The Knowledge Processes

The Knowledge Processes represent a range of different ways of making knowledge. They are forms of action, or things you do in order to know. Following are some activity types which illustrate each of the Knowledge Processes. Many of the activities can be used across more than one Knowledge Process. Thanks to Rita Van Haren who has expanded this into such a wonderfully rich range of learning experiences.

Overview – The Knowledge Processes at a Glance

Experiencing

Conceptualising

Analysing

Applying

Activity Suggestions for the Knowledge Processes

Alphabet Ladder

Create a vertical list from A-Z, leaving spaces for 3 or 4 entries for each letter. Ask students to fill in the ladder using terms, factors, people or events associated with the topic and their meanings. This activity can be extended by inserting extra columns for more information related to the words listed. Once many words have been listed, students can sort them and label the categories or create associations through concept maps.

Baseline Data

Interview students about what they know or to provide an explanation of what they understand about a topic or how they undertake a skill, e.g. reading and writing strategies. Repeat at the end of the student to check the level of understanding of students and awareness or metacognition about their learning.

Before and After Web

Students write up to eight facts that they know on a particular topic in the inner circle spaces. After reading a text or studying a topic they add new knowledge to the outside circle; the inner and outer circle facts do not have to match. Students then share their before and after wheels in a small group discussion.

Book Orientation and Predictions

Show the title, the author and the picture on the cover of the book. Do a picture flick, showing the images (if appropriate) and using some key words from the text as you show the images. Students will be able to predict using the images and key words.

Students then write one or two sentences on what the text might be about and some words or phrases that they might expect to see in the text. Instead of writing students could use a Think-Pair-Share to share their predictions. During reading stop and ask students to revise their predictions. After reading students discuss whether their predictions were correct.

Alternatively students write their predictions and then move around the room reading their own and listening to other predictions. They do not discuss or comment on other predictions. When they return to their seats, they rework their predictions and/or work in a small group to come up with a group prediction.

Prediction1:

Was your prediction confirmed? Why or why not?

Revised Prediction 2:

Was your prediction confirmed? Why or why not?

Revised Prediction 3:

Was your prediction confirmed? Why or why not?

Revised Prediction 4:

What will happen next?

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a way of finding out the ideas that learners bring to a topic or issue.

  • Everybody writes down their initial ideas on a topic on post-it notes, one idea per note.
  • Each person presents their ideas, sticking them one by one into a board close to similar ideas.
  • The group then works on ordering these ideas more systematically, identifying and naming groups, grouping the ideas in circles, and linking the circles with arrows.

Instead of a written brainstorm, students draw pictures to show what they know about a word, a topic or an idea. They can label their drawings to show more information that they know.

Concept Wall

In pairs or small groups brainstorm key concepts and record their ideas on post-it notes. They place these on a display board, grouping like ideas as they go and rearranging the display as new ideas are posted. Students then suggest possible headings for each group of ideas and reflect on the final chart of ideas.

Connecting with Text

Students record any personal connections on post-it notes while reading or viewing a text. Their personal connections could be about similar experiences, people they know, similar images, links to other texts they have read/viewed or information they recall. Students complete a Connecting with Text chart to record their notes. The chart can be adapted to suit the text type and student cohort. Once students have completed their chart they share with other students, then compare and discuss their connections.

Connecting with Text

This story reminds me of when

This story reminds me of another text  
because

One of the characters 
reminds me of

because

Something I know that helps me understand this story is

Data Chart

As a class or group, students formulate focus questions about the topic or big understanding. These questions form the top row of the chart. Then complete the chart brainstorming information provided by students.

 

Topic/Question 1

Topic/Question 2

Topic/Question 3

Topic/Question 4

What we know

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

DOVE Brainstorming

Use the DOVE acronym in brainstorming activities:

Defer judgment – accept all contributions and evaluate later

Opt for original ideas – unusual ideas, lateral thinking

Vast numbers of ideas are best – narrow concepts down later

Expand by association – build on each other’s ideas

Finish the Sentence

Students complete sentences about a topic and demonstrate their prior knowledge or feelings about a topic. The sentence stems can be generated by the teacher or other students. They could complete the sentences verbally, pictorially or in written form.

Give One, Get One

Students fold paper lengthwise to form 2 columns and write “Give One” at the top of the left-hand column and “Get One” at the top of the right-hand column. After brainstorming a list of things they know about the topic and writing their ideas in the left column, they then talk to other students about what is on their lists. Students write the new information in the right column along with the name of the person who gave them the information. Have a whole class discussion on the lists as students again write new information in the right column.

Graffiti Board

In this brainstorming activity students work in groups of three of four to record their ideas on a topic. Place large sheets of paper on a table and write the topic in the middle. Have a different topic or aspect of the topic on each sheet. After recording their ideas, students move to a new table and record their ideas, building on what has already been recording.

Hot Potato

Hot Potato in is an effective brainstorming strategy, ideal for generating lists of new ideas and data in a short period of time. Students are placed in groups of 3-4 with each group being given a different sub-topic relating to a larger overall topic. For example in a hot potato about natural disasters the sub-topics would be earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones etc. One student acts as a scribe while the rest of the group brainstorms their responses. At a signal from the teacher the groups pass their pieces of paper to the table group on their left. Look at the new sub-topic, the group reads the responses from the previous table, generating and adding more ideas to the new piece of paper. This process is repeated up until each group has looked at each subtopic.

Image Documentary

Using digital photos, create a picture book or a PowerPoint or a slideshow of a familiar place, covering its main features and including titles, introduction, captions and conclusion – as text if a book or PowerPoint, or as script or audio if a slide show. Try to make it a balanced record. Include your likes and dislikes and things that seem positive and negative to you.

Imagine/Elaborate/Predict/Confirm (IEPC)

Provide students with a title of a text and/or topic and ask them to use a visualising strategy to imagine everything they can about it – encourage them to use their senses by imagining feelings, taste, smell, sight and surroundings. Record these in the ‘I’ column. In the ‘E’ column students add more details such as prior experiences, details, anecdotes etc. In the ‘P’ column students record their predictions about the text, including particular words and images that they might expect to appear in the text. After reading the text students confirm their predictions and record how they are different in the ‘C’ column.

Inner/Outer Circles

Students form two circles – one circle within the other- with students facing each other.

Pose a question to the students or make a statement and ask student what they think about it. Allow them some thinking time. One student shares his/her thinking and then the other student build on his/her ideas. Students in one of the circles then move one or more steps to the right or left. The teacher then poses the next question or statement, allowing time for thinking and sharing, before asking one of the circles to move again. Vary the activity by asking students to move and then share what they discussed in the previous rotation with their new partner.

Interests and Passions

Create a collage, PowerPoint presentation or website which describes your favorite interest.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Use the jig-saw puzzle technique for introducing learners to a new body of knowledge. Each member of the group has to provide one part of the jig-saw:

  • Part of a body of knowledge: a smaller topic, theme or subject within the larger topic, theme or subject.
  • A method of investigation: a survey, an interview, a library search, an internet search.
  • A perspective: something that connects with an individual learner’s prior knowledge or interests.

Each student works on their piece of the jig-saw. They then present to the group on their area of expertise, either orally or in writing, and perhaps also using supporting images, video audio.

Either produce a consolidated report of the different student’s work, or get each student to produce a report covering the full ground of the overall topic or theme using the resources produced by the whole group.

Knowledge Journey

Learners keep a record of their learning journey in an A-N-F-L chart. The important starting point is what they already know, asking students to use prior knowledge and connect this with new knowledge.

A

N

F

L

What do I Already know?

What do I Need to know?

How will I Find out?

What I have Learnt

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

A K-W-L and K-W-H-L are similar to an ANFL. K-W-L is What I know, what I want to find out and what I have learnt. A K-W-H-L is What I know, what I want to find out, how I will find it out, and what I have learnt. A B-D-A stands for Before-During-After.

Last Word

Individually students write as many words or phrases on a given topic as they can in a limited time. Then in small groups they take turns to share one word or a phrase from their list. If another student in the group has that word, they tick it. If they don’t have the word, they add it to their list. Students continue to share a word each, not repeating any word that has been shared already, until they have finished their list. The last student to share a word is the winner.

Literacy Experiences: Receptive Activities

Learners bring in a written text that is familiar to them or ‘easy’, that they like, that they understand. They show it, talk about it, explain it, discuss it, defend it to their fellow learners.

Multiliteracies Experiences: Receptive Activities

Learners bring in a multimodal text that is familiar to them, such as an image, video, game, sound recording or object. They show it, talk about it, explain it, discuss it, defend it to their fellow learners.

Mystery Boxes or 20 Questions

Collect objects related to the topic being studied. Choose one of the objects and place it in the box. Students must then generate questions to discover what is in the box. The questions may only receive a yes or a no answer. Limit the number of questions to 20 questions. Repeat the process until all the objects have been discovered. Then display them and discuss how they are the same and different and how they relate to the topic. Students could even create their own mystery boxes on a topic.

News Story

Write an illustrated news story of an event in which you have recently been involved. Use the ‘pyramid’ method of writing a news story, in which the whole story is told in the first paragraph, then the story is retold several times, each time at greater length.

Personal Profile

Write a personal profile, as a short bionote for a website, or a curriculum vitae. Include a list of the things you have done, the things you are good at, your interests, and what you would like to be.

Picture Association

Use a picture to generate new ideas, problem solve or generate questions. Choose pictures that are not too closely related to the topic. Words may be used complement pictures or to provoke or enhance discussion.

  • Show pictures or multiple pictures to provoke student engagement.
  • Students write a list of what the picture represents describing the obvious. Alternatively, students can generate questions from the image.
  • Students use the list to generate solutions to the problem or generate new ideas.

