Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Multimodal Texts: Where to Start?

The one question I have been asked by a number of people, both at my own school and after presenting my Inquiry at various locations, is: How do you find your texts?

The simplest answer is that I begin with our school-wide Inquiry Topic focus for the upcoming term.  For example, when looking at Technology our team decided to incorporate Matariki and look at some of the ways Māori used technology with a primary focus on finding the best way to make a kite.

So, to start off I began searching through Journal Surf to see if I was able to find School Journal articles that related to our topic.  From there I decided that I needed to break the term up into a few smaller related topics.  As a class, my reading groups spent the first four weeks of the term reading and discussing Māori mythology.  We then moved into three weeks of technology with a specific focus on stories that introduced Māori kites in various forms, and we ended the term learning about Matariki.

As seen on the Google Slideshow below (taken from my class site), we started out reading our primary text which was from a School Journal article, "Making Manu Taratahi."   We then read another School Journal story "Eggshell" that was a complementary text because it provides more information about our primary topic the usage and construction of Māori kites.  


Now, as seen above in the yellow box, my selection of scaffolded texts (that provide students with more understanding of a topic to extend their prior knowledge while providing more detailed vocabulary) are generally taken from online resources.  As a result of our school Inquiry topics this year I have actually used the pages Te Ara often this year. It is an easy site for our students to navigate and often provides a multimodal resources on a topic. 

The last text type (in the green box) is supposed to be a Challenging text.  This text type can provide a different point-of-view or offer a difficulty in reading material.  This year, I am working with Year 4 students so I have often selected a text at a higher reading level (year 7/8) that fits with our topic.  This allows our group to have a more straight forward "reading" session where we are able to break up more difficult words and unpack their meaning for vocabulary expansion and understanding.  I have actually found that my student enjoy reading this text selection the most because after gaining an understanding of the topic they enjoy the challenge of reading something a little more difficult for fluency. 

The only text type not shown on this slide is student selected texts.  I have discussed using this text type in a previous blog post "Empowering Student Selected Texts". 

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