in the Intermediate Phase
© PSP 2007
in the Intermediate Phase
Course written and presented by Viv Kenyon Layout by Welma Odendaal Encouraging Intermediate Phase Learners to Write More and Encouraging Intermediate Phase Learners to Read More, are also available from the PSP.
A Whole Language Approach in the Intermediate Phase Introduction Using Newspapers for Whole Language Using Pictures for Whole Language Using Songs and Music for Whole Language Conclusion 1 4 22 34 44
This booklet is based on the PSP Whole Language workshops offered for Intermediate Phase teachers in 2006. Each term we focused on just one of three inexpensive resources, easily accessible to teachers: Newspapers, Pictures, and Songs and Music. We have suggested ways that Intermediate Phase teachers can use these resources to get their learners using language in a meaningful and purposeful way. What do we mean by “Whole Language”? What is a ‘Whole Language” approach? A Whole Language approach means making sure that learners have opportunities to use and develop all aspects of language in any learning event. It means that learners are required to think, listen, speak, write and read when they carry out any learning experience. Teachers consciously integrate all the aspects of language with each other.
Whole Language encourages learners to use all aspects of language.
This approach to language learning and teaching arose out of a concern that many children struggle with written language when they meet it at school. This is true, even when the learners have learned to speak, listen and think quite successfully. Yetta and Kenneth Goodman have spent decades observing young children and their approach to learning both inside and outside schools. The Goodmans have pointed out that when young children are learning outside school, they learn quickly, and in order to carry out a particular task.
The Goodmans, Yetta and Ken.
Learning in these situations is meaningful. The Goodmans suggest that in schools we need to make learning more meaningful and purposeful. They have found that we can do this if we integrate aspects of language so that children learn language as a whole, just as we do in real life. If we separate the different aspects of language, and focus on one at a time, it is much more difﬁcult to make the activity meaningful.
Learners may be focusing on an aspect of Social Sciences, or Life Orientation. But in order to do so, they will be thinking, speaking, listening, reading and writing.
You will ﬁnd that the activities and experiences suggested in this booklet, require learners to use all aspects of language. In some cases the learners will be learning additional things. They may be focusing on an aspect of Social Sciences, or Life Orientation. But in order to do so, they will be thinking, speaking, listening, reading and writing. When your learners carry out these activities they will be engaged in Whole Language work. This booklet is in three sections. The ﬁrst section has ideas for using newspapers as a vehicle for Whole Language learning and teaching. The second section focuses on using pictures. And the third section suggests ways of Using Songs and Music. This is another readily available resource which is an important part of our learners’ lives. We were delighted by the reports teachers shared of their experiences exploring music for language purposes with their learners. In this booklet we often suggest that you get your learners to work in either pairs or groups of four. We have found that when we set activities for learners to do in pairs, all the children in the class speak. When they work in groups of three or four, everybody is engaged in the task. But when the groups are big, there can be ‘passengers’. In other words, some of the group members either do nothing, or they distract the rest of the group who are interested and want to work.
Using Newspapers for Whole Language
All the activities in this section involve using newspapers or parts of newspapers. We are aware that most Intermediate Phase learners probably do not read newspapers, but they do know that newspapers exist. And free community newspapers are delivered weekly to households throughout the province. Many schools receive copies of The Sunday Times each week during term time. These are supplied for teachers to use as a learning and teaching resource. Although we did not use The Sunday Times in our workshops, teachers could use parts of this paper for several of the suggested activities. At the workshops on using newspapers, we found that the structure and layout of The Cape Times was clearer than the structure and layout of The Argus. We also used Vukani, The Plainsman, and Athlone News. The good thing about these papers is that the news items are about the communities that they are delivered to.
This is a wonderful activity for teaching your learners the reading skills of skimming and scanning. They will need these skills later in their school careers, as well as in their lives.
What you will need
You will need several copies of the same issue of a particular newspaper. Whether you choose to use a Community newspaper or a daily paper, make sure that you have a copy for each group of learners. You will also need a piece of paper for each group to write down their answers to the questions. And each group will need several copies of the questions. Tell your learners that you will give each group a list of questions and that you want the whole group to help ﬁnd the answers to all the questions.
Skimming and scanning
We skim a text (look through them quickly) when we want to get an idea of what the text is about. We scan a text for a speciﬁc word, or speciﬁc information.
Introducing the activity
Hand out a piece of paper to each group with several copies of the questions. Tell your learners that you want them to look for the answers to the questions in the newspaper. Tell them that they must look quickly for the answers. They must not read every word. They must just look for the words or picture that answers the question. Demonstrate what you want your learners to do. Read the ﬁrst question aloud. Then ask your learners to think about where the answer might be. Will it be on the front page? Will it be on the back page? Or will it be somewhere in the middle? Hold up a copy of the paper and show the children how you can use your ﬁnger to help you search for an answer. Take your ﬁnger quickly across and down a page. As you do this, read aloud words you notice that might be like the word or name you are looking for. When you ﬁnd the answer, write it down on the chalkboard.
Supporting your learners
Encourage your learners to work together quickly. Tell them that when they have found all the answers, they must put their newspaper tidily on their table, and put up their hands. Give your learners a reasonable time to ﬁnd the answers. But don’t wait until everybody has their hand up. When you feel that most of the children have managed to ﬁnd the answers, stop them. Give each table a chance to answer a question. Encourage some of the less conﬁdent learners to share an answer. Each time an answer is given, check with the whole class that the children have found the correct answer. Look in the paper with the whole class.
… Throughout the activity your learners will be thinking. They will be involved in a whole language activity.
You will ﬁnd that your children have to read the questions. They will probably discuss (listen and speak) where the question might be. Then they will have to scan (read quickly) the paper for the information. When they have found the information, they will have to record it (write). And throughout the activity your learners will be thinking. They will be involved in a whole language activity.
What’s in the paper?
We suggest that you allow enough time for this activity to extend over several days, or even a week. You will probably need to model what you want your learners to do when you introduce the activity. Then as your learners become more familiar with the newspaper you are using, they will be able to work more independently. If you teach Grade 4s, you may feel that you need to provide support throughout this activity.