Picture Prediction

Collect/draw a series of images related to a narrative or information text. Before reading ask students to predict what the text is about using these images. In groups students can also generate a list of words and/or concepts based on the images. After reading ask students how the images are related to the text. Record this in a reflection.

Placemat

This activity is designed to allow for each individual’s thinking, perspective and voice to be heard, recognised and explored.

  1. Form participants into groups of four.
  2. Allocate one piece of A3 or butcher’s paper to each group.
  3. Ask each group to draw the diagram on the paper.



  4. The outer spaces are for each participant to write their thoughts about the topic.
  5. Conduct a Round Robin so that each participant can share their views.
  6. The circle in the middle of the paper is to note down (by the nominated scribe) the common points made by each participant.
  7. Each group then reports the common points to the whole group.

A variation is to divide each section into three and include a PMI.

Possible Sentences

Before reading a text, choose some words form the text; the number will depend on the age and ability level of the students. Choose words that are easy, some that are hard and some that provide significant information about the main topic of the text. These can be recorded on sentence strips. Students then individually or in pairs select some of the words to create ‘possible sentences that they predict may occur in the text. Students can read their sentences to a partner. During reading encourage students to watch and listen for the words to determine if their Possible Sentences were accurate. Then after reading the main text, they can check to see how close their sentences are to the original text. They can discuss similarities and differences and create new sentences including any unused words.

Rocket Writing

Students write in silence for a set time and record everything they know about a topic or in response to a text they read, view or listen to. Provide a focus question or a short story, poem, piece of music or visuals. They can select and share a section of their writing with other students or the whole class. This can also be used to assess students’ prior knowledge about a topic.

Round Robin

Round Robin in is an effective brainstorming strategy, ideal for generating lists of new ideas and data in a short period of time. Students are placed in groups of 3-4 and asked to respond to a topic or question, such as “What do you know about…” or “List the features of…” All students are scribes with the paper being passed around the group and students support each other with ideas and spelling. At a signal from the teacher the groups pass their pieces of paper to the table group on their left. After reading the responses from the previous table the group continues to generate and record more ideas on the new piece of paper. This process is repeated up to four more times, at which point the teacher can ask the groups to further explore the ideas by ranking or classifying them.

Another form of Round Robin brainstorming is where students, in groups of 4, add ideas to a topic. At the signal the first student says an idea related to the topic, similar to those suggested above, and each student adds their idea moving around the group one at a time. One student can scribe the ideas or it can be a verbal interactive activity.

Alternatively place sheets of paper around the room with different topics, questions or issues on each one. Students then move around the room in pairs or small groups and add their ideas to each sheet. They can also add reflections or comments on what other students have recorded.

Round Robin Sharing

The round robin sharing strategy is an effective tool for sharing a whole class brainstorm. This is a competitive but collaborative strategy in which students must work as a team and listen carefully to each other’s responses. Students are placed in groups of 3-4 and asked to respond to a topic or question, such as “what do you know about…” or “list the features of…” One student acts as a scribe while the rest of the group brainstorms their responses. The groups then share their ideas with the larger group, on group by group basis. Students must listen carefully to what the other groups have said as no idea may be repeated.

Spider Map

The Spider Map can be used as a planning or brainstorming tool. Students place the central theme or idea in the middle circle and then list a main idea along one of the spider’s legs. This idea is then further teased out in the section at the end of the appropriate leg.

Stand and Share

Groups discuss or brainstorm a topic until each team member has at least one, different idea to share. They all stand to show they are ready to participate in a whole group sharing. When all teams are standing, one student is asked to share an idea. After the student shares, students with the same or a very similar idea sit down. This procedure is repeated until all ideas have been collected and all students are seated.

‘Stream of Consciousness’ Recollection

A ‘dump’ of thoughts, scenes and memories in no particular order other than the order in which they happen to spring to mind. This is a way of listening to yourself and making connections between different things in your everyday life. Decide on a starting point, then make an instant connection, then a connection to this connection. Then only connections between one point and the next … see how far you wander off your starting point.

Think-Pair-Share

Attempt to tackle a new question or problem by silent thinking, comparison with another learner’s attempt to answer the same question, and share this dialogue with other learners.

  • Think: Take a few minutes to think in silence about a new idea or a difficult question. Make mental or written notes.
  • Pair: Talk about your thoughts with a neighbor or partner. Compare notes: What are the most original, most convincing or most accurate ideas?
  • Share: Present the best ideas of the pair to the group or class.

Adaptations of this strategy include Think-Write-Pair Share and Timed-Pair-Share.

Think-Pair-Square

Follow the same procedure as a Think-Pair-Share. After sharing in pairs, the pair of students find another pair and share their ideas with them before sharing with the whole class.

Think, Wink, Decide

This activity helps students to generate questions or statements about a topic. Students fold an A4 piece of paper in half to form a booklet. On the front page they write the topic. On page 2, they write ‘Think – Things I now know’ and they record what they already know and think about the topic. On page 3, they write ‘Wink –What I need to know’ and record questions about the topic. On the back page they write ‘Decide’. Here they select two questions to share with the class. Encourage talk in pairs or small groups to scaffold thinking.

Three Step Interview

This strategy is a three step process and whilst it works more effectively in groups of four it can also be modified for use with smaller or larger groups of students.

  • Step 1: Students work in pairs (one interviewer and one interviewee)
  • Step 2: Roles are reversed by the students.
  • Step 3: As a class a round robin activity is completed. Each student takes turns sharing with a group what they learnt during the interview process.
    The interview topic can be broad and discuss anything that is relevant to the learning. One effective use of the strategy can be to ask students to draw upon their own personal experiences as they relate to this topic. This strategy supports students as they draw upon their own knowledge which can act as a catalyst for further discussion on the current learning area or branch off into another relevant topic.

Tournament Prioritising

Students work with the results of a round robin brainstorm and plot the points on the Tournament Prioritising sheet.

  • Give each group a Tournament Prioritising sheet. The item seeded at the top of the round robin page must be seeded at No 1, the second item at No 24, the third item at No 2, the fourth at No 23, the fifth at No 3 and so on.
  • In the same groups, decide on which items will be eliminated, and advance each ‘winner’ to the next round and continue until each group can rank their items. Encourage students to make active decisions about why to keep one item and eliminate another. At some stage it would be valuable to stop your students and ask them to explain the process of elimination and justify their decisions.
  • At the end of the activity lead a discussion about why the ‘winners’ should form the basis of the class understanding.

Values Lines

In a values line students consider their thinking and feelings about an issue or topic and choose a place to stand on a line. The line will reflect two extremes of thinking and attitudes towards a topic. For example after reading a story, they might choose one side of the values line if they thought the main character was a hero or the other side of the line if they thought he was a villain or somewhere in between. On a topic such as sustainability, they might show their opinions about deforestation versus forest protection. In the visual and performing arts, students might explore two artworks. After studying a topic, students can revisit the values line and discuss whether they have changed their position and why.

Word Splash

Word Splash provides a useful framework for eliciting student prior knowledge before reading. Word Splash encourages and develops prediction skills , sets the scene, is designed to develop a sense of discovery, explores connections and speculates on possibilities, focuses in on topic or issue, is a useful tool for group/pair sharing, and can be designed to support underperforming students.

  1. Read through the text.
  2. Decide on key words, phrases and concepts in the text that will provide cues for your students or that may need clarification.
  3. Type or write and copy for individual students or small groups.
  4. Once distributed allow students a few minutes to read through and discuss with others the listed words and phrases. They may ask others for clarification or elaboration of some items. Allow them to make predictions about the text in their groups.
  5. Bring students back together and ask them for their predictions, encouraging all students to contribute.

A rich assortment of predictions will be offered. Some predictions may be challenged. Teachers may ask questions such as, ‘What made you think of…..?’ The purpose of prompting questions is to encourage students to interact both to share and to extend their understandings of what the text may be about. After reading they can compare and contrast their predictions and write a reflection on this.

Word Wall

Students create a poster or wall display in which they display all the vocabulary that they know in relation to a topic. The teacher may also add words to give students exposure to words they might encounter in a new text. Students can illustrate the words of find photos or pictures in magazines to represent the words. The word wall can be continuously added to throughout a topic with students taking an active role in contributing to it and sorting words. The word wall can also become part of the print environment of the classroom and used to refer to for spelling.

World Café

A series of cafés or tables are set up around the room. At each café is large piece of paper and a different coloured marker. Each café is assigned a topic, question or focus. The group is divided amongst the café’s and one person per café is designated as the owner. It is their job to stay at the café the whole time. Each group is given a period of time (5 to 10 minutes) to respond to the question or topic with their coloured marker. At the signal groups move on, with their coloured marker, to the next café. The café owner stays behind getting ready to share the responses with the next group of customers.

At the beginning of the second rotation the café owner takes their new group through the topic and the responses of the initial group. This group then adds their own thoughts or responses, in their colour, to that of the first. This process continues for as many rotations as can be fitted in or until the guests arrive back at their original café. It is interesting for this group to look at all subsequent responses and discuss this with the café owner. Finally the leader may want to elicit some reflections from the group.

Anticipation Guide

Make up a list of five or six true /false statements on the text to be read. These statements are debateable and might seek an opinion or provoke feelings in the reader. Students respond to the statements individually and then discuss with a partner or small group. After reading students revisit the statements, see how their initial opinions may have changed and reflect on what ideas were affirmed and challenged and what they have learned. They should find evidence for their opinions in the text. To extend this activity, students can respond to the statements with agree or disagree and then explain why.

When constructing an Anticipation Guide:

  • Analyse the material and determine main ideas;
  • Write the ideas in short declarative statements;
  • Put the statements in a format that will encourage anticipation and predictions;
  • Discuss the readers’ predictions and anticipations before reading; and
  • Assign the text and have students evaluate the statements according to the author’s purpose; and contrast the predictions with the author’s intended meaning.
Statement Agree/ Disagree Were you right? Reflection
       
       

B-D-A

Before Reading
List everything you know about this topic before reading

During Reading
Briefly note new information you find during reading

After Reading
Write a summary and three questions

     

One sentence main idea statement:

 

 

 

Instead of words, students can also draw and represent their ideas through images.

