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5 — Looking at information reports

Cover of Tick Tock Tick Tock: What’s Up Croc? with a drawing showing a crocodile, mostly submerged but for his eyes and snout looking out from among flowering water lillies

Above: Cover of Tick Tock Tick Tock: What's Up Croc? by Kim Michelle Toft, Silkim Books, 2010 reproduced with permission of Silkim Books, © Kim Michelle Toft.

This learning sequence builds on what the students have learnt about the life cycle of egg-laying animals and places these life cycles in the context of an information report (factual description). In this sequence they will learn how information reports are organised to achieve their purpose.

Teacher resources

Introduction

Revisit the life cycles the students have already produced and select one or two teams to explain the life cycle of their chosen animal. Point out that the life cycle or reproductive cycle is just one element of what we might want to know about an animal. (Discuss and add reproduction to the word wall.) What else might we want to know about an animal? Write the students’ responses on the whiteboard or interactive whiteboard.

Activity 1: What’s in an information report?

Show the students the Sample information report on chickens worksheet. Carefully guide them through each paragraph, making explicit the type of information it contains. ACELA1463ACSSU030

Show the students the Note taking worksheet and explain that it is designed to help them organise their information into paragraphs when they come to write their information reports. Model how to take notes by underlining the key words in each section of the information report about chickens and entering them on an enlarged worksheet (or on the interactive whiteboard) to demonstrate how the sentences have been composed from notes.

Review the questions together and then read Kim Michelle Toft’sTick Tock Tick Tock: What’s Up Croc? As you read the book (both the narrative and the factual text that follows), fill in the boxes in the table in a large class copy or on the interactive whiteboard. The students could take on the role of scribe to do this.

The information in the book is comprehensive and quite detailed. In order to focus on the language features and structure of an information report, you will need to extract manageable chunks of information for each box, remembering that, at this point, the main focus is the structure and language features of an information report, rather than a comprehensive investigation of an animal.

Ask the students to write the information into their own copy of the table, which they can then paste into their science journals. If additional support is required, repeat the task using a different resource, possibly from the internet or a brochure or another book, and add any new relevant information to the table.

Activity 2: Researching the chosen animal

The students can now begin to research the animal they chose (the animal whose life cycle they constructed), using a fresh Note taking worksheet and working in the same teams as before. Explain that they will be working on these notes during the next couple of sessions, as they discover more about their chosen animal. ACELY1669ACELY1670

The students will complete their information reports after they have learnt more about the language features of information reports in the following sequences. The completed information reports could be in hard copy format to be compiled into a class book, as posters or charts, or in digital format that can be presented to another class and/or parents and caregivers.

Reflection

Each group of students shares their work with another group. Provide a structure for sharing, such as:

Encourage the groups to provide feedback to each other (for example, something that has been done well, something that could be improved, anything that was unclear).