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Planning for Literacy Development

Katherine Clark

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It is imperative that teachers develop learning plans for students. Developing
learning plans for students is a necessary process in literacy education to help
guide students understanding and progress their learning.
For the purpose of developing an individual learning plan, I interviewed and
assessed a grade 6 boy named Luke*. In his close family of 5, he is the middle
child. He has always been read to from a young age; his mother is a high school
teacher and understands the importance and need of reading to children. Hill
believes that through showing the enjoyment of and engagement with books,
parents transfer literacy skills and a love of reading to their children (2012,
Luke used to be an avid reader, however, these days Luke only reads for school
purposes. He understands the importance of reading and will complete tasks
when theyre asked of him but he wont seek extra reading unless told. Further
to this, he struggles to find texts which interest and engage him. He is interested
in animals and art but choses not to read about them.
While Luke is not very engaged in reading, he is still very literacy strong. Over
the past few years Lukes teachers have struggled to develop activities that will
challenge him. Thus, they have opted to place him in the English classes in the
year above. However, as he is now in grade 6, he has already covered what his
classmates are doing and is disengaged.
I assessed Lukes ability to engage, read, write and comprehend within literacy.
He excelled in all components, except for engagement outside of a class context.
During one of the assessments I challenged him to decode the multimodal text,

*name has been changed


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The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. He was able to explain to me the
literal, inferential and evaluative meanings within the text (Morris & Stewart
Dore 1984). However, more importantly, Luke engaged in the text and believed it
was one of the best books [hes] ever read.
Luke appears to be above and beyond where he needs to be in the Victorian
Curriculum. He is able to use text structures, analyse and explain language
features, images and vocabulary that have been used by authors to represents
various ideas, characters or events. He is able to compare texts and has the
ability to explain the literal and implied meaning. Further to this he can
understand how language features and patterns can be used for greater
emphases or to support a point of view. He has banks of known words and has a
go at less familiar words. He has the ability to create detailed texts that elaborate
their key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences (Victorian Curriculum,
Connections between Reading and Writing
Reading and writing are imperative. Knowing how to read and write allows
students to confidently communicate in society. Through gaining knowledge of
written text, students have the opportunity to observe and respond to the world
around them. Durkin (1989) and Montessori (1914) view writing as the
foundation for reading. However, researchers such as Clay (1998) believe that
writing is a two-way process and both support one another. Hill states writing
informs reading because when young children are writing they engage in a slow
analysis of what they are saying and how this is to be represented in the written
form (Hill, 2012, p320).

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I believe in developing students literacy understanding through creating
engaging and interactive lessons. At the base of these lessons is having a solid
understanding of each individual student, their interests, strengths and

Multiliteracies pedagogy:
Multiliteracy is vitally important in todays society. Understanding multimodal
texts demonstrates that students are able to comprehend and communicate
meaning of sound, visual, and linguistic text. Texts are becoming increasingly
multimodal; print is often supplemented with movement, sound and visual
imagery. To be multiliterate, students must be literate in the traditional form, as
well as new communication technologies and the semiotic systems used in them
(Hill, 2012, 362). Students need to become critical and analytical of
multiliteracies in today's society, they need to be adaptive, reflective and critical
users and creators of diverse texts (Cope and Kalantzis 2000). Teaching
multiliteracy should respond to various discourses that students encounter due
to culturally and linguistically diverse and globalised worlds.
Curriculum cycle pedagogy:
The curriculum cycle (Gibbons 2007) consists of four stages that will allow
students to explicitly understand a particular text type. Each stage has a
particular teaching purpose. Stage one consists of building the field. The aim of
this stage is to determine whether students have enough background knowledge
of the topic to be able to write about it. The second stage is modelling the text
type, this stage allows students to become familiar with the purpose, overall
structure and various linguistic features of the text type. The third stage is joint
construction, here students and teachers write a text together to allow students
to witness how the text is written. The main focus of this stage is to illustrate the

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process of writing a text which considers both the content and language. The last
stage is independent writing. This stage allows students to take control of their
writing and using the previous stages write and create their own text.
Teaching and Learning practices
I will use multiliteracies and the curriculum cycle as my pedagogical framework
to develop a learning plan for Luke. My learning plan will incorporate reading,
writing with a cross curricular link with history and visual art. This learning plan
links to many aspects of the Victorian Curriculum (please see appendix one for
detailed links), however it has a primary focus on Lukes ability to create literary
texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in
innovative ways (VCELT356, Writing: Literature, Victoria Curriculum, 2016)
The Learning Plan
Luke is very strong in reading and write, yet struggles to engage in literacy tasks,
but. Thus, for his learning plan I will be focussing on engagement. I have
developed this task to benefit Luke and engage him in being creative with
writing and reading widely. However, this plan will benefit the entire class as its
accessible for all students and they can work at their ability to further their
literacy skills.
As I mentioned above, Luke really enjoyed reading The Rabbits by John
Marsden and Shaun Tan. The Rabbits text is historical and multimodal, looking
at the colonisation of Australian. In History at level 6 students delve into
Australias colonial past. As such, over the course of a term, students will have
constructed their own historical, multimodal picture book that incorporates
reading, writing, history and visual art. Ultimately, the focus is on writing but
students will need to engage in reading informational texts to develop their
picture book.

