7 — Creating our own informative text
The students will work in small groups to create an informative text that displays their knowledge of the design elements of the different semiotic systems at work in multimodal texts. Determine with the students how the text is to be finally presented. Further details, including important teacher considerations and ideas for presentation, are included in Assessment task 1 and the Assessment task 1 rubric. ACELY1694
Since this unit has not included the explicit teaching of the writing of an informative text, a Sample assessment text has been included for use if you would prefer the students to concentrate on other design elements (visual, audio, gestural and spatial). The students may enhance the sample text using noun groups/phrases, verb groups/phrases, prepositional phrases and adverbial phrases, as studied in Sequences 4, 5 and 6. Alternatively, you may decide to have the students write their own text. Information sourced throughout the unit so far may be used to inform the text. You may need to organise further research time in the library to enhance the information gathered. The co-operative learning Jigsaw technique might be used to facilitate this. ACHASSI074, ACHASSI077
Consider the use of images to enhance the text and copyright issues relating to the use of images. The students will need instruction on which images they can and can’t use and how these should be cited, or they may create their own visuals for this project.
The time frame for this activity will depend on the publishing choices that you give the students. You may leave this choice open, or narrow the choices. A variety of presentation/publishing ideas are presented, since access to and knowledge of technology will also be determining factors.
Activity 1: Planning the informative text
Discuss the task parameters with the students. In groups of five, they are to create an informative text titled ‘1788: Was life the same for everyone?’ They will use their knowledge of the features of multimodal texts, including the elements of language, visual, gestural, spatial and audio if appropriate.
Each student will create one page and there will be a page for each of the following groups: Indigenous Australians, convicts, free settlers, marines and guards, governor and officers.
The information will cover the details of the daily life of these groups of people when the new colony was established at Port Jackson. The information must be historically accurate, based on researched facts and the text must have a bibliography.
The students will present their text to the rest of the class, explaining why they used particular design features.
Review the features of multimodal texts that they studied in Sequences 2, 3 and 4:
- Include cohesive features of texts, as discussed in Sequence 2 (spatial layout: repeated elements in the same place on each page) and Sequence 3 (spatial: scrapbook layout, repeating elements). Even though five different people are doing a page each, they need to make sure that they are cohesive and look as if they are part of the same text. Consider how cohesion aids the reader by ensuring predictability in the way information is presented. The students could think about texts that are well or poorly organised and how this assists or inhibits their reading.
- Also include the use of primary documents (quotes from journals) and how these were presented. Use of call-out boxes: small boxes of information to highlight important (salient) information.
Discuss the use of images and copyright, where students will be able to find images and how they should be cited. Or will students be creating their own images?
Discuss the Planning our informative text worksheet that they can use in their group to help organise their text.
Discuss and establish the time frame for the completion of the task, how the final product might be published and how the students will be presenting their work to the rest of the class. Add the timeframe to the planning sheet.
Activity 2: Discussing the draft plans
Discuss the students’ draft plans individually. They should identify the features and elements that they are going to include and how their work is going to be presented. They publish their individual pages and the group text. ACELY1697, ACELY1695, ACELY1694, ACHASSI082
You could also present the Sample assessment text to the students to give them an idea of what is expected of them.
Activity 3: Presenting the informative texts
The students present their informative texts to the rest of the class. They should use the metalanguage of multimodal texts as they point out the features of the text and explain why these choices were made. ACELY1689, ACELT1604