Reading Comprehension Strategies:
See "Into the Book" website:

Punctuation Game
Follow the link for a fun way to practise your punctuation!

Grammar Ninja Game

Poem writing in the Kaurna Garden

Buddy Books for Book Week - A Small Selection!
2014 students:

Children all made a book for their buddies. We looked at 'see-saw' style books that include repetition and building up of ideas. Some children did 'lift the flap' books. Ethan did a colouring book for his buddy. He made up a story and drew pictures for his buddy to colour. Here are some front covers:
More details later!

William made up a story about a lion and a spider!

What amazing artists!

We are investigating some different Reading Comprehension strategies in class. One of these is how a writer can lead us to predict in a certain way and then put in a twist to surprise the reader. We have been practising our predicting skills in reading, as well as creating some plays that require prediction but have a twist.
Children made storyboards and are in the process of filming their plays ready to present to the class.


Another reading strategy that we have focused on is 'Inference'. We are learning to be aware of how we make inferences when reading. When we 'infer', we are combining clues from the writing and from our own life experiences. We put this together to make a conclusion. 
It is a bit like being a detective and trying to find clues!

Students are increasing their awareness of their strategies and practising their inference skills by doing activities such as:

  • As they read, they jot down their thoughts on Post It notes.
  • They fill in this sentence: I think............because.........
  • They try to work out who, what, where, when, why, how etc...
  • They make links to their own life experiences
  • They identify particular words or groups of words that make them think a particular way.
  • Playing 'detective' games, where one person gives clues and the other has to work out the answer etc..

We have also looked at prediction, and questioning.

In early Term 2 we were studying Persuasive Writing.
This visual guide to help.

Persuasive Writing: NAPLAN preparation - Early Term 2

Introductions and "lead ins"... 
Does my beginning hook my reader? 
You can use a question, statistic, description etc..  
The introduction must contain your thesis (or opinion) and what you believe.

Then we will be talking about linking words and paragraphs:
eg) Firstly, secondly, thirdly, in addition, in conclusion...

We will look at other plans for persuasive writing:
  • Introduction and statement of opinion
  • Main point & detail
  • Main point & detail
  • Main point & detail
  • Conclusion - recap (no new information) and restate your opinion.
Students are marked on their ability to:
  • Persuade the Audience:
  • Organise the text
  • Select relevant ideas
  • Use persuasive devices
  • Use precise language and vocabulary
  • Provide cohesion- e.g. through the use of referring words, text connectives etc
  • Use paragraphs
  • Write sentences that are grammatically correct and structurally sound.
  • Use correct punctuation
  • Use correct spelling and the difficulty of chosen words
A guide for things to try and include in your writing: This is a paraphrased summary of some of the points mentioned in the NAPLAN 2012 Marking Guide for Persuasive Writing: 


  • appropriate relationship created to suit the topic? 
  • are values and attitudes shown?
  • appeal to audience's emotions or sense of right and wrong. (How could any fair person do this?)
  • challenge or question the audience 
  • show an understanding of a wider audience... (some people say....but is this true?)
Text Structure
  • clear introduction that tells your opinion
  • clear, well developed argument 
  • reasons and evidence
  • clear conclusion that reinforces the opinion of the writer. Include a 'call to action'

  • highly persuasive ideas 
  • may benefit the wider community
  • show an understanding of  'for and against' (Some people may believe.....but is this correct?)
  • shows how their view is the correct one (Experts agree with my opinion that.... Statistics show that.......)
  • shows cause and effect ... (If we continue to go down this irresponsible path, then...........)
Persuasive Devices