Introducing the activity
Front Page Give each group a copy of the previous day’s paper, and copies of the questions about the Front Page. Take a copy of the newspaper. Hold it up so that all the children can see the Front Page. Then ask your learners the questions below, one at a time. Give your learners a chance to ﬁnd the answers. When they’ve found an answer, tell them to record the question on their sheet of paper. You may even decide to let your learners cut out the answer or relevant picture, caption or article and stick it on their group’s sheet of paper. While each group works through the questions, you will be able to move around the class observing and monitoring how they are getting on.
What’s on the Front Page? Why do you think that story was chosen for the front page? Who wrote the story? What does the photograph show? Who took the photograph? What other information is on the Front Page? Which article do you think is the most interesting? Why does this article interest you?
If you are working with Grade 4s, you may feel it’s necessary to work in the same way with the Back Page. Grade 6s and Grade 7s will probably be able to continue independently with the next part of the activity. Make sure that each group has several copies of the questions that refer to the back page.
Questions What news is on the Back Page? Which article looks the most interesting to you? Why? Is the Sports news South African, or International? Which Sports person(s) are featured in the main photograph? Is there any other Sports news in the paper? What page is it on? Why do you think it was placed on a different page?
Another day, focus on the international and national news in the paper. There are usually several pages devoted to local (national) news, as well as international news. So you may even ﬁnd that you need more than one day to focus on the news on these pages.
Is there any World news in the newspaper you’re looking at? How many pages are devoted to International news? Which pages have World news? Which article do you think is the most interesting? Why?
South African News
How many pages deal with news from all over South Africa? How many pages deal with local news? What do you notice about the headlines? What other things are on the pages dealing with South African news? Are there cartoons in the newspaper? Who do you think reads cartoons? Are there any cartoons based on any of the South African news stories? If so, which?
On another day, focus on some of the other aspects of the newspaper. Again, you may ﬁnd that you need more than one day for these sections. There is often a lot of information in the Classiﬁed Section of the paper. And you may want to include some of the advertisements in the paper. Weather Information What information is given about the weather? Who might need this information? On what date is Full Moon this month?
Arts and Entertainment What is included on the Entertainment page(s)? Are the screening times of the movies also on this page? If not, where are they? What articles are there in the paper about the Arts and Entertainment? Where are the times of the TV programmes printed? Is there any information about Radio programmes? Where is it?
The Classiﬁed Section What do you see on the ﬁrst page of the Classiﬁed Section? Which notices are the ﬁrst? Why do people put notices about deaths in the paper? Who reads the notices about deaths? Why? What is offered for sale? Are any of the items offered under R100? If so, what? How can you ﬁnd out more information about this item? Who might need it? Find an interesting advert under the Employment or Staff Vacancies section. What does the job entail? / What work will the person be asked to do? What are the requirements for that job? What is the salary? Do you think this is a fair salary? Why?
Writing stories to ﬁt Newspaper Photos
There are several ways that you can use photos from newspapers with your learners. In this section we have two suggestions.
Using plastic bags
Plastic bags with selfsealing capacity, are great. They are expensive, but will also last longer.
You will need a lot of newspaper photos for this activity. You will need at least 5 photos for each pair or small group to work with. Make sure that you cut off the captions. But keep the captions and make sure that you put them in the envelope (or plastic bag) together with the photos. We suggest that you write instructions on the outside even if you feel that your learners won’t be able to read them. This is part of creating a rich print environment – writing everywhere! If you use plastic bags, write the instructions in koki. For example: Look at the photos and read the captions carefully. Match the captions to the photos. Choose one photo and the matching caption. Discuss the photo and its caption. Then write a different caption that ﬁts what you think is happening in the photo.
Newspaper Photos and Stories
You will need a lot of newspaper photos for this activity. You will need at least 5 photos so that each pair or small group can work with one. Make sure that you have cut off the captions. You will not need them for this activity. Put each set of photos in an envelope or plastic bag. We suggest that you write instructions on the outside even if you feel that your learners won’t be able to read them. This is part of creating a rich print environment – writing everywhere!
For example: Look at the photos with your partner. Choose one photo together. Talk about what is happening in the photo. What do you think happened before the photo was taken? What do you think will happen next? Together write a story or a dialogue to go with the photo you chose.
Working with Headlines
The headlines are an important aspect of newspapers. Headlines sum up the essence of a story. Headlines have to catch the attention of readers. Spend some time with your learners exploring and thinking about headlines. You will ﬁnd 2 possible activities below.
Go through some newspapers and look for headlines that you think are appropriate for the learners you are teaching. Cut out the headlines carefully. You will need to have enough for each pair or small group of learners to have at least 5 headlines each. And you will need an envelope or plastic bag for each set of headlines. Cut each set of headlines in half. Put the pieces in an envelope. Make sure that you do this for each set of headlines. You will need to write instructions on each envelope or plastic bag for the learners to read. For example: Take the parts of the headlines out of the envelope. Work with a partner and look at all the parts of the headlines. Read the parts. Match the parts to make a good headline. Talk with your partner about the story that goes with this headline. Be prepared to share your headline with the rest of the class. Be prepared to tell your story to the rest of the class.
The adventures of
Ouer skrywers hull Nationwide blackouts ty climber save Ci met vars g edagtes n the cards o
talwart recalls Struggle s
dark days of oppressio n
ed up fir
te uit e har
Later, you could discuss all the stories with the class. Ask your learners to choose the 3 or 4 that they most enjoyed. Either use these stories for a Shared Writing activity, or get your learners to write the stories. Then display the stories in your classroom.
Headlines and Stories
Go through some papers and look for some headlines that you think are appropriate for the learners you are teaching. Cut them out carefully. You will need to have enough for each pair or small group of learners to have at least 3 headlines and their stories. And you will need an envelope or plastic bag for each set of headlines and stories. Write some instructions on the outside of the envelopes or plastic bags.
Eastern Cap vy rains cause severe ﬂoods in Hea
345 pilgrims die on hajj
i over raw
Kersfees kom vroeg
India keep Pa
cks by ed from homes as atta People dragg ique Tanzania and Mozamb lions rise in
arden route N2 collapsing G
For example: Read the headlines. Then read the stories quickly. Match the stories to the headlines.
