Language

GRADE 6 | ORAL COMMUNICATION

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

1. listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;
2. use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes;
3. reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS

1. Listening to Understand

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Purpose

1.1 identify a range of purposes for listening in a variety of situations, formal and informal, and set goals related to specific listening tasks (e.g., to identify the perspective in an oral presentation; to identify the strategies and devices used to enhance the impact of a speech; to describe stated and implied ideas in the lyrics of a song)

Active Listening Strategies

1.2 demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behaviour by adapting active listening strategies to suit a variety of situations, including work in groups (e.g., ask questions to deepen understanding and make connections to the ideas of others; summarize or paraphrase information and ideas to focus or clarify understanding; use vocal prompts in dialogues or conversations to express empathy, interest, and personal regard: That’s really interesting. You must have been excited.)

Comprehension Strategies

1.3 identify a variety of listening comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after listening in order to understand and clarify the meaning of increasingly complex oral texts (e.g., use self-questioning to monitor understanding; visualize different elements of an oral text; use note-taking strategies to record important ideas, key words, questions, and predictions)

Demonstrating Understanding

1.4 demonstrate an understanding of the information and ideas in increasingly complex oral texts in a variety of ways (e.g., summarize and explain information and ideas from an oral text, citing important details; ask questions to confirm inferences and value judgements during discussions after listening)

Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts

1.5 interpret oral texts by using stated and implied ideas from the texts
Teacher prompts: “What messages did you get from the speaker’s tone of voice/body language/facial expressions?” “How does paying attention to a speaker’s body language help you interpret what is being said?”

Extending Understanding

1.6 extend understanding of oral texts by connecting, comparing, and contrasting the ideas and information in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights; to other texts, including print and visual texts; and to the world around them (e.g., use dialogue or drama to explore similarities and differences between ideas in oral texts and their own ideas)

Analysing Texts

1.7 analyse oral texts in order to evaluate how well they communicate ideas, opinions, themes, and information (e.g., compare their own response to an oral text with a partner’s response, citing details from the text to support their own view; explain what makes a war veteran’s Remembrance Day speech effective)

Point of View

1.8 identify the point of view presented in oral texts, determine whether they agree with the point of view, and suggest other possible perspectives (e.g., ask questions about the values that are stated and implied by the perspective taken and those that are ignored; use role play or drama to express alternative views)
Teacher prompts: “Whose point of view is being explored in this text?” “Whose voice do we not hear? Is this fair?”

Presentation Strategies

1.9 identify a variety of presentation strategies used in oral texts and analyse their effect on the audience (e.g., the unexpected use of humour or of changes in pace)
Teacher prompt: “Why do you think the speaker paused for so long at that point in the story?”

2. Speaking to Communicate

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Purpose

2.1 identify a variety of purposes for speaking and explain how the purpose and intended audience influence the choice of form (e.g., to clarify thinking through dialogue; to explore different points of view through drama and role playing; to present information to a group)

Interactive Strategies

2.2 demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of appropriate speaking behaviour in a variety of situations, including paired sharing, dialogue, and small- and large-group discussions (e.g., acknowledge different points of view; paraphrase to clarify meaning; adjust the level of formality to suit the audience and purpose for speaking)

Clarity and Coherence

2.3 communicate orally in a clear, coherent manner, using appropriate organizing strategies and formats to link and sequence ideas and information (e.g., present an argument in favour of one point of view on an issue, with an opening statement, sequence of points with supporting evidence, and summary/conclusion)

Appropriate Language

2.4 use appropriate words and phrases from the full range of their vocabulary including inclusive and non-discriminatory language, and stylistic devices appropriate to the purpose and context, to communicate their meaning accurately and engage the interest of their intended audience (e.g., use similes, personification, and comparative adjectives and adverbs to achieve a desired effect)

Vocal Skills and Strategies

2.5 identify a range of vocal effects, including tone, pace, pitch, volume, and a variety of sound effects, and use them appropriately and with sensitivity towards cultural differences to help communicate their meaning (e.g., create different-sounding “voices”for the characters in a dramatization of a story)

Non-Verbal Cues

2.6 identify a variety of non-verbal cues, including facial expression, gestures, and eye contact, and use them in oral communications, appropriately and with sensitivity towards cultural differences, to help convey their meaning (e.g., count off on their fingers as they present each point in an argument)

Visual Aids

2.7 use a variety of appropriate visual aids, (e.g., video images, maps, posters, charts, costumes) to support or enhance oral presentations (e.g., wear a costume to help portray the speaker in a monologue; create a slide show to accompany a report)

3. Reflecting on Oral Communication Skills and Strategies

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Metacognition
3.1 identify, in conversation with the teacher and peers, what strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after listening and speaking and what steps they can take to improve their oral communication skills
Teacher prompts: “What strategies do you use to help you understand and follow a discussion among several people?” “What strategies do you use to recall important information after listening?” “What factors do you consider when deciding whether to use an informal or a formal approach when speaking?”

