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Four Kids, etc., Y7 research unit, lesson 1, author
Click here for the complete unit
 
Planning for Lesson 1
Objectives
• 7S1: extend their use and control of complex sentences by: a) recognising and using subordinate clauses; c) deploying subordinate clauses in a variety of positions within the sentence;
• 7R2: use appropriate reading strategies to extract particular information, e.g. highlighting, scanning;
• 7R4: make brief, clearly-organised notes of key points for later use;
• 7Sp&L11: adopt a range of roles in discussion, including acting as spokesperson, and contribute in different ways such as promoting, opposing, exploring and questioning.

Starter
• Organising clauses into complex sentences.

By way of explanation, demonstrate the activity, pointing out the choices writers can make about the position of clauses in sentences and the function of commas to separate the information (like handles that can be used to lift the additional information out of the sentence).


Then give pupils large cut-up clauses from a long sentence about Siobhán Parkinson and some spare commas! They reconstruct the sentence, arranging the clauses to make sense and adding in commas where necessary.


Differentiate by giving simpler or more complex series of clauses to different groups. More able pupils could be given the basic facts and asked to include these in a sentence that they construct themselves.
Compare results and clarify effect on the conciseness of expression achieved by combining information in this way.

Introduction
• Discuss what we need to know about an author (and why) - think about authors they have met/know about and what difference that makes when reading their books. Create list of headings for later use - and show pupils that their ideas are being organised.


• Pupils evaluate potential usefulness/reliability of a list of sources of information. Pupils brainstorm this list or work from a list provided.


• From one of the sources of information (focus on the O’Brien Author Profile, paragraphs 3&4 - see OHT, p10), model how to search for information and how to make notes under the headings created above (focusing on just one area for this demonstration, e.g. awards and reviews): consider the likely information in the text; skim text for the gist, focus on a key area/question; scan for particular information; techniques like highlighters, notes in margin, lists of points, abbreviations.


• Explain the jigsaw activity (see Development) including a demonstration of how to give feedback as a spokesperson as this is often a weakness in jigsaw activities: e.g. don’t just read out your notes; explain the point fully, clearly and make it sound interesting; link your points with those already made; be prepared to answer questions which seek clarification.

Development
• Jigsaw activity (over two lessons):
Pupils have a part-completed grid on which to gather more information about Parkinson under the headings created at the beginning of the introduction, using other sources. Pupils will have a particular resource to work from - differentiated - and each pupil will be expected to give some feedback.


• Re-group so each resource is represented in each group, as far as possible. Take turns to feed back findings to others in the group, who record points on own grids to create a fuller picture. Unlikely to complete this part of the task this lesson.

Plenary
• Review of reading strategies and note-making techniques - including where pupils might use these skills elsewhere in the curriculum and individual consideration of own strengths and weaknesses.

Homework (if applicable)
• Wider reading - allocate pupils a book (suited to their interest and ability) by an Irish author.


Lesson 1: teacher sheet - starter activity
Sample complex sentences to divide up for pupils to reconstruct.

• Demonstrate with this example, cut up and printed on OHT (see pupil sheet for resource).

Siobhán Parkinson, educated in Co. Galway and Co. Donegal, now lives in Dublin with her son, Matthew, and woodturner husband, Roger Bennett.

• Provide pupils with one of these examples. The second is the simplest structure, but the other two could be simplified if necessary.

Having studied English Literature, Siobhán Parkinson, one of Ireland’s leading writers for children, worked as an editor in the publishing industry.

Parkinson’s main interests are reading and writing, although she also sings in a choir.

After writing her first book for her own son, Siobhán Parkinson, now an award winning author, wrote a range of other books for young children before branching out to write for the 10-14 age group.
Other resources for Lesson 1

Pupil resources - starter activity
Sample complex sentences to divide up for pupils to reconstruct


Pupil resources - starter activity
Commas to put between clauses
Teacher sheet - introduction
Information we might usefully want to know about authors

Teacher sheet - introduction
List of sources of information about authors


OHT - introduction
Siobhán Parkinson: author profile


OHT - introduction
Author profile: framework 1


Pupil sheet - development
Author profile: framework 2