2 — Patterns in illustrations: Informative versus imaginative
Sequence focus points
- Literature: focus texts – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and an informative text about caterpillars or butterflies; class library suggestions – imaginative and informative texts with the theme of caterpillars, butterflies, moths and insects.
- Patterns: patterns in different text types – informative texts are written to give information and imaginative texts are written to entertain.
- Reading: modelled reading – predicting skills; recalling facts from the informative text; classifying informative and imaginative texts using visual cues.
- Writing: modelled writing using onset and rime as a spelling method; creating literature – making a visual text.
- Handwriting: letter formation.
Re-read or revisit The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Explain to the students that in this lesson they will look closely at the illustrations in a number of books and talk about how illustrations can be very different, and how they can tell us about whether a book is informative or imaginative. Define the terms informative and imaginative for the class. Provide some examples of informative and imaginative texts from the class library. ACELA1430, ACELA1786
Activity 1: Pre-reading – different types of images in texts
Display a number of informative and imaginative texts on the theme of caterpillars and butterflies that are illustrated with drawings and photographs. Compare and contrast the illustrations in one of the informative texts with those of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ask the students:
- Do the illustrations in the informative text look like the real thing?
- Can you see how the illustrator has used bright colours and shading to draw the caterpillar in The Very Hungry Caterpillar?
- When a photograph is used, does it look like the real creature or does it look imaginary?
Use the students’ answers to define and explain the differences between informative and imaginative texts.
Lead the students to an understanding of the differing level of realism in the illustrations of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by asking questions such as:
- Do the pictures in The Very Hungry Caterpillar look like real caterpillars and real fruit or can we tell that an artist has made them?
- Can you see where Eric Carle has used paint and brushes to colour the illustrations?
- Does food really look like these illustrations or has Eric Carle used his imagination?
Activity 2: Modelled reading – the pattern of informative texts
Choose one of the informative texts to read to the class. As you read, predict the content of each page using the images or headings and sub-headings. Compare this process to the way The Very Hungry Caterpillar was read. Explain that the patterns of reading will change between informative texts and imaginative texts because they are written in different ways and for different purposes. ACELY1648, ACELY1650
Responding to literature
Activity 3: Independent reading – reading and classifying texts using images
Divide the students into small groups and give them a collection of both informative and imaginative texts with the theme of butterflies and caterpillars. Ask them to group the books according to whether they think they are informative or imaginative. Listen to the students’ discussions as they classify the books and record some of the reasons and justifications for groupings, to be revisited during whole-class discussion.
Bring the class back together and share the process of grouping. Revisit the reasons and justifications in order to reinforce the concepts of informative and imaginative texts. ACELY1646, ACELY1648, ACELY1650, ACELA1786
Activity 4: Independent creation of a visual text
Review the illustrations in The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the informative texts, making particular note of the pattern of the life cycle of a butterfly, which is evident in both types of texts. Ask the students to use play dough to model the life cycle of a butterfly. Photograph the models and display the photographs on the interactive whiteboard. Add labels such as ‘egg’, ‘larvae’ and ‘adult’. Model, using onset and rime to spell, as words are written. ACELA1438, ACELA1439, ACELA1786
Print these annotated visual texts and create a book to be placed in the classroom library for reading during independent reading sessions.
Students could undertake a study of Eric Carle’s method of illustrating. See Resources for possible sources of multimodal texts.