Interconnected Skills

3.2 identify, in conversation with the teacher and peers, how their skills as viewers, representers, readers, and writers help them improve their oral communication skills
Teacher prompt: “What strategies that you use when preparing to write help you organize your ideas before speaking?”

GRADE 6 | READING

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

1. read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning;
2. recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning;
3. use knowledge of words and cueing systems to read fluently;
4. reflect on and identify their strengths as readers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading.

SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS

1. Reading for Meaning

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Variety of Texts

1.1 read a wide variety of texts from diverse cultures, including literary texts (e.g., short stories, poetry, myths, legends, fantasies, novels, plays), graphic texts (e.g., graphic novels, advertisements, atlases, graphic organizers, charts and tables), and informational texts (e.g., biographies, textbooks, and other non-fiction materials; articles and reports; print and online editorials, various electronic texts, webquest texts)

Purpose

1.2 identify a variety of purposes for reading and choose reading materials appropriate for those purposes (e.g., online and print sources to compare different approaches to the same topic; webquest texts for information on a historical topic; graphic organizers, charts, and tables for specific information; a novel or a nonfiction book on a favourite topic for personal enjoyment)

Comprehension Strategies

1.3 identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (e.g., activate prior knowledge on a topic through brainstorming and developing concept maps; use visualization and comparisons with images from other media to clarify details of characters, scenes, or concepts in a text; make predictions about a text based on knowledge of similar texts; reread or read on to confirm or clarify understanding)

Demonstrating Understanding

1.4 demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing and explaining important ideas and citing relevant supporting details (e.g., general idea and related facts in chapters, reports, tables and charts, concept maps, online and print magazine articles, editorials, brochures or pamphlets, websites; main theme and important details in short stories, poems, plays, legends)

Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts

1.5 develop interpretations about texts using stated and implied ideas to support their interpretations
Teacher prompt: “What is the story between the lines … beyond the lines? What clues did the author give that led to your conclusion? Why do you think the author doesn’t state these ideas directly?”

Extending Understanding

1.6 extend understanding of texts by connecting, comparing, and contrasting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them
Teacher prompt: “How does the author’s treatment of this topic compare with treatments of the topic in other sources?”

Analysing Texts

1.7 analyse increasingly complex texts and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning (e.g., narrative: contribution of characters, setting, and plot to the theme; persuasive argument: the role of the summing-up paragraph in highlighting the most compelling points in the argument)

Responding to and Evaluating Texts

1.8 make judgements and draw conclusions about ideas in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views
Teacher prompts: “What conclusions can you draw from the events or information presented in the text?” “Has the author chosen the most convincing facts to support his or her opinion?”

Point of View

1.9 identify the point of view presented in texts; determine whether they can agree with the view, in whole or in part; and suggest some other possible perspectives (e.g., ask questions to identify any biases that are stated or implied in the view presented)
Teacher prompts: “Who would be most likely to share this point of view? Who would not?” “How would you revise the text to appeal to a different or a wider audience?” “Why do you think stereotypes are used in certain texts?”

2. Understanding Form and Style

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Text Forms

2.1 analyse a variety of text forms and explain how their particular characteristics help communicate meaning, with a focus on literary texts such as a myth (e.g., the use of imaginary/supernatural characters tells the reader not to interpret the story literally), graphic texts such as an advertisement (e.g., colour and layout are used to emphasize the appeal and importance of the product), and informational texts such as an editorial (e.g., the formal, logical structure of thesis, development, and summary/conclusion helps create an authoritative impression)

Text Patterns

2.2 identify a variety of organizational patterns in a range of texts and explain how they help readers understand the texts (e.g., order of importance in a persuasive letter or news report, a grid and coordinates in a map, columns and rows in a table, time order in a biography)

Text Features

2.3 identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (e.g., indexes, headings/subheadings, captions and labels, and drop-down menus help the reader locate key words, phrases, or ideas when skimming or scanning a text before reading)

Elements of Style

2.4 identify various elements of style – including voice, word choice, and the use of hyperbole, strong verbs, dialogue, and complex sentences – and explain how they help communicate meaning (e.g., hyperbole provides drama and emphasis in a persuasive article; a complex sentence allows the author to combine ideas for succinctness and improved flow)

3. Reading With Fluency

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Reading Familiar Words

3.1 automatically read and understand most words in a range of reading contexts (e.g., words from oral vocabulary and grade-level texts; terminology used regularly in discussions and posted on anchor charts; words from shared-, guided-, and independent-reading texts and resource materials in the curriculum subject areas)

