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11 — Research of a local environment

This sequence allows the students to prepare and collect vital information for their final assessment task: Assessment task 2. They will be asked to write a persuasive text, convincing readers to save a local environment or built structure. Since they will be crafting the text in Sequence 12, during this sequence they will be required to research their chosen environment so that they have sufficient information to complete the persuasive text.

Drawing of pencil tip and notebook fragment on a green background

Above: Illustration by Jan Gillbank

Introduction

The students will be given the final assessment task and the Assessment task 2 rubric that they will be marked against. Answer any questions they have in relation to the final assessment task.

Activity 1: Collecting information

The students are given time, over several sessions, to research a local environment or a built structure within the local community or within Australia. They will need to collect as much information as possible, making notes in their books. To help organise their ideas, the students can use the Cycle chart worksheet to record their ideas prior to writing. The cycle chart is an organiser that allows students to show the interconnectedness of actions and the resulting consequences. They begin their cycle chart by recording their first idea in the box (for example, ‘Seal colonies were destroyed’); they then record the consequence of this action and construct an argument for an action to be taken. The students continue with the process for two more ideas or arguments.

Explain that the persuasive text will need to convince readers to save the selected environment or structure. Students should seek information from the internet, library books and local papers, or make phone calls to local groups. The Information Skills Process Guide (.pdf 997 kB) suggests an effective process, with possible questions to guide teachers and students, and there is also a digital Web 2.0 tools equivalent to this guide.

Activity 2: Planning the persuasive text

Once the students have collected the relevant information, they may begin to plan their persuasive text using their cycle chart from the previous activity. Remind them how to ‘PEEL’ their paragraphs. To support the use of the PEEL structure, the students could also highlight their drafts to ensure they have followed the structure. Students will be able to use these organisers when they begin to write in Sequence 12. ACELY1704

Provide sufficient class time for the students to draft their persuasive text. Regular check-ins and roving conferences will allow you to target feedback and reinforce the learning that has occurred throughout the unit. ACHASSI105,   ACHASSI104

Reflection

The students may be given the opportunity to share their draft and information with a partner. They bring their work to a meeting area and find a buddy with whom they can share their draft. The students can use the Plus/delta feedback worksheet or ‘Two stars and a wish’ (a quick web search will reveal various web pages devoted to this strategy).