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Duration and pathways: Using this unit in the classroom

This unit of work is designed around 12 learning sequences, which vary in duration. The two curriculum area topics are designed to run concurrently. The learning sequences vary in length, with some being 30–40 minutes in duration while others may be extended across two or three lessons. The duration will be determined by the individual classroom context and your knowledge of your students. Both strands are designed along the principles of the Teaching and learning cycle, which is designed for teachers to gradually relinquish control as students develop skills and understandings of the structure and language features to compose the target genres successfully.

The English focus of the unit is based on a literature study of Guji-Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen, a classic ugly duckling story with a twist. The science focus is based on egg-laying creatures and their life cycles. There is a strong focus on the language strand of the English curriculum through both learning areas, with students comparing text types in terms of structure and language features. The literature and literacy strands are interwoven, as knowing about the English language enables and enhances students’ ability to understand, appreciate, respond to, analyse, create, interpret and evaluate texts. The Resources table includes a list of resources that can be used for guided and independent reading throughout the unit.

The science sequences look at the structure and language features of explanations of life cycles and information reports, and in Sequence 6 students will begin to compare the sort of language used to compose science texts with the language used to compose narrative texts. This comparative theme continues in Sequences 9 and 10. The two subject areas can run concurrently. Although some sequences can stand alone as discrete lessons, the assessment tasks depend on students participating in all the lead-up learning.

Sequence 1: building the field of the topic of chickens hatching
Sequence 2: modelling and deconstructing the life cycle
Sequence 3: constructing an explanation of a life cycle
Sequence 4: constructing a life cycle
Sequence 5: building the field of the topic of crocodiles
Sequence 6: modelling and deconstructing language features of the information report
Sequence 7: constructing information reports on an animal, assessment task
Sequence 8: literature study, building the field, reading two similar stories
Sequence 9: modelling and deconstructing language features, comparison of texts
Sequence 10: modelling and deconstructing the narrative
Sequence 11: modelling and deconstructing visual reading
Sequence 12
: constructing a character study, assessment task