Reading Unfamiliar Words

3.2 predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including:
• semantic (meaning) cues (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, base words, phrases, sentences, and visuals that activate existing knowledge of oral and written language);
• syntactic (language structure) cues (e.g., word order, language patterns, punctuation);
• graphophonic (phonological and graphic) cues (e.g., words within larger words, syllables within longer words, similarities between words with known spelling patterns and unknown words)

Reading Fluently

3.3 read appropriate texts with expression and confidence, adjusting reading strategies and reading rate to match the form and purpose (e.g., read a radio drama or radio editorial in role with suitable emphasis and phrasing)

4. Reflecting on Reading Skills and Strategies

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Metacognition

4.1 identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers, or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers
Teacher prompts: “What questions do you ask yourself to check that you understand what you are reading?” “How do you know if you need to reread a section of a text?” “What else can you do if reading on or rereading does not clarify the meaning?” “In what way do you use your reader’s notebook to help you as a reader?”

Interconnected Skills

4.2 explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how their skills in listening, speaking, writing, viewing, and representing help them make sense of what they read (e.g., using a particular form when writing enhances understanding when reading texts of a similar form)
Teacher prompt: “Think about the conventions you used when creating a class newspaper. How will that information help you when you read the community newspaper?”

GRADE 6 | WRITING

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

1. generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;
2. draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience;
3. use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively;
4. reflect on and identify their strengths as writers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful at different stages in the writing process.

SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS

1. Developing and Organizing Content

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Purpose and Audience

1.1 identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a variety of writing forms (e.g., an original poem, with an invented structure or based on a model such as a haiku, about a topic of personal interest, to share with the class; a persuasive letter asking the school principal to look at a specific issue from a new point of view; a description of the procedure for constructing a three-dimensional model, to share with Grade 3 students; a script on a topic of current interest for a mock television broadcast for a general audience)

Developing Ideas

1.2 generate ideas about a potential topic and identify those most appropriate for the purpose

Research

1.3 gather information to support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and a range of print and electronic resources (e.g., identify the steps required to gather information; interview people with knowledge of the topic; identify and use graphic and multimedia resources; record sources used and information gathered in a form that makes it easy to understand and retrieve)

Classifying Ideas

1.4 sort and classify information for their writing in a variety of ways that allow them to view information from different perspectives and make connections between ideas (e.g., by underlining or highlighting key words or phrases; by using a graphic organizer such as a fishbone chart, a T-chart, or an “Agree/Disagree”chart)

Organizing Ideas

1.5 identify and order main ideas and supporting details and group them into units that could be used to develop a structured, multi-paragraph piece of writing, using a variety of strategies (e.g., making outlines, writing notes, filling in a ranking grid) and organizational patterns (e.g., order of importance)

Review

1.6 determine whether the ideas and information they have gathered are relevant, appropriate, and adequate for the purpose, and do more research if necessary (e.g., review information critically with a friend using a concept map, checklist, or flowchart)

2. Using Knowledge of Form and Style in Writing

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Form

2.1 write longer and more complex texts using a wide range of forms (e.g., an “autobiography” in the role of a historical or contemporary person, based on research; a journalist’s report on a real or imagined event for a newspaper or a television news broadcast; an explanation of the principles of flight; an argument in support of one point of view on a current global issue affecting Canadians; a made-up legend or fantasy, based on themes from their reading, to entertain younger children)

Voice

2.2 establish a distinctive voice in their writing appropriate to the subject and audience (e.g., use punctuation, dialogue, and vivid language to create a particular mood or tone)

Word Choice

2.3 use some vivid and/or figurative language and innovative expressions to enhance interest (e.g., strong verbs; concrete, specific nouns; unusual adjectives; unexpected word order)
Teacher prompt: “Identify three language choices you have made and explain the effect they will have on a reader.”

Sentence Fluency

2.4 create complex sentences by combining phrases, clauses, and/or simple sentences (e.g., combine several simple sentences – “Nora left the house. She was heading for the market. She didn’t want to be late.” – to create a complex sentence – “Not wanting to be late, Nora left the house and headed for the market.”)

Point of View

2.5 identify their point of view and other possible points of view; determine, when appropriate, if their own view is balanced and supported by the evidence; and adjust their thinking and expression if appropriate (e.g., revise writing focusing on the use of inclusive language, such as police officer instead of policeman)

Preparing for Revision

2.6 identify elements in their writing that need improvement, selectively using feedback from the teacher and peers, with a focus on supporting details and precise language (e.g., identify one main idea that is poorly supported; identify three sentences that would be clarified by adding an adjective or adverb)
Teacher prompt: “How can you determine which parts of your work need further clarification?”

