Teaching with Intent 2: Literature-based literacy teaching and learning

by Bronwyn Parkin and Helen Harper

Chapter 12 - Programming


Teaching and learning activities focused on one text in a literature-based literacy program can take anything from five weeks to a term to complete. Preparation requires thinking across three time scales:

• Planning how to use the whole text, which happens before the start of the term.
• Sequencing the teaching and learning activities for each focus passage, to take the class from Close Reading through Transformations to Writing.
• Programming those activities into a weekly timetable.

The advantage of planning a literature-based literacy program is that most of the hard work is done at the beginning of the term, and we then have five to ten weeks of explicit teaching ready to jump into. Planning is most effectively and efficiently done in professional learning teams, where talk around the text helps to clarify what the text is doing and therefore what learning goals are possible. Working collaboratively also helps to ease the planning load.

We have already covered all aspects of term planning previously in this book. We have discussed how to:

• Select an engaging age-appropriate text (see Chapter 2).
• Identify focus passages from within the text for close study (see Chapter 2).
• Carry out a text analysis for each focus passage (see Chapter 3).
• From the text analysis, identify the learning goals for reading, spelling and writing (outlined as the teaching sequence has been unpacked in each chapter).

Additional guidance is provided in this chapter.

Of course literature-focused activities are the core of our explicit teaching in literacy, but they need consolidation. They are supplemented by regular practice of reading, writing and spelling in the class literacy block. This chapter concludes with an explanation of how this explicit teaching fits with other literacy activities in the classroom.

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