8 — What do the stories say?
This is the eighth sequence in a learning unit that familiarises students with the grammatical structure of statements and questions. The inspiration for this comes from engaging with texts about their local geographical landscapes and those further afield. During this sequence, students will investigate a series of texts that are set in various overseas locations and assess what information we can gain about physical features, vegetation, weather and the kinds of human activity that occur there.
You will need to have access to the following texts (or similar):
- Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester
- Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
- Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
- The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
Begin the sequence by sharing any communication that has been received from your ePals. Look at the display of questions that were asked and see if any of them have been answered. Enlarge the font and display the responses on the interactive whiteboard. These can then be printed out to form a class book for students to use during independent reading time. New responses can be added.
Ask, ‘Did some questions provide more information about the ePals school than others?’ Assist the students to identify which questions these were and talk about why this might have been. Lead the students to recognise that some questions allow their ePals to give more information and some can simply be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Discuss which responses let the class learn more about their ePals. If your school has been asked any questions, talk about what the students’ responses will be. Model some appropriate responses for the students and display these responses.ACHASSK033
Activity 1: Looking at text and illustrations in Are We There Yet?
Share the text Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester. Highlight the use of the question mark as a reinforcer for learning in Sequence 7. If sufficient copies of the book are available, it could be read in guided reading groups. Discuss the different ways the author provides the reader with information: through the text, illustrations, maps and so on.
Introduce the What we can see in the texts worksheet using Are We There Yet? Then model how to add information to this section of the chart. Ask the students:
- What was in the text – people or things?
- What was happening?
Activity 2: Looking at text and illustrations in the other texts
Share the three other texts that the students are going to gather information from. Organise the class so that groups of about six are reading each text. Structure each group so that there will be students who can support others with lower reading abilities. If possible, have multiple copies of each text. Explain that after they have finished reading and viewing these texts they are going to fill in the same information in the relevant section of the What we can see in the texts worksheet, so they will need to be looking for:
- physical features (natural and built)
- vegetation and animals
- human activity.
Once the students have asked any questions, send each group off with their text. Provide each group with some sticky notes to record their information on. ACELA1450, ACELA1453, ACELY1655, ACELY1656, ACELT1583
After the students have had about 10–15 minutes to complete the activity, regroup and give the groups time to add their information to the What we can see in the texts worksheet. Display the texts in the classroom for students to use during independent reading times. Conclude the sequence by asking if the landscapes in any of the texts were similar to local landscapes.