Revision

2.7 make revisions to improve the content, clarity, and interest of their written work, using a variety of strategies (e.g., use arrows or make notes to identify text that needs to be moved; use sticky notes to indicate insertions; use underlining to focus on overworked words; add or substitute words and phrases that would make their writing more vivid; use figurative language such as similes and personification and rhetorical devices such as exaggeration to achieve particular effects; adjust sentence length, type, and complexity to suit the audience and purpose; check that language is inclusive and non-discriminatory)
Teacher prompt: “Can you use short,abrupt sentences to add drama to your writing?”

Producing Drafts

2.8 produce revised draft pieces of writing to meet identified criteria based on the expectations (e.g., adequate development of information and ideas, logical organization, appropriate use of form and style, appropriate use of conventions)

3. Applying Knowledge of Language Conventions and Presenting Written Work Effectively

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Spelling Familiar Words

3.1 spell familiar words correctly (e.g., words from their oral vocabulary, anchor charts, and shared-, guided-, and independent- reading texts; words used regularly in instruction across the curriculum)

Spelling Unfamiliar Words

3.2 spell unfamiliar words using a variety of strategies that involve understanding sound-symbol relationships, word structures, word meanings, and generalizations about spelling (e.g., orally emphasize hard-to-hear sounds in difficult, complex words: Feb-ru-ar-y; leave unknown letters/letter clusters blank to solve after having spelled the familiar parts of a word; visualize a known word that is like the “problem”word; apply rules for forming plurals to unfamiliar words)

Vocabulary

3.3 confirm spellings and word meanings or word choice using a variety of resources appropriate for the purpose (e.g., locate entry words, multiple meanings, pronunciation guides, charts of spellings of sounds, inflected forms, suffixes and prefixes, primary and secondary stresses, different pronunciations, idioms, and homographs in online and print dictionaries; use thematic dictionaries such as a word game dictionary or a homonym dictionary; use a thesaurus to explore alternative word choices)

Punctuation

3.4 use punctuation appropriately to communicate their intended meaning in longer and more complex sentences, with a focus on the use of: commas to separate words in a list or after an introductory word or phrase; quotation marks in dialogue; and some uses of the colon, semi-colon, and brackets

Grammar

3.5 use parts of speech correctly to communicate their meaning clearly, with a focus on the use of: personal subject and object pronouns (e.g., I, me) indefinite pronouns (e.g., someone, nobody); conjunctions; subordinate clauses; adverb phrases; and present, past, and future verb tenses

Proofreading

3.6 proofread and correct their writing using guidelines developed with peers and the teacher (e.g., an editing checklist specific to the writing task)

Publishing

3.7 use a range of appropriate elements of effective presentation in the finished product, including print, script, different fonts, graphics, and layout (e.g., use legible printing and cursive writing; include photographs or magazine pictures and a map in a travel brochure; include an index to help the reader find specific information in a report; supply a table of contents)

Producing Finished Works

3.8 produce pieces of published work to meet identified criteria based on the expectations (e.g., adequacy of information and ideas, logic and effectiveness of organization, effective use of form and stylistic elements, appropriate use of conventions, effective presentation)

4. Reflecting on Writing Skills and Strategies

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Metacognition

4.1 identify a variety of strategies they used before, during, and after writing, explain which ones were most helpful, and suggest further steps they can take to improve as writers
Teacher prompts: “How did the sources you used allow you to generate a balanced selection of ideas?” “How do you use your writer’s notebook to help you during the writing process?”

Interconnected Skills

4.2 describe how their skills in listening, speaking, reading, viewing, and representing help in their development as writers
Teacher prompts: “What do you know about different media texts that might help when you are writing?” “In what way do you think that the reading you do helps you as a writer? Can you give an example?”

Portfolio

4.3 select pieces of writing that they think reflect their growth and competence as writers and explain the reasons for their choices

GRADE 6 | MEDIA LITERACY

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;
2. identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;
3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;
4. reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS

1. Understanding Media Texts

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Purpose and Audience

1.1 explain how a variety of media texts address their intended purpose and audience (e.g., T-shirts intended for supporters of particular institutions, groups, or causes are decorated with related images, logos, colours, and slogans; CD and DVD covers designed to appeal to young children have colourful images of their favourite characters; advertisements geared to parents of infants are broadcast during the daytime whereas those geared to single adults run during late-night programming)

Making Inferences/Interpreting Messages

1.2 interpret media texts, using overt and implied messages as evidence for their interpretations (e.g., explain why the advertisements used in a particular magazine are appropriate for that magazine, identifying the messages that would appeal to the magazine’s audience; explain how advertisements for healthy food and those for fast food differ)
Teacher prompt: “Is there a connection between the articles and the advertisements used in a magazine?”