Figh t crim e, Afric a tells SA
Choose one headline and story to share with the rest of the class.
Following a story
You will need to look for stories that are reported on more than once. Sometimes you can ﬁnd the same story reported in different papers. At other times, a story stays in the news for a week or even longer. Collect at least 3 reports of each story you choose. You will need at least 3 reports (or newspaper clippings) to make a set of reports for each small group. Put each set of reports in an envelope or plastic bag. Write some instructions on the outside of the envelope or plastic bag.
You could include a report written in another language. For example, if the learners in your class speak different languages at home, you could include reports on the same story written in different languages. This would give your learners a real reason to discuss the different reports.
For example: Read the three reports carefully. Talk about this news story with the other people in your group. Do you know anything about this story? Where did you hear this? (TV, people talking) Why do you think some stories get a lot of coverage? Could it be because it is the most interesting story? Plan how you can act this story for the rest of the class.
Stories on one Topic
You will need to look for several stories about each topic that you choose. Try to think of topics in the newspaper that will be relevant and of interest to your learners. We collected lots of stories about ﬁres that occur throughout Cape Town. You may just focus on one topic for all your groups. Or you may choose a different topic for each group. That is your choice. Collect at least 3 stories for each group of learners. Put each set of stories in an envelope or plastic bag. Write some instructions on the envelope or plastic bag. This is what we wrote on the envelope with stories about ﬁres: Look carefully at the pictures and stories in the envelope. How did these ﬁres start? What could the people have done to prevent the ﬁres? What do you think the City Council can do? When do you think we have the most ﬁres in Cape Town? Why do you think this is so?
(An activity for pairs) An important part of working for a newspaper is interviewing people. You can introduce this activity by having a discussion about interviews. Which people do newspapers interview? What questions do the reporters ask? Who would your learners like to interview? What would they like to ﬁnd out? Then tell your learners that you want each group to read two stories, and then to talk about, plan and prepare an interview with one of the people in one of the stories. Collect at least 2 stories about people that you think your learners would be interested in, for each group of learners. Cut out the stories, and put at least 2 stories in each envelope. Then write some instructions on the outside of the envelope to guide your learners and so that they know what they are expected to do. For example: Look carefully at the 2 newspaper reports and read them carefully. Talk about what you have read. Choose one of the stories. Work together and write a list of questions you would like to ask one of the people in the story you have chosen. Pretend one of you is a Reporter for a newspaper. Read your questions to your partner. Your partner can write down the answers that you think the person will give. Then act as the Reporter and the person the Reporter is interviewing. Read your interview. You may need to improve or add ideas to what you have written. When you are ready, read your interviews aloud to your class.
You will need to look for weather information for this activity. We found that the information given in the free local community newspapers is very simple and straightforward. These newspapers give the expected maximum temperature for 3 or 4 days. They use symbols to show what kind of weather is expected on those days. The direction of the wind is included. And the times of high tide and low tide are given. The Cape Times also provides a fairly easy-toread Weather Outlook. There is a map that shows a number of main towns in the Western Cape. Symbols on the map indicate the kind of expected weather for these towns for two days. And the maximum temperature is also printed on these two maps. The Cape Times also includes national and international, minimum and maximum temperatures. The Weatherwatch in The Argus gives even more information, including the phases of the moon. In Die Burger there are 3 maps. In addition to the main map for the day, there are 2 others. One map shows the high and low pressure systems, and the smallest map shows the height of the waves in the sea.
What you will need
You will need to choose which information is most suitable for your learners. Then you need enough copies of the Weather Information so that each pair or small group of children in your class has one. You may choose to collect all the weather information from one newspaper. Or you may prefer to use a mix of information to meet the differing needs of your learners. Cut out the Weather Information. Then plan some questions that will encourage your learners to think, talk and listen to one another, and then read and write what they ﬁnd. What information is given with the weather information?
Which people might need the different kinds of information? Why? How does it help us if we know what the weather will be like? Why would somebody want to know what the temperature is in Johannesburg? Why would somebody want to know the direction and strength of the wind?
Weather Information (2)
You will need to collect samples of weather information from two different daily papers. You will need to give each group of learners a sample. (You could use one example from the Cape Times and another example from The Argus. Then you would need to make enough copies of each sample to give each group one.) Put each set of information in an envelope or a plastic bag. Then write instructions on the outside of the envelopes or plastic bags. For example: Compare the two sets of weather information. One paper is a morning paper. The other paper is an evening paper. What tells you the other report comes from a morning paper? How do you know? Why do you think the other report is from an evening paper? In what ways are these two sets of information the same? In what ways are they different?
Another source of information that is provided in both The Sunday Times and the daily newspapers is the TV Programme Guide. We have found that when children are interested in something they will enjoy talking, reading and writing about it.
Introducing the activity
You could begin by having a discussion with your learners about the programmes they like to watch on TV. Even children who do not live in a home with a TV frequently have chances to watch TV. Daily newspapers will only provide the programmes for the day of issue. Local community papers don’t seem to include this information in their pages. The Sunday Times provides information on programmes for the whole week. You will need to choose what is appropriate for your learners. You will need enough copies of the TV Programmes to give each group of learners the guide for 3 different days. You will also need to plan some questions to give the learners. The ﬁrst time you carry out this activity, try to plan just one set of questions that will work for all the Programme Guides you give your learners. But you want to plan questions that will encourage your learners to think, to talk to each other, and to read and write. Here are some questions we suggested: What are your favourite programmes? Why do you like them? What days are they shown on TV and at what time? What is your favourite channel? Why? Do you all have the same favourites? What languages is the News given in on SABC 1 at 19:30? List the programmes that are shown (screened) every day on one TV channel. Which channel screens the most movies? Which channel screens the most sport?
You could extend Grade 6s and Grade 7s by including a deeper probing question: What can you tell from carefully reading what is shown on each channel? Do channels have special focuses? Do they target the same audience? What do you think about this?
