Class OnAir 13.mp4

Direct Instruction

This year I've had quite a focus on improving the literacy of students in my classes, and Year 13 hasn't been any different. This lesson uses a literacy activity called an 'anticipation set' which I read about on this website, as a 'pre-reading activity.' It is meant to make students think about the concept before beginning to read. Group reading out loud allows students to help each other out with unfamiliar words, and shares the reading load. The reading was a recent Stuff article I'd pulled from the website about the Trademe ban on selectively-bred breeds such as the French Bulldog. This learning is linked to the standard AS 91607 - Demonstrate Understanding of Human Manipulation of Genetic Transfer and it's Biological Implications. We played a short kahoot near the end to review key concepts but on reflection - that time could have been better used presenting opinions or reflecting on the development of their opinions.

Extended plan here


Activities with this class throughout the year have taken about a third as long again as I expect them to. Students were slow to justify the reason WHY they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with each statement because it took them so long to decide where they sat! Therefore, at the end of the lesson we didn't have much time to reflect on changes of personal opinion about beliefs on selective breeding, and I would have liked to do that in greater depth. I think the anticipation guide was useful and did help students begin to form their own opinions and think about the topic at hand. However, students worked slowly. During the reading some didn't know general words like 'individual,' which limited the depth of their discussions.

I never know whether to start by teaching the supporting vocabulary (like the word 'individual') that would help students grasp the biological topic, or if just the use of the supporting vocabulary during the learning of the concept (in a rich way) gives the words more contextual relevance and might enable students to use clues to make meaning? I feel that without knowing these general words they struggle to make meaning of the overall topic, yet to teach the supporting words like 'individual' first takes time and is very dry - I feel the words need to be embedded in something else. Teaching words alone doesn't seem to work. Yet without them they can't fully grasp the concept. Very tricky.

Next time I would also change the questions at the end of the reading to be more about reflecting on reasons people might have to buy dogs like this, or why they might choose not to. Or perhaps to write a 1 minute speech arguing one way or the other and presenting to the class.

Class Site Content

WALT: To read and discuss in groups about the impact of selective breeding on dog breeds in New Zealand - a current new event.


Learn about the impacts of selective breeding on a dog breed in NZ.


Form an opinion on aspects of selective breeding on an anticipation guide, and reflect on them after reading.


Share the reading and question-asking responsibilities.. there was no sharing to blogs as seniors don't have them.




Learner Generated Content




Nicola Wells

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand