Literacy and English: Fourth Level: Reading

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1 Experiences and outcomes Before and as I read, I can apply strategies and use resources independently to help me read a wide variety of texts and/ or find the information I need. Lit 4-13a I can make notes and organise them to develop my thinking, help retain and recall information, explore issues and create new texts, using my own words as appropriate. Lit 4-15a To show my understanding, I can give detailed, evaluative comments, with evidence, on the content and form of short and extended texts, and respond to different kinds of questions and other types of close reading tasks. Eng 4-17a To help me develop an informed view, I can recognise persuasion and bias, identify some of the techniques used to influence my opinion, and assess the reliability of information and credibility and value of my sources. Lit 4-18a I can: This is the task the learners were given. It outlines what they had to include in the poster. It also directs them to find information and convey it to the audience using their own words. To produce work typical of achievement at fourth level, learners understood that they should be able to: from their reading, select and use information appropriate to purpose and audience demonstrate understanding by using their own words where possible evaluate the effectiveness of a source on the Civil Rights Movement. In History, after studying the Civil Rights Movement in America, learners were asked to explain what they understood about the movement and the progress that had been made. They had to independently decide how they would present the information and use their notes to help them explain their thoughts on the subject. This learner chose to demonstrate such understanding through the creation of a poster. discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of structure, characterisation and /or setting using some supporting evidence identify how the writer s main theme or central concerns are revealed and can recognise how they relate to my own and others experiences identify and make a personal evaluation of the effect of aspects of the writer s style and other features appropriate to genre using some relevant evidence. Eng 4-19a Significant aspects of learning Use reading and listening strategies to understand, analyse and evaluate texts. Learning statements In order to demonstrate achievement of a level in reading, the learner provides a range of evidence related to the experiences and outcomes such as: Independently applies appropriate reading strategies to read a wide range of texts and / or find information. Analyses texts in depth using evidence from the text and clearly expresses key ideas. Makes and organises notes using own words and uses these to develop thinking, retain and recall information, explore problems and create new texts. Evaluates the use of persuasive techniques, including bias, and the evidence and reliability of sources. Evaluates the use of structure, characterisation and setting using evidence. Shows effectively how the theme is developed and links to own and others experiences / the author s purpose / the central concerns of the text. The learner has used illustrations as a visual aid for the audience to help them understand some of the complex ideas surrounding the topic of civil rights. This demonstrates the learner s own understanding. In this third box, the learner clearly evaluates the information given in the task about civil rights and justifies her opinions using evidence from the source and her own knowledge of the topic. The learner has clearly created and made use of notes and organised them effectively into four different sections. There has also been a clear attempt to use their own words. The learner has demonstrated relevant learning in 4 areas in this piece: what life was like for black people in America before the movement; what the civil rights movement did to make progress; an evaluation of the source; what was achieved at the time by the movement. The learner s reading informs what information is independently selected and how notes and ideas, including the use of diagrams, are organised. These are effectively used to demonstrate what the learner has understood and the line of thought chosen to be shared with the audience. There is also a clear attempt to evaluate the source they were given in the 3 rd box: the learner uses a quotation from the source and explains how it helps us understand that, at the time, people thought that the movement had made some progress. Throughout, there is an attempt to use own words to demonstrate understanding and it is clear that the learner has used notes taken throughout the unit of work to create a response to the question regarding the Civil Rights Movement. I learned to take information from texts and show my understanding of it by putting it in my own words. I can also identify persuasion in a text and explain how it is used to influence my point of view. I know how to use evidence to show how reading a text helps me understand a particular idea.

