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Literacy ideas produced by Linda Steel

Literacy ideas produced by Linda Steel



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  • Technique: Developing LiteracyImproving a text at Tallis • Give students a short text. Ask them to improve it, for example - by including as many adjectives / adverbs as possible - by changing common to more interesting words - by adding in a range of connectives - by correcting spelling / punctuation mistakes - by creating paragraphs
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyHigher order thinking at Tallis • Work on higher order thinking skills i.e. explanation, analysis, synthesis, evaluation - students’ ability to express clearly both verbally and in writing. Provide students with appropriate vocabulary and phrases, sentence starters, discourse markers etc to enable them to do this. For example: Analysis: so it can be seen that... it is evident that ..... this suggests that ..... this implies that ......
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyHighlighting at Tallis • Ask students to use different coloured highlighters to pick out different aspects of a text, for example: • verbs / adjectives / adverbs / connectives, • or to sort the different themes in it. This exercise is good preparation for comprehension questions, discussion or improving / structuring writing.
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyDraw the word at Tallis • Students remember words more easily if they see them as a picture. Get students to write words in such a way as to illustrate their meaning: Example: r a t i o n p o r p e a c v i e pitation
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyDifferent purposes for at Tallisspeaking • In setting up a speaking activity, do some work on conventions for the specific purpose of the activity i.e. hypothesising, exploring, arguing, debating, explaining, evaluating, presenting, questioning, discussing etc. Work on register, pronunciation, tone, fluency, non-verbal language etc. For example: Arguing: moreover, furthermore, what is more, indeed, as for ....., with respect to ....
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyCorrecting at Tallis • Give students a text or sentences with certain words (or phrases) underlined. Ask the students to insert more appropriate words / phrases in place of these and to explain their choice. For example: The highest male voice is a bass. an alto. (Bass is the lowest male voice).
  • Technique: Developing Literacycolour coding at Tallis • Colour coding the different syllables can help students learn difficult words and words they repeatedly misspell. For example: ac com mod ation (4 different colours, suffix ‘ation’ kept together) par all el (3 different colours) Chanting the words to a beat can also help.
  • Technique: Developing Literacycloze at Tallis • Provide the students with a short text, from which you have taken out key words, adjectives, verbs or connectives, for example. Ask the students to insert the missing words, which you could provide (jumbled) below - particularly for those needing more support. Take two -------------- and place them in a ----------- with a little ------------ and --------------. Using a --------------, mix them together with a cupful of ------------............
  • Technique: Developing Literacycategories at Tallis • Take a topic you need to revise. Put 4 or 5 random letters on the board. Students have to think of a word related to the topic for each letter, then explain why they have used it: Example: 2 D shapes a - area - the area of a square is length x width d - decagon - a 10 sided shape h - hexagon - a 6 sided shape s - scalene - a triangle with unequal sides
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyAcrostic at Tallis • Give students a key word for a topic, written vertically. Students write sentences related to the topic using the letters from the key word as starting points. Example: R un with the ball U nion or League G oal s are converted B ig beefy men! Y ou score 3 for a try
  • Technique: Developing Literacywordsearch at Tallis • This can be differentiated: - no words given - students told to find X words on a topic - words given - definitions given - picture clues given • Follow up activity - students have to put words into sentences which show meaning / students find odd one out and explain • Students make up own puzzles and solve each other’s
  • Technique: Developing Literacywords within a long word at Tallis • Give the students a long word related to a topic you are studying. Ask them to find as many words as they can of 2 letters or more, using each letter in the longer word only once. Example: communication: in an at on into anti comma nation manic
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyUsing exam answers at Tallis • Ask students to look at an exam answer and say how good English contributed towards a high mark / brought its marks down. Get them to pull out or insert more interesting vocabulary, range of connectives, accurate punctuation etc. and discuss the effect. • Ask students to grade different pieces of work, taking into account the standard of English used, and suggest improvements.