Caption Strategy

This strategy focuses students on extracting ideas or concepts and clarifying conceptual understanding. Select an illustration, photo or series of pictures on a given topic. Working individually, in pairs or in groups, the students write captions that capture the essence of the image. Students compare and discuss the captions they have created.

Chat Chart

After reading/viewing a text/s students discuss the text in small groups and then complete the chart.

My words

My questions

The most important parts

My connections

My thoughts

A variation:

Facts

Symbols

Connections

Similes

Clink and Clunk

This strategy assesses what students have learned and what needs to be covered in m ore depth. After students have responded to a text in an open-ended, they draw up a table with two columns headed ‘clink’ and ‘clunk’. Under ‘clink’ they record the information they really understand. Under ‘clunk’ they record what they do not understand. In groups students discuss and clarify information, using peer tutoring and teacher support to ensure all students understand the information.

Double Entry Journal

This type of journal consists of two parts. On the left hand side, students record interesting parts or facts from the text, excursion, film, demonstration, experiment or talk. On the right hand side they record their responses and reactions. Variations include: Author’s main points/Question you want to ask; Literal/Inferential statements; Facts/Inferences; In the text/My connections.

Experiment

Conduct an experiment using scientific method.

  • Initial Observation: Something you have noticed that you want to investigate.
  • Create Hypothesis: Your initial view that you want to test.
  • Gather Data: Search for information already available on this subject.
  • Review Theories: Find out the main explanations currently available – relevant concepts and the theories that tie these concepts together.
  • Design Experiment: How are you going to test your hypothesis?
  • Conduct Experiment: Record observations.
  • Draw Conclusions: Is your original hypothesis correct?
  • Report on Results: Include the whole story of the experiment as outlined in the steps above.

Frames

Interpret a text using a ‘frame’ according to its genre:

  • Narrative: orientation (characters, setting, starting event), complication (something surprising or interesting that happens, one or more episodes), resolution (how the story ends).
  • Report: general topic (what class of things does something belong to?), description one facet at a time or one aspect of the topic at a time (looks like, does, habits, examples etc.?), conclusions.

Graph Stories

When reading a novel or short story, students record rising and falling action of the plot on a graph. Students could also write a short story that describes what is being depicted in a graph.

Jigsaw and Gallery Tour

This activity is characterised by participants within a home group each becoming expert on different aspects of one topic of study.

  1. Students are formed into home/cooperative groups.
  2. Students in home/ cooperative groups are assigned to a different expert group. (as per diagram)
  3. Together, expert partners study their topic and plan effective ways to teach important information when they return to their home/ cooperative groups.
  4. One way of teaching is for the expert group to display their information on paper.
  5. Participants return to their home/ cooperative groups and then take their group on a Gallery Tour to each display. In a Galley Tour, students display their work and one person stands by it in order to explain it and answer questions when small groups visit.
  6. Or participants can return to their home/ cooperative groups and teach all members of their group as they are now the experts.

Literacy Experiences: Receptive Activities

The teacher or other learners introduce a written text that is unfamiliar or ‘hard’—but nevertheless at least half intelligible. Students respond to in open-ended ways and through questions such as what did you think if this text, how did you connect to it, did it remind you of anything in your own experiences, what do you think will happen next?

Multiliteracies Experiences: Receptive Activities

The teacher or other learners bring in a multimodal text that is unfamiliar or hard, such as an image, video, game, sound recording or object. Students respond to it in open-ended ways and through questions such as what did you think if this text, how did you connect to it, did it remind you of anything in your own experiences, what do you think will happen next? Students could also:

  • Describe: What are the key features of the multimodal text? What stands out as its main points?
  • Examine: Which bits are not-so-obvious or confusing?
  • Perceive: How can we figure out the meaning of the parts that are not-so-obvious?
  • Infer: What do you think the creator meant to be saying?

In a group learning context, different members of the group could be given different roles: describing, examining, perceiving, inferring. You could also use the equivalent of note taking for visual texts – circling parts of images, labeling and captioning.

Observation

Naturalistic Observation: Watch and record behavior without saying anything or intervening in the action. Record what is happening using an observation sheet.

Participant Observation: Record events and behavior in a group or set of activities in which you involved.

Action/Event Observed

Interpretation of the Event

Event 1:

 

Event 2:

 

‘On the Road’ Stream of Consciousnesses Reflections on New Experiences

Record your impressions of a new or unfamiliar place in the order in which you ‘travel’ through that new territory—a place, a group or a new area of learning. Keep a weblog or diary, take pictures … note what seems unusual, strange or difficult to understand.

Paired Reviews

This strategy provides students with practice in summarising what has been read and learned. Students work with a partner, taking turns in being the ‘talker’ and the ‘listener’, reviewing a text that has been read. Paired Reviews enhance clarifying and paraphrasing skills, develop listening skills, give students time to process what they are learning, help students remember new information, encourage reflection on own learning, encourage students to verbalise their understandings about text and allow students to respond to texts through feelings and ideas.

  • Pair students as Partner A and Partner B.
  • Partner A begins by recounting something interesting from the text and talks for 60 seconds, while Partner B listens.
  • After 60 seconds tell them to ‘Switch’ and change roles. Partner B cannot repeat anything said by A
  • When Partner B has spoken for 60 seconds, partners switch again. Now Partner A has 40 seconds to continue the review. Stipulate that nothing stated already can be repeated. After 40 seconds announce ‘Switch’ where Partner B gets 40 seconds.
  • Follow the same procedure allowing each partner 20 seconds to recap.
  • This strategy is a quick way for students to summarise their understandings about a text. The no-repeat rule forces partners to really listen and think carefully about what they can say. Time periods can be adjusted to fit the needs of the students. When the activity is completed questions or confusions can be addressed.

Picture Priorities

Collect pictures related to a topic and number them randomly. Give students time to examine the pictures and to discuss their responses to them. Then ask them to rank the pictures in order of importance or to sequence them in an order that makes sense to them. They then compare and contrast their order with other students or groups. They could them reorder their pictures.

P-O-E

P-O-E (Predicting, Observing, Explaining) is a strategy that enables students to conduct investigative work and develop a summative conclusion of what they think is going to happen and why they think it will happen.

P  	Predict: What do I think is going to happen?

O 	Observe: What did I observe during the investigation?

E 	Explain: Why do I think this happened?

Reaction Guide

Students read/view a text and respond to it in an open-ended way, connecting to the text and relating it their own experiences. Then provide students with a group of 5-10 statements which focus on important concepts in the text and are thought provoking or controversial. Students record whether they agree or disagree with the statements and then read/view the text again, checking their responses and changing them if they wish. They then discuss their responses in small groups, coming to consensus about their responses, and ensuring each group member can justify the group’s decision. Call upon each group to share a response and justify it.

Read and Retell

A Read and Retell enables practice in a range of literacy skills including reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking, interacting, comparing, matching, selecting and organising information, remembering and comprehending. As an assessment tool, it provides information about comprehension, sequencing of ideas and writing skills.

Preparation

  • It is important that the context be carefully set by the teacher for the use of the retelling. Students must feel that they are doing it to help them become better readers and writers, not that they are being tested.
  • In selecting a text, ensure students have had previous experience with the genre/text type, e.g. fables, fairy stories, reports.
  • Texts should be of high interest and within the students’ reading ability.
  • After selecting the text and making multiple copies, fold and staple so that only the title is visible.

The Retelling

  • Students read the title and write one or two sentences on what the text with such a title might be about and some words/phrases that might be in the text if your prediction was right.
  • Students share or compare these predictions with a partner or small group.
  • Everyone reads the text individually. Read in order to enjoy and understand. Read as many times as you need to recall. Some students may benefit from having the story read to them first as a scaffold to them reading the text alone.
  • Retell the text, writing in your own words. Write as much as you can recall for someone who has not read the text. You must not look back at the text.

Sharing and Discussing

In pairs or small groups ask students to discuss:

  1. How are your retellings different from each other and how are they different from the original text?
  2. Muddled meanings: Did you muddle, change or omit anything so that the author’s meaning was changed?
  3. Paraphrase power: Did you use any words which were different from those in the text but mean the same?
  4. Borrow a Bit: If you could borrow a bit from your partner’s retelling, which bit would you borrow? Why?

Reflections

Ask students to write down any new learnings they have made during the session and/or any concerns they have. They could also write about what they would like to work on to improve their reading and writing skills.

Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal Teaching will support students to deal with new text, stopping at times in the text to:

  • Summarise: What are the main things the text is about? What are its key points?
  • Question: What are the bits of the text that don’t make sense? What is puzzling or unclear?
  • Clarify: How can we figure out the meaning of the confusing parts? What do we still need to know to work out the meaning behind the text?
  • Predict: Where might the text go next (part way through the text)? Or what do you think the author wants you to get out of the text (as the end of the text)?

In a group learning context, different members of the group could be given different roles: summariser, questioner, clarifier, predictor. In asking questions about the text, students could also take on roles. One could ask questions about the language, another could ask questions about the audience and purpose of the text, another could ask questions about how students have connected to the texts and links to real world and another could ask questions about how different people would respond to the text.

Right Angle Thinking

After reading or viewing a text/s, students record interesting information and associated ideas and thoughts.

Save the Last Word for Me

Assign a story, selection or passage to read. Students locate five statements that they find interesting or would like to comment on – statements with which they agree or disagree, have heard of before, found interesting, contradict something they thought they knew or want to say something about. They could be statements that particularly surprised, excited or intrigued them.

Distribute five post-it notes to each student, a card for each selected statement. Students write one statement on the front side of the post-it note. On the reverse side, students write comments/reflections about the statement which they are willing to share with their group.