2 This answer was in response to a task set after the class had been studying a unit on farming in History. The learners undertook the task independently and this particular question asked students to evaluate how fully a source described changes in farming between 1830 and demonstrate understanding of key ideas make judgements about the veracity and validity of a source be able to give sound reasons for their judgements based on what they had read structure their answer in such a way as to support their line of thought. The learner s answer is in response to question 2 and he has evaluated source A in his answer. The learner explains that the new machinery meant that people lost their jobs, which is a valid interpretation of fewer hands were needed. By using the word partly the learner shows that he is already considering the validity of the source in response to the question and we can infer that the learner understands and that he thinks the source does not fully describe the change in the countryside. The learner clearly indicates that he is going to explain in which ways the source does not fully explain the change, showing an evaluative stance. The learner s use of specialist vocabulary in the correct context when discussing farming methods demonstrates understanding. There is clear evidence that the learner is using his own knowledge of the topic on order to explain fully the ways in which the source A is limited. He makes references to crops and livestock, both of which are not present in source A. This suggests that he has read other texts regarding this topic. Learner attempts to use own words and explains that the word enclosures, in the source, means newly enclosed land. The learner shows a clear understanding of the task through the use of excellent connectives to link his arguments together. He uses these as pointers to guide his audience through his line of thought. The learner s answer, very skilfully, identifies two ways in which the source describes changes in farming accurately and two aspects of these changes that have been completely left out by the source. The learner uses his own words in his answer, for example rather than using the word enclosure from the source he changes this to enclosed land. He also links his points very clearly together by employing a wide range of vocabulary, such as also and finally. These clearly highlight the points he makes, making it easy for his audience to follow his line of thought and demonstrates his understanding of the issues. I have learned how to develop my understanding of a topic and use this to structure argument. I can evaluate a source and explain its main point using my own words I know how to use the knowledge that I have gained from other texts I have read to evaluate a source and make a judgement about it.

3 Learners have read and analysed the text Animal Farm by George Orwell. The text has been read in class and many co-operative activities have been used to ensure that the learners are familiar with the key ideas of the text, characters, themes and setting. The task is to create a critical response have to one of three essay questions. The learners choose the question themselves following a lesson which explored how to structure a critical essay as this was their first attempt. take account of the purpose of the question and organise their ideas accordingly ensure ideas are well structured and linked effectively use quotation to exemplify main points analyse and evaluate quotations. Question chosen by learner How does Animal Farm explore, in an effective way, a theme which is important to you? Explain how Orwell introduces and develops the theme and show to what extent he has effectively engaged your interest in it. In your response, you should refer closely to the text, characterisation and theme. The learner uses sophisticated terminology with ease: socialism, capitalism utopian tsarist they use these terms but are also able to show familiarity and understanding of them. The learner uses quotations and, for the most part, is able to analyse and evaluate how the quotation helps to back up the points being made. The learner also demonstrates skill in analysing the main characters and, in particular, linking the behaviour of the characters to Orwell s political views.

4 I found this essay hard to write because we didn t get much help to plan so I had to use what I had learned in previous lessons. I liked the novel and the way that Orwell used animals to draw attention to the events in Russia. I think that I could have been clearer in describing what I think Orwell was trying to do in creating these characters. I also think that I need to take more time edit my work. I know the book really well and I think I used good quotations to help me make my points. The work is of a high standard. The piece demonstrates clear understanding of the central concerns of the text as they are able to mention/pick out several of the key moments and explain the importance of these moments. There is also a clear personal response to the text and to Orwell s views.

