Up Up and Away

As part of Wairakei Primary School Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) journey, teachers have been trialing different ways to motivate and engage their students in writing. Matariki provided a great opportunity to utilise a great learning experience focused around the authentic context of kites. 

A range of learning experiences was developed for different classes throughout the school.

First, each class watched a fantastic video which depicted the flight of a kite through the city sky. The video provided a great provocation for the students as they became immersed in the intense music and tempo of the story.

Next we used a class writing model to brainstorm nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs that might support us when we went to write our story independently.

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The students were learning to expand their writing vocabulary and use a range of adverbs, verbs and adjectives to describe the movement they saw during the flight of the kites. 

Adverbs

Adjectives

Verbs

Nouns

Quickly

Rapidly

Slowly

Suddenly

Swiftly

Wildly

Freely

Vertically

Gracefully

Blue

Pink

Black

Grey

Colourful

Patterned

Old

New

Rainbow

Floating

Flying

Dueling

Battling

Fighting

Diving

Darting

Twirling

Dancing

Racing

Boys

Kites

City

Tower

Apartment

Park

Tajmahal

India

Finally the students wrote their own stories to describe how their kite moved through the air using our word bank of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. 

The students were asked to complete the following as part of the learning process.

  • Write 1 or 2 sentences describing how their kite moved through the air.

  • Use a capital letter at the beginning of my sentence and a full stop at the end.

  • Stretch my words and record the sounds I hear.

  • Use finger spaces between my words.

The use of the good writers charts and visual checkers to self assess their writing and identify next steps in their learning  journey were vital tools  for the students to help them become successful writers.

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Following are some examples of Room 13’s writing.

The diamond kite is fighting in the foggy sky. (Robert)

The rainbow kite is flying in Taupo. (Aiden)

The rainbow kite is twirling in the park. (Carter)

The rainbow kite is twirling in the park. (Alysha)

The rainbow kite is floating at the top of the windy sky. (Skye)

The patterned kite is dueling in the city. (Cameron)

The pink kite is gliding because it is fighting in Taupo. (Emmy)

The rainbow kite is speeding through the blue sky. There is a rainbow in the sky. (Grace)

The red kite is fighting in the shiny sky. (Callan)

The green kite is floating quickly in the noisy city. (Katie)

The diamond kite is zipping over the sky. (George)

The pink kite is gliding furiously in the far, far away galaxy. The kite glided like an asteroid. (Gnapika)

The rainbow kite is floating in the blue sky. (Kaley)

The face kite is twirling in Paris. (Matthew)

The green kite is fighting above the tower. (Tane)

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The Year 3 and 4 students needed more of a challenge with their writing. In addition to describing how their kite moved using verbs, adjectives and adverbs the students used “similes” to compare how their kite moved with something else. 

The blue and orange kite soared through the sky. The kite dived like a submarine. One of the boys that were flying it got lost following another kite. He ended up at the Taj Mahal. The boy's parents were really sad. The boy's friend had a plan. He got the kite and flew it over to the Taj Mahal and then guided him home. The boy was so happy. Then they flew the kite tons after that.

Harry

Once there were two boys flying a kite. The wind was as strong as an eagle's claw. The boy could not hold it anymore. The kite was torn into pieces. Then another kite came by. It looked like it didn’t have any colour, only balck and grey. The kite flew away so one of the boys went to try and catch it. But the boy got lost in a town surrounded by people. He turned around and around wondering where he was. When the other boy found out his friend had gone missing he found the kite and flew it in the sky. Then the lost boy saw it and screamed with joy. 

Evie

The orange, pink and blue kite soared gracefully through the sky. The kite soared through the sky like an eagle. Then all of a sudden another kite came in and tried to get tangled in with the other kite. They both swept through the sky furiously. Relentlessly, the two boys fought to get the kite back. Suddenly they started running away from the direction the other kite was coming. So they boys ran away and managed to get away but the kite snapped. One of the boys ran off to find the kite but he got lost in the immense city. Lily

The final part of the lesson saw the students getting creative and making their own kites. The students folded the shape of the kites and decorated them with their own designs. Then they supported their kite design with skewers for added strength, adding colourful tails for interest to the  kite designs. 

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The final part of the kite journey was to test how they flew outside. Unfortunately, the strength of wind came and went so there required lots of frantic running to power the kites flight.

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Keywords: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, integrated inquiry, purpose, audience.

Curriculum links: English - Reading, Writing, and Oral Language

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