You are on page 1of 4

The central focus of this unit is Relationships and Bullying, how actions taken by students

have an effect on others around them. The planned series of lessons and the provided
resources aim to develop the students understanding of the negative outcomes associated
with bullying and aligns with content descriptors ACPPS056 Examine the influence of
emotional responses on behaviour and relationships and ACPPS060 Identify how valuing
diversity positively influences the wellbeing of the community (Australian Curriculum,
Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2013c). Students will develop this
understanding through exploration of the legend of The Green Children of Woolfolk, a folk
tale about accepting difference and adapting to a new culture, and The Invisible
Discriminator, a Beyond Blue Advertisement about challenging racism. Students will
participate in activities designed to deepen their understanding of the themes embedded
within these two resources, and develop their empathy. Empathy is a trait that will have
enduring value beyond the classroom (Wiggins, 2001) and encompasses the ability to see
and value the feelings and experiences of others and is a core skill that will help students to
build close relationships and maintain friendships, and increase their ability to understand
and work with their own emotions and the emotions of others (Pizarro & Salovey, 2002).
Ultimately, students will produce their own letter to the Editor, expressing their views on
acceptance and on challenging discrimination.

The summative assessment focuses on the students written output at the end of the unit.
Although the big idea is Relationships and Bullying with a focus on teaching the children
about empathy, empathy is not an assessable attribute as per the Australian Curriculum.
The assessed work relates to the English Curriculum; Appendix A addresses the highlighted
elements of the content descriptors listed under Year Level Content Descriptors relating to
Language, Literature and Literacy and the highlighted elements of the year level
achievement standards, and assesses whether the students demonstrated learning is well
developed, developing or not yet developed. The summative task and the preceding tasks
have been designed to assist students in achieving the standards, by demonstrating the
learning indicators listed in Appendix A.

When designing this unit plan, it was the content descriptors and achievement standards
that I looked at first. Wiggins and McTighe (2011) assert that activities should be derived
from targeted goals or standards, as clear teaching goals result in more specifically defined
teaching and learning targets. If students know what goal they are striving to obtain, their
learning will be more focused. The goal of designing any learning plan is to develop the

students knowledge and abilities and as such, teachers need to think first about the needs
of the students, for example, interests, developmental levels and previous achievements,
and then about what kind of lessons and experiences are needed in order for students to
master the appropriate achievement standards. Teachers should begin by determining the
required results what students should know, understand and be able to do, then determine
what evidence of learning would be satisfactory in order to demonstrate that students have
attained the desired conceptual understanding and skills, and following those processes,
then plan the teaching and learning experiences. Wiggins and McTighe (2011) call this kind
of planning backward design and it diverges from conventional design, which would
traditionally begin with textbooks, favoured lessons or activities. The benefits of backward
design include preventing the students from becoming immersed solely in the factual details
of a unit, and assisting them with seeing the bigger picture or learning goal that they are
working towards. Lessons are designed with a clear vision of what the overall outcome is to
be, thus telling a that leads the students towards the conclusion. The assessments are
designed before the lesson planning, guiding the lesson to the required outcome and
keeping the lesson on track.

This unit plan provides multiple opportunities for assessment and incorporates formal,
informal, formative and summative assessments. I have outlined how I will use each of these
assessment types below:

Informal/formative assessment: systematically observing and monitoring the

students contributions to class discussions and brainstorms.

This will allow me to monitor which students are understanding the concepts
addressed and which are not, to provide encouragement to the students who
are finding the topic more difficult and to give immediate and meaningful
feedback. I will make anecdotal notes as I go which will form a cumulative
record of student learning and inform future instruction (The University of
Sydney [UOS], n.d.).

Informal/formative assessment: circulating amongst the class as they complete their

story wheels and placemats and pose questions to guide their investigations.

This will allow me to gain a deeper knowledge of what the students do and do
not understand and allow me to go over the subject matter again for those
who require it (UOS, n.d.).