In groups of 3 or 4, students share one of their five statements. The first student reads a statement to the group, locates it in a text but does not make any comment on it. Students then discuss, make comments and give their reactions to the statement. When everyone has commented, the student then gets the ‘last word’ on the statement. The process is repeated with all group members.

Stick to it!

Students read a text and use post-it notes to mark a word, sentence or part of a text that they don’t understand. If they read on and the question is clarified, they remove the post-it note. After reading, students work with a partner and discuss the post-it notes that still remain and also how they clarified their questions.

Summarising

Old-fashioned summarising remains a good way to approach a new written text.

  • Plan: Create a table of contents, or a heading/main points outline, or a site map for a website.
  • Keywords: Underline the main words of phrases in the text.
  • Main Ideas: Create an abstract, or one paragraph long summary of the text.
  • Notes: Write out the main points being made by the text in the order in which they appear. Use headings and indents to make the overall structure of the text clear. Turn whole sections of the text into a word, a phrase or a short sentence. Or write a ‘topic sentence’ for every paragraph. Or, use these note taking methods when listening to a spoken text.
  • Outline: Use outline mode in Word, PowerPoint or PDF or a folder structure on computer as to create a map or a sketch of the text.

You can also use summarising templates.

What you remembered from the text

Looking back and adding more or making corrections

 
 

 
 

Main Ideas in the Text

 
 

Survey

Create a paper or internet survey for people around you (your family, your classmates, community members). Question types might include: yes/no, multiple choice, scales (such as 1 to 5 rankings for satisfaction, interest, agreement), ranking (of preference, importance etc.) open-ended short text responses.

Beware of the limitations of surveys: Have you surveyed enough people to get a balanced view of a group? Have you written the questions to get the kind of answer you want? Will the people responding to the survey give ‘true’ answers to the kinds of questions you are asking?

Text and Subtext

After summarising the text and identifying an important quote from the text, this strategy supports students to infer a deeper or underlying meaning through identifying the subtext.

Restate the reading in your own words

Quote from the reading

Subtext

Text Annotation Strategy

Annotate the text as you read and after you have finished reading it. You may have to read it a couple of times and don’t worry if you don’t annotate every single thing!

?

In the margins record a question mark (?) for any questions you have about what is happening or about the vocabulary.

Underline

Underline aspects of the writing style. This could be a line or phrase that you think is beautifully worded or makes you think. It could be something about the style or tone that strikes you or that you like or dislike. Put a double line under what you think is the best written sentence in the story.

C

Draw a C for your connections when the story reminds you of something you have read or seen or done in your own life.

!

Write ! when something is interesting, important, unusual and it surprises or even shocks you.

Discuss your annotations with a partner. Focus on what you consider to be most important or interesting. Share any other opinions, ideas or predictions about what will happen next.

Other codes might include:

M:  I want to learn MORE about this

N: new information

TH: Theme of the text

AHA: Big idea in the text

Think Sheet

My Questions

My Thoughts – what you already know

Text ideas – important ideas (after reading)

     
     
     

Topic Wheel

Students draw and wheel with spokes. In each section of the wheel, students record:

  • Things I know about the topic
  • Things I feel about the topic
  • Things I would like to find out about the topic
  • Ways I could find out more about the topic

Three Level Guide

The teacher or students develop true/false questions on text at three levels:

  • Literal: these are statements that can be found in the text
  • Interpretative: these are statements that the students have to interpret or infer from the text
  • Analytical or applied: these relate to bigger ideas/issues in the text

Students respond to each question individually and then share their responses with a partner, coming to consensus rather than compromise about the statements. They should refer back to the text in their discussion. Pairs can then form a group of four, share their responses and come to consensus.

Video or Audio Interview

Conduct a video or audio interview of a person or people you know well, in a familiar setting.

Structured Interview: A list of direct questions, requiring direct answers, that the interviewer works through, one by one. Useful when you are asking more than one person about the same thing, and trying to work out the differences in perspective, understanding etc.

Semi-Structured Interview: a schedule of the main topics you want to cover, but allowing that the conversation may go off in other interesting directions and that questions may be covered in a different order, depending upon the drift of the conversation. The interviewee is encouraged to ignore questions if they want to and to ask their own questions if they like. This approach makes it harder to compare interviews when you are asking more than one person about the same thing.

Open-Ended Interview: An open conversation which starts with the interviewer describing the general area they want to cover in the interview, and allows an impromptu dialogue to develop.

Web of Wonder

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This is an energising activity that facilitates the exploration and discussion of concepts. All students write their definition of a particular concept on a card or post it note. In an open space they mingle with people greeting each other, exchanging cards and moving on until the agreed signal is heard. On the signal they stop and pair up. In pairs they discuss each definition on the card and agree on a score for each. The two scores must add up to 7 and be in whole numbers. The scores are written on each card. The group then mingles again, exchanging cards, discussing and scoring for a total of 5 times.

At the end of the fifth rotation students tally up the card they finish up with. The leader then determines which definition(s) received the higher or highest scores. These definitions are read out and discussed in terms of why they would have been rated so highly. This activity can also be sued in ‘Experiencing the known’ to draw out students’ prior knowledge about a concept or topic.

Affinity Diagram

The Affinity diagram is designed for groups of students to collect data and to sort it in a short period of time by looking for similarities and relationships.

A-Z Ladder

This strategy enables students to record information they have encountered in a topic into a clearly structured retrieval chart. It can be completed as a class wiki to enable students to post entries over a period of time.

  • Create a vertical list from A-Z.
  • Attach a meaning to each word or phrase.
  • Access information at different intervals of the unit to connect students to topic.

Bundling

Bundling encourages and scaffolds students to generalise and organise concepts. Students write 5 or 6 statements of what they know about a topic. Each idea or concept is written on a separate piece of paper, one idea to a piece of paper. In groups the students organise the information into categories by grouping the pieces of paper in bundles. The groups then put a general sub heading with each bundle. The concepts are then ordered within their bundle in the sequence they would form in a paragraph. Together these groups would decide on the topic title and write the paragraph cooperatively linking sentences together using connectives.

Character Profile

Personality
 
 

Memories
 
 

Physical characteristics
 
 

Achievements
 
 

Picture of character
 
 

Relationships
 
 

Classify by Concept

Group like and unlike things (words, images, objects) by their common characteristic (the concept classifier) and differences.

Concept Classifier 1 (e.g. colour, size, age, speed etc.)

Concept Classifier 2

Etc.

{list words, group images}

   

Comparison Chart

Identify the similarities and differences between two things.

Comparison Matrix

Compare the characteristics of a number of different objects.

C-O-N-C-E-P-T

Convey the concept to the students by naming the topic that is being studied.

Offer the overall concept by explaining what it is related to.

Note the key words involved with the concept.

Classify characteristics about the topic.

Explore some examples and non examples to see if they fit the key concept definition and create data sets.

Practise with new examples and create a new data set.

Tie down a definition.

Concept Clarification

Clarify a concept by considering examples, and the things that it is like (synonyms) and the things that it is unlike (antonyms).

Concept: ………………

Examples

Things Like

Things Unlike or Opposite

     

Concept Definition:

Concept Organiser

Create a concept graphic organiser:

  • Name the concept, putting it in a circle at the middle of the page.
  • Connect it with Characteristics, in boxes linked to the concept with lines.
  • Provide Examples of each characteristic, in different-colored boxes linked to that characteristics.

Concept Webs

Concept webs encourage learners to visually record their learning through an exploration of issues or topic. The process establishes connections and helps the learner organise ideas and understand relationships between different concepts, problems and ideas. They also develop vocabulary.

The centre circle contains the main concept, problem or topic. Linking ideas or solutions are recorded in the outer circles through the use of key words. Lines may be added to link the connecting circles to each other as well as to the central circle. Images and colours may also be used to enhance the concept map. Use different geometric shapes to make them interesting.

Cross-Classification

Group like and unlike things by their conceptual similarities and differences on two conceptual dimensions.

 

Gender Dimension: Boys

Gender Dimension: Girls

Age Dimension, 0-5

   

Age Dimension, 5-10

   

Dictogloss

This activity prompts students to listen for meaning, looking for key concepts. Once a work is introduced and placed in context, with key vocabulary discussed, read the text at normal speed. While the text is being read a second time students write down key words. These words can be recalled by the students and collected on a shared board. The text may be read a third time if needed.

The students, individually or in groups, reconstruct the text retaining the author’s intent with meaning and style.

D-I-S-S-E-C-T Word Identification Strategy

Discover the word’s context by using clues in the text.

Isolate the prefix and assess the meaning (skip if there is no prefix).

Separate the suffix (skip if there is no suffix).

Say the stem or base word.

Examine the stem be separating letters to make decoding easier.

Check with someone if necessary.

Try the dictionary if still having difficulties.

Frayer Model

Glossary

Create a list of key concepts for a topic or area of activity, which would be able to explain that concept to a person new to that topic or area. Each definition should:

  • Define Up: What or bigger idea or larger group of concepts, does the concept belong to? (The parent or parents of the concept.)
  • Define Against: What are the other concepts in its group? How is this concept similar or different to these concepts? (The concept’s siblings.)
  • Define Down: What are examples or instances of this concept? What does the concept include or consist of? (The children of the concept.)

Gold Panning

Inductive Reasoning

Examine facts closely and develop useful concepts which describe similarities and differences, patterns, things that are not immediately obvious.

Fact, fact, fact

-> Reasoning ->

Concept

Information Retrieval Grid

This enables students to organise and record information. A grid is constructed with focus questions along one axis and items along the other. Students read the text and complete the grid by recording ticks or words in the boxes. When the grid is complete students discuss their findings using comparatives or connectives.

