Building our Success Criteria

Reading like a Writer: Identifying figuarative language

Figurative language in novels

WALT: identify language features in a novel

Thanks to the Get NZ Writing program, I discovered that my learners have a strength in identifying and using figuative language in poems and songs. I want the students to transfer this knowledge into their own descriptive writing.

This episode is the first of a two part series, which illustrates the 'Reading to Write' approach in integrated reading and writing instruction. This first episode is about students 'reading like a writer'. This is when students identify the elements of 'good writing'.

The lesson you will be watching involves building a success criteria of figurative language we expect to find in a novel, as students identifying figurative language in songs. This lesson uses an exerpt from the novel The City of Ember.

Click here to view the extended plan .

Lesson reflection:

Compared to the first lesson, I have noticed a big difference in the level of collaboration in the group. I have also noticed a difference in my classroom, as I always repeat the same lesson with the rest of my class. It is great to hear my students collaborating both orally and on the Google Doc. They are constantly bouncing ideas off eachother, asking questions and sharing their ideas, which is great to see. The students are getting better at responding to the another person's ideas, and by clarifying their thinking by using 'because'. I think this is helping the students to clarify their thinking and strengthen their understanding. I can see that they are learning with and from eachother. As a result, I feel they are thinking more deeply and getting a better understanding of what we are learning.

I have also noticed that my quieter learners are becoming more confident to share and take a more active role in the discussions.

I need to get up and move to be around different students, as I often do not hear what some students are saying. I strategically place my quietest students next to me, so I can hear them speak. However, I do need to move around more and have one on one conversations with all learners. It also might make it clearer to viewers if I move by the student and move the mic closer to the students I am talking to or want to focus on. It is great that there are so many learning conversations happening at once, however I acknowledge that this makes it hard for viewers to listen to.

I am still figuring out how to use my new camera, as I have noticed that it keeps on trying to re-focus when students move. We will get there in the end!

Extra footage

The clip below shows the group building their success criteria. In order to be able to identify figurative language in The City of Ember, students needed to know the types of figurative language that is used in novels and also have a solid understanding of what the definitions are.

Identifying figurative language in novels COA

Note: this lesson students completed Building our Success Criteria and Part One.

Learner generated content

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Chelsea Donaldson

Glen Innes School

Auckland, New Zealand

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand