I was originally confused about what the different text types where. I kept mixing them up with genre. However I found this website today which is very helpful as it defines each text type, the forms it comes in, the cultural purpose and linguistic structures and features. I wish that I had of found this website last year when I was required to do an assignment on the different text types; it would have made grasping the concept a lot easier.
These cards are adorable. There are 16 cards in total and they are available for free download from the creators website which I have provided the link to below.
I think these are a wonderful idea to engage students students when they are reading or presenting to the class. They are also a good tool to use when students are working to improve expression and fluency. Students can read after choosing one of the cards. It will keep them engaged and the learning interesting.
Retrived from: http://ilove2teach.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/phonics-chants-free-printable.html
Space Aces can be found on the same website that has The Dolch Knights Game that I have mentioned previously here.
Space Aces is a phonics game used for looking at vowel digraphs such as OO and EA.
Students choose to go on missions and complete those missions by going to the specified planet and reading all the words from that planet to defeat the aliens.
Go to website
The Dolch Knights is a word war game that uses the first and second grade Dolch word lists, though a teacher could adapt it to use any words that they want. Though it is aimed at Grade 1 and 2 students I have played a modified version with different words with a Grade Prep student.
It is a fantastic game that I play with my tutoring kids. They love it because it gives them a sense of adventure as they as an army of knights fight against monsters. It is a very fun way of learning or reviewing words.
How to Play:
The teacher or tutor puts one monster onto the battlefield. The child puts the required number of knights onto the battlefield to defeat the monster. Then the child flips up the knights to see what words are there. If the child recognizes the words and can say them, the knights are victorious. If not, the monster is victorious. In battles with monsters that require more than 1 knight to defeat them, it??all or none. That is, all the knights must be victorious or they all perish!
Victorious monsters go into the victorious monster pile and victorious knights go into the victorious knight pile. After all of the monsters have gone into the battlefield once. The child counts the surviving knights and then mixes ALL of the knights up again and draws at random the number of knights that survived. (Mixing all of the knights together is important to ensure that the child will get some words they are uncertain of i.e. some of the losing knights from the last round). The teacher gets to put the victorious monsters back onto the battlefield. The battle ends when all of the knights or all of the monsters are dead. If the king dies, then the knights automatically disband and lose the battle.(1)
Go to the website to download the word/knight cards and the monster cards. Students can either battle against the fearsome skeleton army or the terrifying goblin army!
(1)Go to Website
This website is great, it features actors and actresses reading children's books.
I first saw it being used while volunteering in a school and the kids loved it.
Every now and again you find something amazing that just excites and inspires you, this is what happened for me with the Literacy Shed.
I came across the Literacy Shed on Twitter and followed the link. I cannot stop thinking about how amazing this site is even now all I can think about is the amazing lessons and units that I could plan using these, it makes me sad to still be a second year student and not have a class of my own. All of a sudden I am wishing that I am on placement so I could talk to my mentor teacher about trying to implement some of these.
Go to the website.
Everyone wants a place of safety, a place to share with the people they love. A place to relax. A home.
Right now, more than a billion people don’t have a home- that’s one in seven of the world’s population.
There are only two places you can be in life: home or away.
Home and Away by John Marsden and Matt Ottley is incredibly powerful, stunning and shocking at the same time as it gives a new meaning to walking in someone else’s shoes. It recounts the story of a typical Australian family who are forced to flee as refugees when war ravages our country and is told in first person through 15 year old Toby’s diary entries.
This is an excellent text to use in a grade 5/6 classroom; both my brother and my sister were read this book when they were at this level in primary school. What makes it so excellent is that the story is told from a protagonist not too far removed from their age group and the story is no longer about someone from somewhere students have trouble connecting to, now it is us, Australians, who are facing these problems. Some children though may have even come from a situation such as the one in the book so they will be able to better connect with the story. If this is the case they can if comfortable help other students in their understanding of the themes behind the text. As in real life there is no happy ending in this book. The tone of the book is brought down by some of the illustrations looking like a child’s drawings so that the book is not too confronting for the target age.
At English VELS level 4 students should be able to interpret and respond to a wide range of multimodal texts and print, understand textual features, analyse and discuss different perspectives in different texts on the same topic and identify ways in which texts present values and attitudes. They should also be able to use structure and features appropriate to purpose and audience and be able to use appropriately organise ideas and select vocabulary, text structures and visual features to effectively communicate.
