What does augmented reality have to do with student writers? If you’re hoping to inspire your children as writers this year, an augmented reality experience might do the trick. Engaging augmented reality interactions can help students brainstorm ideas for stories, make connections to the world of today and the past, and even connect to writing in the science classroom.

Getting started with augmented reality might be as simple as downloading an AR app to your smartphone or laptop. Augmented reality apps let you layer constellations on top of the sky for nighttime or daytime viewing. You’ll also find augmented reality apps that let you print a trigger image like a coloring book page or QR code. Then you scan that trigger image with an AR app, and an augmented reality experience appears.

Try these tips to use augmented reality experiences to support student writers!


Introduce an augmented reality experience to students, such as a human body simulation or an app where an animal jumps off the page. Encourage children to jot down all of the questions or wonderings they have as they explore this augmented reality space. You might set a timer and ask them to record their questions on a piece of paper or in a digital space. This brainstorming activity can give them ideas for topics to write about for an extended piece. For example, students can open up their laptop and jot down all of their ideas as they interact with an AR experience.

Writing Prompts

For a fictional narrative, you might ask students to tell a story about a scene they view in an augmented reality app. If they watch a plant grow in an AR simulation, children might write a story about a giant plant taking over their backyard or a magical creature that climbs off the plant. To facilitate this AR-inspired writing experience, you might share a writing prompt like, “What would happen if this augmented reality experience was our actual reality?” or “What would happen if you jumped through the screen?” Before putting pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard, encourage children to talk about their ideas and then jump into their writing.

Historical Connections

Some augmented reality apps layer pictures of a historical view on top of a current location. These types of historical connections can inspire research and investigation around different periods in history. For example, you might ask children to write a story from the point of view of someone living in a particular space long ago. Or children could tell a story of someone from the past entering into the same area in the future. Are you helping students strengthen their informational writing skills? Students might decide to research a place they’ve explored instead of writing a piece of fiction.

Although augmented reality might seem like technology out of a futuristic science fiction movie, it is accessible to students of all ages. When paired with an English Language Arts activity like narrative or informational writing, students can take their AR experiences to the next level. If you want to encourage reluctant writers to try a new writing activity, pairing this task with an augmented reality experience might do the trick!

Monica Burns, Ed.D. is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, and founder of ClassTechTips.com. She hosts the Easy EdTech Podcast and is author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom.

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  • This is a great topic. We all should user AR in education process.