Oral Language: Pictorial

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 11:58 am

At Holy Name Primary School, Prep teacher, Michelle Chester, embeds structured oral language instruction throughout her literacy program, which is central to all learning across the day. Michelle also provides opportunities for children to participate in unstructured speaking and listening episodes to apply and practice what they have learned. Frequent mini chats with a partner are common and provide Michelle with opportunities to make active observations and gather formative data which she uses to inform ongoing instruction for small and large groups, as well as individuals.

Oral language 1
As children participate in Show and Tell, Michelle looks for evidence of ongoing improvement and provides positive, focused feedback.

Oral language 2
Mini chats allow Michelle to move amongst children, gathering data relating to specific aspects of language, literacy or content knowledge. These chats may occur before, during or after lessons.

Oral language 3
Having modelled how to navigate and locate sounds on an alphabet chart, Michelle looks for evidence of children able to apply this knowledge without assistance, children able to apply with some scaffolding and those requiring higher levels of support and reteaching. Very importantly, the children in Michelle’s classroom believe they are writers.

Oral language 4
Working with a partner enables children to use their collective knowledge. Michelle uses partner supports as needed to scaffold learning. These children work together to locate and talk about specific meaning supports in the illustrations.

Oral language 5
These readers support one another to notice and discuss elements relating to letters and words.

Oral language 6
Michelle’s observations enable her to identify children requiring additional support, consolidation or extension.

Oral language 7
Michelle uses carefully selected picture books for early group reading experiences. Teaching/learning goals across these lessons include:
– why books are wonderful
– why books are made
– parts of a book
– authors and illustrators
– book handling skills, including page turning
– noticing words and pictures
– building a love and appreciation of literature
– building a love and appreciation of ‘read to learn’ books
Lessons are highly interactive and rich with discovery and conversation.

Oral language 8
These readers begin guided reading. Michelle teaches one to one matching on this early reading book.

Oral language 9
Michelle uses a variety of learning experiences to scaffold language development. Using his creation, this student explains how he constructed this fort to his classmates.

Oral language 10
Every book is an exciting adventure in Michelle’s classroom. As children develop story and content knowledge during these reads, Michelle supports them to apply recalling and remembering strategies, as well as engaging high order thinking.


The above photo essay supports and illustrates the ideas contained in ‘Oral Language: planning for explicit instruction using relevant and authentic experiences’.

by Angela Ehmer

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