Sylphie's Squizzes: Durians

article by Zoë Disher , photos by Alamy

Learning Intention: 

I am learning to read and view a wide range of texts so that I can develop a list of other engaging topics for high interest articles. 

Success Criteria: 

  • I can navigate a website and magazine to locate, skim and scan short informal articles. 
  • I can classify articles according to topic and identify topics that interest a primary school age readership.  
  • I can come up with my own list of high interest topics that could be used for future Sylphie’s Squizzes columns.  

Read the article on durians. After reading, discuss the article’s audience (primary school age children), form (short article) and purpose (to inform, but also to entertain). Explain to students that this is a high interest article; it provides information in a fun and engaging way.  

Provide students with a range of other short, high interest articles in a variety of media and forms. Explain that these texts have a similar audience, purpose and form to Sylphie’s Squizzes. Some suggested resources include:  

  • The ‘Wacky… But True’ print magazine 
  • Previous Sylphie’s Squizzes columns in back issues of ‘The School Magazine’, or through creating an ‘activity’ on the website. (By creating an ‘activity’ you will be able to collate a range of Sylphie’s Squizzes columns and link your students with a class code. This allows for easy browsing.) 

Instruct students to collate a list of topics (at least 10) covered by in these high interest articles. They then sort these articles into categories. You may wish to provide students with a list of categories such as: history, food, environment, famous people, sport, technology. Students may also wish to come up with their own categories.  

Finally, ask students in groups to generate their own topics and questions for a column like Sylphie’s Squizzes. Ask them to think about purpose, audience and form. (For example: would they be able to explain how the technology of an iPhone worked in a short article?) Students should share these questions and topics with the class, as well as justifying how they are appropriate for audience, purpose and form.  

NB: You may wish to check some of the interactive features of the Wonderopolis website. These allow students to ‘upvote’ their favourite questions, and submit their own questions which in turn may be written as an article.