Four new or revised English curriculum resources for secondary schools are available. Teacher Karen Spencer explains what’s inside.
The relevance of safe road use in the lives of young people is blended with the demands of the English curriculum area in four new resources.
Two resources are aimed at Years 9-10, another is NCEA Level 1 and the last is NCEA Level 2. Each includes a complete series of lesson plans for teachers to pick up and run with, or adapt and modify.
Wellington High School Deputy Principal Karen Spencer is the writer. She explains that three are complete revisions of existing resources previously trialled in schools. The fourth – Access all Areas – is totally new.
“All the resources play to the strengths of English teachers,” says Karen.
“They are really tied closely to commonly explored contexts, like creative writing and persuasive writing. They invite students to bring their prior knowledge. And they feature opportunities to work with rich high-quality texts such as the NZ Transport Agency’s advertising campaigns.”
Karen has over 20 years’ experience in education, including as an HOD for English and a provider of professional development for teachers.
Students using this resource use photovoice and design thinking to investigate and respond to the issue of inclusion and accessibility in their local transport system.
Photovoice is a research method that empowers ordinary people to investigate what matters to them. In this case, students take photos of a journey that tells a local story about accessibility. They then discuss the photos in class.
“Photovoice is a really engaging way to bring students’ experience to the fore in a visual way,” says Karen.
“Students can use their own devices. They can take their learning outside the classroom and capture elements of their environment. This resource gets students involved in collaborative work and thinking outside the square, things English teachers are good at supporting.”
Supports internal assessment for: English Achievement Standard 2.10, AS 91107: Analyse aspects of visual and/or oral texts through close viewing and/or listening, supported by evidence.
“’Party in the Car’ lets students think about how visual texts work while exploring driver distraction. It’s a great opportunity for our students to take a deep dive into Transport Agency advertising and think about what it means for them as they start to learn to drive.”
Supports internal assessment for: English Achievement Standard 1.4 AS 90052 Produce creative writing.
“This resource has a clear focus on creative writing, and it provides a meaningful context, by inviting students to think about broader consequences of their own actions within their community,” says Karen.
“I’ve designed this and the other resources so teachers can use them with only a little preparation, while bringing in an element of choice for young people.”
Students can undertake critical reading of advertisements in the context of their own actions around road safety. They investigate how the road system can be seen as a ‘commons’ – a place that everyone shares.
Students critique advertisements and present their learning as persuasive texts in their choice of medium, with suggestions given.
“The resources are all designed using SOLO Taxonomy. The result is that the questions and activities for young people are designed to step up their thinking,” says Karen.
“In each case, there are several avenues for engaging students: activating their prior knowledge, selecting activities relevant to their age and stage of life as road users, providing choice, and inviting them to deploy a problem-solving mindset.”