The Cape Times usually has a page called, Your Day. This page has the TV Programme guide, the cartoons, horoscopes and other entertainment. In The Cape Times the horoscopes are entitled, Your Luck Today. In The Argus you will ﬁnd the ‘Star Guide’ on the back of the Classiﬁeds supplement. We suggest you collect and cut out enough Horoscopes so that each pair has one to work with. Put each Horoscope in an envelope or plastic bag and then write some instructions on the outside. For example: Read your Horoscopes for the day. What has the Astrologer predicted for you both for the day? Make a list of the names of all your friends. Ask your friends when their birthdays are. Write their birthdays down next to their names. Then read your friends’ Horoscopes. In what ways are the Horoscopes different? In what ways are they similar? Now make up and write a Horoscope for the next day for each ‘star’ or sign of the Zodiac. Alternatively you could collect and cut out the horoscopes from different daily newspapers. Then you can give each pair the horoscope from the morning and the evening papers of the same day. The children could then compare the two to see what is similar, and what is different. Do they think the horoscopes are written by the same person? Why?
If you want to work with newspaper advertisements, you will ﬁnd suggestions for ways you can do this on page 41 and 42.
Using Pictures for Whole Language
Pictures are a wonderful resource for Intermediate Phase teachers right across the curriculum. Somebody said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and we think that’s very true. As primary school teachers, we urge you to collect pictures. You will ﬁnd pictures in newspapers, magazines, and elsewhere. The Early Learning Resource Unit in Lansdowne has 5 packs of pictures, with 10 different pictures in each pack. Each pack has a theme. Ikhaya Likhaya (houses) Malapa (families) Vroom Vroom (transport) Work (jobs) Speel Speel (play)
The address of the Early Learning Resource Unit
19 Flamingo Crescent Lansdowne Cape Town South Africa 7789 Tel: 021 762 7500 Fax: 021 762 7528 E-mail: email@example.com www.elru.co.za
The packs are very reasonably priced and reﬂect the lives and experiences of many of the children in our country. Ruth Versfeld came to these workshops and shared some of the ideas she uses to get teachers and learners to read, discuss and write about pictures. You will ﬁnd these activities in this section.
So often as teachers we ask all the questions. And our learners have to answer the questions. This Whole Language activity gives learners a chance to think of and write down their own questions. The activity works well whether you and your learners are working in their ﬁrst (or home) language, or in an additional language.
What you will need
You will need many, many pictures. Try to have enough so that you can give each group 3 or 4 pictures to choose from. And you will need a few large pictures for the introductory activity. You will also need some ﬂipchart paper and some wax crayons or kokis. And you will need some long strips of paper and kokis for your learners to record their questions. Cut out the pictures carefully, and if you want to be able to use them again and again, laminate them to protect them and make them last.
Introducing the activity
If at all possible, get your learners to bring their chairs to the front of the class so that they can sit in a group closer to you. You want them all to be able to see the pictures. If they are sitting at tables, they will struggle to see and some children may not see what is happening in the pictures. If you can bring them into a group close to you, this will create a more intimate atmosphere, and they will feel more relaxed. Show the children one of the pictures, and give them time to look at it carefully. Then put the picture on the chalkboard. Get your learners to talk about what they see. You want them to talk about what is going on in the picture. When they have commented about what they can see and what they think about the picture, ask the learners what they would like to know about the picture. Encourage them to think of interesting questions to which they do not know the answer. Ask them what they think the people in the picture are thinking or saying. Ask, What would you like to ask (that person)? What would you like to know? Although this will take time at ﬁrst, once the children begin to understand what you are expecting them to do, they will think of questions.
And the more questions they ask, the more they will think of. One question will make somebody else think of another question. Write each question down clearly on a strip of paper. Then use prestik to stick it down with one end touching the picture. When you have written several questions down, and stuck up your learners’ questions, it will look something like this! When you have recorded quite a lot of questions, get your learners to think of possible answers to their questions. Encourage them to give reasons for the answers that they suggest.
Working in pairs or small groups
Now let your learners do this in small groups. Make sure you have enough pictures so that you can give each group 3 or 4 pictures to choose from. They will have to reach consensus about which picture they will work with. Give them only a limited amount of time to choose just one picture. Then hand out a large sheet of paper, a wax crayon, and some prestik.
Get your learners to think of possible answers to their questions. Encourage them to give reasons for the answers that they suggest.
Tell the children that you want them to think of all the questions that they would like to ask about the picture that they have chosen. Encourage them to think of interesting questions to which they do not know the answer. (For example, you don’t want them to write down questions like, How many people are in the picture? because they can see how many – unless it’s a huge crowd! Or, What is the colour of the car? when everybody can see that the car is red.) You want the children to think of questions that they could think about and discuss later, and then think of possible answers.
Extending the Activity
When your learners have experienced this activity several times, you could extend the activity by asking the pairs or small groups to swap pictures and questions. Then a pair or group will have to answer the questions another group have thought of. This is quite challenging. And it is a good way for learners to see how important it is to think about their questions carefully. Have they worded them so that whoever reads the questions will understand them? Could they make their questions simpler?
You will ﬁnd that this activity requires learners to read (pictures), think, speak and listen, think some more, write, read what they’ve written, think some more, re-write bits, read again, think some more, and so on. It’s a long process. And it involves all aspects of language!
What you will need
You will need to ﬁnd some good photographs that are relevant to your learners’ lives and experiences. Black and white photographs are ﬁne. You will need to choose the pictures carefully. And you will need to ﬁnd at least 20. Each learner will work on her/ his own picture. And you need to make sure that not more than 2 or 3 learners have the same picture to work with.
Mask (cover up) about half of each picture before you make a master copy. This is very important, because you will ask your learners to draw in the part that is missing. If you have a master copy, you can keep it and use it again another year, with a different group of learners.
Introducing the activity
We have found it works well if you ﬁrst show your learners what you want them to do. You will need a large picture that you have not made a copy of. Put the picture on the board, and gather your learners around you. Discuss the picture with your learners. Ask them to tell you what they can see happening in the picture. What are the people doing? Where are they? Get your learners to describe as much as possible. But don’t take too long. This is only the introduction to the activity!! Then take a piece of paper and cover over a part of the picture. Tell your learners that you are going to give each child a picture with part of it missing. Tell them that you want them to draw in everything that they think is missing. Ask them to look really carefully at the picture, so that they can make good guesses about what it missing. Tell the children that they must draw everything they think is missing.
