Many thanks to Mrs and Mr Kiely for their wonderful input! An OLPC Friends Project.

Suggested Age Group

5-12 years old

Subjects and Skills

This activity can be used for a variety of subjects. For history, science, language studies. Any topic that requires a report be written at some point. Below is a series of how to make a report using the XO.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of this activity is to make a useful report that the student can present, share, collaborate on, and that the teacher can mark easily.


  • XO laptops per child and the teacher
  • The Write activity, Record activity


  • Define a topic for the children to write a report on
    • Eg - "Rainforests", "Going to the beach", "What is condensation?", etc
  • Explain to the children that you will go through the process of creating one report together in the classroom, and that they will then need to create their own activities
  • Set some guidelines for the report you want.
    • Eg - Ask the children to ensure they include at least one photo, to include particular words you are trying to get them to integrate into their vocabulary, to make the report at least 100 words, or whatever is appropriate
  • Ask the children to open the Write activity and to type a few sentences.
  • Ask the children to go to the Desktop and open the Record activity. Get them to take a photo, then hold their mouse pointer over the photo in the bottom left corner and then "copy to clipboard". For their reports they could use the Record activity they could take photos out in the field for their report. Of the beach, or trees, or family, or whatever suits their report.
  • Ask the children to open the Frame (the top right keyboard button) and then click on the already open Write activity to go back to what they wrote already. If the Frame is still open you'll see the photo in the clipboard of the Frame (left hand side of the Frame). They can then drag and drop the photo into the Write activity. Then close the Frame again (the top right keyboard button). There they can resize the photo if they wish.
  • If students have access to the Internet, they can do research for their report using the Internet, and copy and paste photos from the Internet (although students should be educated about getting photos with appropriate licences like Creative Commons)
  • If all the children share their activities with the neighbourhood (from the Activity tab) then you as the teacher can join their activities to do spell checks, and help with grammar.
  • To save the report simply go to the "Activity" Tab (top left of the screen), then in the white bar in the top get them to give the report a suitable name like "Report on rainforests" and then click on the Keep icon (top right of the screen).
  • Students can reopen their report from their Journals.

Extended Activity with Class Collaboration

  • Get the children into groups of 2 or 3
  • Ask them to get one child from each group to start the Write activity, and invite the other two children to their activity (once the activity is started, the first child can hold their mouse over their team mates and invite to the Write activity)
  • Follow the rest of the instructions above

Copying Report to Computer for Printing

  • The XOs aren't really set up to print, so if you want to print, then you'll need to:

1. Put a USB stick into the XO, and then from the Journal you can drag and drop the report to the USB key 1. On a computer with printing functionality, simply copy the report from the USB key 1. If you have OpenOffice installed (which is free) then OpenOffice will by default be able to open the Report. If you only have Window Office, you'll need to install an ODF Converter plugin to read the document format used by the Write Activity. Get it from the Sun website here.