SOLO - Pre-structural Bloom's Taxonomy - Remembering Action Learning - Deciding SAMR - Substitution

Fact Recall

Fat and Skinny Questions


Students recall all the facts they know about the question posed. If you are using Inspiration you can use the Rapid Fire button which will enable the students to add more information to each main fact.
Children need to learn how to write good questions. This exercise has children creating both fat and skinny questions. The fat questions are more likely to be open and have more than one answer. The Skinny questions are more likely to be closed and have one answer. Use this to prepare a survey or an interview.
The KWL chart stands for K –What do we know?; W –What do we want to know?; L- What have we learned? Students draw on their own knowledge, decide what else they would like to know and then they find the answers to those questions.
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Students are faced with a graphic from which they need to find some keywords. Using the cues of What, Who, Where, eats and looks like. Criteria can be changed according to what the graphic is.

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SOLO - Uni-structural Bloom's Taxonomy - Understanding Action Learning - Searching & Finding SAMR - Augmentation

The 5 Ws

Finding Keywords

Basic comprehension questions starting with the 5 Ws. Students identify Where, What, Who,
When, Where as it happens in the story.
This is one method for finding keywords. From the initial question write all the possible reasons or answers that could answer the main question. Use the colour code to identify which answers are more probable and then highlight the nouns and verbs, these will be the keywords.

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Internet search words

The Question Keywords

The Alphabet Key

The Internet Search words diagram assists students to find keywords they can use for
their research. Students write a research question and from that question they have to devise more memory and convergent questions that may help them to identify their keywords. Once they have answered the questions they pick out the words that might best be their research keywords.
When searching on the internet you can receive millions of hits, but the more pertinent keywords you use will minimize the hits. From the initial question type in some keywords in the boxes, use a thesaurus or right click on keyword using Word or Inspiration 8 to find synonyms.
Compile a list of words from A to Z which has relevance to topic. Younger students can find the words starting with the letters of the alphabet and a picture for each slide. Older students should write sentences either with definitions or meaning of the word in context. Great activity for Reading and Inquiry.
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SOLO - Multistructural Bloom's Taxonomy - Applying Action Learning - Using & Analysing SAMR - Augmentation/Modification

Expanded Question


Sometimes students are tempted to answer a question with a limited answer. By following
the expanded question format they have to answer a question by breaking it down and
then writing the final answer from what they have written.
Choose interesting words that are in the text and create sentences that might have missing words or where the answer is in the Wordfind.
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Story Development

Pre-Character Description

Describe this Character

In a story development students have to be able to identify what was the main
problem or issue and then describe how it was solved.
Sometimes descriptions of characters are provided by other characters in the book, so they are
opinions. Find all descriptions of one particular character and provided evidence that agrees or
disagrees with the descriptions.
Describe one aspect of the character and find an example from the story that support your description, go on to add more aspects.
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Wanted Poster

Story Cube

What does it mean?

Make a Wanted Poster about a character. Identify
what the Character is wanted for and a description
of what they look like.
Choose six important parts of your story and draw pictures on the cube to tell the story. Make a story
mobile by hanging them together. Or use the online Cube Creator and make a cube with Questions and answers.
Sometimes there is a whole phrase or a sentence that can be quite complex. Using this Graphic Organiser you can break the sentence down into single words, find the dictionary meanings of those words and then try and work out what the sentence really means.
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Narrative Outline

Character Description Meanings

Interview Questions

Analyse the details of a plot by identifying all the language features. Show the developing understanding of comprehension.
Sometimes in stories characters have lots of of character traits. This Graphic Organiser allows the students to list them, find meanings for the words and then make an informed statement about the character.
Write some interview questions for a character in a book. Use the starter words to help form questions to ask. Use these starters to design questions to ask in a survey or when interviewing another person.
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Writing Questions

Stretched Sentences

What do we know?

Students are very able to find internet sites with information but they have difficulty turning that information into their own. Before they even start looking at the internet they need to formulate the question that will give them keywords to search with. Using the mindmap format they type in what they already know. They will then need to choose one of the ideas they have stated that they would like to know more about and generate a question around that.
Start with one idea... the 'Who'(Who are you writing about)and then expand that sentence to include the 'What' (What was that person doing?)
then add the 'When' (When did it happen?)
Explain 'Where' it happened
and finally 'Why' did it happen.
Students can find keywords to use in further research by using what they already know. Depending on the topic decide on what criteria is needed to extract the keywords. Examples of criteria are: characteristics, habitat, food, description, size, feelings etc.
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Finding Relevant Text

Writing Argument

Cyclic Maps

Use keywords to find information on web pages. In this format teachers are able to see if the children can form a question, find keywords, find appropriate information from a website and then write new information using what they have found.
Students decide on a Thesis statement and down one side they write the supporting points with the examples for their supporting points directly opposite. This is encouraging students to think of reasons for their statements by having to come up with examples.
A Cyclic map illustrates how items are related to each other in a repeating cycle. There is no beginning or end to a cyclic map. The Life Cycle chart is a visual cyclic diagram illustrating a life process. Students must identify the main events, how they interact and how the cycle repeats. To take the diagram one step further students summarise each step.
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Sequence of events


Reading about the Character

This Graphic Organiser helps students to write a sequence of events with adverbial phrases. It will help them to focus on the order of events.
Give an account of an event or a story. A recount is a story that has happened in the past. It can be
Factual: a news report
Personal: retelling about an event that has happened to you (write in First person)
Procedural: writing instructions
Fictional: retelling fables, fairytales
Skim and scan the text and find out as much information as you can about the character. You can use text and visual clues that will describe everything about them with the information you have been provided.
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Argument Writing

To write persuasively or to write an argument, the author needs to able to set the scene of the issue, write in present tense. To write an argument there needs to be supporting points and evidence, finally write a conclusion.