You will need to give your class time to look at their pictures carefully, before they start to draw. Their drawings will provide evidence of their careful observation. While they work you can move from group to group observing how your learners work. When you see that a number of children have ﬁnished drawing, encourage the rest of the class to ﬁnish off their drawings.
Sharing and Comparing
Get each learner to share her / his drawing with another child with the same picture. The children could either swap their pictures, or they could describe their completed pictures to one another. This is an important part of the activity, and gives the learners a chance to think about, discuss and compare their interpretations of the pictures.
Display your learners’ work
We suggest that you display a number of these drawings on the wall of your classroom. Make a note of the names of the children whose work you display. Then when you display other work, you can make sure that you display the work of different children. In this way all your learners will feel afﬁrmed and valued.
Speech and Thinking Bubbles
What you will need
You will need a lot of pictures for this activity. You can use black-andwhite or full-colour pictures. Make sure that you have enough pictures to give each pair or small group one picture.
Introducing the activity
Begin by showing your children what you want them to do. Don’t just rely on spoken instructions. Take a large picture that you will not be giving to any of the children in your class. If at all possible, gather your learners around you and discuss the picture with them. Ask them to tell you what they think the main people in the picture might be thinking or saying. When the children make suggestions, write what they say in a speech bubble or a thinking bubble. Then take a small piece of prestik and stick the speech or thinking bubble next to the person who is saying or thinking that. Do the same with the other people in the picture.
Working in pairs or small groups
Next give each pair or small group a picture. Ask your learners to discuss the picture that you have given them. Ask them to think about what the people in their picture are thinking or saying. Give them time. This is an important part of the activity. They need to think and talk before they write. While the children are talking move around your class and give each pair or small group several speech and thinking bubbles. Tell your learners to write in the speech bubbles what they think the people in their picture might be saying. If they don’t think the people are speaking, then tell them to write in the thinking bubbles what they think the people in their picture are thinking.
When the children have completed writing what they think the people are thinking and saying, get each pair or small group to tell the rest of the class about their picture, and what they think the people are thinking or saying. In this way, your learners will be thinking, speaking and listening, and writing and reading. They will be involved in a Whole Language learning event.
Marlene told us that a Grade 4 teacher she worked with this year took a cartoon story with 2 characters (a Mom and a young boy) and cut out the strips. Over a few days her learners created a story about the mom and boy and wrote in the conversation between them. The teacher didn’t worry about the story line. She allowed her learners to write in what they thought the two people were saying. In this way the teacher allowed her class to create their own texts. Many Sunday newspapers now have comic supplements. These could be a wonderful resource for Intermediate Phase teachers.
What you will need
You will need quite a lot of pictures without captions for this activity. You will need at least one picture for each small group. Make sure that there are at least 2 or 3 people in the picture. You will need to ﬁnd pictures that will make your learners think and talk. Make sure that the pictures are ones that your learners will ﬁnd interesting, and that are appropriate and relevant to their interests and experiences.
You could introduce this activity with the activity suggested in the ﬁrst section of this book, on page 11.
Introducing the Activity – working together
The ﬁrst time you get your learners to think about writing captions for pictures, if it is at all possible, get your learners to bring their chairs to the front of the class near the chalkboard. You want everybody to be able to see the picture clearly. Take one of the pictures you have collected. Either hold up the picture, or put it on the board. Ask your learners to look at the picture carefully. Encourage them to talk about it. Ask them, What is happening in the picture? What are the people doing? What do you think happened before the picture was taken? What do you think will happen next? When you feel that the children have covered most of what is visible in the picture, tell them that sometimes pictures have captions under them. A caption sums up what the picture is all about. Ask your learners to think what you should write as a caption for this picture. Write each suggestion on a strip of paper. As you write the caption, repeat the words the child has suggested. When you put it up near the picture, read it. When you have several different captions, read them all. Encourage your learners to read the captions with you. You could ask your learners to think about the different captions, and to choose the one they think ﬁts the picture best.
Now let the children write captions without you
When your class are familiar with what they need to do to write a caption, they can work more independently. Give each small group a picture. Ask your learners to look at their pictures carefully and to talk together about them. Then ask them to write down their ideas for appropriate captions quickly. You don’t want them to worry about their handwriting and spelling and grammar. You just want them to write. They could write either on recycled paper or in a rough workbook. When they have recorded their ideas roughly, give each small group a few strips of paper to write down their captions neatly. Then tell them to choose the caption(s) that ﬁt the picture best. Alternatively, when they share their pictures and captions with the rest of the class, the other children could suggest which caption they think ﬁts the picture best.
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What you will need
For this activity you will need several pictures that you have not used with your learners before. You need pictures with which they are not familiar. And all the pictures need to be about the same topic.
1. Tell your learners you are going to play a game. Ask up to 6 children to volunteer to leave the room. Then tell the rest of the class that you are going to look at a picture together very carefully. You can either choose one of the pictures yourself, or you can let your learners choose. But you want to work with just one picture. 2. Get your learners to talk about the picture. Explain that you are going to put the picture away. Then tell the class that you will soon invite one of the children outside the classroom to come back in. The children inside the classroom will help you describe the picture that they have chosen. 3. Invite one of the children back into the classroom. Let your class describe the picture they have chosen. The child must listen carefully to the class as they describe the picture. Do not show this child the picture. 4. Then invite another child back into the class. Ask the ﬁrst child who returned to tell the second child what s / he has been told. Then invite the third child back into the room. Ask the second child who returned to repeat what s / he has been told. Continue in this way until all the children outside the class have heard what was described in the picture. 5. When the last child of the group that was outside the classroom has heard the description, or clues, put out all the pictures that you have on this topic. Ask this last child to choose the picture s/he thinks is the one that was chosen and described. Make sure that you reassure this learner, and all the learners that went outside of the classroom. Don’t let them feel uncomfortable or inadequate. Explain that it is very hard to choose the right picture because messages get distorted (changed). Tell them that it’s difﬁcult to describe a picture you have seen. But it’s even more difﬁcult to describe a picture you haven’t seen! The game shows us clearly how careful we need to be when we hear something. We need to be wary of rumours. Look how much changes in the re-telling!
