For 3 weeks in November 2018 covering 6 lessons, a small group of Year 1 students from SOTA brushed up their English language and critical thinking in their reading, comprehension and expository writing skills.
They came prepared to evaluate their End of Year ELCT paper to pinpoint their main areas of weakness. They were able to articulate their areas for improvement. With this in mind, there were ready to step forward to fine-tune their reading and writing skills.
In the close reading of the articles, the students had to distinguish main ideas from specific details. They also identified the author’s purpose, and they generated questions on what they’ve read. More importantly, they had to recognise assumptions made in the text, and question those assumptions.
For reading comprehension question types, we focused on Inference, Vocabulary-In-Context and ‘In Your Own Words’ questions. Each of these question types require different strategies and answering techniques. They had the opportunity to practise the three different question types. They shared their answers and was given immediate feedback.
The Response Writing section of the comprehension paper requires them to analyse the theme, purpose, audience and context (PAC) of the graphics presented to them. This section proved a little challenging for some of the students because they were required to write a short expository piece based on the graphic and corresponding questions given. They were able to link the graphic with the theme and PAC using the PEEL structure for expository writing.
The expository writing skills focused on crafting thesis statements, topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences. They were introduced to a variety of opening hooks, and how to select an appropriate one for their essay. Writing an effective introduction and concluding paragraph were not the easiest, but they managed to write them really well.
It was an intensive package specially tailored for this group of students who amaze me with their creative and whimsical perspective on things. I have enjoyed my interactions with them, and I hope they have taken away valuable tools to help them hone their English language and critical thinking, reading and writing skills.