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SOLO - Relational Bloom's Taxonomy - Analysing/ Creating Action Learning - Recording/ Presenting SAMR - Modification/Redefintion

Analyse the Storyline

Development of a plot

Character Relationships

Identify the conflict or issue and be able to say how it was resolved.
Students are identifying and analysing characters, conflicts and themes.
Identify the relationships between characters by linking them with coloured arrows relating to the key. Add to the key any other relationships you can find.

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Development of a Story

Letter or email to a character

Excitement Chart

Map how a story builds with rising and falling action, climax, anti-climax and secondary climax.
Write a letter or an email to a character. You could be writing to complain, express an opinion, thank them or ask them questions.
Create an excitement chart that tracks the ups and downs the character feels. Add the feeling on the chart and then explain why the character feels like this, describe the action or event that is happening.
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Character Collage

Trading Cards


Find pictures in magazines or on the internet that you think look like the characters in your story. Make a collage of them and then add quotes that those characters made to the pictures. Share with your group and see if there are any similarities in the pictures you chose.
Make a series of Trading cards where each have a picture of a different character on them with information about them. Students can then print them out, laminate them and use them for trading games.
The KWHL chart has an extra column where students acknowledge where they are going to get their knowledge from. Titles from books and hyperlinks to websites can be added here
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Find information


Informational Report

This example is an overall assessment of a student’s research process. The teacher is able to see what the original question was, what the keywords and criteria were, URL links to the information are recorded and hyperlinks to the Word/Pages/ App that has their notes, and to the final presentation of the information.
A report can be a recount but it has a little more to it where it may state a problem and suggest a solution.
The purpose of a report is to describe and classify information.
Reports have a logical sequence of facts that are stated.
An informational report is written in the present tense and uses technical or scientific language. This format provides the framework for a formally written report emphasizing the logical sequence of facts.
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Information Explanation

Fact and Opinion

What is Fact or Opinion

An Informational Explanation is a small research. Students explore causes and effects. Uses scientific language and written in present tense.
This graphic organiser helps students to identify clues to how authentic a site is.
Sometimes students can have difficulty identifying what is fact or opinion in a piece of writing. Use this graphic organiser to help them sort the sentences into Facts or Opinions.
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Comparison Chart

Cause and Effect

Similarities and Differences

Comparison charts show multiple similarities and differences between two things (people, places, events, ideas, etc.). Charts can be used to show common and different attributes, to compare and contrast items, and to evaluate information.
This exercise has the students looking at the causes and effects of two different Tsunamis. They then analyse what they have discovered and identify the common and different features of Tsunamis. The Websites are hyperlinked with full references listed below.
Similarities and differences compare qualities and characteristics. Students need to be able to categorise what is the same and what is different, once they have that information they can present their findings as a summary.
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Concept Layer Map



A concept map illustrates knowledge and sharing of information. A concept map consists of symbols (or nodes) that contain a concept, item or question and labeled arrowed links that explain the relationship between the symbols. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like a sentence.
Timelines can be used to track, events or personal lives. It can be very visual using a combination of graphics and text or it can be text based only. It tracks major events in a chronological order. An interesting activity to try with children is an alternative timeline where history didn’t happen and something else can be added in to change the history.
The fishbone has a positive and negative format that helps the student organize ideas and information arising from an issue. Students have to identify the key viewpoints of an issue and then classify the ideas. In this example students are identifying the positive and negative issues of having school uniforms.
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Narrative Writing Framework

Big wide Questions

Writing to Describe

Narratives are written to entertain, motivate or teach morals and values. They are written in 2nd and 3rd person and are written in the past tense. Students need to be able to identify a conflict, write the important points in order and then identify the moral or summarise the story.
This Graphic Organiser was designed to help students develop deeper questions that would elicit more meaningful answers rather than ones that could be googled easily or answers that they already knew.
Describe an event or an object using scientific technical language. Write in the present tense using nouns, pronouns and conjunctions. Conclude your writing with an impersonal evaluative comment.
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The Y Chart


The Question Key

Y charts generally have the headings 'Looks like, Feels like and Sounds like', but you could have any category title. A Y chart encourages students to think about something from 3 different perspectives. The 'Feels like' category is more about sensory, how you perceive something.
Design a new innovative and ‘different’ product by making adjustments to an original one. Reinvent and Redesign a new product.
This is one of Tony Ryan’s Thinker keys. Students will need the answer to be able to write 5 questions that will link to the answer.
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SOLO - Extended Abstract Bloom's Taxonomy - Evaluating Action Learning - Evaluation SAMR - Redefintion

