This week we ran our Boosting Post Lockdown Literacy workshop (you can purchase a recording of the session here if you missed it). One of the key things we spoke about in the session was the importance of embedding literacy routines into English classes – things like regular micro reading and writing practice. One particular literacy strategy we looked at was the explicit instruction of how to organise and sequence ideas. Below is a range of specific strategies you can implement depending on what text type students are working on (download these as a PDF here: Practising organising and sequencing ideas). However, all of these strategies are variations of this one big one: in every unit, get students to generate ideas, group them (into categories of body paragraphs) and then discuss the best way to sequence these ideas. Discussions of the best way to sequence ideas should be rooted in these questions:
- What is the purpose of this text type?
- What ideas do we need to achieve this purpose?
- How should we sequence these ideas to achieve this purpose?
|What text type can you use this for||Strategy|
|Persuasive, Essay||All students individually brainstorm ideas, points and examples for a task on slips of paper. Students then share their brainstorming in a group of 3-4, organise ideas and examples into body paragraph groups, sort body paragraphs into a sequence and draft topic sentences.|
|Persuasive, Essay||Split students into small groups and give each group a grid with randomly organised ideas, examples and words. Students need to cut these out, organise ideas and examples into body paragraph groups, sort body paragraphs into a sequence and draft topic sentences.|
|Any text||Give each student an example text (essay, short story, persuasive piece) with the paragraph breaks removed. On their own, each students needs to identify where the paragraph breaks should go. Students then work in small groups to discuss where they thought paragraphs should go and why.|
|Any text||Any time you are study the structure of one text (such as how to start a short story), compare the reasons for this structure to the reasons for why other texts students have already studies (such as an essay) are structured differently.|
|Persuasive, Essay||Give each student an example text (essay, persuasive piece) with blank space where there should be topic sentences at the start of each paragraph. On their own, students should write topic sentences. Students then work in small groups to discuss the different topic sentences they came up with.|
|Any text||Split students into small groups and give each group an example text where the order of paragraphs has been jumbled. Students need to cut the paragraphs out and sequence them.|
|Persuasive, Essay||Split students into groups and provide students with a series of points or examples they could use as the basis of paragraphs. Ask students to apply a selection and sequencing criteria to choose the best points and examples to use in response to a task and to then sequence the points. Criteria could be: (essay) Most relevant point through to point which challenges or offers a different perspective to the topic; (persuasive) most interesting point through to takeaway message.|
|Persuasive, Non-fiction||To complete a written task such as ‘Present a point of view on why or why not school uniform should be compulsory,’ give students a resource sheet which contains different types of information such as charts, short written pieces, quotes, infographics and pictures. Students need to identify ideas and examples the information presents and use this to develop and sort paragraphs.|