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Experimenting with Expansion at Taupō Intermediate School

Room 7 spent the morning with Across School Leaders and their teacher Miss Garland learning about the importance of expanding ideas in writing. Before jumping to creating a paragraph, we discovered there is a lot of thinking to be had. By looking at the topic of plastics, we filtered our ideas and information into big key ideas.

Students in Room 7 at Taupō Intermediate spent some time considering the thinking that goes into a piece of writing before crafting. Taking the topic of 'plastics', we spent some time learning about the problems with plastics, solutions in other countries, fact and statistics about plastics, and solutions that we can put into practice here in NZ. 

By gathering our ideas on large post-its, we then began to arrange our information under four key ideas. It is important for students to be able to generate ideas and expand on these with at least three sentences before learning the Hunter paragraph styles such as the Hammer and the Lawyer. Firstly, by eliminating the need for students to conduct their own research, we could hone in on the skill of organising our ideas pre-writing. Room 7 had some robust discussions about how to filter this information and categorise our post-its before giving it a go themselves by colour coding the notes on a cheat sheet.

Teacher Takeaway: Unburden students of research skills by providing the information about a topic in the first instance. This takes the onus off the student and allows them to practise the skill of collating their ideas. This skill can be practised around a variety of non-fiction topics and is essential for high-school success!

Many thanks to Abby Garland and Room 7 for inviting us back to work with you; it was a pleasure, as always, to visit TIS and work with their amazing staff and students.

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