Guided practice (joint construction)

Students read the mentor text and create a diagrammatical representation of the cicada’s lifecycle. In pairs, students write about or orally explain the various stages.

Choose another minibeast that the students have read about. Be sure that students have been supported to build sufficient field knowledge about the minibeast through a range of tasks (as outlined above).  Provide students with a diagram of the minibeast’s lifecycle. Use the diagram as a visual framework to create a new cyclical explanation. Guide the students to contribute to the jointly constructed text through prompts, questions, paraphrasing, elaborating on responses or thinking aloud.  During the joint construction, refer to the language features which were highlighted during the modelling (deconstruction) of the text and use any metalanguage which was introduced. Drafting, editing and revising will also be modelled and taught during this phase.

Provide students with a cyclical explanation text, from a published text or written by the teacher or perhaps a student. Students work in small groups to edit the text. Different groups can work on – the insertion of technical words, punctuation, sentence construction, spelling and paragraphs.

Practise note-taking. The teacher reads a short passage about minibeasts to the students. The students work in small groups and write key words on butcher’s paper. Students then recount the passage read, using the key words as prompts.

Make word connections. Students are given two words, which they need to connect in a sentence. For example: beehive and nectar. Students exchange their sentence and obtain feedback on sentence construction and the use of technical language.

Sentence combining – compound sentences. Model ways in which two sentences can be combined to create a compound sentence.  Use examples from the mentor texts. For example, ‘The nymphs feed. The nymphs grow. Then the nymphs drop to the ground.’  In the mentor text, the author wrote ‘The nymphs feed and grow and then drop to the ground’. Provide other examples for students to try to combine themselves.

Sentence combining – complex sentences. Model examples of how to create complex sentences using examples from the mentor text, for example, ‘The eggs stay packed in the grooves. It is time for them to hatch’ is written as ‘The eggs stay packed in the grooves, until it is time for them to hatch’, highlighting the conjunction and how it helps to connect the two ideas.