PETAA Papers

Practical articles focusing on a specific aspect of English teaching

Receiving three new PETAA papers annually and access to the entire digital collection is one of the many entitlements of PETAA membership.

 become a member to receive future PETAA Papers and to access our entire archive.
  • Rocks in the head
  • Authors in schools
  • Beyond the classroom
  • Writing a unit
  • Child looking at gem stonesRocks in the head: Children and the language of Geography

    By Beverly Derewianka

    This PETAA Paper describes an action learning project involving a class of seven-year-olds in a country school in Australia . Their teacher, Fran Egan, had been introduced to Michael Halliday's Functional Grammar (2007) and was keen to try applying her new insights about language in her classroom.

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    Writer and author on feature graphicWriting the Future: authors in schools project

    By Tracy Grice

    This PETAA Paper by literacy coach and creator of the Writers Read podcast Tracy Grice outlines the work that author-in-residence Louise Park undertook at Concordia College in 2018, with a focus on Year 5 students, as part of PETAA’s Writing the Future outreach supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

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    Students at Londonderry School on stage'Writing beyond the classroom using the community as a resource

    By Adam Hall

    This paper focusses on and unpacks the rich learning experiences that were created when members of the community were invited into the classroom to share their stories, aspirations inspirations with students, and, using a multilietracy pedagogy, students were able to develop and tell community stories in a This Is Your Life type performance.

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    Student with the featured book ‘Mechanica'Let’s write a unit (based on a quality text and tailored to your students’ needs)

    By Michael Murray and Dr Lorraine Beveridge

    Teachers are great at sharing, evidenced by the plethora of literature-based units by teachers available online (including those published for PETAA members). This paper, which includes exemplars and downloadable resources, outlines a seven-step collaborative process to write a unit of work.

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Explore the full digital list of PETAA Papers below. The key icon denotes member-only access.

Discover a rich back list  (including e:updates and PENs) in PETAA’s open access and member archives.

Reflect on evolving teaching practice over time in the archival list of PENs and PETAA Papers.

Digital list of PETAA Papers

PETAA PAPER 216 — Writing beyond the classroom using the community as a resource

Date of Publication: 23/04/2020
This PETAA Paper in 2019 by Adam Hall explains a school project that involved community members sharing their stories, aspirations and inspirations with students, which students then used for writing designed to motivate them to engage authentically

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PETAA PAPER 218 — Rocks in the head: Children and the language of geography

Date of Publication: 24/03/2020 
This PETAA Paper in 2020, originally published by Beverly Derewianka in 1990, describes an action research project involving a class of seven-year-olds at a country school in Australia.

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PETAA PAPER 217 — Writing the future: authors in schools project

Date of Publication: 18/03/2020 
This PETAA Paper in 2019 by Tracy Grice outlines the work that author-in-residence Louise Park undertook at Concordia College in 2018, with a focus on Year 5 students, as part of PETAA’s Writing the Future outreach supported by the Copyright Agency

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PETAA PAPER 215 — Let’s Write a Unit

Date of Publication: 6/06/2019 
This PETAA Paper by Michael Murray and Dr Lorraine Beveridge in 2019 includes exemplars and downloadable resources and outlines a collaborative process to write a unit of work based on a quality text and tailored to student needs.

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PETAA PAPER 214 — Explicit teaching of the alphabetic principle

Date of Publication: 24/02/2019 
This PETAA paper by Jennifer Asha in 2019 examines the practice of four experienced teachers as they respond to the needs of their students and the demands of texts, in order to shine a light on best practice for teaching the alphabetic principle.

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PETAA PAPER 213 — My language is in my heart and my head

Date of Publication: 15/10/2018 
This PETAA Paper by Janet Dutton, Jacqueline D’warte, Joanne Rossbridge and Kathy Rushton in 2018, subtitled ‘Hearing student voices in multilingual classrooms’, complements and extends the approach detailed in the PETAA book Tell Me Your Story

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PETAA PAPER 212 — Digital technologies as tools for teaching with intent

Date of Publication: 17/07/2018
As a companion piece to the PETAA book Teaching with Intent this paper by Louise Walker and Michael Cannavan in 2018 shares experience of the purposeful use of technology in scaffolding academic language with educationally marginalised students

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PETAA PAPER 211 — The Power of Teacher Talk: Developing quality mentoring relationships

Date of Publication: 16/04/2018 
This PETAA Paper by Gill Pennington and Margaret Turnbull in 2018 explores ways of improving the quality of mentoring relationships in schools by focusing on professional dialogue, extending understandings of the value of talk in the classroom ...

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PETAA PAPER 210 — Using children’s picture books to support EAL/D students

Date of Publication: 5/12/2017
This PETAA paper by Janet Fellowes in 2017 explores the value of quality picture books in the English language classroom, drawing together principles for teaching English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) and classroom use.

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PETAA PAPER 209 — Understanding research and evidence: a guide for teachers

Date of Publication: 4/12/2017 
This PETAA paper by Susan Feez and Robyn Cox in 2017 explores what is meant by evidence, data, research and methodology, to then consider how teachers might best use research evidence for improved language and literacy outcomes.

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PETAA PAPER 208 — The literacy of mathematics

Date of Publication: 18/08/2017 
This PETAA Paper by Jennifer Way and Janette Bobis in 2017 explores some interrelationships between learning mathematics and literacy development, particularly the less obvious ways in which literacy and mathematical activity are inter-twined.

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PETAA PAPER 207 — Making the most out of picture prompts for writing in assessment contexts

Date of Publication: 17/08/2017 
This PETAA Paper by Dr Katherine Bates in 2017 explores the different ways that images are used in national writing assessments. It includes strategies for unpacking meaning potential in assessment contexts with the support of a rubric.

