Connecting parts of texts

Students need to be able to scan texts to see all images, headings and different sections of print and then see how these relate to each other.

Activity 1: linking key words in texts

Have student in pairs identify (and highlight if possible) key words and words with similar meanings in a text. Students read the headings or sentences around the words and discuss what they mean and how they connect to each other. Draw lines of connection between the key words if working on photocopies or a screen. Have students consider what other information is missing or that they would like to find out by searching in the library or on the internet.

Activity 2: identifying how images relate to words

Select picture books with the following range of relationships between the images and language:

  • equivalent meanings (for example, labelled images)
  • elaborated meanings (extra information in either image or language about participant or process represented in both image and language)
  • complementary meaning where image and text add to each other (additional participants or processes in either image or words, for example, a map that can only be understood through the legend)
  • divergent meaning (image and words contradict each other, for example, 'Magic Beach' by Alison Lester)

Treating one book at a time, ask open ended questions to get students to describe what is represented in the images and then what is stated in the words. Ask students to identify where meanings are the same, elaborated, additional or different. Where relevant, discuss how the meaning of the whole text can be more than the sum of the meaning of the parts. Ask students to explain why they think the author and illustrator have created the text in this way – elicit answers about intended audience, what made the text effective etc.

References

Australian curriculum – ACELA1524: Text structure and organisation: Identify and explain how analytical images like figures, tables, diagrams, maps and graphs contribute to our understanding of verbal information in factual and persuasive texts.

NSW syllabus – EN3-3A: Identify and explain how analytical images like figures, tables, diagrams, maps and graphs contribute to our understanding of verbal information in factual and persuasive texts.

NSW literacy continuum – Comprehension, Cluster 12, Marker 2: Reinterprets ideas and issues by creating innovative personal responses to ideas and issues in literary texts through oral, dramatic, written and multimodal presentations.

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