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VELS Unit Planner Year 8 Novel Study Team: Year Level: 5

Step 1
1. What is worthy and desiring of understanding? (Identify desired results)
2. What is evidence of understanding? (Determine acceptable evidences)
3. What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence? (Plan learning experiences and instructions)
Key Concept
(Generative topic / why? / Why read?
big idea)
Focus Essential Learning Domain: English
Domain Reading
(Including dimensions) The Reading dimension involves students understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon, and enjoying written and visual,
print and nonprint texts. It encompasses reading and viewing a wide range of texts and media, including literary texts such as novels, short
stories, poetry and plays as well as popular fiction and non-fiction works, newspapers and magazines, illustrations, posters and charts, film and
television and the texts associated with information and communications technology. Reading involves active engagement with texts and the
development of knowledge about the relationship between them and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development of
knowledge about a range of strategies for reading.

At Level 5, students read and view imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that explore ideas and information related to challenging
topics, themes and issues. They identify the ideas, themes and issues explored in these texts, and provide supporting evidence to justify their
interpretations. They produce personal responses, for example, interpretive pieces and character profiles. They infer meanings and messages in
texts, analyse how social values or attitudes are conveyed, compare the presentation of information and ideas in different texts, and identify
cause and effect in informative texts.

Writing
The Writing dimension involves students in the active process of conceiving, planning, composing, editing and publishing a range of texts
including writing for print and electronic media and performance. Writing involves using appropriate language for particular purposes or
occasions, both formal and informal, to express and represent ideas, issues, arguments, events, experience,character, emotion and information
and to reflect on such ideas. It involves the development of knowledge about strategies for writing and the conventions of Standard Australian
English. Students develop a metalanguage to discuss language conventions and use.

At Level 5, students produce, in print and electronic forms, texts for a variety of purposes, including speculating, hypothesising, persuading
and reflecting. They write extended narratives or scripts with attention to characterisation, consistency of viewpoint and development of a
resolution. They write arguments that state and justify a personal viewpoint; reports incorporating challenging themes and issues; personal
reflections on, or evaluations of, texts presenting challenging themes and issues. Students improve the accuracy and readability of their writing,
developing confidence in the identification and use of grammatical conventions and features of language and in their use of figurative
language. They use a range of punctuation accurately to support meaning, including the use of ellipses, dashes, colons and semi-colons. They
control tenses, and subject-verb and noun-pronoun agreement. They accurately identify and use different parts of speech. They edit their
writing for clarity, coherence and consistency of style, and proofread and correct spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Speaking and listening
This dimension refers to the various formal and informal ways oral language is used to convey and receive meaning. It involves the
development and demonstration of knowledge about the appropriate oral language for particular audiences and occasions, including body
language and voice. It also involves the development of active-listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken
texts including everyday communication, group discussion, formal presentations and speeches, storytelling and negotiating.

At Level 5, students plan, rehearse and make presentations for different purposes. They sustain a point of view and provide succinct accounts
of personal experiences or events. They adjust their speaking to take account of context, purpose and audience, and vary tone, volume and pace
of speech to create or emphasise meaning. When listening to spoken texts, they identify the main idea and supporting details and summarise
them for others. They identify opinions offered by others, propose other relevant viewpoints and extend ideas in a constructive manner.

Supporting Domains Domain: Communication


(Including dimensions) Presenting
At Level 5, students use the communication conventions, forms and language appropriate to the subject to convey a clear message across a
range of presentation forms to meet the needs of the context, purpose and audience. They provide and use constructive feedback and reflection
to develop effective communication skills.

Dimensions: Thinking Processes


Reasoning, Processing & Inquiry
At Level 5, students use a range of question types, and locate and select relevant information from varied sources when undertaking
investigations. When identifying and synthesising relevant information, they use a range of appropriate strategies of reasoning and analysis to
evaluate evidence and consider their own and others’ points of view. They use a range of discipline-based methodologies. They complete
activities focusing on problem solving and decision making which involve an increasing number of variables and solutions.