Chapter Title Assignment

How to answer a Question

Writing Research Answer Questions

Students type in all the titles of the chapters from the novel.
They then make a prediction of what the first chapter contains.
They then read that chapter and record what the adjustments are.
They then make a prediction for the next chapter, read the chapter
and make adjustments and so on.
Students need to learn how to write proper full answers to questions. They will need to be able to identify key words and incorporate them into their answers.
Students often have trouble forming full answers to questions. Some of the teaching points that need to be made here are
  • What are the keywords?
  • What are the key ideas in the information?
  • What are synonyms for some of the key ideas or keywords?
  • Including some of the question in the answer
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Making Sense

Identify, decide and evaluate

Positive and Negative What if

The internet is full of information, sometimes too much.
Using the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl F, insert a keyword
and click OK to find that keyword in a body of text. Read
the text, if it answers the question then copy that text over
to the Internet information box. Highlight the key points in
the internet information and use those key points to write
new information to answer the question. Following this
procedure the student has to make sense of the internet
information and form new information from it. The teacher
is able to see if the student is able to do this by comparing
the internet information with the new information.
In this example children have to identify all the facts and ideas they have, decide which of the facts/ideas they like and then identify how they feel about the final decision of what they are going to use.
Students list positive and negative statements for a What if…? question. Once they have made those statements they must add more positive and negatives to those statements. They cross out the ones that might be considered ridiculous and make a final statement depending on how many positives and negatives there are.
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What if


Possibilities, Consequences and Decisions

Students list positive and negative statements for a What if…? question.
Once they have made those statements they must add more positive
and negatives to those statements. They cross out the ones that might
be considered ridiculous and make a final statement depending on how
many positives and negatives there are.
PMIs are all about weighing the pros and cons. It is known as Plus, Minus and Interesting (or Implications). In the Plus side type all the positives, in the Minus all the negative, in the interesting/implications add all the things that could be the possible outcomes of the positive or negatives. Add a positive or a negative score to each idea. Analyse the scores.
The PCD approach (adapted from Pohl. M (2000). Teaching Complex Thinking. Hawker Brownlow.) is a decision making model which enables students to think of different possibilities, list the positives and negatives for each possibility and form a decision.
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Before and After Web

Prediction, Evidence, Adjustment

Emphasis and Importance

From your Prior Knowledge write what you already know about what you are going to read.
Once you have read the text add what you have learned in the outside box. Adapted from
an idea by Sheena Cameron.
Students can make predictions about what they are going to read but they need to be able to support those predictions with evidence or clues that they have picked up. Once they have read the text they can then see how close their predictions were by adding any adjustments.
This is a mindmapping example where students brainstorm their ideas and then have to quantify each idea by using an emphasis key and deciding on the importance of each idea. Students then have to summarise their findings.
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Priority Order (Pros, Cons, Opinions)

Venn Diagram 2 ring, 3 ring


Students have a list of items that they have to prioritise. To help them in their decision
making they have to create three different reasons for why they are making their decisions
under the general headings of the pros and cons how do we feel about it.
Venn diagrams list qualities and characteristics and illustrate their relationships. Students need to be able to analyse and synthesise the information to make sense out of it. Once they have organised the information they are then able to list similarities and differences.
SCAMPER is an idea developed by Bob Eberle. It is used to explore creative ideas based around a topic. Students use the questions and the keywords to challenge their thinking and come up with more diverse ideas.
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Scientific Report

Flow Chart


This is a scientific explanation of the characteristics of a particular topic.
Students make a general statement and then follow up with a scientific
description of the topic written in technical language.
Flowcharts are visual illustrations of a set of directions or the steps. Flowcharts help to promote the process of understanding and to identify problem areas. There are many symbols that can be used in flowcharts; the following are the basic symbols.
Define the attributes of an object. Identify and analyse what it is used for, who is the audience, what are the colours, shapes and sizes.
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Explanation writing framework

Planning a Project

T Chart

Students have to explain a phenomenon in this example. They start with a question; they write a general statement and then give at least three different explanations to explain 'Why'. Finally they write a concluding statement.
This can be treated as the framework or planning for their Explanation writing.
You will create a design brief. You will explain who it is for and why. You will explain what the expected outcome is and how you will do it.
T Charts can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes. It all depends what criteria you set.
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Fact/opinion
  • strengths/weaknesses
  • pros/cons
  • problems/solutions
  • inferring/evidence
  • looks like/sounds like
  • I infer/because
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Concept Cartoons

Prediction Wheel

Student explain what they think or what their opinion is about a particular problem.
Students make predictions of the future about statements that cannot be proved...yet!
They have to justify their predictions by answering the question starters. They will need
to think about whether they can answer all the questions.

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Text Message Conversations

Time and National Geographic Templates

Write a text message conversation
  • between 2 characters in a book
  • between 'you' and a character in a book
  • between 'you' and a famous person
  • between you and a member of your family or a friend
  • as part of a Digital Citizenship exercise
Synthesise your information and present it as a Time or National Geographic magazine

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