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Book-talk for Year 3 Additional text-based Unit 5 – Dialogue and plays

Learning outcomes for this unit are:

Children can discuss the way that characters are introduced and developed in a narrative through dialogue, description and action.

If this is what you want the children to achieve, how can you scaffold this learning? The Book-talk discussion can start with initial responses, then become more focused. The questions are based on the book The Battle for Bubble and Squeak by Phillippa Pearce.

Basic questions (eliciting response)

Open invitations about the children's first response to what has been read, for example:

  • What did you think about Bill?
  • What came into your mind when you read the bit about the noises in the night?
  • How did you feel when Mum woke Bill up?
  • Has anything like that happened to you/in anything else you have read?

General questions (extending response)

  • Why do you think Sid doesn't smile at his stepfather's jokes?
  • Tell me more about Bill (reflecting on his behaviour, and how the other characters behave towards him).
  • What made you think that about Bill?
  • What is the effect of the short sentences that Bill and Alice speak to one another when they first hear strange noises downstairs?

Special questions (encouraging critique)

Open prompts to encourage the children to respond to the ideas of others:

  • Do you agree with...?
  • Did anyone think something different when you read the bit about...? (for example, Bill's idea of returning the gerbils to the garden centre)

A way of gathering responses could be by collecting thoughts in a grid:

What do you like?
What do you dislike?
What does it make you wonder? What does it remind you of?

This encourages the children to raise their own questions, and allows other children to respond with their thoughts. This could be returned to regularly, to see if their questions can be answered after further reading. By asking the children to consider what the text reminds them of you are asking them to relate their reading to real life – for example, has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you read another book like this? Do you know anyone like this (Bill or Alice)?