The Best Animal in the

Direct Instruction

The learning intention for this lesson was for the children to perform a play, by thinking about how their character sounds and moves, and reading with expression.

The video shows the Cats reading group, being introduced to the play they are to perform in a week's time. They have been given masks to colour-in before hand, with the idea that they could start to think about the character that they would like to choose to be. Although they are aware the teacher has the final say.

Extended Lesson Plan


I was really happy with the discussion that we had around the book. I think the book selection really appealed to this particular group. They are a very competitive bunch, always out to be the best, and I thought the story could help them appreciate that everyone has different strengths to bring to the group.

We have been reading a lot of non-fiction texts on various animals this term. I have noticed how appealing these books have been to most, if not all members of the group. I felt this build up of knowledge and vocabulary about animals would assist in our efforts. I was particularly pleased by the level of engagement evident in the video as I read them the story.

Filming their performance, and giving them the opportunity to perform in front of a small but significant group of their peers, gave them the opportunity to take it seriously and really try their best. It also created a resource for them to revisit and reflect on what they did well and could do better next time, and then share these findings on their blogs.

Things to Note

While this group usually reads texts at the instructional level of Gold, I specifically chose them a Purple (easier) text to perform. I did not want the focus to be on decoding or tricky words. This allowed them to focus on their character, and creating meaning for their audience.

The video below, is of a group of students I taught last year. This was material that was shown to my current students to help inspire them.

Class Site Content

Learner Generated Content

Charlotte Gaston

Pt England School,

Auckland, New Zealand

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand