Transcript of Literature to inspire composing video

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Responding and composing is at the core of the new English syllabus. So once you choose a great piece of literature and the students are engaged in that by responding to the themes and the issues and the style of the author, well, then, the composing part just lends itself beautifully. And it's just a natural process, evolution of what starts off and how you end up.

Today we are going to take on the role of the mother and we're going to pretend that letter did not exist and we're going to write our own personal letter. Do you think the mother loves her family?

Students: Yes.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: She does love her family. She's left because of how she feels. She still loves them. She doesn't like how she's being treated.

Whether it be a persuasive or imaginative or informative piece of writing, all of that can stem from a great picture book.

I've got two types of letters here. Who can tell me the difference between the two, the most obvious difference between the two types of letters? Elissa?

Elissa: The first letter, which is the blue one, it's very formal and she, um, just got straight to the point.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: OK, it's way too formal. She might write it to someone she doesn't know that well. So let's have a look over here. Think about all the ideas we came up with in the previous session. We've got our scaffolding sheet that we are going to look at. And we are going to focus our first paragraph, after our introduction, we're going to talk about how she feels. We talked about the sepia and what's going on and her face is down. What do you think she's feeling?

Student 1: Negative and unhappy with everything.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: OK, OK. At this point, I am now going to back up how I'm feeling with things that she does. Why does she feel this way?

Student 2: She washes everything and irons and cleans.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: OK. "I cook, iron..." What types of pronouns are we going to use in our writing? Lachlan.

Lachlan: Um, personal pronouns.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Personal pronouns. So the reason why we're doing that is otherwise it doesn't sound like we're writing from the mother's point of view.

As a result of using quality literature in my classroom, the students' compositions are outstanding because they have a really firm grasp of what is expected of them and they have something really great to model their writing towards. And they use that literature as a soundboard and a basis of what their own compositions are going to look like.

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