Responding to and Evaluating Texts

1.3 evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation and treatment of ideas, information, themes, opinions, issues, and/or experiences in media texts (e.g., evaluate the coverage of the same news item in a newspaper article, a segment of a news program, a website, and/or a blog; evaluate the effectiveness with which themes are developed, supported, and illustrated in a movie or music video)
Teacher prompt: “You’ve told me that you think this advertisement is very effective, but that the other one is weak. Explain what accounts for the success or failure of each.”

Audience Responses

1.4 explain why different audiences (e.g., boys, girls, adults, seniors, various cultural groups) might have different responses to media texts (e.g., movies, songs, websites, video games, items of clothing)
Teacher prompts: “Why might many teenagers respond differently from their parents to an election debate?” “Who do you think would be the most likely audience for a car magazine? An advertisement for a retirement residence? An investment brochure? An action-oriented video game? A fashion magazine? A television science special? A quiz show? Action figures? Explain your answers.”

Point of View

1.5 identify whose point of view is presented in a media text, identify missing or alternative points of view, and, where appropriate, determine whether the chosen view achieves a particular goal (e.g., identify biases in two different media texts that focus on the same topic or event; evaluate the portrayal of Aboriginal people in the media)
Teacher prompts: “What bias or stereotypes can you detect in this advertisement? Can you think of reasons why this view of the subject is used? What does this advertisement achieve?” “Are there different portrayals of Aboriginal people in the media? How are they different? Why are they different? Which ones are most accurate?”

Production Perspectives

1.6 identify who produces various media texts, the reason for their production, how they are produced, and how they are funded (e.g., political parties create advertisements to win voter support, using funds raised by their members and supporters; producers develop television dramas to entertain and make money by selling their products to television conglomerates, which then broadcast the programs to make money by selling advertising spots in the programs’ time slots)
Teacher prompt: “What are the different professions that would be involved in producing a television commercial? How much would it cost to produce? How could we find out?”

2. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions, and Techniques

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Form

2.1 describe in detail the main elements of some media forms (e.g., drama scripts: cast of characters, description of setting, acts, scenes, stage directions; television quiz shows: host/hostess, contestants, prizes; magazines: cover images and text, table of contents, regular columns, feature articles, advertisements)

Conventions and Techniques

2.2 identify the conventions and techniques used in some familiar media forms and explain how they help convey meaning and influence or engage the audience (e.g., movie conventions: in old-fashioned westerns, white and black cowboy hats were used to identify “good” and “bad” characters; movie techniques: freeze-frame images, slow motion, theme music in movies are used to communicate information non-verbally, emphasize or prolong important or appealing scenes, and maintain interest by keeping the viewer wondering “what next?”)
Teacher prompt: “What visual clues are used to identify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters in movies and video games you have seen recently?”

3. Creating Media Texts

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Purpose and Audience

3.1 describe in specific detail the topic, purpose, and audience for media texts they plan to create, and identify challenges they may face in achieving their purpose (e.g., a review of a television program, film, piece of art, or artistic performance to encourage children or adults to see it)
Teacher prompt: ”Why do you think it is important for people to know about this topic? Why might you need to be especially persuasive to interest them in the topic?”

Form

3.2 identify an appropriate form to suit the specific purpose and audience for a media text they plan to create, and explain why it is an appropriate choice (e.g., a mock television, radio, or newspaper announcement to inform students about a school-related issue)
Teacher prompt: “Which form do you think would be most likely to help you reach your audience? Why?”

Conventions and Techniques

3.3 identify conventions and techniques appropriate to the form chosen for a media text they plan to create, and explain how they will use the conventions and techniques to help communicate their message (e.g., a scene for a television drama adapted from a novel or play: the camera can focus on one character, object, or gesture at a time, allowing different kinds of emphasis; camera angles and distances can vary to create different effects and perspectives; scenes can be edited to change the pace of the action; background music can be used to enhance the mood)
Teacher prompt: “How do the conventions and techniques of this form make it easier or harder to communicate certain ideas?”

Producing Media Texts

3.4 produce a variety of media texts for specific purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques (e.g.,
• a review of a television program, film, piece of art, or artistic performance that includes commentary on the effects created through the use of various conventions and techniques
• a mock television broadcast of an announcement about a school-related issue
• a soundtrack to accompany the reading of a section of a graphic novel or comic book
• a computer-generated cover design, including special fonts, to enhance a published piece of writing
• a multimedia presentation to inform younger students about how to use a website to research a topic related to a unit of study
• a pamphlet outlining the researched or imagined biography of a writer
• a travelogue illustrating the journey of an early Canadian explorer, including contacts with First Nations peoples
• a storyboard indicating the images to be used in a scene for a television drama adapted from a novel or play
• a movie poster to advertise a movie based on a narrative they have studied)

4. Reflecting on Media Literacy

Skills and Strategies

By the end of Grade 6, students will:

Metacognition

4.1 identify what strategies they found most helpful in making sense of and creating media texts, and explain how these and other strategies can help them improve as media viewers/listeners/producers
Teacher prompt: “What skills and knowledge have you needed to interpret and create the variety of media forms you have studied?”

