Appendix 4.1.3c Overarching Strategies of Writing Film Reviews
4.2 Differentiation by Process
4.2.1 Exemplar 4 Examining Characterisation Techniques through Reading Circles
This exemplar will help you understand:
1. how reading circles can provide different ability students with the room to experience higher-level thinking processes based on their readiness; and
2. how the Parallel Curriculum Model can be used to support students in inquiry-based discovery learning around a big question in regular English classes.
Lesson Piloted by: Ms Jocelyn FUNG Wing-yee, Creative Primary School Level of Students: Primary 4
Focused Differentiation Strategies: Reading Circles, Parallel Curriculum Model
The lessons aim to develop students’ knowledge and skills of understanding characterisation and the theme of a story.
Core Objectives (for all students):
By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:
• identify the traits of a protagonist in a story; and
• understand the intention, attitudes and feelings conveyed through characters in a story by recognising features such as the choice of language.
Extended Objectives (for high ability/gifted students):
By the end of the lessons, the high ability/gifted students will be able to:
• self-monitor learning by using strategies such as checking understanding against predictions, re-reading, using context, reading further to clarify, asking for help; and
• identify the purposes of the target writing techniques to find out the connections between techniques and characterisation.
aterials: Grounded to Earth by Torran Anderson cle 1 (RC1) – High ability/gifted groups (Levelled Book N, Word Count: 644) cle 2(RC2) – Above average/average groups (Levelled Book K, Word Count: 393) cle 3 (RC3) – Weaker groups (Levelled Book H, Word Count: 225) In what way does the writer demonstrate the changes in the main character’s personality in Grounded to Earth? e big question serves to be a common goal for all students that connects the differentiated learning experiences throughout a ies of lessons. elp students build the knowledge to respond to the big question, you may develop questions of the day to help students nstruct concepts and organise the constructed knowledge in the lessons spanning a few days. StageObjectivesActivity In what way does the writer demonstrate the main character, Zorb, is among us? •Preview the book cover with students with prompts appropriate to their readiness to get a sense of the content of Grounded to
n of the Day orkshop Lead-in
To assist students in constructing concepts and develop skills To get students prepared for advanced work at levels based on their mastery of reading skills/levels of intellectual demand
RC1RC2RC3 All were hunting for what was happening in the story!
Silent reading.Reading Workshop
To foster the independent reading environment RC1: •To increase students’ sense of ownership and responsibility in collaborative learning •To arouse students’ awareness of the multiple facets of personality in characterisation RC2: •To strengthen students’ motivation to learn from a text with support RC3: •To strengthen students’ strategies to understand a text and its structure through explicit instruction
•Use collaborative reading to have students explore and respond to a general question about the protagonist in the story. See Appendix 4.2.1a. •Help students use the Concept Formation Model to: - brainstorm any ideas or adjectives they have from the story to talk about Zorb; - categorise adjectives and label the different groups; - express their views developed and organised in patterns
•Use supported reading to invite students to share good vocabulary or phrases from the story for appreciation in the circle. See Appendix 4.2.1b. •Guide students to analyse the protagonist from general to specific. See Appendix 4.2.1c.
•Use supported reading through a 5Ws-and-1H mind map to guide students to consolidate and clarify thoughts based on their understanding of the story. See Appendix 4.2.1d. “That may not be right…” Criticism was welcome but it had to come with reason and courtesy (right and below).
Check poin t:Parallel Curriculum Model •Curriculum of Identity
•Conclude the discussion by leaving a thought-provoking statement such as this: People have different personalities. •Connect the conclusive statement with students’ reflections on themselves and/or the people around them. For example, ask students, “Zorb is among us! Do you think you have different personalities like Zorb? Share your experiences and views.”
The Curriculum of Identity will help: - you and your students personalise the discussions; - help your students reflect on the relationship between the skills and the techniques they are learning from story writing and their own lives, observations, experiences, and personal growth; and - help your students understand that characters are like us in life—this is a technique a writer uses to make the reader feel assimilated into a story.
A graphic organiser template was used as a prompt to encourage the students to conceptualise ideas and visualise the patterns in their minds. Some students (below) used the template as a base for each member to contribute vocabulary and expressions hence a wider variety of input in a group. Another group was encouraged to think out of the template to present their ideas differently in a mind map (above).
Post-reading ConclusionTo reflect on what students have learnt To un
derstand and appreciate work among different groups To cultivate a team spirit among the whole class
•Complete “My Discoveries” as a reflection. •Different groups share with the whole class what they have done and learnt.
StageObjectivesActivity In what way does the writer demonstrate Zorb’s multi-faceted personality? Play a game to review what was covered in the last lesson. See Appendix 4.2.1e. •Use the jigsaw reading activity, Mixed Salad, to analyse the complexity of characterisation through the protagonist, Zorb, with evidence from the story. See Appendix 4.2.1g.
Review what was covered in the last lesson by describing Zorb about a question that guides students to revisit the character from two sides such as “Which one is Zorb, a pleasant or unpleasant boy?” You may refer to Appendix 4.2.1c for ideas to conduct this pre-reading lead-in. •Use the jigsaw reading activity, Character Tracker, to analyse the two sides of characterisation through Zorb with hints provided. See Appendix 4.2.1h.
Review what was covered in the last lesson by retelling the story according to the mind- map done in the previous lesson. Play a game developed from the modified version of “What is and what is not about Zorb?” as in Appendix 4.2.1f. •Guide students to compare the behaviour of Zorb on different occasions in the story to analyse the characterisation. See Appendix 4.2.1i.
n of the Day orkshop Lead-in orkshop
To get students prepared for advanced work at levels based on their mastery of reading skills/levels of intellectual demand RC1: •To build skills and strategies to find evidence for a purpose which students define independently and collaboratively RC2: •To build skills and
In what way does that the writer demonstrate the changes in the main character’s personality in Grounded to Earth?
“Other characters make Zorb more real,” a student commented ernestly in “Mixed Salad”(above). Students had an equal share of autonomy to express and contribute thoughts in the differentiated activities (right).
strategies to find evidence for a purpose under structured instruction RC3: •To build skills and strategies to find evidence for a purpose with the use of visual and auditory cues
t-reading clusionTo reflect on what students have learnt To understand and appreciate work among different groups To cultivate a team spirit among the whole class
• Complete “My Discoveries” as a reflection. • Different groups share with the whole class what they have done and learnt. A student consolidating his thought as he answered the question of the day inspired other classmates.
StageObjectivesActivity In what way does the writer demonstrate the changes in the main character’s personality? •Run the Choo Choo Train with your students: each student describes the protagonist, Zorb, by contributing a few sentences to help the group make a narrative of Zorb with their prior knowledge and understanding from lessons 1 and 2. See Appendix 4.2.1j for notes and demonstration examples. •Review the relationship among the multi-faceted personality of Zorb, the events, and the meanings of the story.
•Use the adjective cards in Appendix 4.2.1a to review with students how Zorb changed throughout the story under the headings of “The Zorb Before” and “The Zorb After”.
•Use the quote cards as suggested in Appendix 4.2.1m to review with students the changes in Zorb through events.
Question of the Day Pre-workshop Lead-in RC1: •To give students an opportunity to activate and apply their prior knowledge in a collaborative learning setting RC2: •To increase students’ engagement in the reading process •To understand the relationship between the writer and the reader RC3: •To organise knowledge for use in the future
Lesson 3: Big Question: In what way does that the writer demonstrate the changes in the main character’s personality in Grounded to Earth?
•See Appendix 4.2.1k. Use the Character Kaleidoscope to classify the three techniques of presenting the changes in Zorb and other characters. •Students choose to accomplish an analytical task or a writing task using any combinations of the three techniques according to their choice.
•Have students discuss whether Zorb became a better or worse boy at the end of the story. Students identify the differences in Zorb. Adapt the Character Kaleidoscope to assist students to find out how the story presents the different traits of Zorb. •Students work in pairs. Each pair gets a hint card. Find out whose words/actions they were and how they changed Zorb. Share their views in the group. See Appendix 4.2.1l. •Use the placemats to write to Zorb some advice to help him get through the emotional problems as he communicated with others.
•Study and discuss with students how the adjectives and descriptions in the quote cards as in Appendix
4.2.1m develop the characterisation of Zorb. •Read aloud the quotes to partners with appropriate tone, voice and body language to express Zorb’s emotions and personalities.
g WorkshopRC1: •To identify the purposes of the target writing techniques to find out the connections between techniques and characterisation. RC2: •To make meanings from the story based on relationships between characters and events. RC3: •To apply the phrases as they extend the characterisation of a character in a story. “It was not only because of emotions, but because of the people around who made Zorb reacted differently,” a student elaborated his points from the Character Kaleidoscope (above). “In fact, screaming doesn’t help,” another student exclaimed as she was trying to advise Zorb to deal with emotional problems (right).
•Complete “My Discoveries” as a reflection. •Different groups share with the whole class what they have done and learnt. Conclusion• To reflect on what students have learnt • To understand and appreciate work among different groups • To cultivate a team spirit among the whole class
Students created new settings for their stories to develop. For more of the piloted materials as reference, please approach the Gifted Education Section, Curriculum Development Institute, Education Bureau via the contact information on p.9.