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PETAA PAPER 206 — Two weeks with Oliver Jeffers

Date of Publication: 16/03/2017
This PETAA Paper by Robyn Ewing, Kathy Rushton and Jon Callow in 2017 uses an author study of Oliver Jeffers to explore playing with language, exploratory talk, storytelling, drawing and sharing contemporary literature as part of early literacy ...

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PETAA PAPER 205 — Educating for values and diversity through culturally inclusive children’s lit

Date of Publication: 15/02/2017 
This PETAA Paper by Helen Adam and Laurie Harper in 2016 highlights research-based, best instructional practice, to assist teachers to select and use literature with students as they implement the Australian Curriculum: English.

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PETAA PAPER 204 — Building bridges: Dramatic dialogue in early childhood classes

Date of Publication: 18/08/2016
This PETAA Paper by Annette Harden in 2016 describes an approach to pedagogy in early childhood classrooms that introduces children to literacy through engaging them with guided drama and puppetry experiences.

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PETAA PAPER 203 — The power of poetry

Date of Publication: 14/07/2016 
This PETAA Paper by Catherine Oehlman with Libby Hathorn in 2016 combines the insights of classroom practitioner and poet to explore the empathetic, perceptive and expressive power of poetry for children.

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PETAA PAPER 202 — Engaging and supporting all our students to read and learn from reading

Date of Publication: 12/05/2016 
This PETAA Paper by David Rose in 2016 outlines a set of strategies, based on practical classroom research, that are designed to help teachers meet the complex requirements of curriculum, student behaviour and individual needs

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PETAA PAPER 201 — Students writing with new technologies

Date of Publication: 12/11/2015
This PETAA Paper, which takes in the 2015 Donald Graves Address by Associate Professor Lisa Kervin, identifies pertinent messages from Graves’ work and considers what these might mean as children write with new technologies.

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PETAA PAPER 200 — Connecting research and practice

Date of Publication: 28/08/2015
This PETAA Paper by Marcelle Holliday celebrates its status as Number 200 by exploring the methods and collaborative potential of action research, using PETAA publications and resources for professional learning

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PETAA PAPER 199 — Learning vocabulary in context

Date of Publication: 18/08/2015 
This PETAA Paper by Jennifer Miller looks briefly at research into vocabulary and learning, and offers some practical examples and strategies for focusing explicitly on learning vocabulary in context. This PETAA Paper is usually locked to members;

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PETAA PAPER 198 — The Literacy of History

Date of Publication: 3/03/2015 
This PETAA Paper by Penny Hutton and Catherine Smythe explore the types of literacies that history privileges and the literacy skills, knowledge and understandings required to be successful students of history in the primary years.

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PETAA PAPER 197 — Responding to literature: Talking about books in Literature Circles

Date of Publication: 10/11/2014 
This PETAA Paper revisits Literature Circles to provide strong support for teachers looking to find a way to embed informed appreciation of literary texts in English programs which align with the Australian Curriculum.

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PETAA PAPER 196 — The critical conversation about text: Joint construction

Date of Publication: 3/11/2014
This PETAA Paper considers theory related to learning and pedagogy, particularly in regards to the joint construction of knowledge and language, and then applies those ideas to practice by considering the design of teaching and learning ...

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PETAA PAPER 195 — Talk moves: A repertoire of practices for productive classroom dialogue

Date of Publication: 4/07/2014
This PETAA paper will assist teachers (through practical examples) to recognise the particular talk moves which form a repertoire of classroom talk practices specifically aimed at supporting the development of language.

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PETAA PAPER 194 — Teachers as writers: Implications for identity

Date of Publication: 4/06/2014 
This PETAA paper draws upon research in the area; seeks to enable teachers to reflect upon themselves as writers outside school; and explores multiple ways in which teachers can model being a writer in the classroom.

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PETAA PAPER 193 — Developing intercultural understanding through Asian-Australian literature

Date of Publication: 21/02/2014 
This PETAA Paper discusses how the cross-curriculum priority concerned with developing Asia literacy, namely ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’, can be significantly advanced through the study of children's literature.

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PETAA PAPER 192 — Grammar in the Early Years: A games-based approach

Date of Publication: 1/11/2013 
This PETAA Paper has a focus on the the manner in which one school developed and integrated the teaching of grammar, from a functional perspective, into existing literacy session routines, using a games-based approach.

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PETAA PAPER 191 — Towards a model for 21st century literacy learning in the early years classroom

Date of Publication: 31/10/2013 
This PETAA Paper by Dr Karen McLean has a focus on the implications for educational practice of the integration of technologies in the literacy context, for early years schooling, and includes advice around a range of practical strategies.

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PETAA PAPER 190 — Literacy within, across and beyond the curriculum

Date of Publication: 30/08/2013
This PETAA Paper by Lorrae Ward in 2013 argues that to ignore the rich learning experiences beyond the school gates and outside the curriculum is to trivialise the world young people inhabit and risk making school irrelevant.

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PETAA PAPER 189 — The Literacy of Geography

Date of Publication: 7/01/2013 
John Butler writes ‘For decades the ideas and methods of geography have been submerged or forgotten in many primary classrooms, but in the new geography curriculum there is an emphasis on the place of Geography in a child’s understanding of the world

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Explore the digital list for contemporary and landmark PETAA Papers (and PENs) in digital format. Discover a rich back list of articles (including e:updates and PENs) in PDF format in PETAA’s open access and member archives. Reflect on evolving teaching practice over time in the archival list of PENs and PETAA Papers. The key icon in the digital list denotes member access.