5 As part of a wider study of 'Countries in Conflict', this formative assessment task gave learners the opportunity to independently read a challenging text, apply skills of close reading and attempt certain question types such as: 'In your own words', 'quote a word or expression', 'word choice', ' sentence structure', 'effect of punctuation', 'tone' and 'link questions'. The passage and questions are available on the SQA website and are almost identical to the 2009 Intermediate 2 close reading assessment; 'Dickens - the Hero of Soweto'. However, the question numbers do not correspond to the SQA marking instructions. The adapted passage, questions and marking scheme are attached and called Reading Challenge paper. Questions identify the intended audience and justify how they know this understand the main and supporting ideas analyse and comment on the effect of sentence or paragraph structure, punctuation and word choice comment on the effect of tone. Dickens the Hero of Soweto Look at lines Explain fully any technique the writer uses to make the opening paragraph dramatic. (2 A) 2. The writer tells us that Soweto has come to symbolise the uprising against oppression. Write down one expression in lines 4-7 that exemplifies uprising and an expression which continues the idea of oppression. (2 U) 3. Explain in your own words what the marchers were objecting to.(2 U) 4. Explain in your own words why this issue was so important to them.(1 U) Look at lines Explain in your own words why Dickens s books were not banned by the regime. (1 U) 6. Explain in your own words why Dickens s book Oliver Twist was so captivating for the Soweto children. (2 U) 7. Explain the purpose of the exclamation mark in line 18. (1 A) 8. But there were not enough books to go around. Explain how this sentence acts as a link between this paragraph and the previous one. (2 A) 9. Explain fully how the paragraph between lines 28 and 31 goes on to illustrate the idea that there weren t enough books to go around. (2 A) Look at lines Explain why the writer s use of reward (line 35) is ironic. (2 A) 11. Explain why the writer s use of examples of Dickens s writing and characters in lines is effective in illustrating her argument at this point. (3 A) 12. Look at lines Explain in your own words why Hugh Masekela believed Dickens was so important to black South Africans. (2 U) Look at lines Explain in your own words how the grandmothers instilled a love of books in their grandchildren. (2 U) 14. Explain any aspect of structure in the paragraph on line 52 that contributes to its effectiveness. (2 A) The final two questions focus on the last paragraph, and on the intended audience for the passage as a whole. 15. Who might be the intended audience for the article justify your choice with reference to the content of the passage. (2E) In selecting the target audience think about age, interests, concerns, occupation 16. Explain why the final paragraph provides an effective conclusion to the passage as a whole. (2E) Hector Pieterson was 12 when he died. Today a museum bearing his name commemorates his death and hundreds of others which occurred over thirty years ago at a place whose name has come to symbolise the uprising against repression: Soweto. Hector was one of thousands of black children who took to the streets on June 16, 1976, in protest about schooling under the apartheid regime in South Africa. When police opened fire on the march it brought the word Soweto to the attention of the world. But less well known is the role that Charles Dickens played in events. The march was in protest at a government edict making Afrikaans compulsory in schools. From January 1976, half of the subjects were to be taught in it, including ones where difficulties in translation were often an issue. To pupils accustomed to being taught in English, the Afrikaans policy was the last in a line of insults Delivered in the name of Bantu or native education. They thought being taught in Afrikaans, the language of the people who had tried to unpeople them, would cost them their last remaining freedom that of thinking for themselves, of using their minds. That is where Dickens came in. Many books were banned under Apartheid, but not the classics of English literature. Pupils arriving hungry at school every day were captivated by the story of a frail but courageous boy named Oliver Twist. The book was a revelation. Systemised oppression of childhood happened in England too! They were not alone. Slave labour, thin rations, and cruel taunts were part of a child s life in the outside world as well. One former pupil, now in his forties, says of Dickens: Four or five of us would be together and discuss the stories. And to think he wasn t banned! The authorities didn t know what was in these books, and how they helped us be strong, to think we were not forgotten. Follow the links to see the full documents: Dickens the hero of Soweto, learner response and the S3 Reading Challenge Paper (including questions and text) I chose to self-correct the paper as the class went over the answers to get an idea of what I was doing well and what I needed to improve. I think I am good at explaining the effect of punctuation. I need to improve my understanding by reading more carefully. Although the learner misses out questions 11, 12 and 13 in this challenge paper, the ability to use own words is still demonstrated (Q4), accurately, in most of their answers - if required. The answers are, on the whole, succinct and show a good understanding of the main ideas (Q6). The learner is able to comment on: the effect of punctuation (Q7); sentence structure (Q1, Q8 and Q14); use of statistics (Q9); the effect of the passage's conclusion (Q14); tone (Q10). The task did not require the learner to be given a score out of 30 and the marks per question were there as a guide. However, this learner decided to self-correct the work as the class went over the answers to arrive at a final score. There is a good, strong attempt to explain the effect of punctuation and sentence structure. Excellent concentration was shown throughout the task. The next step would be read even more carefully to avoid misunderstandings like in Q3 and to try to attempt all questions.

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