Story wheels and placemats will be collected for analysis of student

understanding and will be placed in the students portfolios as work samples
for reporting to parents.

Informal/diagnostic: assess students' ability to search for information online by

observing their interest level in the research activity and contribution to class
discussion following.

The students are required to search for examples of persuasive letters or

letters to the Editor in order to be able to participate in the next activity. I am
not assessing them for ICT capabilities this unit though, this activity will serve
more as a diagnostic to determine whether students can successfully source
this information independently.

Formative: persuasion maps


The persuasion maps will assist students who may understand the concept
however have significant difficulty relaying their message due to the low level
literacy skills.

Summative: letter to the Editor


I will use this assessment to evaluate to what extent student have absorbed
the content of the unit and recreated it in an authentic way. Appendix A will
assess the letter itself, while Appendix B will assess to what extent the work
shown over the course of the unit has demonstrated the learning outcomes.
These tasks and rubrics will be used when preparing student reports.

This summative task is an authentic assessment in that it relates to a real life activity
(Readman & Allen, 2014). A letter to the Editor is a medium for expressing a personal
opinion on a subject and communicating this to a diverse audience. It requires a clear,
concise purpose or objective. This purpose could be to create awareness of an issue, or to
suggest a resolution to an issue. It should use emotive vocabulary c hoices and reasoning
supported by evidence, in order to be convincing and/or persuasive. A letter to the Editor is a
persuasive text, with the aim of expressing personal views to the wider public. It should
address one topic, or, if the issue is complex, a couple of key points pertaining to the topic,
and should address an issue of current personal or community concern. The letter is an
opportunity to publish personal views and respond to the issues of the day (Oxfam Australia,
n.d.). Students will connect their learning to the purpose of expressing an opinion on the
subject of Relationships and Bullying and apply it using the medium of a letter to the Editor.
It is a rich task, in that it promotes active learning, relates to real issues, provides
opportunities for students to display their progress through the revising and editing

processes and assists students in developing authentic life skills (ACT Government
Education and Training, 2010).

Providing targeted, on the spot feedback helps students to understand when they are
working in the right direction during class. When student feedback is given instantly following
a students response to a question, or as the student is working, the student will respond
positively, as this kind of feedback increases student confidence in the work they are doing.
Waiting too long to give feedback can cause the moment can be lost, and the student might
not subsequently tie the feedback and the action together (Brookhart, 2008). Feedback
given immediately can then be used to guide the student towards his or her learning goals
by correcting any misconceptions they might have. Effective feedback is specific; rather than
"Good job!" or "Nice work!" which are non-specific and do not offer the student any direction,
more effective feedback would be, "That's great work, especially the way you have
understood the feelings another student might have when you say hurtful things"
(Westwood, 2013). This unit plan allows for many opportunities for the teacher to give
immediate feedback as the students are completing their work, that way misconceptions can
be stopped in their tracks. Feedback can also be provided after the lesson or in the following
lesson to build on the knowledge of the students and trigger memories of what was recently
completed (Westwood, 2013).

By recording information about a students progress, teachers are able to track the
improvements he or she has made and report on this (Headington, 2013). This information
only becomes functional when analysed however, as otherwise it is simply data. By
recording and analysing a students progress, teachers are able to provide parents with a
baseline of where the student began the year or semester and show how the student has
progressed throughout. They are also able to keep note of outstanding achievements or
difficulties the student may have, to make parents aware of these, so they can be celebrated
or addressed accordingly (Headington, 2013). When reporting to parents, information must
be clear, individualised and provide accurate information about student learning progress
related to the Australian Curriculum (Headington, 2013). In my notes on assessment tasks, I
will record the areas where students are excelling and also the areas of difficulty they are
experiencing. I will collect individual tasks the persuasion maps and published letters and
provide written observations about students work. Information contained within the rubrics
will be used for students reports, as the specific marking criteria will allow me to give the
individual and accurate feedback that parents require (Headington, 2013).