GenreThis genre was chosen in relation to the HSIE topic ‘Built Environments’ as the students learn facts about natural and built environments in Australia. The learning is based on ‘realities’, which would be best explained/described through an information report. The students would be able show their understanding of what they learnt about environments in Australia through an information report as they can write the facts they now know; using the heading and subheadings in an information report. This topic could not have been explained as effectively in a procedure, narrative or personal recount, as they all require the use of adjectives, saying/feeling verbs as opposed to relating verbs which state what is (BOS, NSW, 2007).
I chose to teach the students ‘relating verbs’ with in this genre of information reports, as it is evident there is a dominance of relating verbs in information report. An information report states what is rather than what is happening – consequently, action, saying, sensing and feeling words are barely present in this text type.
The lessons planned are underpinned by an inquiry based approach to learning where the children are engaging in hands-on, real life experiences. It requires children to gather information themselves while using the inquiry processes to learn new skills and knowledge (Hunter, 2000). There is plenty of group work which encourages cooperative learning and engages children in critical discussions based on their learning (Brophy&Alleman, 2007).
The experiences cater for a range of learning styles suggested by Gardner (1993) – the use of books, discussions, visual, video clips, computers, group and individual work facilitate rich learning styles to meet the learning needs of all children. This means of learning is influenced by Reynolds (2009), where it is suggested the use of both explicit teaching and an inquiry approach is needed to be an effective teacher. The unit of work utilises children’s books which are a powerful tool in getting across ideas to teach children Literacy and other KLAs. The subject matter in this topic is relevant to the students’ lives in both their local area and in a broader context of Australia. This too makes it more interesting for children, suggested by Branson, Brown and Cocking (2002).