Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Teaching the Five Ws for Orientation

This post explains the use of an MS Word feature to motivate writers to ensure they are using their five Ws in their orientation paragraphs.

I was teaching a year 3 class about including the five W's (who, what, where, when, why)  in their orientation paragraphs of a recount.

The children typed up their orientation paragraphs in MS Word and then we used Ms Word's call out feature found in Shapes (Insert, Shapes, Callouts) to add callouts to show where they had used the five Ws (or not!). I showed them how to hold down the Ctrl key while they dragged on a callout to do a quick copy. What was really interesting was that even the reluctant writers were engaged and motivated and could easily see which of the five Ws they were missing.

I observed one typically reluctant writer and once he had completed the above, he saw very clearly what he had to change and he went ahead and changed it all by himself resulting in the following:

On reflection, I think the advantage of using this method over pen and paper and highlighters is that it is much easier to edit in Word and editing and adding text using paper makes it look really messy.  Children like the ability to edit in Word and have an instantly good looking piece of work to present and of course learning a new tool (callouts and copying using the magic Ctrl and drag) also helps.

Other teachers heard about the success of this method and so the learning was shared. 
Love it when the learning is shared!!

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