  • appeals to emotions (How do you feel when.......? How would you feel if this happened to you? )
  • appeals to reason (Although some may say.....an educated person would understand that...........)
  • appeals to values (How ethical is it to .......)
  • Authoritative statement: Cats need to sharpen their claws.
  • Conditional mood: Unless we provide cats with a way to sharpen their claws appropriately, they will continue to ruin our furniture.
  • Direct address of the reader: You may have noticed how cats like to scratch your furniture.
  • Emphasis, overstatement, understatement, repetition, single words, Power of 3, hyperbole, 
  • Humour, irony, sarcasm.
  • Personal opinion
  • Experts and statistics
  • Rhetorical questions. This river contains toxic chemicals. Is this healthy?
  • STRENGTH of describing words or groups of words:  certainly, possibly, rarely,  it is likely that...
  • FIGURATIVE: Similes - The man is as strong as a horse. Metaphors - The government is a rusty engine.  Alliteration - big, bold, bright brands. Personification: Opportunity is knocking at the door.
  • TECHNICAL: digitally scanned, life expectancy, environmental impact statement etc.
  • Verbs / Adjectives made into Nouns: carelessness, investigation, reaction, intensity, refusal
  • SINGLE PRECISE WORDS: urge, budget, supportive, research 
  • Adjectives, adverbs, nouns, pronouns, prepositions, verbs and their use.
  • Use of connectives: firstly, secondly, also, meanwhile, consequently, alternatively, on the other hand, yet, although, unless, otherwise, in fact, for example, in support of this, to refute this, however, although, therefore, additionally, instead, even though, finally.
  • Referring words: You should not keep students in school for too long because they would want to be at home with their family.
  • and associations that help meaning. We should not put people in isolation. They need to have a feeling of community.
  • Paragraph has a topic sentence with related supporting detail and elaborated ideas. 
  • The paragraphs are well ordered across the text to build the argument convincingly.
  • There are at least 2 paragraphs in the body.
Sentence Structure
  • Uses a variety of clause types and patterns, including elaborating clauses and phrases in simple, compound and complex sentences:
  • Simple sentence: One independent clause and no dependent clauses. It has a subject and a verb:
  •  e.g. I am running. 
  • Compound sentence: 2 simple sentences joined with a conjunction e.g.) The computer crashed so I lost my work. (Other conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, then, so..) 
  • Complex sentence: One independent clause and a dependent clause. e.g.) He will lose weight if he continues dieting.  The sentence can also begin with a conjunction and dependent clause e.g.) Because the rain became heavy, we returned home.
  • Elaborating clause: The man, who had strong fingernails, liked to play the guitar.
  • capitals - Beginning of sentences, Titles, Proper nouns - first names and surnames, titles, places, days of week, months, street names, special holidays, historic events.
  • full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, 
  • commas in lists, ( I had meat, fish, bananas and eggs in my shopping bag) 
  • commas to mark clauses and phrases (Because the day was hot, I took my hat.)
  • apostrophes - contractions (don't) and possession (Karen's hat) 
  • quotation marks - for quotes and highlighted words - 'sneer'
  • brackets, dashes
  • colons (:) Use as an introduction after a complete sentence to introduce a list. I want a monitor that can do the following: be on time, be responsible and take care.
  • semicolons (;) These connect 2 independent clauses. You use them when you want to bond one to the other. e.g.)  I have a pet cat with long claws; he often uses them on me.  Follow this link for more info: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon   
  • ellipsis...  (3 dots...can imply there is more to come, or a silence. Can be used to build tension.)  e.g. But then...
Spelling - some examples - For more points, use some challenging words.

  • Simple words - e.g.) an, be, cat, not, shop, chips, clap, bring, all, day, into
  • Common words: speech, stretch, away, light, shiny, use, chair, between, too/two, there/their/they're/ hear/here, know, wrong, comb, enough, jumped, happening, having, easily, 
  • Difficult words: ability, absolutely, achieve, actually, advantage, affect, appalling, argue, attention, available, awareness, barrier, benefit, behaviour, burden, capable, capacity, certain, choice, comfortable, community, comparison, complaining, complete, concern, conclusion, confidence, consider, continue, culture, chocolate, damage, dangerous, decide, decision, demonstrate, description, develop, different, disadvantage, disappear, discuss, donation, educational, energy, enjoyable, enormous, entirely, especially, essential, evidence, exercise, experience, extremely, favourite, frighten, further, future, general, gigantic, government, guess, hazardous, health, honest, hopefully, hygiene, illegal, imagination, immediate, importance, improvement, increase, individual, influence, inexpensive, information, instance, intention, interest, introduction, issue, judgement, knowledge, language, limited, logical, luxury, machine, maintain, manage, massive, maximum, measure, moderation, morally, motivation, natural, negative, normally, numerous, obesity, observe, occur, opinion, opportunity, opposition, option, ordinary, organise, ourselves, original, particular, personal, persuade, pleasure, popular, positive, possible, powerful, precious, previously, priority, process, produce, properly, purchase, purpose, quality, reality, receive, recent, recognise, remember, replenish, represent, reproduce, research, resource, responsible, ridiculous, satisfy, science, serious, several, similar, solution, statement, success, suitable, summary, support, surround, system, television, terrible, themselves, therefore, treasure, unbelievable, uncertain, uncomfortable, undecided, uneducated, unethical, unfortunately, unique, unnatural, urgency, usual, value, vision, whether, worthwhile, yourselves
  • Challenging words: advantageous, appreciate, appropriate, basically, beneficial, consequence, courageous, definite, dramatically, environment, exaggerate, efficient, facilities, guarantee, irresponsible, magnificent, necessary, noticeable, nuisance, occasionally, occurrence, outrageous, physically, realistically, responsibility, separate, significance, sufficient, temporary, traumatic, unnecessary, unethically.

