Strategies for developing literacy skills

List and briefly describe five strategies you will use for teaching literacy to middle years students.

 

For improving vocabulary and communication skills:

  • Semantic maps: a graphic organiser that helps students visually organise the relationship between pieces of work, revolving around a key word/s. Students share the recorded words, then as a class the words are categorised. Once category names are assigned, a class map is created and discussed.
  • Word Wizard/word connect

For comprehension for referred meaning: 

  • Turn on the meaning, by introducing the metaphor of turning on a light in a person’s mind when they have a ‘bright idea’. Ask the question, ‘How is getting an idea like turning on a light bulb in your mind?’ OR explain that as they read, students can ‘turn on’ the meaning by using questions as ‘switches’ to help them understand the writer’s ideas. OR ask students if there is only one meaning in a text. Discuss how there can be more than one interpretation, more than one kind of meaning.

For identifying perspectives in texts (we highlighted this strategy during our NAPLAN discussion at the Intensives):

  • Comparing opinions: Students examine two letters of differing opinion from a local newspaper, identify the writer’s point of view, the arguments used to support this point of view and the conclusions presented. They will then evaluate the effectiveness of the arguments by these writers. Students can then write their own letter to the editor on a topic chosen by the class.


For reading:

  • Be a reading detective:

    This helps to read deliberately and logically (strategically).

    During this activity, students analyse the task and themselves as readers to understand: • why they are reading • how difficult the material is • how long it will take them to read it • what kind of information is presented • what they should know when they finish reading.

  • And of course, modelling good practice, guided reading with small focus groups, shared reading, reading aloud and independent reading. At my current placement school, buddy reading is used successfully for ESL students to connect to peers and learn more about the new culture.
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