Assignment 2 Instructions:




Background information for assignment requirements:


The Derewianka Curriculum Cycle (1990) provides a context for planning an English/Literacy program. It focuses on ensuring children are well supported in their learning of language in ‘real life’ situations and in a range of learning areas. Using this cycle you will prepare and submit two assignments that together plan a sequenced classroom teaching program.

When teachers plan, they may integrate several other learning areas around a broad topic which might have as its starting point a whole class experience and include each of the modes of English. However, in these two assignments you will only need to focus on planning the English components of a broad topic. This includes developing children’s oral language together with their viewing, reading and writing competence. Your plan will need to identify and teach one genre in particular so that the students can successfully write their own text.

As an example, class experiences of celebrations around the school’s 21st birthday or centenary may have sparked an interest among students about what school was like in the ‘olden days.’ With discussion, this could have led to an inquiry question such as ‘What was it like in the olden days’ This could then provide a starting point for a broad topic, with the teaching of factual recount as the English focus. In preparation for writing their own historical account of school life in the past, the class might speak to some of the older residents in the district about ‘the past’, then read and view photographs, news reports, documentaries, old “school readers” and text books or picture books which give historical accounts of events. The students would then independently construct and compose a written piece (factual recount) which gives a historical perspective on school life in the days of a grandparent or older citizen.


Overview of the task (i.e. both assignments)

Your task is to use the Curriculum Cycle (Derewianka 1990) as an organising framework for planning to teach students in a junior primary class (Reception – year 2). Using the Australian Curriculum choose a topic you would cover in a JP classroom (e.g. Science – living things have basic needs; the way objects move depends on a variety of factors; History – personal and family histories; present and past family life; Maths – give and follow directions to familiar locations).

You will need to create a generative Inquiry Question for this topic. (The History curriculum provides such questions, although you may wish to adapt one.)

The independent writing focus must be based on a text type in one of the following genres:

• Narrative
• Recount
• Procedure • Explanation • Report

• Argument/Exposition

Together, the two assignments will allow you to describe the kinds of English activities and resources you would use at each stage of the curriculum cycle. They will also allow you to outline how you will assess one major piece of writing in the unit of work. Additionally, you will gain experience in aligning your teaching plan with the Australian Curriculum – English.


Length: 1800 words 40% of your grade Due Date: 5 p.m. Friday 20th March Assignment 2 has two sections:

  1. An introduction to the unit
  2. Building the Field of Knowledge

Your Task

In Assignment 2 you will describe how you would use your inquiry question and the Curriculum Cycle to engage children, emphasising listening, speaking, reading and viewing. You will list a range of texts that build field knowledge and introduce children to the genre that they will later write independently. At this stage the children will not be writing the genre.


Section 1: Introduction to the unit:

  • Identify the curriculum area and topic you are covering.
  • Nominate the year level.
  • State your inquiry question.
  • Identify the genre you want children to learn to write and explain why it is appropriate for students to learn this genre in this topic.


Section 2: Building the Field of Knowledge – the activities in this section will promote reading, viewing, listening and speaking development.

  • Describe 2 ‘prior knowledge’ activities for finding out what the students already know in relation to the topic/inquiry question.
  • List and briefly annotate 8 texts you could use to build the field of knowledge about the topic you have chosen. Some of these should be models of the genre you want the children to write later in the unit. Make sure you use a range of texts, i.e. print (fiction and non-fiction), pictures, diagrams, maps, digital, video, spoken, etc…
  • Describe 2 activities for building students’ knowledge around your planned inquiry question. Identify some of the English that is required / developed in these activities; i.e. the oral language, viewing, reading and/or writing that you would emphasise.
  • Briefly elaborate on how your plans align with the Australian Curriculum – English.

This assignment is NOT an essay. You may use headings, dot points, diagrams … etc. Nevertheless, your assignment must clearly show what you are planning and want to achieve, and therefore is likely to contain some extended prose. Correct use of writing conventions is important and will constitute part of the assessment of your work.


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