This lesson would form part of a larger unit on imaginative retellings (See
English Level 1 and 2 Description, Victorian Curriculum) where students would have read and deconstructed many narratives including picture story books.
This lesson demonstrates how a teacher can use the teaching practice of shared writing to compose a new resolution to the narrative Hunwick’s Egg written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts. Through the shared writing of an enlarged piece of text, the teacher models, seeks ideas from the cohort and makes explicit links to the learning intention. The text is either handwritten or digitally produced by the teacher.
Note for teachers
Hunwick’s Egg by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts has been chosen for this exemplar lesson. You can hear the audio of this book read on Mem Fox’s official website.
However, any picture story book can be used that has an identifiable resolution which is suitable for innovation (i.e. a familiar text that can be rewritten with a twist or new ending).
Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English
English, Reading and Viewing, Language: Expressing and developing ideas
- Explore differences in words that represent people, places and things (Nouns, including pronouns), happenings and states (verbs), qualities (adjectives) and details such as when, where and how (adverbs) (VCELA179)
- Understand that nouns represent people, places, things and ideas and include common, proper, concrete or abstract, and that noun groups/phrases can be expanded using articles and adjectives (VCELA216)
English, Writing, Language: Text structure and organisation
- Recognise that different types of punctuation, including full stops, question marks and exclamation marks, signal sentences that make statements, ask questions, express emotion or give commands (VCELA190)
- Recognise that capital letters signal proper nouns and commas are used to separate items in lists (VCELA225)
English, Writing, Literature: Creating literature
- Build on familiar texts by using similar characters, repetitive patterns or vocabulary (VCELT193)
- Create events and characters using different media that develop key events and characters from literary texts (VCELT228)
English, Writing, Literacy: Creating texts
- Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements (VCELY194)
- Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (VCELY230)
Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Reading and viewing
- Participate in simple group activities based on shared texts
- Contribute ideas, words or sentences to a class or group shared story
- Write a simple text that fulfils a function
- Write simple sentences related to own experience or school context
- Experiment with some familiar punctuation
- Demonstrate some control of basic verb forms
- Use some common noun–verb and adjective–noun combinations
- Illustrate a simple text
- Contribute to shared writing activities
- Write a small range of everyday texts and personal texts
- Write beyond the immediate environment and beyond known language with support from the teacher
- Use some punctuation consistently
- Use a small range of basic verb forms accurately
- Write common nouns and adjectives in the correct order in formulaic structures
- Illustrate texts purposefully
Reading and viewing
- Participate in activities around class texts
- Participate in simple group activities on shared texts, with some support
- Contribute ideas to shared writing activities
- Create basic texts, with support and modelling
- Write sentences that may not follow standard word order
- Use basic verbs
- Use basic descriptive words
- Copy basic punctuation as part of writing work
- Draw pictures to communicate activities or events and orally dictate sentences for the teacher to record
- Contribute to shared simple brainstorming of ideas and identify relevant vocabulary to be incorporated into the written work
- Create short, simple texts for particular purposes, with some support and modelling
- Use simple sentences and phrases with correct subject–verb–object pattern
- Use common verb forms correctly
- Use a small range of simple descriptive phrases
- Spell accurately common words encountered in the classroom
- Use additional information to support simple narrative or recount sentences
We are learning how to write a resolution as part of a narrative.
I can tell a partner what I know about resolutions in a narrative.I can share my knowledge with the group.
- It is assumed that Hunwick’s Egg by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts, has been read to students for enjoyment and understanding. Students should be familiar with the characters and key events. Reread Hunwick’s Egg but discontinue reading when the Emu, Echidna and Cockatoo discuss the egg and Emu asks “Will it ever hatch?”
- Prompt students to retell the resolution as written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts.
- The teacher and students read the learning intention. Contextualise the learning intention by telling students that the group are going to write a new resolution to Hunwick’s Egg to innovate on the narrative.
- Discuss how narratives can end, or be resolved, in many ways. For example, they can be happy, sad, confronting, inspiring or surprising. Allow time for students to turn and talk to each other about what type of resolution they would write for Hunwicks’s Egg and what might happen.
- Students return to the main group and share some of their resolution innovations. The teacher and students select one of the suggestions. The teacher begins to write with student input (See:
- During the writing, the teacher will also make explicit the:
- use of adjectives to describe nouns
- past tense verbs
- sentence boundary punctuation
- use of capital letters for proper nouns.
- After the writing is complete, read over the resolution to check for sense. Return to the success criteria. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner about what they know about resolutions and how they work in a narrative. The teacher roves the group to listen to student responses and guide discussion.
- Students return to the main group and share responses. A class definition of a resolution is written or reference is made to a narrative anchor chart that has previously been constructed with students.
- Return to the innovated resolution and ask students to find examples of past tense verbs.
- Sort verbs into regular and irregular past tense groups.
- Identify the morpheme ‘ed’ for regular past tense verbs.
- List the irregular past tense verbs-match to present tense irregular verbs.
- Find examples of past tense verbs in guided reading or independent reading texts.
- Identify the proper noun in the innovated resolution. Note the place in the sentence and how the capital letter does not change according to sentence position:
- list other examples of proper nouns
- find examples of proper nouns in other texts.
- Find examples of adjectives in the innovated resolution and discuss how they describe the noun.
- Insert synonym and antonym adjectives. How does that change sentence meaning?
- Make alternate lists for common adjectives such as sad, happy, good, bad and encourage students to use.
- Compose an innovated resolution with a guided writing group.
- Individual students write their own resolution.
- Innovate on another part of the text such as the orientation (characters and setting), or complication (series of problems).
ABC Education Literacy Mini Lessons
The Department collaborated with ABC Education to create a series of videos. All 16 mini lessons based on content from the Literacy Teaching Toolkit are available on the ABC Education literacy mini lessons page.
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