This book also fits into the Humanities curriculum as at this level students are expected to be able to compare are contrast the values and beliefs of Australians and people of other cultures, and see the significance of events in their own society and to be able to explain the difference between needs and wants.
Using this book in the classroom with 5/6’s the teacher would use it to prompt discussion about refugees. Students can discuss how refugees feel, the difference between illegal immigrants and refugees, why they need to seek refuge and look at the government’s viewpoint on the situation is.
Students can analyse the effects of loss on refugees by doing a compare/contrast activity where they look at how the characters are at the start of the book compared to how they are at the end. Students can also use role play/dramatization and debating to look at the topics in the book as well as investigate the topic through interviews, books, the internet and other sources.
A good activity would be to ask the students to write their own stories (a recount) of being a refugee. This would be a good time to show students that recounts can be fictional and that recounts can be personal (such as a diary entry), factual, or imaginative and link it back to previous learning about recounts. For this activity students can work in pairs, a student who is say at level 3.5 can help a student at level 3.25 so that they are learning through teamwork with the teacher scaffolding their learning as appropriate.
Not all students learn the same and other modes of presentation for this task could be used such as recording their activity, using Prezi , Glogster, or a simpler PowerPoint.
Besides the sea, on Mr Peffer’s place, there lived a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig, and a tiny little mouse. One warm sunny morning, for no particular reason, they decided to go for a row in the bay. Who sank the boat? This is the premise of the text Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen.
This text can be used to teach across the domains of the VELS curriculum and disciplines.
In Prep (or Foundation) level students are working towards the level one standard. Students at the end of Prep should be able to understand the directional sequence of a text, retell the main ideas in the text, make predictions about the events in the text from the illustrations, they should be able to write simple recounts about familiar topics to convey ideas or messages, ask and answers questions for information and clarification and contribute relevant ideas. They should also be aware of simple punctuation, know concepts about print such as left to write and top to bottom, use convention letters, groups of letters and be aware of the sound system and the relationships between letters and sounds when spelling.
When using this text the teacher would read the text, stopping periodically to ask questions so that the students may make their own predictions about who sank the boat. The first task undertaken by the class would start with the class discussing and listing the characters then drawing the characters and writing their names above. This task shows that the students are able to recall information from the text and have an understanding of the characters using multi modal means.
In the next couple of lessons the teacher would re-read the text and have the students’ complete activities where the students could demonstrate that they can retell the story. The teacher at this time would introduce and model to the students the concept of what a recount is and words such as who, what, when, where, why, how. For these activities the teacher could use different methods using Gardener’s multiple intelligences so the students get the most out of their learning. Students who the teacher has observed to be linguistic, spatial or mathematical smart might have a copy and paste activity where they arrange the pictures from the book in order, they might even write in their own words what happened. Students who are Bodily-Kinesthetic Smart, Spatial smart, Musical smart might make puppets to retell the story or act out the story, this could be recorded to incorporate ICT and allow it to be shared with the class and parents at home. The teacher can also use the story to look at what rhyming is and what a question is, how do we use a question mark?
The book is useful in the area of mathematics as well. At the end of Prep students are expected to be able to use descriptive terms and compare length, area, capacity and mass of pairs of familiar objects, count to 20, use ordinal numbers, use materials to model and recognise and orientate shapes. It is also useful in humanities and science where students learn about the different animals, habitats (the students could discuss where the animals live, a farm?).
One activity that students could do in this area are compare how things sink or float, they could collect materials from the playground such as sticks and leaves- which would appeal to students who are nature smart. The teacher would then get the students to make predictions which models questioning skills and scaffolds their learning about what will happen. Then after you test the materials to see what floats you can show the students ways to graph what they have learnt.
After these activities students should draw and write about what they did, this brings it all back to the recount genre as they are writting a form of recount. The teacher can link this learning about recounts to the diary entries that students do in class.
Students could also make their own boat and see how much they can fit in there, or how much weight it can take before it sinks. This activity incorporates science as the students can investigate this using different materials to build their boat.
Music can also be incorporated by having students sing songs such as 'Row Row Row your boat' while looking at boats as a means of transportation.
This book can also be used in higher year levels of VELS but this post was originally for an assignment therefore it is looking at Preps.