If you do this activity fairly regularly, your children will be quite comfortable with it. And they won’t lose confidence about their listening and speaking abilities. The activity requires the speakers to be very clear and specific. It also requires the listeners to listen very carefully. And the all children will have to really think. You could point out to your learners that the title of this game, Rumour Clinic, is important. The game shows us clearly how careful we need to be when we hear something. We need to be wary of rumours. Look how much changes in the re-telling!
Using Songs and Music for Whole Language
Music in our Lives
Music plays a big part in our lives. There is music on the radio, music on the television. When we go to supermarkets and shops, music is playing in the background. Adverts have music. Music is a big industry. We sing to express our emotions, our joy, and our sorrow, to celebrate, to protest. We make music to dance to. From the earliest times our ancestors also made music to express their feelings and to entertain themselves, just as we continue to do today.
For example: What songs / music do you listen to? Why? Who are your favourite artists? Why do you like them? How does their music make you feel? Which songs do you like best? What songs do you like to sing? What about adverts? Which adverts have good tunes or songs? Do you know the words? As your learners respond to your questions, write up their comments and ideas on the ﬂip-chart or on the chalkboard. Make a mind-map of what they tell you. This is what the Grade 5s told their teacher at Manenberg Primary School.
Drawing and Writing to Music
Music and Feelings
What you will need Choose some music that you really like and which you can play in your classroom. It might be a good idea to choose some music with no singing, no words.
Listening to the Music
Then gather your learners around you, if possible, either on the carpet or get them to bring their chairs to the front of the class near the chalkboard. Tell your learners you are going to play some music for them to listen to. Tell them that you want them to be very quiet and to listen very carefully. If you think it will help, tell them to close their eyes. Then play the music for them to listen to.
Getting Learners Thinking
When you have played the piece of music through once, ask your learners, What did it make you think of? Listen to what the children tell you and write their ideas on the chalkboard. Then tell your learners that you want them to draw pictures of what the music makes them think about and how it makes them feel.
Drawing and Writing
Ask the children to return to their tables and give each child a piece of paper. Play the piece of music again, and let them draw as the music is playing. We think you will ﬁnd that this activity has a very calming effect on your learners, especially if the music isn’t too loud or noisy. When they have spent some time drawing, ask them to write about what the music made them think about, and how it made them feel.
Make sure that you display some of this work to celebrate your learners’ ideas and work. If possible, try to display work of children who rarely achieve their potential. This will have an afﬁrming effect on them and on their attitude to learning and school experiences.
Writing a Story to go with Music
What you will need
You will need to ﬁnd some music or a song to share with your learners. Choose music that you think will be a good starting point for writing a story. You will also need some ﬂip-chart paper and some kokis.
If at all possible, get your learners to bring their chairs to the front of the class near the chalkboard and gather them around you. Tell your learners you are going to play some music for them to listen to. Tell them that you want them to be very quiet and to listen very carefully. If you think it will help, tell them to close their eyes. Then play the music for them to listen to.
Discussing the Music
When the piece of music is ﬁnished, put up a sheet of ﬂip-chart paper. Ask your learners, What did the music make you think of? Encourage them to talk. Write up their ideas as they share them. This will help learners who struggle to write, and it will serve as a reminder later of what was said in this discussion.
Writing Stories inspired by Music
Then tell your learners that you want them to work in small groups of 3 or 4 to make up a story. Tell them that you will play the piece of music again. Suggest that they make a rough mind-map of their ideas before they start to write their story. Then let them return to their desks. Write up some questions to guide them as they write. For example How will you begin your story? How do stories begin? Where does your story take place? What are the people in your story like? What do they do? What happens? How do the people in your story feel? How does your story end?
Write up their ideas as they share them. This will help learners who struggle to write, and it will serve as a reminder later of what was said in this discussion.
Tell your learners to write a rough draft of their story ﬁrst. When they have done this, they could swap stories with another group and comment on the other group’s story. They can point out where they do not quite understand something. They can make suggestions about spelling and the order of the story. If they have any questions about the story, they can write these questions on the back page.
When the groups get their original stories back, they can edit (improve on) them. Then each group can write out their story neatly and even illustrate it. You could then compile all the stories and illustrations into a book to put into the book corner of your class. We know that when learners see their own work displayed, they are encouraged to do even better. And when learners know that their classmates will read their work, this has a remarkable effect on their work. They become more critical of writing and this has a positive effect on their own writing. You will probably ﬁnd that the children who really enjoyed doing this, will write another story for homework. You could display these stories on your classroom walls.
In this Whole Language activity, your learners will have spoken and listened. They will have written and read, re-written and re-read, read the work of another group and written comments, and then re-read their own work and edited and written a final draft. Throughout this process everybody will have been thinking and thinking and thinking.
Acting out the Story – for an audience
You can extend this activity, and bring in more thinking, speaking and listening if you get your learners to act the story. First ask your learners to discuss in their groups the story they have co-created. Ask them to think who could take the different parts or roles. Then get them to think about how they should dramatise the story. You will need to give them time to do this. But set a limit on the time that your learners have to prepare. If the weather is good, the groups could work outside. Because they have to be responsible for producing their own short plays, you can use this time to observe how they work together. If a group is not on task, you can spend time helping them to focus and explaining that this is work, too. When a group needs some support, you will be available to give that support. Your learners will probably need a whole period to prepare to act out their stories. Outside school, many primary school learners have quite serious responsibilities. Many of them are capable of much more than we realise. We often underestimate what they can do. We will never know how much they are capable of if we don’t give them opportunities to show us. Outside school, many primary school learners have quite serious responsibilities. Many of them are capable of much more than we realise.
When the preparation time is up, arrange a special time when each group can act out their story for the rest of the class. Make a small space for a ‘stage’ in your classroom. Insist that the other groups make a respectful audience and listen carefully. Tell your class that you want them to assess each other’s plays, and offer suggestions for improvement. If your learners enjoy this experience, you could even suggest that they present their plays to the rest of the phase or the school. Alternatively, just the groups who are keen to do this could do so.