Interconnected Skills

4.2 explain how their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing help them to make sense of and produce media texts
Teacher prompt: “Which reading and listening comprehension strategies help you most in developing interpretations of media texts such as movies and advertisements?”

 
Language Arts
Strands:
Reading
Writing
Oral Language and Media
Communication: What’s Your Favourite Style?
Imagine life before people could read or write. How did they communicate? They created sounds and formed words, they drew pictures and used body movements. Eventually we developed systems of communication which allow us to read and write using words. Later developments allowed us to use words to travel long distances through telephones, and more recently digital communications such as texting and email.
What is your favourite way to communicate?
Writing
Talking Face to Face
Hand Gestures (Sign Language)
Texting/Email
On the Phone
Drawing Pictures
Video Chat
Reading
In our independent reading we have been focusing on reviewing some key reading skills.
1. Making Connections: When you make connections, explain how something that you have read relates to personal experiences, what you know about the world, or other things that you have read. Be sure to properly describe what you are connecting the reading to. Explain what is the same between the reading and the connection. Then take ONE MORE STEP, and explain how this helps you understand better what you are reading.
2. Making Predictions (Fiction Texts): When you make a prediction for a Fiction Text, you must make an “educated guess” about what will happen. Explain why you came to your conclusion by talking about evidence you noticed. Evidence might come from… what you already read (the Title, words on the cover or in the Table of Contents, parts of the story you have examined), visual images you have observed, related personal experiences you have had, related knowledge you acquired before reading this text, or another book you have read. Be sure to explain HOW the evidence will help you guess what will happen next.
3. Making Predictions (Non-Fiction Texts): When you make a prediction for Non-Fiction Texts, gather your evidence by examining the Text Features of the reading. Read titles, headings, subheadings and introductory texts. Look at Visuals (such as pictures, maps, graphs, etc.) and read the captions. Consider the messages in the Layout of the format (does the page look old? are there symbols in the margins?) Always explain what the text features communicated to allow you to make your prediction.
4. Writing clear definitions:
Decide if the word is a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb or another type of word. Use the words that explain what a noun is (a person, a place, a thing or a concept) to define nouns. Explain verbs as words that describe a type of movement, action or explain a state of being. If you are defining an adjective, say it is a kind of word that describes nouns. Explain adverbs as words that describe the actions of verbs or that clarify how adjectives or other adverbs are used. Be sure you use the words you define descriptively in sentences. Make sure your sentences do not simply repeat the definitions. You will know if you have a good sentence if you cannot easily use another word in the place of the one you have defined in the sentence. Draw a picture that illustrates your sentence or the word. AVOID DEFINITIONS THAT RELY ON THE PHRASE “IS WHEN”. Here are some examples:
a) Mountain: a mountain is a place where the land rises sharply. We were out of breath after the steep climb up the mountain.
b) Run: Run is a verb which describes how an animal or person moves very quickly. My heart pounds quickly when I run three times around the field.
c) pretty: Pretty is an adjective which describes a person’s good looks. My sister looked very pretty with her attractive haircut and fashionable new dress.
d) effortlessly: Effortlessly is an adverb that describes how a person does an action without working hard. The Olympic athlete sprinted effortlessly to the finish line and won the race without even a gasp.
5. Writing a Summary (fiction texts)
(coming soon)
6. Writing a Summary (non-fiction texts)
Rewrite a text in a much shorter form by focussing on the main or important facts.
Focus on the information given in the title, headings or subheadings.
Eliminate less important details or examples.
Always write using your own words to reveal the point of the article.
Visuals may contain important main ideas. Summarize their content without describing everything.
Be sure you include any important information which can be found from the beginning to the end of the original text.
7. Visualization
Visualization means describing the pictures that you see in your mind that are suggested by the words that you read. Visualization should help you understand the messages that authors try to communicate. To explain how visualization helps you understand a passage, follow these steps:
a) Quote the sentence(s) or phrase(s) that you read that allowed you to visualize.
b) To communicate how visualization helped you understand part of a reading or text …
– draw a picture in your mind from the words you read, and describe what you can imagine from the words.
– talk about comparisons you could make to familiar things that you can relate.
– use numbers to visualize quantity.
– identify important areas that are key places in the reading for thought and reflection on the author’s message.
c) State that author’s message the visualization connects to and explain how you could understand the message better thanks to visualization.
An interesting activity could be to actually draw what the words suggest … but drawing a picture does not always allow you to fully explain what you understood from visualizing.
Writing
Math Journals are another place where we are working to use key terminology and improve our ability to explain our thinking. Always refer to rubrics and check to make sure you are meeting the objectives before handing your work in.
