Literacy across the curriculum

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Literacy across the curriculum. Phil Beadle TV The Unteachables and Cant Read, Cant Write Books Bad Education and How to Teach amongst others. . The Aim of this Session. 1. To feed back and share what I learnt on a recent course. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Literacy across the curriculum

Literacy across the curriculumPhil Beadle TV

The Unteachables and Cant Read, Cant Write


Bad Education and How to Teach amongst others.

The Aim of this Session1. To feed back and share what I learnt on a recent course.

2. To raise the awareness of literacy at St Johns.

3. To discuss how we all could benefit from teaching literacy. (And it goes down very well with inspectors!)Activity 1The Fallacy Detective

Mark the following statements regarding writing. If you fervently disagree you should mark it in with a nought; if you completely agree: a ten. (One statement is totally untrue, see if you can see which one.)Question: What is literacy?Answer:

To be able to read and write.

Yes, but what about speaking and listening? !

Literacy across the curriculumKey Problem 1Oracy is not being taken seriously enough.

If you cant talk it, you cant write it!

Oracy feeds into writing. You must be able to talk it if you are to write it. OracyOracy is two things: Speaking and Listening

(Though one might argue that gesture/body language forms a subsection of both skills)The Importance of speaking and listening according to The Literacy TrustSpeaking and listening skills underpin all learning in every subject.

Ofsted has frequently highlighted that they are not given the same attention or curriculum time as reading and writing in schools.

Activity 2 - OracyOdd One Out. Whats the odd one out between

(A series of incredibly simple starters to encourage pupils to start talking about key words or topics)OracyThunks

Thunks are thought hand grenades designed to instigate discussion and thinking.

Is there more future or past? Is black a colour? If I switch the lights off does the wall change colour? Can you cast a shadow into a dark room? In a dark room what does a mirror reflect? Can you touch the wind? Can you touch a rainbow?

OracyBabble Gabble: Into pairs. Name one A and one B. A must tell everything they know about a certain topic as quickly as they can in thirty seconds. (Back to back!)

Suggested topics:

Footwear, Fishing, Fast food, The Flintstones

(Simple warm-up activities)Oracy prior to writingActivity sheet 6

What do sausages and gold have in common?

Discuss for one minute!

The point here is that the discussion should elicit some relevant points that could help someone get to grips with the question. Someone initially stumped could certainly benefit from a sharing of ideas. To concludeAs we have heard before many times, pair work and group work are key. For pupils to write effectively, they must be able to discuss and explore their ideas first.

Jim Smiths The Lazy Teachers Handbook is well worth a look. Key Problem 2There is nowhere near enough extended writing used in any subject. Discuss.

Discussion points:

How often in your specific subject do the boys do an extended writing task?

Are there opportunities to do more?

What benefits would there be in increasing the literacy content in your subject?

In Science, is there any merit in asking pupils to write the story of Isaac Newton and the apple?

In Geography, is there any value in writing about a day in the life of a Costa Rican coffee farmer?


When was the last time your students had sore hands from writing in your class? Just like conversation, writing helps us make sense of what we are learning and helps us make connections to our own lives or others' ideas.

Key Problem 3Spelling DOES matter. Poor spelling demeans language.

Discusion Point: What if all subject teachers paid close attention to spelling? Is it fair to say that standards across the board would improve? Activity 5 The best spelling mistake of all time:


The second best:

I make the moist of all my friendships.Key Problem 4A fear of grammatical knowledge and a lack of understanding that you dont need to know much.

(You only have to know your punctuation and the parts of speech. Thats all!)

Activity 4 Parts of SpeechNounAdjectiveVerbAdverbConjunction PrepositionA and The Thanks for listening.Spelling strategies

Spelling strategiesWords within wordsCut them upDeliberately mispronounce 3 times

Try it it works! ConnecticutHow would you do it?

Con necti cut

Connect - i cut

Con - nec ti - cut

Spelling strategiesConnecticutKey Problem 5There is not enough poetry anywhere.

Every teacher should be a teacher of poetry.Everyone other than the maths department. What is the significance of these numbers?112358

A Fibonacci PoemBlack 1 syllableAnd 1 syllableWhite are 2 syllablesAll we see 3 syllablesTill we discover 5 syllablesStatistical uncertainty 8 syllables

Rothko poemsA Rothko poem can only be written while standing in front of a Rothko poem.Rothko poems should be three lines, three words per line. Three of the nine words must be colours and their position in the poem must make a line in noughts and crosses.Like all rules of poetry, break at your own risk. Acrostic poemsA Anti-intellectualC CrassR RetardedO ObviousS StupifyingT TechniqueI InculcatingC Complacency inS StudentsVillanelle, Tanka, Terzanelle, Clerihew, Sonnet, Haiku, Virelai, Rondeau, Cinquai, Limerick, Sestina, Sijo, Pastourelle, Ode, Lyric, Jintishi, Epic, Elegy, Diamonte, Ghazal

32Literacy across the curriculumEvery teacher in English is a teacher of English.

Thanks very much. The end!


Appendix Where to put a commaActivity 7Activity 6Odd One OutActivity 1