Songs, raps and spontaneous praise poetry
What you will need
The ﬁrst time you try this activity with your learners, choose a song that you know is popular with your learners. You will need to play the song several times so that your class can catch the words.
Introducing the activity
Tell your learners that you are going to play a song for them to listen to. Tell them that you want them to listen very carefully because you want them to talk about it. Then play the song. Listen carefully to the words yourself, as well as observing your learners and their responses to the music.
Discussing the song
When the song is over, ask your learners to talk to one other person. In this way, everybody in your class will have an opportunity to talk. Ask your learners to talk about the song and what they think it is about. What do they think of the song? Do they like it? Why? While they are talking play the song again, softly. Don’t allow too much time for this talk. Keep an eye on everybody. After a few minutes, stop your learners and ask them the same questions (see page 37) that you used to get them to write stories. This is a good way to monitor your groups and to check that everybody is on task. You may even feel it’s a good idea to play the song again.
Co-creating raps or poems
Then tell your learners to work in groups of 4 to co-create a rap or a poem. Tell them to use the ideas in the song that you have played for them. Also tell them to write down their rap or poem. You will need to give your learners a reasonable amount of time for this. While they are busy working at this task, they will be speaking and listening, writing and reading. And of course, they’ll be thinking! And you will be able to move from group to group supporting your learners.
When they have completed their raps and / or poems, make a special time for each group to perform their piece. (You could do this the next day.) Make a space for a ‘stage’. Encourage your learners to listen respectfully and to assess each group’s rap or poem. Afterwards, give each group a piece of paper and ask them to write out their rap or poem neatly. Display some of your learners’ work on the classroom walls. Make sure that the work you display is not always from the same learners. You will ﬁnd that when learners see their work displayed, it encourages them to do more and to do better. When you have done this activity several times, you could invite your learners to bring in songs they like to listen to and to work with in class. You may well ﬁnd that your learners want to perform their rap or poem to other classes. If so, you could negotiate this with either a teacher who teaches another class in the same grade, or with a teacher you have a good relationship with.
Looking at the language of adverts
Texts (or pieces of language – written and spoken) come in many different shapes and sizes. We get short texts and long texts. Some are formal and some are more informal. When we talk about the different kinds of written language, we talk about genres. There are a number of different genres, and the language of adverts is one of those. It is described as the language of persuasion. As we have pointed out already, advertisements on the radio and television are usually accompanied by music or songs. We know how effective this is. We hear the same adverts over and over again. We know what we are going to hear and see. Quite quickly we learn the words, and can predict what we will hear and / or see next. This is true of our learners, too. There are a number of different genres, and the language of adverts is one of those. It is described as the language of persuasion.
Setting the task
Set your learners a task to look, listen, and watch for advertisements for about a week. Tell them to look around them when they are walking or travelling in the streets. Tell them to listen to the adverts on the radio. And tell them to watch the advertisements on the TV. You will also need to be aware of the adverts you see and hear around you. If possible, tape-record an advert with a song.
Then plan a time when you can discuss this with your learners. Start by asking your learners to work in small groups of 4 to share the
adverts they heard and liked. Why did they like the adverts? What product was the advert promoting? How did the advert make them feel? Ask your learners to think about the words that were used in the adverts. Then conduct a whole class discussion with your learners. Ask your learners what they found out when they conducted their research into advertisements. What songs did they hear? What were the words? Was the song an old one that had been adapted? If so, what were the adaptations? What did they think of the advert? How did it make them feel?
Thinking about the language of persuasion
Talk with your learners about the words that were used in the adverts and how those words made them feel. Did they feel that they had to have the product? Why? Tell your learners that you want them to think of something else that they would like to advertise. You could choose one thing for all your groups to advertise. Or you could give each group something different to advertise. Or you could let each group choose what they would like to create an advert for.
Designing Advertisements with Songs and Pictures
Encourage your learners to think about the words they use. Get them to plan their advertisement carefully. Ask them to draw a picture of what the advert will look like. Get them to think of the song carefully, and make up appropriate words. Make sure that they write down the words. As you move from group to group, draw your learners’ attention to the words that they’ve chosen to use. How effective are the words? How persuasive are they? Will the advert ‘sell’ the product?
Evaluating one another’s work
Set a limit on the time you give your learners. Monitor their progress as you move from group to group. When you feel they’ve had enough time, stop them. Get each group to share their advert with the rest of the class. Ask your learners to assess each group’s advert for it’s effectiveness and suitability.
Music as a cultural activity
Have a discussion with your learners about music. Ask them to think about the role music plays in all our lives. Start by asking your learners to discuss some questions in groups of 4. Ask them to think about music. Here are some questions you could use:
How did music begin? Why did people make music? How did they come to make music? What caused them to make music? When did they make music – at what times of day? Where did they sing and make music? What did people ﬁrst do to accompany themselves when they sang? What do your learners think were the ﬁrst musical instruments? What was the earliest music like? Why is the music of different countries different? In what ways is the music of different countries similar? What is the same today as it was when the ﬁrst songs were sung? We are sure you will think of more questions. These are just a few to start your discussion. Watch as your learners discuss these questions. You will see who is participating enthusiastically. You may be surprised at the interest of some of your learners. After a time, stop your learners and conduct a class discussion with them. As they share their ideas, record their comments and thoughts in the form of a mind-map. Then ask each group to make up a story of how the earliest people began to make music. They will have had a chance to think about this in both their group discussions and the class discussion. This might take your learners some time if they are thinking carefully about what they are writing. When they have completed the ﬁrst drafts of their stories, get the groups to swap and comment on each other’s work. Give them time to edit their work, and to take note of the comments of their peers. Then get your learners to write a neat ﬁnal draft and make a drawing to illustrate their story. You could collect these stories and drawings and make a class book of your learners’ work. You could give the book the title, How We Think Music Started and put it in your book corner.