 

Name 1

Name 2

Focus Question 1

   

Focus Question 2

   

Focus Question 3

   

Information Text Pyramid

This can also be use as a narrative pyramid.

1 word: Character’s name

2 words: Describe the character (orientation)

3 words: Describe the setting (orientation)

4 words: Describe the complication

5 words: Describe the resolution

6 words: Your response

Inquiry Charts

Topic

Who invented it?

Types

Important people

Influences

Interesting facts

New questions

What we know

           

Source 1

           

Source 2

           

Source 3

           

Summaries

           

Interesting Word Chart

Word

My definition

Reference

     
     
     
     

A modification of this activity is complete definitions at different stages of the reading.

Word Before
Reading
After
Reading
After
Discussion
       
       
       

Literacy Concepts: Develop a Metalanguage

Use concepts which describe patterns in language using keywords which describe language features. For example: heading, list of points, topic sentence, paragraph, hyperlink, reference.

Multiliteracies Concepts: Develop a Metalanguage

Use concepts which describe patterns in texts which use two or more modes: language + image + sound + gesture + space. For example: perspective, framing, pitch, volume, body language, proximity.

Naming an Image and its Parts

Caption and label an image.

  • Caption: The image as a whole.
  • Labels: The main parts or aspects of the image.

Question Answer Relationships (QAR)

Students answer and/or devise questions according to four categories:

  • Right There questions – the answers are located in the text at the literal level and generally ask who, what, where, when, identify, list, name, define etc. This type of question requires students to find the exact words in the text.
  • Think and Search questions – require students to make connections between ideas; these questions often say compare and contrast, explain, tell why, find evidence, what cause/effect, problem/solution and what is the main idea. Students have to work out an answer from more than one sentence, paragraph or page.
  • Author and Me questions – students use information and ideas that are not directly stated in the text. These questions require the reader to infer and to formulate their own opinions. They might say the author implies or suggests or what is the author’s message.
  • On My Own questions – Students draw on their prior knowledge and experience. The questions might say in my opinion, I think/believe or based on my experience.

QAR teaches reading comprehension strategies such as skimming and scanning and rereading. Model the type of questions initially and ask students to sort and discuss them before they develop their own questions in pairs, small groups and then individually. It is important that students can identify the different sorts of questions so that they can use the right strategies to formulate an answer.

Plot Profile

This is a strategy designed to increase students understanding of story structure in narrative texts, as well as engaging children in the reading process. In response to a text read individually or in class students list the major events in the story. These events are then rated against indicators such as excitement, suspense or humor. This is plotted on a graph numbering the events, listed in detail in a key, along the horizontal axis and the appropriate rating along the vertical axis.

Ranking Main Ideas

After reading/viewing a text, students identify key ideas/themes/ concepts and order them. Use post it notes so ideas can be rearranged during discussion in small groups or as a whole class.

Most important ideas

Moderately important ideas

Least important ideas

Semantic Webs

Semantic webs enables to students categories concepts and make logical links between concepts and ideas. Students use a single focus question as the starting point, writing it at the top of their page. Sub headings are chosen to go across the page, under the focus question. These sub headings are known as web strands.

Under the web strands students make notes relevant to each strand. These become known as strand supports. When the semantic web is complete it can be discussed at group or class level.

Sketch to Stretch

Students use this tool to generate understandings of ideas and concepts in a narrative. Students read a text silently or the teacher reads aloud, stopping according to density of the text and purpose of the lesson. During a pause the students sketch a summary of the story so far. After a series of pauses the students will have a series of sketches which they share with a partner, comparing inferences from the text that have been made during their sketches. A variation is for students to sketch what they think is going to happen next or would like to happen next.

Sociogram

A literary sociogram is a graphic organiser that represents the relationships among characters in a literary text. In a sociogram, the central character is placed at the centre of the page and the other characters are placed around it. Arrows are used to show the direction of the relationship and a brief description of the nature of the relationship is placed alongside each arrow. Students manipulate pieces of paper with the names of characters, until they feel they have arranged them in the best way to reflect their understanding of the text. Then the names can be attached to a piece of paper and the rest of the sociogram devised. A number of conventions may be useful in developing sociograms:

  • Place the central character/s at the centre of the diagram.
  • Let the physical distance between characters reflect the perceived psychological distance between characters.
  • Let the size of the shape representing a character vary with (a) the importance, or (b) the power of the character.
  • Show the direction of a relationship by an arrow, and its nature by a brief label.
  • Represent substantiated relationships by a solid line and inferred relationships by a broken line.
  • Circle active characters with a solid line. Circle significantly absent characters with a broken line
  • Place the characters who support the main character on one side of a dividing line, and antagonistic characters on the other (goodies vs baddies).

When working with simple stories, one sociogram may be enough to capture the relationships. With longer or more complex stories, a series of diagrams will help to capture the changing relationships. Students can work independently and then share their sociograms or small groups of students can work collaboratively.

Younger students can use pictures of characters and word cards to construct their sociograms. Software such as Inspiration or MindMan could also be used. Sociograms can be used to help explore power relationships implied in non-fiction texts such as newspaper reports and feature articles, aiding in the development of critical literacy skills. Listening carefully to students’ explanations of their sociograms helps to provide insight into their comprehension and their ability to make inferences from texts.

SQ3R

Survey: Look through the chapter that is going to be studied for an overall idea of the topic.

Question: Turn each heading into a question.

Read to answer the questions.

Recite: At the end of each section, try to answer the questions without looking back; do not take notes until the entire section is read.

Review what you have read; work with a partner to go over all of the questions you asked and try to answer them.

Structured Overview

This tool enables students to gain an overview of the big understanding. Select a topic and ask each student to write down ideas on the topic – each idea on a separate piece of paper. They then share their ideas in a small group. The group then writes the topic heading on a large piece of paper and gathers their ideas into categories which they jointly define. The categorised groups are then written on the large piece of paper and linked appropriately. The overviews are then shared with the whole class.

T Chart – Naming

Positives

Negatives

 



 



An extension of the T Chart is a Ying and Yang diagram to explore arguments, balancing one idea with an opposing or balancing idea or perspective.

A T chart can also be used to identify inferences and evidence to support those inferences.

I think …… (your inference)

Because……… (evidence from the text)

   
   
   

Timeline – Name Periods of Time

Create a timeline, either with dates/time marked as points-in-time along a line, or with overlapping periods of time such as in a Gant Chart.

Venn Diagram

What are the different and overlapping common features of two things?

  • Item A: Distinctive Features
  • Items A and B overlap: Common Features
  • Item B: Common Features

Vocabulary Building

Brainstorm: Before reading brainstorm words that are related to the topic and which might appear in the text.

Categorise the words and label each category:

After reading: Add other key words to the categories. Add any new categories.

Paired writing on one of the categories:


Vocabulary Concept Map

Word Association

This strategy supports students in generating new ideas or to find creative solutions to problems.

  • Decide on a topic that needs a solution generated to solve a problem
  • Think of an object or word that has nothing to do with the topic needing new ideas or problem.
  • Brainstorm associated words, opposites, puns etc. Look for more associations until they create an idea. Place a box around the idea

Word Cline

Students generate synonyms for words. They then categorise the words, e.g. from most intense to least intense. Students then discuss these in relation to the choices authors make and to inform their own creation of texts.

Word Sorts

Use word sorts to identify sounds, syllables, rhymes, onset and rime and common patterns. For an open sort, students sort the words according to their own judgement. This helps them to see the connections in words. They then assign a title or label to the categories they have identified. In a closed sort, the teacher selects the categories. Students can reflect on whether they agree with the categories, the common features, how they have categorised the words, and how the words might relate to the text from which they have been drawn.

Y Chart – Naming

Analysing the obvious features of something. What it: Is it identifying/naming rather than analysing?

  • Looks like
  • Sounds like
  • Feels like

An extension of the Y chart is the X chart which includes Thinks Like.

Zooming In and Zooming Out

321 RIQ

This strategy assists students to process new information

Before engaging with a text or experience students complete a 321 RIQ.

3 Recalls	Students recall 3 facts from a recently viewed text or experience.
2 Insights	Students identify an insight into the text or experience considering relevance, implications, connections to 
                        others, society or school and correlations.
1 Question	Students formulate a question about text or experience.

Students then present their 321 RIQ to a partner with that partner asking clarifying questions in order to gain a good understanding of the others points. It is also possible at this point to ask students to share some insights with the whole class.

Cause and Effect Pattern Organiser

Create a cause and effect diagram, in which a number of causes contribute to creating an effect.

Character Analysis Chart

Facts


Quotes

Actions



Inferences about the character’s thoughts and feelings

Concept Attainment

Concept Attainment is an inductive process that helps bring meaning to concepts or helps construct concepts through the searching for common characteristics. In Concept Attainment students compare like examples and contrast them with unlike examples.

Firstly present the focus statement and the data set. The data set consists of YES examples and NO examples. In maths this might be examples of numbers that are factors of 20 and numbers which are not factors of 20, geometrical shapes and concepts such as area and perimeter. In English it might be a data set of complex sentences, metaphors or spelling patterns. In art it might be about developing understanding of line or texture so the data set will include images. Students then generate, share and test their hypotheses. When students have determined the important attributes of the concept, they then apply it to other examples, extending their thinking. They also reflect on their thoughts about how their thinking progressed during the analysis of the data

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a way of dealing with disagreements.

  • Before You Start: Find out about the person and the background to the problem.
  • Negotiating Step 1: Focus on the other person’s view of the problem.
  • Negotiating Step 2: Focus on your problem from their point of view,
  • Negotiating Step 3: Step back from the problem.
    • Explore the facts.
    • Explore alternative, hypothetical ‘third angle’ perspectives.
  • Negotiating Step 4: Outline your perspective.
  • Negotiating Step 5: Explore consequences of alternative resolutions to the conflict.
  • Negotiating Step 6: Resolution:
    • The win/win, feel good stuff (least likely in difficult negotiations).
    • Find common ground in a third angle.
    • Work out how to achieve something while still disagreeing.
    • Agree to disagree; evaluate what was learnt positively from the negotiation experience.

