Health and Physical Education literacy: putting it together

Writing and informative pamphlet

The assessment of student knowledge in HPE is often shown through the development of some form of advertising or publishing of community information.

A pamphlet requires students to research and apply key knowledge and understanding. The tone or aim is driven by the conclusions and evaluations drawn out by the student.

The example below uses the creation of a healthy eating pamphlet in a Year 7 or 8 class (VCHPEP126, VCHPEP130).

For students to be able to create a text, students need to understand and communicate both knowledge of content (healthy eating) and the genre and language conventions (relating to informative pamphlets).

Building knowledge of healthy eating content

Teachers might direct students to a range of sources they must read to develop their understanding of healthy eating. When doing so, teachers can use a range of strategies to support students to read and summarise content, including:

For example, for the healthy eating pamphlet, teachers might direct students to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. If this is the first-time students have been exposed to infographics, the teacher might jointly deconstruct the multi-modal text, or use a think-aloud to show students how to read the infographic.

Alternatively, teachers could ask students to review the Healthy Eating Guidelines and use discussions to paraphrase text or use graphic organisers to summarise texts. Students can also be encouraged to record alphabet keys or generate visual glossaries as they encounter new words and terminology. Students should then identify the key terminology that they will be using in their own pamphlet.

For example, an alphabet key for the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines might look like:

  1. Australians are unlikely to follow the Guidelines.
  2. Being healthy and fit is a priority for many Australians.
  3. Carrots are an excellent source of nutritional value.

Students can also refer to the Alphabet key sentences to use and expand on when writing text for the pamphlet.

For example:

Simple sentence: Some groups of Australian society are unlikely to follow accurately the recommended dietary Guidelines.

Compound sentence: Being healthy and fit is a priority for many Australians, but they might not be supporting healthy eating habits.

Complex sentence: While Australians are interested in living healthily, busy lifestyles and the availability of fast food mean they might not adopt the recommended guidelines.

Building knowledge of genre conventions of informative pamphlets

To build knowledge of the structural and language features of informative pamphlets, teachers can provide students with a collection of pamphlets to deconstruct and annotate. Students might also be asked to find examples.

When deconstructing the pamphlets, students might use the examples to highlight/annotate:

  • Visual elements, for example, colour, font & font size, images, location of images.
  • Written/linguistic elements, for example, types of sentences, the inclusion of topic specific vocabulary, the placement of text in relation to images.
  • The 'sections' of the pamphlet, for example, showing the purpose of the information, key facts about the topic, recommendations, available resources. Note: these sections will vary across different pamphlets but will address the areas listed.

Students can share their annotations, noting similarities and differences in layout, format, and visual and written choices.

Strategies that teachers can use to support students include:

Constructing the pamphlet

Before writing their final pamphlet, students show the purpose of their pamphlet (for example, to educate teens about healthy eating, to encourage people to eat red meat less often, to eat healthily on a limited budget)

Students should formulate questions on their topic to examine it critically and consider how the information can be best delivered to their audience. To assist students to understand audience needs, teachers might use the strategy, 'Using graphic organisers to understand user needs.'

For example, when thinking about how to eat healthy on a limited budget, questions students might generate include:

  • Why should I make my meals when fresh food is so expensive?
  • How can I prepare quick and easy meals that are nutritious?
  • What are the requirements of my family's nutritional needs given I have children of different ages?

Using the annotated examples, students plan the key sections and layout of their pamphlet. They decide on sub-topics and information to include, such as:

  • key message being put forward
  • key information
  • visuals to engage the audience
  • relevant data and graphs
  • layout.

For example, they may create the following plan for the six panels of the pamphlet

a proposed layout for a folded pamphlet with six panels (three panels on the back, three on the front). On the front side of the paper, the three panels from left to right are: inside flap, back of pamphlet, front of pamphlet. On the back side of the paper, the three panels from left to right are: inside left, inside middle, inside right. Suggestions about the information to include on each panel are given. Front of pamphlet has title and visual. Inside flap has dot point statistics. Inside left has explanations. Inside middle has examples. Inside right has recommendations. Back of pamphlet has resources and locations in the local area.

Students then use their graphic organiser and other material to create their informative pamphlet.

Learning sequence

The learning sequence for Levels 9 and 10 in Health and Physical Education, demonstrates how literacy teaching strategies can be used in a sequence. 

A learning sequence tool is also available to assist in the planning of science and literacy across a series of lessons.