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Penelope Corbett - Author Online Courses

The better a child understands English the more the world opens to them!

I love seeing how a deeper understanding of English opens doors for students and enriches lives. Every curriculum subject requires a good understanding of English. English is such a rich and diverse language to understand, full of figurative language and hidden depths. The better a child understands English the more the world opens to them. It is hoped that our children have a good understanding of our English curriculum up to level four before entering high school where the use of English and depth of understanding required is of a considerably higher level. 

What’s the goal or objectives of the Collection? The goal of each collection is to develop skills for reading for understanding; and developing vocabulary. 

What will people gain from doing the Collection? Confidence in reading; and growth in writing skills with learning of vocabulary and ideas. 

Who is the Collection for? Each collection is aimed a different level. 

Collections Introduction

This is a set of three level guide based comprehension activities for ages 9 to 12; level 4 of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Three Level Guide

The three level guide offers a means to break down a piece of text for deeper meaning.

Level One: The answers for these questions are literally in the text. They ensure a student has read the text and has knowledge of the details.

Level Two is inference, (reading between the lines). These questions ask the student to develop insights into what the author has written to develop understanding of  meaning and point of view.

Level Three is for deeper thinking. What has a student learned/thought about/discovered in this reading? How well do they understand the author’s point of view? Can they relate ideas in this text to bigger world ideas? Can they relate to the ideas in the story through their own experiences?

*Some students may find these difficult. The answers are provided; it is okay for them to read answers if they do not understand as this still supports their learning.

Folk Tales Fairy Tales and Legends Collections

These tales involve a bit of magic and are fun to read. Some may ask what the difference is. The lines can sometimes be blurred. Typically fairy tales contain mythical creatures and magic. Expect fairies, unicorns, dwarves and dragons. Folk tales regularly feature talking animals. They either an important message or moral to convey; or explain how something came about.  

Legends are more hero focused, celebrating a figure who has accomplished great deeds that generally have made things better for us here and now. They are frequently based on a real person, but the scale of adventure and accomplishments can cross into fantasy territory.

Classic Texts Collections

What makes a text a classic? A classic piece of literature is timeless due to quality of writing and mastery of story. They often have powerful messages, or stand as markers of culture and/or time period.  These stand a test of time to earn their label. This means the writing is often old fashioned to the modern reader. Young readers can struggle with the formality and vocabulary of many of our well known classics; but as a teacher I believe there is value in teaching understanding of short pieces of classical literature to young readers. They are introduced to new words, and new ways of using words. Classics have a role in developing a student’s comprehension and writing skills. Also, without having an idea of many classics, as they grow older they will miss so many references in modern literature and film!

Non-Fiction Collections

This a collection of non-fiction articles on subjects likely to hold interest for the level and age group.

Non-fiction is truthful, it is formal, it has different structures that are important to understand such as topic headings, referencing, boxed inserts, diagrams, tables etc.

Non-fiction can also contain a distinct POV, it is has target audiences, and uses figurative language.

For higher levels there is also ‘creative nonfiction’,  which is its own fascinating genre, and often a fun discovery for students, as well as aiding them in separating fact from fiction in the myriad of  text forms that come at them through social media. 

Short Story Collections

Every year students will be faced with short stories. I recall hating them when I was at school. I love them now and have written some of my own. There are so many clever twists, clever uses of language. I have selected short stories that I hope will create interest and learning for each level and age group. 


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