Consequences/Effects Wheels

In the centre circle, write an event, for example ‘Widespread use of solar energy’ Think of and write a direct consequence of this event in an oval and connect it to the centre with a single line. This is a first order consequence. Think of some other first order consequences and draw/write them in. Think of and record second order consequences. These are things that resulted from the first order consequence. Join it to first order consequences by a double line. This tool can be used in analysing critically to examine environmental and societal impacts.

Cubing

Examine a problem in six different ways:

Describe it (features, traits, steps, composed of).

Compare it (similar to, different from).

Associate it (made you think of).

Analyse it (advantages and disadvantages).

Apply it (how can it be applied to other situations).

Argue for or against it (support your position).

Deductive Reasoning

Consider the consequences of theories. What are some of the things that that the theory might predict? What can we expect?

Concepts in a theory

-> Reasoning ->

Logical consequences of the theory.

If the theory does not work sometimes, we might need to go back to the facts again, and see whether we can figure out what’s happening using inductive reasoning. Did we create the correct concepts from our facts?

Fishbone

A particular type of concept map – structured like a fish skeleton which is often used to demonstrate how different causes can lead to an effect.

Five Whys

The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you probe for information and get to the root of a problem quickly. Based on a Japanese philosophy, the 5 Whys strategy is about thinking long-term and looking both ahead and behind, not just in the present. This can be done in twos or threes with the third person being a silent observer. One person takes the role of questioner and the other answers the questions. The questions and answers can be recorded for further discussion and or a final reflection. Very often, the answer to the first “why” will prompt another “why” and the answer to the second “why” will prompt the third “why” and so on. It can show the role of questions beginning with “why” and deepen thinking.

Flow Diagrams

Flow Chart diagrams are useful in examining linear cause-and-effect processes and other processes that unfold sequentially. The student must be able to identify the first step in the process, all of the resulting stages in the procedure as they unfold, and the outcome (the final stage). In this process, the student realises how one step leads to the next in the process, and eventually, to the outcome. They can be used for preliminary planning or, with appropriate annotations, they can represent a timeline or final action plan.

Force Field Analysis

A Force Field Analysis is a visual listing of possible forces driving or preventing change. It is useful for determining what is driving, preventing or slowing change. It teaches students to think together, enhances creative thinking and helps to find a starting point from which to take action.

Lateral Thinking

Think in new and imaginative ways about issues or problems.

  • List and describe the usual ways to think about or deal with this issue or problem.
  • Search for different or unusual ways to think about or deal with this issue or problem – think of ideas that might seem crazy at first, talk to others, search the Internet …
  • Deconstruct: take something apart, work out the connections and patterns.
  • Reconstruct: put it back together again in new ways, combinations and patterns. Halve/double, slice/dice, stretch/shrink, substitute, dissect/combine, adapt, magnify/reduce, reverse/turn upside down/inside out, separate/blend, unpack/repackage.
  • Look out for the eureka moments, when something suddenly makes sense or comes together in an exciting way.

MARS Problem Solving

Mind Map

Take a concept, idea or theme and name it in a circle in the middle of the page. What follows is a visual version of a stream of consciousness. Draw lines branching out indicating linked ideas, with words on the lines. Use different colors to indicate main lines of thought.

Modeling

Create a model (an actual model, or a diagram, or a description) which captures the essence of a theory by showing how its key concepts are connected.

Postcard Problems

In pairs or small groups students develop key questions on the concepts being studied and record them on the postcard in the Postcard Problem section. Questions should be open-ended and complex. They record an expected answer on another piece of paper or in their books. Postcards are then ‘mailed’ to another pair or group who discuss the problem posed and then record an answer to the problem with an explanation or justification. The postcards are collected again and delivered to another pair or group for an alternative response. This can be repeated a number of times and then the postcards are returned to the senders. The senders consider the responses, compare them to their original response and then share/record their reflections.

Predict, Explore, Reflect

Select at least one question from each section or create your own. After viewing or reading the text, write your responses.

Problem-Solution

Role Play and Freeze Frames

This tool enables students to move their conceptual understandings into other dimensions such as ethical and moral. The teacher develops a series of roles which are written on cards. These roles will be related to the topic or big understanding. The teacher can follow the following format in role play:

  • situation and task of characters
  • name of character
  • background of character.

The roles could also be based on images created by students. Students then create the roles within the role play or prepare a written profile based on the chosen format. After the role play it is important for students to debrief and discuss their presentation of the role and how they felt in that particular situation. It is also important to ensure that all players know that the role play finishes in the classroom.

Students can also be asked to create a freeze frame, a frozen moment of their role play, sometimes called a tableau. Other students could comment on what is represented in the freeze frame – a theme, value, issue, characterisation etc. Students can be given the same scene to represent, different scenes or variations on a theme. A discussion and /or reflection are important to consolidate learning.

SCAMPER

First brainstorm (and list) and then use S.C.A.M.P.E.R to try to improve it.

Scenario Cafe

Imagine the future, imagine alternatives using the scenario cafe methodology.

Key question about the future: ….

  1. What if? Brainstorm alternatives.
  2. Scanning the horizon and examining the drivers of change
    1. Environment
    2. Politics
    3. Economics
    4. Culture
    5. Technology
  3. Flesh out the scenarios:
 

Best Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario

Alternative 1

   

Alternative 2

   

Socratic Dialogue

Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who developed a method of investigation through conversation involving deep questioning. Socratic dialogue involves an interlocutor or questioner who:

  1. Starts with a question: what is the philosophical problem we want to tackle? (For example, ‘Is it possible to be completely honest all the time?’)
  2. Leads us to discuss our own concrete, personal, everyday experience of this problem and asks critical, leading questions about that experience. Don’t be afraid to express your doubts and uncertainties. Do not use examples which are not from your own experience or which are hypothetical. Listen, be patient.
  3. Clarifies the deeper meanings that lie underneath this experience in a key generalisation, including the limitations of personal experience. This requires that you talk honestly and do not pass judgment. It also requires a certain level of openness and sensitivity to other people’s feelings.
  4. Strives to create a reasoned understanding that can be shared between the members of the dialogue, and a deeper level of knowledge than everyday or commonsense knowledge. What are the supporting arguments? What does the key generalisation presuppose or require? You need to respect other people’s points of view and be willing to change your view.
  5. Concludes with a statement of philosophical principle. Try to bring the conversation to a point of agreement—it’s not about one person in the conversation proving they are right.

Structured Academic Controversy

Structured academic controversy is a small-group discussion model, developed by David W. Johnson and Roger T. Johnson, to support students to gain a deeper understanding of an issue, to find common ground, and to make a decision based on evidence and logic.

In Experiencing the New students read/view and respond to appropriate background material on the selected issue; the background material should provide facts about the issue, as well as arguments favouring opposing views on the issue.

1. Pre-reading and reflection on the issue: Students are organised into groups of four, and each group is split into two pairs. One pair in a foursome studies one side of the controversy, while the second pair studies an opposing view. Partners read the background material and identify facts and arguments that support their assigned position. They prepare to advocate the position.

2. The presentations on the issue: Pairs take turns advocating their positions. Students on the other side make notes and ask questions about information they don’t understand. Next, pairs reverse positions. Each pair uses their notes and what they learned from the other side to make a short presentation demonstrating their understanding of the opposing view.

4. Responses to the presentations: Students leave their assigned positions and discuss the issue in their foursomes, trying to find points of agreement and disagreement among group members. Teams try to reach consensus on something; if they cannot reach consensus on any substantive aspect of the issue, they should try to reach consensus on a process they could use to resolve disagreements.

5. Responses by other teams: The class debriefs the activity as a large group, focusing on how the group worked as a team and how use of the process contributed to their understanding of the issue.

Taxonomy

Create a taxonomy which uses a tree structure to show how concepts are link to each other. Start with a ‘root’ or main concept, then show branches (child concepts) and sub-branches (children of children etc.). A taxonomy has more formal links than a Mind Map, and may be a way of visually mapping the terms in a glossary (as described in the ‘Conceptualising by Naming’ section, above). It can also be used in word study to explore prefixes, suffixes and root words.

Theory-Making

Write a theory using a language which describes underlying links and connections. Make the text clear enough for a well informed outsider to be able to understand something new. The theory may need to be supplemented by a taxonomy or a glossary. The theory could use language, image or mathematical symbols.

Thinkboards

Promotes conceptual understanding by enabling children to make connections. Design a large piece of card divided into 4 sections with each section displaying the same mathematical idea using different representations.

Four students are arranged around the board. They discuss and complete each section as it relates to their challenge. Responses are discussed in class. Think Boards can also be use in ‘Experiencing the known’.

‘What If?’ Scenarios

‘What if? Scenarios deepen understanding of a concept by exploring possibilities. For example:

  • Naming: Name the features of the food chain.
  • Theorising: What if you took out one link in the chain or added another? What if a drought killed one animal that was part of the food chain?

Active or Passive Headlines

Students develop an understanding of active and passive voice by exploring a data set of headlines. Firstly students identify the differences among the four sentences.

With a news story about refugees, students might consider:

Refugees throw children overboard.

Children are drowned by parents.

Children thrown overboard.

Children are casualties of government policy.

The key question is how these differences work. With passive voice responsibility is not assigned to anyone. Students might consider the newspaper’s position on refugees. Class definitions of active and passive voice are then discussed and finalised. Students then practise using active and passive voice in their own writing.

Analogy

Create an analogy matrix, in which A is to B as X is to Y.

Or write a paragraph explaining how one linked pair of things is like another.

