This is the sixth of seventeen stand-alone literacy units built around the highly acclaimed animal adventure story ‘Paka Mdogo – Little Cat’. Each unit is based on a single chapter from the book, and includes the text itself…so over the course of a term children will be able to enjoy the whole story as a piece of fiction ‘with excellent literary credentials’ (Library Thing review) – appropriate to ages 7 to 12 but offering engagement, suspense, humour and challenge to readers of all ages. The ‘Paka Mdogo’ series has been described as ‘Books for Thinking Children’ but it also has a strong appeal to thinking adults since it addresses, in a wholly refreshing way, a large number of issues important to us all.
Each unit includes a summary of ‘the story so far’. Teachers can therefore, if they wish, use the units selectively, making use of the ongoing summaries to bridge any narrative gaps and keep the class eager to know what happens next.
The units are aligned to the general expectations of the International Baccalaureate PYP programme and also various national curricula, and teachers making use of them can be assured that their students will be exposed to a wide range of reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks – and thinking activities – designed to promote universal literacy objectives with minimal tribulation and maximum delight.
‘Thinking activities’? Imaginative prompts that challenge students to read into, and often beyond, the written text.
Study tasks include the full range of question types (single-answer, multiple choice, closed, open, evaluative) and a variety of writing and speaking activities (personal, narrative, expository, analytical, persuasive, interactive).
Questions on the illustrations are included to help enhance students’ visual, as well as textual, literacy.
The PYP-specific section on each chapter (‘Sheena the PYP Cat’) is designed to illuminate for young readers the elements of both the PYP Learner Profile and the Transdisciplinary Themes, and to add to their enjoyment of the story and their understanding of some of the important things that happen in it, within a PYP context.
• The units (both the Teaching and the Student Edition, included in the download) are in printable pdf format, and can be used either on-screen or in photocopy from the master files.
• Each page of the unit carries one page of text from the chapter, a study task based on it, and working spaces. Additional, more broadly-based study tasks span the whole chapter.
• Students given print copies can use either the working spaces or a separate workbook. Those working on-screen will be able to add their responses by means of a text insertion tool or the comments/sticky notes function, depending on the programme used to open the pdf file – or, again, in a separate workbook.
• The Teaching Edition has suggested responses which the teacher can share with students as appropriate; the Student Edition carries the questions and tasks but not the suggested responses. The two versions are available separately within the TES download so that teachers can allow student access, if they wish, only to the Student Edition (although they may decide to provide students with the Teaching Edition also, for the purposes of self-assessment). This flexibility makes the units well suited to both classwork and homework.