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Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Reading Non-Fiction Jolyon Gardner Literacy Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Reading Non-Fiction Jolyon Gardner Literacy Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Reading Non-Fiction Jolyon Gardner Literacy Coordinator Harris Academy Morden

2 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction?

3 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? The biggest influence on our language is our parents 1-in-16 adults cannot identify a concert venue on a poster that contains name of band, price, date, time and venue 7 million UK adults cannot locate the page reference for plumbers in the Yellow Pages Aged 7: children in the top quartile have 7100 words; children in the lowest have around Declining reading comprehension from 8 onwards is largely a result of low vocabulary

4 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Fiction is more personal. Non-fiction has fewer agents: Holidays were taken at resorts During the 17th century roads became straighter

5 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Children’s fiction tends to be chronological: Fiction becomes easier to read; non-fiction presents difficulties all the way through

6 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Non-fiction texts rely on linguistic signposts - moreover, therefore, on the other hand. Children who are unfamiliar with these will not read with the same predictive power as they can with fiction.

7 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Non-fiction tends to have more interrupting constructions: The agouti, a nervous 20-inch rodent from South America, can leap twenty feet from a sitting position. Asteroids are lumps of rock and metal whose paths round the sun lie mainly between Jupiter and Mars.

8 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Fiction uses more active verbs. Non-fiction relies more on the copula (“Oxygen is a gas”) and use of the passive: Some plastics are made by … rather than We make plastics by …

9 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? Non-fiction texts have more complex noun phrases: The remains and shapes of animals and plants are lost in the myriad caves of the region.

10 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction? What can we do to help? 1. Make non-fiction conventions explicit.. actively 2. Get English teachers to use more non-fiction 3. Read non-fiction texts aloud 4. Teach students about interrupting and long subjects, connectives, agent-avoidance! 5. Subject Key Word Lists

11 Literacy TeachMeet – Jolyon Gardner, HAMD Literacy Coordinator Literacy Lesson Focus: reading non-fiction Speaks at conferences on teaching English, grammar, school leadership and behaviour management Head Teacher at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds Thanks to: Geoff Barton


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