Cut Ups

Take a text of any kind. Chop it into pieces at the paragraph level or at the sentence level. Student then have to put it back into the correct sequence. This develops an understanding of text and paragraph structure.

Event Modelling

A plan of a sequence of actions or events. For instance a UML diagram in which labelled boxes are ‘states’ and connecting lines are ‘actions’.

Instructions

A functional explanation of a product or activity, including:

  • Introduction: What something is meant to do.
  • Quick Start: A short overview of how to us it.
  • Functional Descriptions: Detailed instructions of the various aspects of use.
  • Help Menu: Index of functions and things you might want to know how to do.

Juxtaposition

Juxtapose two texts to compare and contrast their content, structure and language features. Students could also bring in their own texts to juxtapose with the class text or another student’s text. Juxtapose primary and secondary sources, novel and dramatic versions, novel and film versions, authors, maths solutions, science experiments etc. The more unusual and unexpected the juxtaposition, the richer the discussion is likely to be.

Literacy and Multiliteracies Analyses

Describe how language and multimodal texts work. For example, write an explanation or an author/creator’s guide. Explain how a text works to convey its meanings and serve its purposes.

Metaphor

Identify pattern similarities despite actual dissimilarities. For example, ‘The river snakes through the countryside’.

State 1, Literally

Abstract Connection

State 2, Literally

{in words:} The river has many twists and turns.

Twisting and turning.

{in words:} Snakes twist and turn as they move.

{in pictures or sounds or spaces or gestures – an aerial picture of a river}

 

{in pictures or sounds or spaces or gestures – a picture of a moving snake}

Noun Groups and Adverbials

Use a retrieval chart to analyse texts at the word level and to explicitly teach grammar. After identifying examples in context, students can then develop their own sentences using noun groups and adverbials.

Noun Groups

  Quantity Opinion Factual Classifying NOUN Adjectival
Phrase
Adjectival
Clause

The

many

 

ancient

marble

pillars

in the entry

which was
filled with people….

A

 

proud

white-haired

civic

leader

in front of the crowd

 

Adverbials

When?
Adverbial phrase of time

Who?
Noun group – subject of the verb

What?
VERB

How?
Adverbial manner

Where?
Adverbial phrase of place

In the spring

the boy and the swan

flew

together

in a magical world of silence.

Last night

they

ran

quickly

through the park.

Punctuation Rule – Making

Use a passage from a text to focus on a particular aspect of punctuation. Read and respond to the text before looking closely at the punctuation. In groups students identify punctuation rules from the passage. These are shared to create class rules and displayed for future reference. Students then practise using the punctuation in their own writing.

Ranking Text Activity

Find/write three or four models examples of a particular text type, e.g. narrative, exposition, procedure etc that you wish to focus on. Tell students the purpose of the text. In groups students rank them and justify their rankings. As students share their justifications, record their ideas into a chart. In the first row, focus on the text structure and content. In the second row, focus on language features. After you have recorded all of the justifications, tell students how you have organised them and add the headings for the rows. In groups discuss which features were most effective and necessary.

From this analysis students work in small groups to create rules for writing the text type, focusing on both the structure and language features. Discuss and combine the rules to create class rules. Display so students can refer to the poster when creating their own texts.

+ -




















Retrieval Chart

Analyse a text by identifying its features and their effects. Consider the features of linguistic, visual, audio, spatial and gestural modes.

Mode

Features

Effects

     
     
     

Once students have identified features and their effects, they can practise using some of the features. For example, if students identify use of tense, they could practise writing sentences from the text in different tenses. They could analyse these text innovations and see how these changes affect the text.

Sentence Data Sets

Create data sets of simple, compound and complex sentences. Students then generalise features and rules in punctuation.

Story Map

Story Map is a strategy that helps students to build a framework for understanding and remembering a narrative. Story Maps:

  • provide a useful visual outline for analysing narratives
  • provide a means to organise information
  • reinforce key elements of a narrative
  • provide a clear model for writing summaries and responses to narratives they have read

A story map can look like a map which the students draw freehand or include a structure such as a star.

Students can then report orally or in written form about their understandings gained from the text. They can develop a meaningful summary, linking together key information from the Story Star to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the text.

Structural Analysis

Link structure with function.

The thing we are examining: ….

Its Parts

What Each Part Does

   

Substitutions

Focus on aspects of grammar by identifying a particular feature, e.g. pronouns, tense, use of colour and shot type in visuals, tone and loudness in auditory texts etc, and substituting an alternative. For example students substitute ‘he’ with ‘they’ and then look at the implications for tense.

Text Annotations

Find/write a model/example of a particular text type, e.g. narrative, exposition, procedure etc that you wish to focus on. Glue it onto a larger sheet so there is room around the margins to annotate or label it. Tell students the purpose of the text. Then identify aspects of the text’s structure and its language features by writing them in the margins and drawing arrows to examples of them in the text. Then use a retrieval chart (above) to identify the effects of the language features in context. Students can refer to these when creating their own texts.

Text Innovations

Students take sentences form a text and rewrite them, replacing particular parts of speech and maintaining the structure of the sentence. This can be used to teach noun groups (adjective, noun, adjectival phrases and clauses) and adverbials (verb, adverb, adverbial phrases) and simple, compound and complex sentences, nominalisation, active and passive voice and tense as well as many other grammatical features. Model a text innovation in context and then students practise it. They then apply it when creating their own texts.

Alternative Mind Portrait

This strategy enables students to examine a topic or issue from more than one perspective. It can also identify perspectives that are silent or missing from a text. Draw two head silhouettes. Represent one perspective inside the first head and another perspective inside the second head by writing or drawing ideas that delineate that person’s perspective. More can be added by labeling ideas around the outside of the head. Students share their mind and alternative mind portraits with a partner.

Analytical Lenses

Students analyse an event from different perspectives by putting on a lens through which to interpret it. Consider a range of perspectives:

  • Feminism
  • Ageism
  • Religious beliefs
  • Marxism
  • Indigenous culture

CAMPER

Consequences Consistency
  • What are the consequences of believing this?
  • How consistent is the information?
Assumptions
Accuracy
  • What assumption have been made here?
  • How accurate is the data or information?
Meaning
Main Points
  • What is the meaning of this?
  • What are the main points?
Prejudice
Point of View
  • What prejudice is being shown here?
  • What other points of view could be expressed?
Evidence
Examples
  • What evidence is there to support the position or claims?
  • What examples are there to back-up the position or claims?
Relevance
Reliability
  • How relevant is the position or claims?
  • How reliable is the information, writer or source?

Consensus 1-3-6

Students generate a list of ideas about a topic or in response to a text. They then work in groups of three to combine their ideas into one list of statements but which is limited to a set number, e.g. 5 statements. They then discuss why items will be retained, discarded or modified as they finalise their list. Two groups of three then join and repeat the process. Complete the activity with a reflection.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Evaluating the consequences of an action.

Action: ……….

 

Costs

Benefits

Money

   

Time

   

People

   

Community

   

Environment

   

To help you in your cost-benefit analysis, you may wish to score costs and benefits. The ‘bottom line’ question is: do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Critical Assessment Tool

For assessing a proposition, organising your thoughts when making a decision, or comparing the advantages and disadvantages of something.

A PMI for Proposition: …………

Plus

Minus

Interesting

     

Or:

A PCI for Decision: …………

Pros

Cons

Implications

     

You may wish to give each of the positives a score +1 to +5, and the negatives -1 to -5 to help you with an overall assessment.

Critical Lenses

Explore specific points of view through a variety of specific lenses: environmentalist, Indigenous person, feminist, Marxist, historian, scientist, and people from different age groups, socio-economic backgrounds and careers/jobs. Use a PCQ to record their points of view.

Critical Literacy and Multiliteracies

Discuss what’s behind a text.

How does the text work to position a reader. How does it emphasise the author/creator’s choices (purpose)? What effects is it intended to have on audiences?

  • How does money, power, self-interest come into it?
  • How does idealism, morality, principle come into it?
  • How does ideology, propaganda, rhetoric come into it?
  • Who wins and who loses?

Critique: A Writing Frame

Write an article, such as an ‘opinion’ piece for a newspaper, or a review for a journal. The frame for writing a critique may include the following elements:

  • The field: what is the topic or issue being address?
  • Proponent 1: What is their case? What is their perspective? What are their interests?
  • Proponent 2: What is their case? What is their perspective? What are their interests? How is this different from the case put by proponent 1? (And the same for proponent 3 etc.)
  • Truth assessment: which perspectives are likely to be closest to the truth? Consider:
    • The facts: what is correct, misleadingly presented, incorrect?
    • Logic: which arguments are clear, persuasive, flawed or poor?
    • Perspective: how do the proponents’ interests affect their case? Are they neutral, balanced or biased?
  • The reviewer’s perspective: what your own perspective? How does this affect your assessment?

DEAF Thinking – Describe, Evaluate Analyse, Future Action

Describe: outline the scope and nature of the learning experience.

Evaluate: discern the strengths and weaknesses of the experience.

Analyse: reflect on the reasons why some aspects of the experience were successful or alternatively did not work well.

Future action: suggest changes for the future.

Debate

Arrange a formal debate on an issue.

Proposition: ‘That ……. ‘

  • Affirmative Speaker 1: Defines the proposition from the affirmative point of view.
  • Negative Speaker 1: Defines the proposition from the negative point of view.
  • Affirmative Speaker 2: Outlines the case for the affirmative.
  • Negative Speaker 2: Outlines the case for the negative
  • Affirmative Speaker 3: Rebuts the case made by the speakers for the negative.
  • Negative Speaker 3: Rebuts the case made by the speakers for the affirmative.
  • Affirmative Speaker 4: Summarises and closes the case for the affirmative.
  • Negative Speaker 4: Summarises and closes the case for the negative.

