Maureen Lewis


The submitted works explore how children use texts in the classroom and how they can be supported in becoming more effective readers and writers. Most of the work is based around pupil's use of non-fiction texts and provides case study examples of what happens when children engage in tasks which require their use. I argue that we can elaborate a model to describe the processes involved in such encounters. This proposed model is described and compared to earlier attempts to create a model of the process of interacting with non-fiction texts. It is further argued that specific strategies can be linked to certain stages of the model with the aim of making pupils' encounters with texts more effective. The use of these skills and strategies are examined within the context of purposeful, information using tasks. The robustness of the model was tested by applying it to this variety of classroom contexts, across Key Stages 1-3. The role of teacher modelling, and the importance of scaffolding children's learning are important aspects of the proposed process. Particular attention therefore was given to developing strategies and materials that would encourage teacher modelling or offer explicit scaffolding, such as grids and writing frames. Such materials had the potential to make explicit to pupils, knowledge that may have been implicit in their previous encounters with texts. Writing frames were one such set of materials. I argue that these help pupils make explicit their implicit knowledge of how texts are structured. I claim that these frames enhance pupil's awareness of the textual structure and linked language features of a range of different text types. They also provide a scaffolded writing experience. Such experiences, it is claimed, enable pupils to achieve a higher degree of success in extended visiting than they could achieve without a framework.

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