Department of education and children’s services unit plan English

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Unit plan English

C2 C


Examining humour in poetry

Year Level







5 weeks

Unit Outline

In this unit students identify and analyse the literary devices of humour used in poetry by different authors. Students create a humorous poem and present it to a familiar audience in an informal context.

Curriculum intent:

  • Content descriptions

  • Language/Cultural Considerations

  • Teaching Strategies




Text structure and organisation

Understand how texts vary in complexity and technicality depending on the approach to the topic, the purpose and the intended audience

Recognise how quotation marks are used in texts to signal dialogue, titles and quoted (direct) speech
Expressing and developing ideas

Understand that the meaning of sentences can be enriched through the use of noun groups/phrases and verb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases

Noun groups are made by adding adjectives to nouns. In English, we prefer an order for adjectives (for example ‘a beautiful red balloon’ rather than ‘a red beautiful balloon’).

This preference for opinion adjectives before factual ones is innate for native English speakers because of their sense of the language, but should be taught to EAL/D students.

Show students how to select from a range of adjectives to construct noun groups that describe people and objects such as those in illustrations.

Investigate how quoted (direct) and reported (indirect) speech work in different types of text

The conversion from dialogue to reported speech requires sophisticated knowledge of the tenses, which will be challenging for all EAL/D students.

In English, tense is marked through the verbs. Not all languages mark time in this way, nor in the complex manner of English, which has more than nine tenses.

Show EAL/D students the way in which the tense changes from dialogue (‘I will go to the park’) to reported speech (‘He told me he was going to the park’).

Provide models and opportunities for oral practice of the tense changes.

Use examples from texts, particularly dialogue in imaginative texts, to teach direct speech.

Incorporate new vocabulary from a range of sources into students’ own texts including vocabulary encountered in research

EAL/D students already have at least one other language, which is a rich resource in the classroom.

When exploring word origins, look also for English words that have their origin in the languages of students in the classroom. This builds pride and self– esteem, and a whole– class appreciation of diversity (for example checkmate, in chess, comes from the Arabic ‘The King is dead’).

Understand how to use strategies for spelling words, including spelling rules, knowledge of morphemic word families, spelling generalisations, and letter combinations including double letters
Every language produces its own phonemes (sounds). Some of the phonemes of English will be new for EAL/D students in the Beginning phase of language learning and are difficult to distinguish and reproduce (for example str, thr).

The vowel sounds in English are particularly nuanced with 20 different vowel sounds.

Provide multiple strategies for understanding how words are spelt, not always relying on the sounds as these are difficult for Beginning English language students (for example use visual memory especially for irregular words such as should and words with silent letters).

Responding to literature

Discuss literary experiences with others, sharing responses and expressing a point of view

Use metalanguage to describe the effects of ideas, text structures and language features of literary texts

EAL/D students may not have had cumulative exposure to the Australian Curriculum and may not have built a metalanguage for talking about texts.

Provide glossaries and annotated examples of work that make metalinguistic terminology clear.
Examining literature

Discuss how authors and illustrators make stories exciting, moving and absorbing and hold readers’ interest by using various techniques, for example character development and plot tension

EAL/D students may not have had cumulative exposure to the Australian Curriculum and may not be familiar with metalanguage that has been introduced in earlier years.

Provide explanations and examples of the metalanguage used in examining literature (for example characterisation, plot development).

Provide glossaries and classroom– constructed wall charts to assist EAL/D students.

Understand, interpret and experiment with a range of devices and deliberate word play in poetry and other literary texts, for example nonsense words, spoonerisms, neologisms and puns

The ability to play and innovate with language is a very advanced language skill that all EAL/D students will find challenging. It requires a wide vocabulary but also relies on cultural references that may not be in the experiences of the EAL/D learner.

Explain puns and spoonerisms by unpacking the way they have been constructed and explaining the cultural context. Visuals can help.

Nonsense words and neologisms are often formed on an intuitive instinct for the way morphemes work in English. This can be a teaching opportunity for EAL/D students.
Creating literature

Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining

All students have rich experiences and knowledge that are valuable resources to be drawn upon to add to the learning experiences of all students in the classroom.

Draw upon the experiences of all students when modeling possible story starters to the class.

Interacting with others

Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently

Every language produces its own phonemes (sounds). Some of the phonemes of English will be new for EAL/D students and difficult to distinguish and reproduce. This means that a Standard Australian accent is difficult to reproduce and comprehend, and may cause them stress when speaking in groups.

Work with EAL/D students to assist them with particular sounds and intonation (rise and fall of speech), providing them with oral practice so that they are more easily understood by the audience.

Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences

Interaction skills are culturally specific. Eye contact, social distance, expected voice qualities and methods of presenting differ according to culture.

Explicitly model the requirements of interaction skills.

Provide support in the form of extra rehearsal. Filming a rehearsal and analysing it with the student can be beneficial. Provide an explicit and analytical marking key so that students are aware of what is being assessed.

Interpreting, analysing, evaluating

Identify characteristic features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text

Read different types of texts by combining contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge using text processing strategies for example monitoring meaning, cross checking and reviewing

EAL/D students in the Beginning and Emerging phases of English language learning will not have the semantic and grammatical resources to read different types of texts independently.

Provide students in the Beginning and Emerging phases of English language learning with a variety of texts with content of interest to them, and supportive vocabulary and syntax, such as texts that make use of repeated phrases or refrains and support their reading.

Provide students in the Developing and Consolidating phases of English language learning with scaffolds and vocabulary lists to help them engage with new texts.

Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts

Inferences are made through an assumption of cultural knowledge, or through an understanding of a range of vocabulary (for example good synonym knowledge), or from the use of reference words, or through literary devices such as metaphor.

Provide EAL/D students with specific instruction in these language features to access meaning in texts (for example model how to combine information from two different sentences to answer a question).
Creating texts

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features

Text structures are socially constructed, and so are not universal. EAL/D students with print literacy in their first language may have other expectations and experiences of how a text is structured.

EAL/D students may not have had cumulative exposure to the Australian Curriculum and may not be familiar with the range of text types experienced by other students.

Provide text structure frameworks within which to write specific types of texts.

Use model texts to demonstrate and explain the steps in a type of text. Engage students in teacher– led joint construction of new types of texts. EAL/D students in the Beginning phase of English language learning will require extra scaffolds such as sentence stems and vocabulary lists.

Reread and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure\

In order to edit, students need to have the linguistic resources to identify mistakes. An error is usually indicative of the student’s position on the EAL/D learning progression and is reflective of what they have yet to learn. EAL/D students in the Beginning and Emerging phases of English language learning are unlikely to be able to self– correct errors in writing, or recognise the alternative choices when using a spell check function.

Supply a scaffolded editing checklist for EAL/D students (for example underlining a spelling mistake and indicating which letters are incorrect; underlining a word in the incorrect tense and indicating which tense was required).

Write using clearly-formed joined letters, and develop increased fluency and automaticity

Some EAL/D students may not have experienced a written script in any language

Be aware of the print literacy experiences of EAL/D students. Family members can provide this information.

Use a range of software including word processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements

EAL/D students’ knowledge of ICT may be much less or much better developed than their peers. Different languages have different placement of keys on the keyboard, and so EAL/D students’ ability to word process may be affected.

Explicitly teach keyboard skills, including charts that show upper-case and lower-case matches (as keyboards are in the upper case).

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