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Putting it all together - creating a text-based unit

Unit 10


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If you want to create your own units of work based on rich texts, this session will take you through the process from start to finish - choosing a text, marking out learning intentions, considering outcomes and picking scaffolds for structure and language. We look at an overview map of units with themes that have been created to be built upon from one year to the next. With some units lasting for 3-4 weeks, consideration is given to how teachers can plan responsively each day, instead of working out a schedule too far in advance that might not match pupils’ progress. The structure of the lessons is brought into question too - in particular, will the traditional three-part lesson always yield the best results? To walk through the process in more detail we take the example of The Odyssey. We look at how the unit would begin with up to four days of immersing children in the text through close reading and booktalk. This part brings together all the ideas explored in the other units from this series, such as picking our central themes for discussion. Before launching into a longer piece of writing, we look at how children might be set smaller tasks, such as writing a character study of Odysseus or a mini essay on the subject of whether or not Odysseus is a good leader. Having edited this work, children would progress to writing their own Odyssey stories, working first with the class to model share and edit ideas. The results of this approach will be seen in the details and quality of children’s writing, which should be celebrated and shared at the end of the unit.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of James Clements

James Clements

While working as a senior leader in an outstanding inner city primary school, James was instrumental in developing effective reading provision, and was also consulted on the 2014 National Curriculum. A former local authority lead teacher, he is now an English advisor supporting schools and LAs to improve the teaching of reading, writing and drama - and an author for Oxford Owl.

About the Course

In this set of films, education adviser James Clements explores how teachers can develop a text-based approach to the English curriculum. The films take a detailed look at selecting texts, structuring units of work and practical classroom ideas for using rich texts in the classroom.

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