Wednesday, 2 October 2013

International Day of Chocolate Bite II

I already told you about how my real life obsession with love of chocolate rolled over into my classroom on International Day of Chocolate right? Well, I didn't tell you about the part that most excited me. I piggy backed on the back of that new knowledge to model the construction of an information text. (OK, so I'm way too easily excited and probably should seek help with that but just go with me for a moment here.)

Not a lot else to share about it really. The class provided me with the information and I modeled the construction of the text being explicit about the features I was choosing and the linguistic choices I was making. We then went through the text and labelled the features we've been discussing. At the end we pulled out another information text they had already labelled and reflected on other choices I could have made.

This was such a powerful lesson. Everyone was engaged, everyone contributed, everyone was laughing. (We know that we learn better when we're happy so laughter's a good sign for these kinds of lessons I think!) The reflection was the most powerful part: the students gave carefully considered answers and really examined the text. They LOVED pointing out the ways my text could be improved. (You can see in the photo where we've suggested where those features might be included if we were to rewrite this text.)

This particular activity (modeled construction) is an important part of the plan that my co-teacher and I created for this unit of work.  Our unit is based on the ideas in the Literacy for Learning framework which was created along the lines of the Australian Curriculum's view that language is social and culturally constructed. Modeled construction considers the importance of the social view of language and scaffolds the students' future independent construction by demonstrating the thinking processes and metalanguage needed.  

So there we have it... What might have originally been viewed (certainly by my husband) as an indulgent exercise turned into some pretty amazing teaching and learning.   Tell me about your experiences like this.

(Oh... And please excuse my AWFUL handwriting!)

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 1.2 Understand how students learn 
Standard 2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
Standard 2.2 Content selection and organisation 
Standard 2.5 Literacy & numeracy strategies
Standard 3.2 Plan, structure and sequence learning programs 


  1. I have full faith in you not to use your position of power for the promulgation of Chocoholism.

    1. That's a rather big responsibility you've placed on my shoulders. I'll try my best to live up to it!

  2. I'm looking forward to meeting these writers in my History classes of the future;only 5 years to wait, I can be patient. On another hand, I'm going to take some of these ideas into my own classrooms NOW.Practice makes perfect and it never hurts to revisit these concepts regularly.

    1. If you're taking chocolate into your classroom I expect an invitation! :-)