Four Corners

Students take a stance on a topic or statement by using to stand in a corner of the room. Each corner represents a different opinion:

  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

To prepare, write statements in a definitive manner. Controversial statements evoke more varied responses. Label each corner of the room with a sign stating strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. Engage the students in the strategy by sharing the first controversial statement. Students may first be required to write a short passage explaining their position on the topic. Then students report to the corner of the room that best matches their personal viewpoint.

The teacher can randomly call on students in each corner to share why they chose the given position. Otherwise, each corner’s group can discuss the statement and develop a collective response to be shared. Alternatively, the teacher can assign different groups to debate each other. For example, the agree and disagree students can debate while the strongly agree and strongly disagree students do the same. Another option is to have each group research their position and present a persuasive speech to the rest of the class supporting their position. After the groups have shared their information, it is interesting to repeat the activity with the same controversial statement. Have students reflect on their position now, and if it has changed.

The four corners teaching strategy also can be adapted into a simple game format that allows all students the opportunity to move around the classroom. For this modification, label the four corners of the room one, two, three and four. Also make four slips of paper that are labeled with the corresponding numbers. Have all students go to a corner of the classroom. The teacher draws a numbered slip of paper and asks a question to the given corner. If the students in the corner are able to answer the question correctly, students move around the room to another corner. If the students answered incorrectly, all students in that corner must return to their seats. Play continues until one student wins the game.

Another option is to use the four corners strategy for multiple choice questions. With this option, label each corner A, B, C or D. Ask a question and give four options. Students report to the option they believe is correct. All students who chose the right answer continue to play while others take their seats.

Moot Court

Try a person or an organisation in a moot court.

Case: ….. v. …….

  • The Plaintiff or Petitioner presents their opening argument. Make sure you cover: the facts, the law or rules and the application of the law or rules to your case.
  • The Plaintiff or Petitioner calls witnesses, and questions them in support of their case.
  • The Defendant or Respondent presents their rebuttal covering the facts, the law or rules and the application of the law or rules to this case.
  • The Defendant or Respondent cross-examines the Plaintiff or Petitioner’s witnesses, and introduces new witnesses.
  • The Plaintiff or Petitioner cross-examines the Defendant or Respondent’s witnesses.
  • The Defendant or Respondent presents their closing arguments.
  • The Plaintiff or Petitioner presents their closing arguments.
  • The Judges may seek clarification on certain points at any time. At the end of the case, they deliberate and present their decision. A jury may also make a decision on issues of fact, having been advised on the law or rules by the judge.

PCQ

PCQ (Pros, Cons, Questions) is useful for students to consider a topic in more depth and to consider different perspectives, for example on an environmental issue such as the culling of kangaroos.

Perspective

Pros

Cons

Questions

Farmer

 

   

Environmentalist

 

   

Indigenous person

     

Tourist

     

Perspectives

Ask students to stand in someone else’s shoes or to try to get into someone else’s head in order to understand how someone might think and feel as well as look at issues/problems/experiences from different perspectives. Provide students with guiding questions so they can reflect on the different perspective. Also consider which perspectives are missing or not heard.

Point of View Interviews

Students develop questions to explore the points of view of characters in fiction or real people in history or word issues. Other students research the person and then participate in an interview. These can also be ‘hot-seat’ interviews in which one student takes on the role of the character and other students take turns to question the character, relating to events in the story.

Polling

Create an online or paper-based opinion poll to assess the range of points of view on a topic.

  1. Create a the questions for the poll, including yes/no answers, multiple choice and rating scales.
  2. Decide on your sample: What kinds of people are you polling? How many are you polling?
  3. Conduct the poll – online, or on paper, or face-to-face.
  4. Collate the poll results and write a report.

Risk Assessment

Assessing and planning for risks.

Risk: …………

1. What are the hazards?

 

2. Who might be harmed?

 

3. What are our existing precautions or control measures?

 

4. What more could we do?

 

5. Are we doing enough? What more should we do?

 

Self Reflection Tools

Support students to access their thinking through a variety of self reflection tools including reflective diaries, blogs and wikis, learning portfolios, reflective journals, learning journals, concept maps, drawing metaphors, role plays and reflective exercises. Use prompts to scaffold the reflections. For example, ‘What did you learn?’, ‘How do you know that you have learnt it?’ and ‘How will you use that learning again?’ to ensure that students make the connections between their learning in one situation and the wider world. Reflection circles or Circle Time can be used for whole class reflections. Reflection circles occur when the whole class sits in a circle facing each other. The teacher is an active participant in this process. The reflection circle needs to have a focus which can be drawn from the reflective questions examples, learning goals or share time. It is important that class norms or protocols are established to ensure that all class members’ opinions are valued and that the culture is supportive. Students take it in turns to respond to the questions asked or to share their learning. They also use this time to ask questions of other students.

Six Thinking Hats

White

Neutral thinking – facts, data, information

Red

Emotional ‘gut reaction’ thinking with no judgement or justification

Black

Critical judgement of ideas – what are the negatives

Yellow

Positive perspectives

Green

New ideas, possibilities and creative alternatives

Blue

Control of the thinking; thinking about the thinking

Assign hats to individuals or groups – they can even wear them – to develop and to evaluate ideas. Use the hats in different sequences according to context.

SWOT Analysis

Assessing the strategic position of an organisation, community or group.

Organisation, Community or Group: …………

  • Advantages
  • Things you do well
  • Skills
  • Available resources
  • Other people’s positive perceptions
  • Disadvantages
  • Things you do badly and areas for improvement
  • Skills needed but not available
  • Resources needed but not easily accessed
  • Other people’s negative perceptions
  • Favourable aspects of the environment
  • Encouraging trends
  • Things you could do which would have a positive effect
  • Difficulties and problems
  • The obstacles you face
  • Dangers
  • Costs and resource availability

Strengths

Weaknesses

List:

List:

Opportunities

Threats

List:

List:

Who Gains? Who Loses

Who stands to gain?


Who stands to lose?

What are the environmental consequences?


What are the financial implications?

What are the effects on the community?


What are your questions?

Y Chart – Evaluative

Analysing the way something seems. What it:

  • Says it is
  • Looks and sounds like
  • Seems like (to me, to us … good, bad, helpful, unhelpful)

Consider other perspectives on the text. Use a Pros/Cons/Questions (PCQ) analysis from a variety of perspectives.

An extension of the Y chart is the X chart which includes What it thinks like.

Laying it on the Line

Cross Impact Grid

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis: ……..

  • Inductive reasoning: start by putting together facts or small pieces of information to make conclusions; the small pieces of the jig-saw puzzle that eventually create the bigger picture.
  • Deductive reasoning: start with big-picture views or theories, and find the bits that logically fit in.
  • Systems analysis: take out pieces out of the picture, remove parts of the system and see what changes.

Literacy Applications: Productive Activities

Learners write (a story, a newspaper article, a review, poetry, essay or exposition or persuasive text, explanation, procedure, report) or speak (a formal speech, an informal presentation, a debate) using the conventions of that genre.

Multiliteracies Applications: Productive Activities

Learners perform a play, create a website, make and deliver a PowerPoint presentation, make a video or a game, and create a photostory or photojournal, class anthology, time capsule, music and lyrics, soundscape, art works, advertising campaign, using the conventions of each genre.

Prediction

End a story or a non-fiction text, having been supplied half.

  • Predict:: Where will the text go next? What are the most likely scenarios?
  • Draft:: Write your ending to the text.
  • Compare: Look at the other half of the text. How was your ending similar or different?

Problem Solving

Create a predictable, conventional or ‘correct’ solution to a problem.

The Problem
Where?
When?
Who?
What?
Why?

 

Possible Solutions
How?

 

Trial
What?

 

Results

 

Storyboard

Create a story board which analyses these sequence of episodes in a real or fictional story – text, image, video, or real-life sequence of events. Make choices about its visual features to enhance the images.

Action Research

Research is about finding out. Mostly its outcomes are just knowledge, but there is no need to act on this knowledge. Action research is research that considers action and research, which informs action. It is about thinking and doing. Action research involves the following cycle:

Decision Making Strategy

  • Describe the decision that needs to be made the dilemma that underlies it.
  • Outline alternative approaches.
  • List criteria for that would represent positive outcomes of the decision and rank these.
  • Enact the decision.
  • Evaluate on the decision in relation to intended outcomes.

A Decision- Making Matrix

Criteria

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

       
       
       
       

Invention

  • Describe the goal or purposes of the invention.
  • Outline alternative approaches in plans or models.
  • Build a prototype.
  • Test the prototype; measure its effectiveness in relation to the initial goals and purposes of the invention.
  • Write an evaluation report which tells the story of the invention and assesses its effectiveness.

Kinaesthesia

Learners transfer meanings from one mode to another (such as from visual to linguistic or from linguistic to gestural), or from one medium to another, such as story to video. Or they transfer a set of meanings from one, familiar setting to another, less familiar setting, adjusting the mode and the medium to suit.

Knowledge Transfer

Use the knowledge you have acquired (new experiences, concepts, theories, analyses, appropriate applications) and apply this in a different setting, to a different subject matter or to a different problem. Reflect on the similarities and differences between the original and the new context.

Literacy Applications: Productive Activities

Learners write mixing genres, creating an original, hybrid work.

Multiliteracies Applications: Productive Activities

Learners create a multimodal text which mixes modes of meaning (linguistic, visual, gestural, audio and spatial), media and genres in an original or hybrid way.

Personal Action Plan

Turn an idea into action.

  • My goal.
  • My commitment: what I will need to do to meet my goal.
  • Action step 1
  • Action step 2 … etc.
  • The resources and support I will need.
  • Possible barriers: things that might help me reach my goal.
  • Performance measures: how I will know I have met my goal; what I will have achieved,

Problem Defining

In the ‘Applying Appropriately’ section, we discussed problem solving technique. Even harder is to define what the problem is. Take a situation, and discuss the key problems that require a solution.


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