Reflection, Evaluation and Metacognition


At Level 5, students explain the purpose of a range of thinking tools and use them in appropriate contexts. They use specific language to
describe their thinking and reflect on their thinking processes during their investigations. They modify and evaluate their thinking strategies.
They describe and explain changes that may occur in their ideas and beliefs over time.

Understanding Goals 1 2 3 4
(Written as essential What is the context for this What are the themes and What message does it have How do you respond to the
questions or statements) novel? symbols in this novel? for the reader? novel?
Step 2
1. What is worthy and desiring of understanding? (Identify desired results)
2. What is evidence of understanding? (Determine acceptable evidences)
3. What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence? (Plan learning experiences and instructions)
Sequence Understanding Performances of Understanding Ongoing Assessment Reference to
Goals (Criteria, feedback & reflection) specific VELS
(What we want the students to do) (How we will assess the students) standards
Introductory
Performances 1, 3 Discussion of cover design and blurb and Class discussion
(Tuning in) students make predictions based on that
discussion as to the plot and characters in the
story.
Observation of discussion groups
Teacher led discussion of the context for the
novel, students to have input into the discussion
based on prior knowledge and experience.
Class feedback on the board
Discuss the opening chapters, the setting (time
and place), main characters and what some of Notes in book
the major themes will be.

Guided Inquiry
Performances Reading the remainder of the novel, both in A range of short and long answer questions.
(Finding out / 1, 2, 3, 4 class and for homework. Questions and
sorting out / discussions in class to monitor individual Class discussions.
going further) understanding of the novel. Reading can be
silent or aloud. Listening to discussions or text being read
aloud.
Character analysis and timeline can be filled in
as reading progresses. Group work on characters or themes that can
be presented to the class or written up.

Culminating
Performances Students may have individual or group Group performance or individual Presenting:
(Making activities to choose from to demonstrate their performance. They use subject-
conclusions / 1, 2, 3, 4 understanding of the novel. specific language
taking action) Poster, brochure, PowerPoint or worksheet and conventions in
Generally these tasks are creative and/or (will vary with novel studied). accordance with
analytical to show the student’s ability to the purpose of
demonstrate their mature understanding of the An essay for the whole. Students should be their presentation
text. beginning to write extended pieces. to communicate
complex
information.

Step 3
1. What is worthy and desiring of understanding? (Identify desired results)
2. What is evidence of understanding? (Determine acceptable evidences)
3. What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence? (Plan learning experiences and instructions)

Weekly Overview
(Units may vary in length. A 6 week timeframe is not prescriptive)
Week 1 Hand out novel and read the blurb, discuss predictions. Write predictions. Begin reading opening chapters and answer short answer questions.
Discussion on characters, setting (time and place) and possible themes that may arise.
Hand out LA and discuss all tasks that are compulsory.

Week 2 Reading novel either in class or for homework. Continue discussions on characters, begin to plot the main events of the novel and how they
impact of the characters. Continue class discussions and complete short and long answer questions.

Week 3 Reading novel either in class or for homework. Continue discussions on characters, begin to plot the main events of the novel and how they
impact of the characters. Continue class discussions and complete short and long answer questions.

Week 4 Reading novel either in class or for homework. Continue discussions on characters, begin to plot the main events of the novel and how they
impact of the characters. Continue class discussions and complete short and long answer questions.
Need to choose a culminating performance task.

Week 5 Preparing for final task.


Week 6 Viewing presentations, if any, that require an audience.

Resources

Check Novel Study folders for separate novels that are studied at this year level. Each folder should contain at least one assignment per novel. Teachers may
create new work or combine assignments if they choose to.

Novels studied in Year 8 include –


- The Hobbit
- Dougy
- The Car
- Al Capsella
- The Simpsons
- Short Story (Sting in the Tale)
- Hatchet
- Harry Potter