The Lost Thing- Shaun Tan


Stage 2: English lesson on responding to an image.

Aim: to consider how visual features can create a response in the reader.

Resources:      IWB notebook file.
The lost thing by Shaun Tan.
1. Read book, making comments about images and how the text is supported by the images, and how the author uses various features of the image to convey a feeling.

2.  Select an image in the book (cover the text) and brainstorm with students. How does the image make you feel? get them to refer to image to support their answer. Show students the text and discuss how it supports the image.

3. Using the IWB activity, get students to  select which words apply to which image.

4. Get students to brainstorm on more descriptive words. Use ICT tool to adjust the hues of the images and get students to think how images can be manipulated and can elicit different feelings through emphasis on different features.

5.  get students to create their own. They will need to describe what they hope to convey and how they are doing this. Without showing this description to a partner, the partner will write a response to another student’s image.


Examples of educational blogs

Year 3 Superstars

This is one class blog which I have found which I think is a good example to show students when modelling what an effective blog looks like. The blog gives an introduction to the class and the teacher documents significant events and activities. I like that the teacher poses questions and students offer their knowledge as comments. As these students are 11 and 12 years old, I think they would be more capable and should be getting more involved in the blogging process, however I think getting students to make comments is a good starting point. I hope that there will be opportunities for the class, perhaps later in the year, to take more responsibility in the blogging process, both in contributing to a group blog and also in making their own blog. It displays a clear list of blog-use guidelines, hopefully which the class negotiated at the beginning of the year.

Miss T’s Classroom

This blog differs from the first in that both students and the teacher are responsible for the blog entries on the main site, while students also have their own individual blogs. It also shows how the internet can be used to communicate with students overseas- for instance, these students are teaching (through video) a class in South Africa how to speak maori. The blog displays the guidelines for use, and also allows for parents to become involved in their child’s learning- displaying students homework for the week as well as important messages. It also displays a range of links to different sites, for use in supporting learning in different KLAs.

Making connections through blogging

In a world where an increasing amount of people have an internet connection in their pocket, blogging is one of the simplest ways to share ideas instantly. According to Kim Pericles (2008), principal at Belmore South, bringing blogs into the classroom allows for connections to be made across the world, and also across KLAs.

Blogs are interactive: they allow for multiple authors and interaction between authors and audience.  A great thing about blogging is that it can take on different forms and also provides for different purposes, allowing for many opportunities to use within the classroom. Pericles also discusses how students are motivated to engage in blogging- both on their own blogs and also interacting with other bloggers across the world. By incorporating blog use within the classroom, the Quality Learning environment can only be enhanced.

Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6

Being readers in the new world.

While these puppet’s may look a bit silly, they speak a lot of sense.

The main message which they try to convey to the audience is the importance of remaining critical thinkers in the new world of literacy. Just as is the same with more traditional literacy sources, we need to keep in mind the author’s intentions in their message- who they are trying to convince and why this may be. The  mistake which one can make when reading “new literacies” is taking everything as it is, without question. With the amount of information that is available to us through digital sources, and with the ever growing population of “writers,”  it is scary to think how many readers/consumers never question what is being presented. It is therefore important to educate our students about how the “truth” is constructed. In teaching them to be critical thinkers, we can be assured that they will benefit from the endless knowledge which is at their fingertips.

What’s new? Literacy of the modern world.

The modern world has seen changes in the way we access, understand and create information.  “New Literacies” can be understood as being linked to the opportunities that technology has brought with it. This can perhaps most strongly be seen in the way that technology has transformed notions of intelligence, from individual to collective. Technology has turned the public “readers” into active participants: we see a high frequency of exchange and a wider range of perspectives being displayed. This change is no doubt valuable in gaining an understanding of our world,  however at the same time we need to remember to remain critical observers. Utilizing “new literacies” is about recognizing the mindset surrounding more “traditional” literacies, and at the same time embracing ideas surrounding the “new” (Knobel & Lankshear, 2006).  As teacher’s we need to devise strategies to “multitask:”  educating students to be literate in both traditional literacy and “new” literacy will ensure meaningful interaction with the world.

Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2006), Discussing New Literacies. Language Arts 84(1), 78-86