“ . . . Invite pupils to use language. Get them to talk about things they need to understand. Show them it’s all right to ask questions and listen to the answers, and then to react or ask more questions. We hope you ﬁnd the ideas in this booklet inspiring. And we would really like to hear about your experiences as you carry out these activities with your learners. When we ran the workshops at the PSP we were so excited by the stories the teachers told us of their experiences trialling the activities. And going into schools to take photographs for this booklet, we’ve been excited by the teachers’ enthusiasm as well as the evidence of learners using all aspects of language in these activities. We would like to conclude this booklet with some words from Kenneth Goodman about using a Whole Language approach. “ . . . Invite pupils to use language. Get them to talk about things they need to understand. Show them it’s all right to ask questions and listen to the answers, and then to react or ask more questions. Suggest that they write about what happens to them, so they can come to grips with their experiences and share them with others. Encourage them to read for information, to cope with the print that surrounds them everywhere, to enjoy a good story. This way, teachers can work with children in the natural direction of their growth. Language learning then becomes as easy in school as out. And it’s more interesting, more stimulating, and more fun for the kids and their teachers. What happens in school supports and expands what happens outside of school. Whole language programs get it all together: the language, the culture, the community, the learner, and the teacher.
It’s easy when: It’s real and natural. It’s whole. It’s sensible. It’s interesting. It’s relevant. It belongs to the learner. It’s part of a real event. It has social utility. It has purpose for the learner. The learner chooses to use it. It’s accessible to the learner. The learner has power to use it.
It’s hard when: It’s artiﬁcial. It’s broken into bits and pieces. It’s nonsense. It’s dull and uninteresting. It’s irrelevant to the learner. It belongs to somebody else. It’s out of context. It has no social value. It has no discernible purpose. It’s imposed by someone else. It’s inaccessible. The learner is powerless.
These lists show that a whole language program is more pleasant and more fun for both pupils and teachers. Is it also more effective? Yes, it is. With the language they’ve already learned, children bring to school their natural tendency to want to make sense of the world. When schools break language into bits and pieces, sense becomes nonsense. Each abstract bit and piece that is learned is soon forgotten as kids go on to further fractured fragments. In the end, they begin to think of school as a place where nothing ever seems to make sense. That’s why learning language in the real world is easy, and learning language in school should be easy, but is often hard.” (From What’s Whole in Whole Language by Ken Goodman 2005: 4-5) If your school separates reading, writing, talking (oral) and spelling into different periods, try to get the teachers together to talk. Talk to your colleagues about how this way of learning (separating different aspects of language) is more difﬁcult. Show them what your learners are doing and encourage them to work in the same way. If you are conﬁdent, offer to teach a lesson with another teacher.
Teachers who attended the Whole Language Workshops in 2006
ACJ Pakade Mr Luthando Mbete Mr Isaac Mcinziba Mr Xolile Plaatjies Bonga Ms Lulama Booi Mr Thomas Mdevulana Bongolethu Ms Vuyiswa Obose Ms Lumka Pepeta Darul Islam Aisha Abrahams Eisleben Ms Regina Sampson Ms Elon Van Schalkwyk Ms Deseree Voges Fairview Ms Sabrina Sasman Hlengisa Ms Peliswa Mlindi Ikhusi Ms Ntombizakothi Dziba Impendulo Mr Linley Tshoki Intshinga Ms Bushy Tybosch Ms Ntombizonke Nkosi Isikhokelo Ms Doreen Donkrag Ms Carol Guqa T Mjaleni Ms Nolitha Puta Kwa-Faku Mr Sizwe Matomela Liwa Ms Noluthando Banzana Moshe Lechoo Luzuko Mr Nkosinathi Mafuta Mr Sindisa Tobi Manenberg Ms A Africa Ms Gladys VD Heyde Ms Fuldila Jacobs Ms Christina Leite Ms Rosemary Piedt Mfuleni Ms Buyiswa Booi Ms Zukiswa Manyisane Mr Tobela Mbenenge Ms Thandiswa Mfobo Ms Barbara Mhlambiso Ms Nozipho September Ms Vuyiswa Stevens Nal’kamva Mr Vuyani Jako Mr Siyabubela Mbokotho Mr Vukile Mntambo Ms Monica Mpepho Mr Zibele Nyiko Nkazimlo Mr Mncedisi Jacob Ms Nomonde Mlozana Mr Mzingisi Ntshwanti Parkﬁelds Ms Diane Williams Philippi K W Batala BC Nohayi Portavue Ms Noorbanu Dhansay-El Feky St Louis Ms Nombulelo Dlova Ms Innocentia Monethi Sakumlandela Ms Ntsiki Daniel Sigcawu Ms Shirley Da Grass Ms Noluntu Tonise V Van Wyk Silukhanyo Ms Lizeka Dyani BJ Rubushe HM Siwundla Siyazakha Ms Nozikhumbuzo Gqeza Sosebenza TV Tikilili TV Nofemele Ms WM Hamza J Mayongo Talfalah S Habib Mr Samir Daniels Vuselela Ms Pheleza Ngculu Watsonia Ms Norma Williams Ms Mary-Joan Swartz Zimasa N Magodla
Special thanks to Fuldila Jacobs and Gladys vd Heyde of Manenberg Primary, and Tobela Mbenenge of Mfuleni Primary for their time and help trialling activities.
WESTERN CAPE PRIMARY SCIENCE PROGRAMME TRUST (PSP)
The PSP is an in-service education organisation that supports primary school teachers in the ﬁeld of Natural Sciences and related learning areas particularly in township primary schools in the Western Cape. We are based at the Edith Stephens Wetland Park, Philippi, situated close to many disadvantaged communities in the Cape Flats. The PSP has been operating since 1984 and has built up good relationships with over 200 primary schools from all the township areas, including the Boland and West Coast rural areas. More than 1 050 teachers from grades 4 to 7 and 126 000 children beneﬁt from the work of the PSP. The PSP works in an environment where most teachers and learners have to operate in a 2nd or 3rd additional language. We therefore also work on developing learners’ communication skills while focusing on science related learning areas and environment. The PSP currently operates with a complement of nine staff.
Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP) Edith Stephens Wetland Park ; Lansdowne Road ; Philippi ; Cape Flats ; 7785 P.O. Box 24158; Lansdowne; 7779 ; South Africa Tel: (021) 6919039 ; Fax: (021) 6916350 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; website: www.psp.org.za NPO: 015-822 Registration Number: IT2806/99