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyTrue and false at Tallis • Give the students a number of statements (perhaps on a text). The students write true or false next to each one. If a statement is false, students must give the correct answer. This exercise is a good way to revise the main points from the previous lesson or to find out what students know before introducing new material. Example: The area of a triangle is base x height. False - it is 1/2 base x height.
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyTesting spelling at Tallis • Use ‘Look Cover Say Write Check’ method for learning spellings. • Provide students with a grid for self testing of spellings - at least 3-5 columns so that students can repeat spellings until they have completely mastered them. • Allow students to set their own personal target in spelling tests ie not a blanket 10/10. For some students, 5/10 might be a good result.
  • Technique: Developing Literacysequencing at Tallis • Take a paragraph and jumble up the sentences - it is helpful if each sentence has an obvious marker to help indicate where it should be placed in the text. Ask the students to reassemble the text so that it reads logically. A similar exercise can be done sequencing the paragraphs of a text or even the words of a sentence. Example: •He was arrested, tried and executed along with the other conspirators. •The gang of Catholics intended to blow up the Houses of Parliament , and it was Guy Fawkes who was chosen to light the fuse. •However,the king heard about the plot and his guards caught Guy in the act.
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyObject as stimulus at Tallis • Show the students an object which is connected to the topic they are studying or are about to study. They have a few minutes either to write about it or talk about it - perhaps first in pairs or groups - before sharing their observations and ideas with the class. This activity is a good stimulus for the development of, for example, descriptive and predictive language.
  • Technique: Developing Literacymultiple choice at Tallis • Give students sentences - perhaps based on a text - with 3 alternative endings. Students have to circle or underline the appropriate ending. Example: ‘Livre’ veut dire a) free b) book c) deliver He ran away because he was a) scared b) angry c) desperate
  • Technique: Developing Literacymnemonics at Tallis • Mnemonics can help students remember tricky spellings as well as sets of words and sequences (such as the order of the planets from the sun or the colours of the spectrum). For example: necessary - one collar, two sleeves diarrhoea - really really horrible experience always
  • Technique: Developing Literacymatching exercise at Tallis • Give students a set of e.g. 10 key words with jumble definitions opposite. Ask them to match each word with its correct definition. This could be differentiated to use pictures instead of phrases. A follow up exercise could be to insert the appropriate words in sentences to highlight their meanings or for students to make up their own sentences. Example: tragedy a light-hearted play which makes you laugh hero a serious play in which people usually die comedy the main person in the play, who does good things Macbeth is a ------------------- in which many people die because of his ambition.
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyLoop Game at Tallis • Choose a set of words or phrases you want to practise. Create cards, each with a word or phrase on one side and a question or definition related to a different word or phrase on the other. First student asks his / her question and student with appropriate word / phrase answers it then asks his / her question and so on until the final answer. For example: S1. It connects places of equal atmospheric pressure. S2. Isobar. It connects places of equal temperature. S3. Isotherm. NB Iso: equal
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyMaking questions at Tallis • Students make up own questions to ask class as recap of a topic or to show understanding of a text etc. NB Depending on the group, simple question words could be revised or higher level questioning techniques. For example: To what extent does ............? Given that ......... , what ..........?
  • Technique: Developing LiteracyDifferent types of writing at Tallis • Do some explicit teaching of conventions for a particular writing genre you want the students to use ie explanatory / instruction / discursive / informative / descriptive / narrative / recount / persuasive / analytical / evaluative. This is particularly useful in preparation for writing examination answers. Student planners can help with this. For example: Instruction: headings / subheadings bullet points / numbering commands sequencing connectives eg ‘firstly’, ‘next’, ‘finally’
  • Technique: Developing Literacymaking more complexsentences at Tallis • Give students a series of simple sentences. Ask them to make one longer sentence, possibly giving them the opening words. For example: We put the powder in the test tube. Next, we added some acid and then a piece of litmus paper. Having put ............., we .............., followed by ...........