Phase 2 strategies: Year 3 Additional text-based Unit 1 – Information texts: Rainforests
Learning outcomes for this unit are:
- Children can explore and discuss their personal responses to issues raised in the text.
- Children can demonstrate their knowledge and empathy through role-play and other drama conventions.
- Children can capture ideas for writing by collecting and noting ideas drawn from a range of sources including reading, discussion and drama activities.
If this is what you would like the children to achieve by the end of this phase how can you support the learning?
The teacher in role, perhaps as an official, can call a meeting for the whole class to attend. Meetings enable information to be shared with the whole group so that a group decision can be made about the situation they face. Meetings encourage children to adopt a collective role, and can be used as an efficient way of creating roles or focusing on a problem.
During the rainforest unit a village meeting could be called to support the children to understand the issues faced by the villagers, and this will help them to write in role later in the unit.
In role as the shaman, you call a village meeting. The children sit in a circle as the villagers. Tell them you want to make sure that the whole village has attended your important meeting. Ask them to tell you in turn, in role, who they are and to tell you something about their day. What have they been doing?
Model the first contribution yourself: I am Nahtahlah your village shaman. Today I have been searching near the river for roots and special bark I can use for healing.
Support and encourage each child to take their turn, speaking for the first time in the role they will maintain during the village drama. Use the opportunity to strengthen role-play by adding detail if necessary: 'I know that you are also a very skilled hunter. Have you brought back any meat to the village today, my friend or have you been sleeping lazily in the shade?'
Conclude the meeting in role by telling the villagers that you have called the meeting to tell them you are afraid – you believe that change is coming to their lives and it may not be good (make reference to the rainforests being cut down).
This strategy helps the children to use prior knowledge from reading, which they can apply in a structured context by using word prompts. For example:
The teacher explains that village life in the rainforest always depends on people helping one another and working together. The children are going to create some short 'video clips' of life on a typical morning to show the wide variety of activities going on in and around Kwamala.
Ask the children to work in groups of four and give each group a key words card, for example:
Explain that each group will plan, rehearse and present a short role-play, using the roles they have already adopted. Their scene can take place anywhere in or around the village but they must use the three key words on their key words card at least once during their video clip.
Children use audio-recording software to record their responses to a piece of text of illustration. They can create sound files of appropriate vocabulary or phrases to build up the atmosphere of the rainforest. They can return to the files and add to them, as well as listening and responding to each other's thoughts and ideas.
Use pictures (for example, photographs from the role-play, or artwork) words, narration and sound effects to create a presentation which shows what life is like in the village, and how the different people who live there are affected.
You can find further suggestions for ICT applications in ICT Applications in Literacy – Lower Key Stage 2.