Dossier of Discovery: Meet ASIMO

article by Anne Renaud , photo by Honda North America

Learning intention:  

I am learning to use evidence from the text and my prior knowledge when reading so that I can make sense of the text. 

Success criteria: 

  • I can predict vocabulary by viewing images in an informative text. 
  • I can define technical terms specific to the informative text. 
  • I can apply my knowledge of technical vocabulary to read and understand informative texts. 

Essential knowledge: 

Before beginning the activity, have students view the English Textual Concepts video Context. 

After the video, display the images from the article (without the text or heading) and ask students what context they, as the reader, are viewing the images from. Encourage them to consider where else they see robots (movies and television), what they know about robots and what other technology they use daily (mobiles phones, tablets, computers). Ask them how their thoughts might change if they were viewing these images from a different time in history, or what they would think of the images if they were ninety-nine years old. What do the images mean to them as children in the year 2023? 

Images for class discussion:

Meet Asimo

Explain to students that this robot is referred to as ASIMO, which is an acronym. Have them predict what it might stand for. After some discussion, show students the caption beneath the photograph that says ‘ASIMO stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Ability’. Ask students whether they agree that this is a good name, or whether theirs were better. 


Explain that these images come from an article, which is an informative text. Write ROBOTS on the board and invite students to brainstorm technical vocabulary that might come up in the article. Answers might include mechanics, computers, batteries, electrical. 

Once students have contributed their predictions, write the following words on the board: 

  • Engineers 
  • Magnesium Alloy 
  • Detect 
  • Volt 

Ask students to discuss with a partner what these words mean. After some independent discussion time, invite students to share their answers with the class. If students are unsure of any answers, use dictionaries or online dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster to find the definitions (split the words magnesium and alloy if necessary). 

Finally, read the text as a class, indicating any vocabulary students had correctly predicted would occur and discussing the technical vocabulary in context. This can be done using a Frayer diagram.