I am learning to draw on contextual knowledge so that I can make predictions about the text.
- I can identify the genre of a text.
- I can identify elements that are expected in certain genres.
- I can make predictions about a text based on the expectations of its genre.
- More information about types of texts can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Genre.
- More information about making connections between texts can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Intertextuality.
Before reading the story, read aloud the title and ask students to predict what the text might be about. Guide students towards thinking of other superhero genre titles such as Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Supergirl. Ask students what they expect from a superhero movie, comic book or television show. Discuss answers and write the following on the board:
- there is a main character with superhuman powers
- the main character often has a secret identity
- there is villain
- there is a problem that only the superhero can solve (usually a threat to the world)
Students do a Think, Pair, Share about what events they predict will be in the story Bee Girl. Ask specifically what they think Bee Girl means, what she can do and what problems might arise in the story. Remind students to think not only of the superhero genre, but what they know about bees as well. Students write down their predictions.
Once students have written down their predictions, read aloud the first part of the story up to:
‘No buts!’ said the teacher. ‘Go home, Miss Pannaflannablopski!’
Stop reading and ask students if they were right so far with any of their predictions. They can put a tick or a cross next to any that have been confirmed/disproved.
Return to the list on the board and have students add how Bee Girl follows the superhero genre. Example answer:
- there is a main character with superhuman powers – Marie can turn into a bee
- the main character often has a secret identity – no, everyone knows who she is
- there is a villain – maybe the teacher
- there is a problem that only the superhero can solve – there’s no honey for Pancake Day (students may not pick up that this is the main problem yet)
Ask students to confirm or change their predictions about what will happen next. Read the rest of the story. Ask students whether any of their predictions were correct. Again, discuss the list on the board. Students might argue that the teacher is the villain, or that there is no villain in this story. Ensure students understand that the story problem was solved with Marie’s superpowers.
Using the list on the board as a reference, ask students whether they would consider this story a superhero story. Some students might say yes because it has most of the elements of the superhero genre, while some students might argue that the stakes are too low – there is no supervillain with special powers or threat to the world. Ask students if understanding the superhero genre helped predict the events of the story. While they may not have predicted it precisely, students should recognise the plot arc based on the list of the board is used in Bee Girl.