Use your own words to exlain how you solved the problem or challenge.
Explain by commenting on the Math Concepts you used. (e.g., I multiplied the cost of one apple by the number of apples I purchased to find the total cost of the apples I bought).
Tell the steps you went through to get to the final solution.
Use correct math terminology, notation and symbols.
Give examples where possible for your thinking.
Illustrate your solution (when possible) using a picture, diagram or graph.
Show alternate ways to solve the problem.
Make sure you write a clear concluding sentence that answers the question.
Organization of Writing
Use Graphic Organizers to help you organize ideas. Choose the RIGHT organizer to illustrate the kind of connection you want to show between the various ideas of a topic. Check out the graphic organizers on the link.
Types of Writing
Writers generally have three main reasons to communicate:
To inform
To persuade
To entertain
Forms or “genres” of writing generally focus on one of these main objectives.
To inform, writers choose to use a
a) Procedural style to provide directions or instructions.
b) Expository style to provide facts and information.
To persuade, writers may write text for a variety of different media (internet, news, radio, television, etc.) They may combine written text with a different forms of communication such as visual graphics or sound (music, sound effects).
To entertain writers use
a) narrative style to tell stories
b) descriptive passages to help the reader picture an image
c) graphic features to add more visual components.
Good writers may combine the forms of writing to increase communication – however, there is always a MAIN reason for the piece.
For example, expository elements such as facts and information are added to an editorial piece to back up the arguments that the writer presents in a persuasive piece. By adding the secondary purpose (to inform), the writer becomes more convincing, but the overall purpose of the editorial is to persuade.
A story may include descriptive passages to allow readers to visualize what happens, but a story’s MAIN purpose is narrative.
Most essays – whether they are persuasive or informative – require a Thesis Statement.
Thesis Statement:
A thesis statement lets the reader know what your essay will be about. It’s like a giant umbrella: everything in your essay should fit under it. In a persuasive piece, it lets your reader know what your position is. It should tell the reader two things – what the topic is and your position on the topic.
The following is a list of different types of writing. Practise identifying what you think the main purpose of the author for each one must be. Ask yourself if there might also be a secondary purpose:
fairy tale, letter to the editor, short story, political cartoon, recipe, news article, election speech, picture book, novel, legend, advertisement, biography, comparison essay, diary entry, comic strip, missing person’s report, billboard, poster, textbook, gym warm ups posted on the wall in the gym, play, poem, fire exit sign, joke, game instructions, help menu for functions of a computer program, cause and effect chart, captain’s log
A Letter to the Editor should …
have a clear position
introduce of your position early in the piece – using a Thesis Statement
get your reader’s attention by asking questions, being witty
clear arguments with reasons, supporting facts and details
defeat the arguments of the opposing view
use vocabulary appropriate to the topic
use good connectives to highlight persuasion
a call to action to let the reader know what to do
never insult the reader .. you will never get someone on your side that way
PERSUADE THE READER THAT YOU ARE RIGHT!
Ontario Curriculum Exemplars pp. 132 to end: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/writing18ex.pdf
The Comparison Essay
Author purpose: The purpose will vary according to the topic. For example, if you are comparing two arthropods, the main focus is to inform. In some comparisons, the main focus could be to persuade (e.g., a politician who compares the policies of his party to those of his opponent).
To compare = to say what is the same between two (or more) things or ideas.
To contrast = to say what is different between two (or more) things or ideas.
In a good comparison essay …
The reader will learn something meaningful from your comparison of two (or more) things by understanding what is the same and what is different between the two ideas under comparison. The reader might learn if the two ideas are largely the same, basically different, or have some similarities and some differences.
The writer uses connectives that highlight similarities and differences. To focus on similarity: same, both, similar, alike, most, as well as, the majority. To focus on difference: different, dissimilar, few, however, although, on the other hand.
The writer uses “side by side” comparison of one criterion at a time, including proof or examples at each step of the way.
A concluding sentence summarizes the learning from the essay.
The Journal or Diary Entry (includes Captain’s Logs)
The main purpose is to inform. However, there will be narrative and descriptive elements since the entry relates the story of a person’s life and provides details of the places, people and events the person encountered.
Key elements of a good journal or diary entry:
The paragraph is written in the first person.
The entry is dated.
The paragraph retells what has happened in a logical order. Verbs are in the past tense.
The writer shares his or her feelings, views and attitudes.
The vocabulary, events and views of the writer inform the reader of the time, place and character of the writer.
Description is married to narration at appropriate places. The writer uses strong verbs, adjectives and adverbs to help the reader visualize the experience.
Connectives of order and time clarify narration. (First, then, afterwards, suddenly, later, at one point, earlier, before, in time, eventually, finally, in the end, by the time that …, immediately, as, etc.)
Exemplar for Writing in Role: Journal entry for Giovanni Caboto
Captain’s Log – June 24, 1497
