Wild Earth: The Tellbore and Friends
When tackling Explanation Texts as part of our Wild Earth theme, with direction from the children we moved away from finding out about real creatures and moved towards the imaginary variety. The children were pushing this way and it made sense that they would be able to focus on the skills associated with explanations rather than having the animal content muddying the waters. I was planning to use fantastic websites like Switcheroo Zoo but in the end, all the children were so enthusiastic and full of ideas I really had no reason to use any additional resources.
After designing their creatures, we built and placed them around school. There were discussions during this process about where you would find each creature as we had also been developing understanding of habitats and food chains.
As part of the skill development, we focused on text organisation, particularly paragraphs. The children used post its to make multiple notes for each of the paragraph sections of their explanation text.
We then worked day by day, modelling, writing and analysing paragraph by paragraph. The final outcomes magnified strengths and areas for development in the children’s writing even more than usual (although I suspect that is more to do with tricky Explanation Texts rather than the angle we took). What I am sure of though is the engagement that was created by the children directing their learning, imaginary creatures in general and the range of learning styles that we managed to incorporate.
Originally published at primarypete.net on July 17, 2010.