In past weeks, we have looked at ways to making our Writing 'COME ALIVE' through word choices. Our genre focus was Poetry. We looked at metaphors and similes, as well as various organisational structures of poems.

Poetry - We wrote some Haiku poems
The pattern is 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

Good effort from Breanna!  More examples to come...

Grammar Words: 

Nouns are names for things, animals, places, people, qualities, actions and measures. e.g.) table, dog, Adelaide, man, kindness, listener, month etc..
Verbs can be 'doing' words e.g.) He ran for the bus....or verbs can be a 'state of being' e.g.) Edward was an emu. I am here. She is here too.
Adjectives describe nouns e.g.) The five, brown, angry dogs....
Adverbs add to the verb. They often end in 'ly' and tell you how something was done - when, where, how...e.g) He ran swiftly
Simile is when you compare or contrast things using the words "like" or "as"e.g.) Her heart was like stone.
Metaphor is when you compare or contrast things but unlike a simile, you don't use "like" or "as". e.g.) Her heart was stone.
Conjunctions are joining words. They join groups of words together. e.g.) We went to school but it was a pupil free day. Conjunctions include: and, but, or, for, yet, nor, yet, so, as well as, etc...
Prepositions are words used with nouns or pronouns to create a sentence that tells you where, when, how or why. e.g.) above, about, across, beside, along, among, around, behind, below, on, off, near, into, toward, through, up, upon, within etc..
Pronouns replace nouns. e.g.) She, he, it, they, we, you, somebody, who, its, our, their, my, his her, their, myself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves etc...
Interjections are words to express strong feelings. e.g. Hey! Get up now!
Phew! That was close!
Articles are words that introduce a noun. e.g.) 'a' , 'an', 'the' 

Other language features worth learning about: 

Personification is when you make something have human qualities when it isn't human. e.g.) The stars danced joyfully in the deep, quiet sky.
Alliteration is when you use a repeated sound for effect. e.g.) Peter picked a pick of pickled peppers. (P repeats)
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration to create an effect. e.g.) The bag weighed a ton.
Idiom 'She is pulling my leg'. (Having a joke with me)

Here are some grammar games you can play.

Writing Techniques...

We have been exploring a technique called 'Zooming In'.
We focus on a short, important moment and zoom in like a camera. This helps the reader connect more deeply. The description increases in clarity. It builds tension as well.
An example:
I walked cautiously towards the hole. As I drew nearer, I could hear that faint, high pitched noise again. I leaned closer to the edge and peered tentatively into the blackness. My heart was beating wildly and my pupils widened as I began to make out a shape. It was fuzzy and small. I took out my iPhone and turned on the torch app. I saw two gleaming red specks staring back at me in fear. It's fur was fluffed up like a scared kitten and its tail was curled around in a loop. It's legs looked like those you would see on a kangaroo. On it's ears, were two curly antennae which looked like spiral pipe-cleaners. I strained my eyes to see more. It looked like these antennae were growing longer! In fascination, I watched as the antennae grew until they were level with the top of the hole. As they rotated, I noticed that on the end of these antennae were ten eyes that peered around like a periscope from a submarine. I scuttled backwards and the alien creature jumped out of the hole and came towards me....
"Show Don't Tell"

An example:

Telling: The door opened.

Showing: Suddenly, I felt a cold breeze on my ankles and heard a slow, creaking sound behind me. A growing shadow caught the corner of my eye and then I noticed the ray of dim light creeping across the floor towards me. I turned to see the open doorway.


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