This site features A. A. Milne’s classic poem ‘The End’, which captures the innocence of childhood and growing up. Winch (2010) argues that “poetry is wonderful spoken aloud, read aloud, savouring the language” (p.496) and empowers children of all ages. BOS (2007) similarly concedes that “the main purpose for teaching poetry should be to provide for students’ enjoyment and appreciation of ideas and language” (p.93). The poem could be shared via Interactive Whiteboard, in stanzas or read as a whole. Students bring in a toy, clothing or photo from one of the ages in the poem to share. Marsh (2010) recommends this kind of personalised learning, which ensures teachers’ value of “each student’s unique interests, experiences and abilities” (p.252).
Students could also predict their toys, clothing or appearance in the future at age 6. These activities support students’ grammar, including their “[use of] past tense in recounts” (BOS, 2007, p.38) and knowledge of common verbs, nouns and adjectives. Assessment could include students drawing and describing their prediction, integrating writing skills. To incorporate creative arts, students learn the poem and participate in simple readers’ theatre with actions to present to a Stage 1 class. Ewing, Hertzberg & Simons (2004) note that readers’ theatre improves students’ confidence in reading, using their voice for a purpose and helps them to appreciate “that all readers bring past experiences to the meanings they make from texts” (p.83).
To support this resource, teachers could also introduce Leonie Norrington’s picture book Look See, Look at Me!, as recommended by the Board of Studies online document (2012, p.30). Learning would shift with this book to explore children’s physical abilities; what they can do now or at age three that they couldn’t previously. When choosing classroom resources, “teachers…require contextual knowledge to effectively deconstruct texts and use them to their best advantage in the classroom” (Cavanagh, 2005, p.299). Indeed, this text, produced by an Aboriginal Australian, avoids stereotypes and inaccurate representations of Aboriginal families with “no shoes…no proper clothes … [and] makeshift houses” (McIntosh, 1984, p.25).
Board of Studies, NSW. (2007). English K-6 Modules. Sydney: Board of Studies NSW
Board of Studies, NSW. (2007). English K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies NSW
Board of Studies, NSW. (2012). Suggested Texts for the English K-10 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies NSW
Cavanagh, P. (2005). Silences, secrets and little white lies: reflections on the representation of Aboriginal people in Australian schools. In G. Cant, A. Goodall and J. Inns. (Eds.), Discourses and Silences: Indigenous Peoples, Risks and Resistance. (p. 289-308) Christchurch, NZ: University of Canterbury
Ewing, R., Hertzberg, M. & Simons, J. (2004). Beyond the Script: Take Two: drama in the classroom (4th ed.). Sydney: Primary English Teaching Association
Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues. Pearson: Frenchs Forest
McIntosh, J. (1984). Taking stock, assessing teaching-learning materials for cultural bias: some guidelines and strategies. Sydney, NSW: Department of Education, North Metropolitan Region
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. & Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy: reading, writing and children’s literature (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press