Today, something magnificent happened. At six bells, the lookout from the crow’s nest sighted something in the distance and called out, “Land ho!” I was in my quarters, charting our course when I heard the call. I rushed to the quarter deck and took out my telescope. There on the horizon rose a rocky, rugged coast. We had had clear sailing and fair winds until that moment. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning and dark clouds blew in from the west. The wind picked up, and the ship started to keel. We tacked to keep a steady course. By eight bells we were in sight of a harbour. We dropped anchor and rowed the dory to shore in the driving rain. Miraculously, as we came ashore the clouds parted, the sun came out and a rainbow formed. The first mate carried our flag ashore. With great ceremony I claimed this land for England, and for our noble King Henry the Seventh. I called this land … New Found Land!
Journal Planning Organizer:
Date of your entry: _____________________
1. Main event you want to discuss:
2. Point(s) of view you will reveal:
3. Information of your time that shapes your views.
4. Things you could describe:
5. Feelings about your experience you will share:
Cause and Effect
A cause makes something happen. Ask, “Why did it happen?” to find the cause.
An effect is what happens due to a cause. Ask, “What happened?” to find the effect.
Connectives that highlight Cause and Effect include: because, since, so, as a result, which led to
Oral language and Media
Oral language is a key focus for this year. Drama based on Media Models is one way we can use to improve our oral language.
Strategies for Viewing and Listening are a focus for learning how to use media clips as tools. These strategies have also been used for viewing and understanding videoclips for our social studies unit on Archaeology. Be sure to review regularly your viewing guides to recall what strategies we have identified and used.
Identifying the Structure of a Media Event With Experts
Review your notes on how to produce Iron Chef. They will help you with creating a structure for understanding and producing our upcoming Fashion Show, Disaster Report from Wonderland and our version of “Let’s Sell This House!”
Looking Like and Talking Like the Experts
Finding and viewing models for your oral challenges can be very useful. Watching episodes for “Iron Chef” laid the foundations for our “in class” production of the popular television show. Start searching for and watching television models for our upcoming Fashion Show, Disaster Report from Wonderland and our version of “Let’s Sell This House!” Pay particular attention to the vocabulary the experts use for each situation as well as the tone or “voice” of each event. Consider starting your own specialized vocabulary listfor each of these upcoming challenges.
Your challenge will be to develop the skills to be ready for your Archaeological Dig which will be a filmed event.
Storytelling – Legends and Myths
To use a storytelling voice to convey a tone of tradition, respect for the past and harmony with the spirit world to tell your legend…
Establish the past using phrases like “long, long ago”
Talk about the traditional gods and spirits as they apply
Talk about the forces or character-creatures of nature that apply to your story
Create the formality of the “sacred circle” using a voice that is respectful and honours the culture you are presenting
Avoid modern expressions that would not have been used long ago
Use descriptive language
Use a chorus to give a sense of ceremony
Create a sense of harmony with nature by speaking at a moderate pace (avoid rushing)
To tell your story so that the beginning, middle and end of the story follow in correct order…
Be sure to establish time and place at the beginning. Make sure the events of your story are clearly sequenced and coordinate with the actions your group members are portraying through action.
Use narration, dialogue and-or chorus to move your story clearly from the beginning to the end.
Speak with clarity, good pronunciation (every consonant and every vowel please!) and expression to highlight the emotion of each moment.
Make sure your opening sentences allow the audience to know where they are and who they are meeting.
Choose carefully when one – two – three or four people will speak. Make sure if many people are speaking together (in unison) that we can understand what they are saying. As beginners, limit how often “chorus” is used.
Vary the intensity of volume for more interest.
Stand still when you talk and turn your face to the audience. (Move-stop-talk.)
Be sure you include the important details from the beginning, the middle and the end of your story.
Use appropriate transition words. (First, then, suddenly, unfortunately…)
Use the past tense to say what happened.
Make sure that there is a sense of conclusion in which the “wisdom of your people” is recognized and the importance of Nature is highlighted.
Providing Descriptive Feedback
You can demonstrate how well you understand the focus of any oral or written activity through the quality of the critical comments that you provide about the work of your peers or your own work. This is called “Providing Descriptive Feedback”.
Good descriptive feedback focuses comments on the success criteria for an activity.
Good comments always provide appreciation for how the work specifically meets the success criteria. Always provide clear examples of what you see that works well in the work. Any comments that discuss ways student work could be improved should be expressed with kindness, referring to specific areas for improvement and offering ways for the student to improve. Your skills for keen observation and reflection on what you have understood will determine how well you can help yourself or others find the path towards self-improvement.

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4 thoughts on “Language

    1. I actually don’t know the ‘university’ address she wants everyone to use
      Someone in class will be sure to give it to you tomorrow

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