Fact or fiction? Comparing texts…

101_0403In preparation for our final assessment, we summarised the strengths and drawbacks of the three different types of texts we used to study about Apartheid in South Africa. Which ‘way’ did you like the best?  What makes you say this?  We will communicate our thinking in a separate blog post during Friday’s lesson, so give some thought to it before then!


What makes a good blog post?

In class today we used a ‘chalk-talk- routine to start a ‘silent conversation’ on what we believed made a good blog post.

Naturally, what seemed like a simple answer blossomed into some interesting conversations.  Our ‘chalk-talks’ are below.

Following this, we then read a post from another Grade 7 class that was much more detailed, posting connections, thoughts or questions – similar to what we did in our class chalk-talk’.

(Sorry about the file format.  Also here is the link to Ms. Cox’s class)

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G7 research assignment – organising our findings

Today, we discussed basic beginning-middle-end structures of texts.  We outlined the need for:

– a clearly defined overall topic
– a thesis about the main topic (main or important idea about the topic)
sub-topics, or categories for information, that relate back to this main topic.

We then used pie graphs to think about our categories. We found that our research questions were a good way to help us create this sub-topics. Following this, we then thought about a logical order for these ideas. We found that:

* basic, general facts often come first
* details become more specific as we progress through the text
* there is often an influence of time/chronology; events are put in a chronological order
* the conclusion of something (or end of an event) often comes at the end… fancy that!

We then applied this process to our own topics.  Here is what our focus groups came up with:

Finally, we examined some magazine articles, looking for elements of content, organisation and style/language.  Here are our deconstructions:

Criterion (A) Content:
– pictures
– graphs
– maps
– interesting anecdotes / stories
–  quotes from famous people

Criterion (B) Organisation:
– big title
– sub-headings
– captions for pictures
– some indented quotes or important lines of text, written in a big box
– beginning, middle and end

Criterion (C) Style and Language Use:
– proper nouns (names of people and places)
– mix of first person and third person; sometimes there was a personal point of view, other times it was more distant
– different points of view
– noun phrases (complicated sounding words)
– present and past tense verbs (though we thought past tense would be more useful for us in this assignment)


Introducing Africa!

Today we started our new unit called ‘Fact or Fiction?’

Through the lens of human ingenuity, we will explore the unit question ‘What is the relationship between texts and the real world?

Please think about this question and type in your tentative thesis in the comments section!  What is the relationship between texts and the real world?