This resource is an online e-book reading of the text 'People in our Town' by Sarah McGee. The aim of the text is to help students understand the different types of systems in the community that are used to provide services to people. This resource presents occupations in an inclusive and gender-neutral way (e.g. a firefighter, not a fireman), making it an excellent resource for children to learn from without developing any gender bias.
One of the key features of this resource that helps to engage students in meaningful learning is the use of prediction. When introducing each of the community learners, the reader asks a predictive question - who am I? Throughout the playing of the video in class, the teacher can pause before each person is revealed, allowing students to actively predict and ensure all students are paying attention and engaged with the task. After the e-book has been read, the teacher can consolidate knowledge by listing out the list of services provided on the board, and getting students to label them.
The students must use their prior knowledge and experiences in order to predict who the community helper will be. The use of predictions encourages engagement between classmates and the teacher, facilitating an active learning environment in the classroom. Furthermore, the way the text links to prior knowledge and experiences promotes a very experiential method of learning, as outlined in Gilbert and Hoepper (2011). They state that a key factor in learning is to "use personal experiences as a context for applying knowledge" (p. 143). Using this method of learning, all students are able to share their own unique experiences to the class, and share these experiences to help solve a problem.
To incorporate this video with classroom activities, the teacher can provide cards or colouring-in pictures for the students to label correctly. Furthermore, the teacher could provide images of certain buildings (e.g. a shopping center) and ask students what sorts of people provide services there (e.g. a butcher). Using EN1-2A of the English K-10 Syllabus (2012), students could write a recount of an event in which they were provided a service (e.g. 'I went to the letter-box and a mail carrier gave me a letter). This fulfils outcome EN1-2A by demonstrating that students can compose a simple text on a familiar topic (BOS, 2012).
BOS (2012). English K-10 syllabus: volume 1: English K-6. Sydney: Board of Studies
Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (Eds). (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. Australia: Cengage Learning.