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My learning plan will first ask the class to build the field and reread The
Rabbits. Luke, and his classmates, will be asked to identify the literal, inferential
and evaluative meanings of the text (Morris & Stewart Dore 1984). The
foundation of comprehension is developing a literal meaning; this requires
students to identify what explicitly occurred in the text (Morris & Stewart Dore
1984). Inferential meaning is vitally important for students to understand in
regards to this text, it asks them to determine what the text means, and is not
explicitly stated within The Rabbits. Inferencing will require students to delve
deeper into The Rabbits (Morris & Stewart Dore 1984). Lastly, students will
also have to evaluate the meaning. In doing so, students will question what The
Rabbits is telling us about the world and form an opinion of the story (Morris &
Stewart Dore 1984). Going through each of these comprehension stages will take
Luke, and the class, beyond the text as they will use background knowledge to
engage and explore the text.
Further to this, students will also need to build the field in relation to
Australians colonisation. Through mini-lessons we will investigate the various
perspectives from people during the time such as Indigenous Australians and
migrants. Each mini lesson will gradually build on students knowledge and
understanding of Australias colonisation.
Following this, we will model the text type and re-read The Rabbits, looking at
the various language features, multimodality, and overall structure of a historical
multimodal, picture text. Together, we will discuss aspects of a good picture
book such as; illustrations, characters, universal appeal, purpose and audience
(Hill, 2012). Importantly, will also look at how literacy texts as cultural texts are
read from various cultural positions (Graff, 2010). This will form a base of Lukes
planning and positioning for his own text. Luke has the opportunity to choose to
write from either the colonists or indigenous perspective.
Following this, we will look at developing a text together through joint
construction. I will aim to work with the students on 2-4 pages to demonstrate
how they could develop a story. In this stage, we will look at how to choose

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sources, what information is relevant and how to write through inferring rather
than explicitly stating. Lastly, the class will spend some sessions developing their
own text. They will need to brainstorm, plan, edit, and create a professional piece
of work.
Through this learning plan I hope that Luke will develop a new way to engage in
reading and writing texts. This plan allows him the ability to read, write and
create with a purpose. The plan also allows him the creativity to illustrate and
create meaning through visual arts supplemented by text. This type of reading
and writing has been conveyed by Fang & Schleppegrell (2008) and Unsworth
(2001) to be similar to secondary school engagement. Here, texts that students
are expected to read often deal with specialised subjects and contexts, such as
history. The knowledge students engage with becomes more complex and has
greater formality thus, Luke is expected to show this through the text he
develops. Ultimately, I hope that this learning plan will challenge Lukes thinking,
extend his learning and provide him with greater appreciation for reading and

Words 1,823

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Clay, MM (1998), By Different Paths to Common Outcomes, Stenhouse, York, ME
Cope, B & Kalantzis M (2000), Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of
Social Futures, Routledge, London
Durkin, D (1989) Teaching Young Children to Read, Allyn and Bacon, Boston MA
Fang, Z. , & Schleppegrell, M.J. (2008). Language and reading in secondary
content areas. In Reading in secondary content areas: A language-based
pedagogy (pp.1-12). Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Gibbons, P, (2007) Writing in a second language across the Curriculum, in Garcia
and Baker (eds.), 195-201
Graff, J, (2010), Reading, Readin, and Skimming: Preadolescent Girls Navigate the
Sociocultural Landscapes of Books and Reading. Language Arts, Vol 87, No. 3,
Hill, S. (2012). Developing early literacy. Prahran, Vic.: (2 ed) Eleanor Curtain
Montessori, M (1914) Dr. Montessoris own handbook, Heinemann, London.
Morris, A., & Stewart-Dore, N. (1984). Learning to learn from text. Effective
reading in the content areas. North Ryde, Australia: Addison-Wesley
Unsworth, L. (2001). Subject-specific literacies in school learning. In Teaching
multiliteracies across the curriculum: Changing context of text and image in
classroom practice (pp.122-129). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.
Victorian Curriculum, 2016, Level 6, accessed on 06/05/16

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Appendix 1 Links to the Victorian Curriculum
Victorian Curriculum, 2016, Level 6, accessed on 06/05/16
- Select, navigate and read increasingly complex texts for a range of
purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies to recall
information and consolidate meaning (VCELY346) (Reading: Literacy)
- Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in
creating literary texts (VCELT355) (Writing: Literature)
- Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have
experienced in innovative ways(VCELT356) (Writing: Literature)
- Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in
different ways, explaining the effects of the different
approaches (VCELY357) (Writing: Literacy)
- Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts,
choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features,
images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and
audience(VCELY358) (Writing: Literacy)
- Reread and edit own and others work using agreed criteria and
explaining editing choices (VCELY359) (Writing: Literacy)
- Sequence significant events and lifetimes of people in chronological order
to create a narrative to explain the developments in Australias colonial
past and the causes and effects of Federation on its people (VCHHC082)
(Historical Concepts and Skills: Chronology)
- Describe perspectives and identify ideas, beliefs and values of people and
groups in the past (VCHHC084) (Historical Concepts and Skills: Historical
Sources as Evidence)
- The different experiences and perspectives of Australian democracy and
citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples, migrants, women, and children (VCHHK094) (Historical
Knowledge: Australia as a Nation)
Visual Arts
- Explore visual arts practices as inspiration to create artworks that
express different ideas and beliefs (VCAVAE029)
- Identify and describe how ideas are expressed in artworks by comparing
artworks from different contemporary, historical and cultural
contexts (VCAVAR032)