Sylphie's Squizzes: The Nome Serum Run

article by Zoë Disher , photo by Alamy

Learning Intention:

I am learning to understand how to use headings and subheadings so that I can predict content and navigate a text.

Success Criteria:

  • I can identify the text features of an informational text (heading, subheading, byline and images).
  • I can make predictions about the content of an informational text based on these features.
  • I can confirm or correct my predictions based on the content of an informational text.

Essential Knowledge:

More information about the organisation of different text types can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Code & Convention.

Present students with a copy of the article with the image and body text concealed. Students should be shown the following phrases:

  1. Heading: The Nome Serum Run
  2. Bylines: article by Zoë Disher | photo by Alamy; Dogs raced against time to deliver life-saving serum!
  3. Subheadings: A deadly outbreak; Dogs to the rescue; Racing in the dark

As a class, label these text features and discuss their purpose. (Heading appears once and is the title, whereas subheadings appear throughout and split the title into sections. The byline is a secondary line and provides the name of the author and a possible overview of the text.)

Using the five Ws, ask students to predict what the content/story of this article will be:

  • Who do you think the article will be about?
  • Where do you think it will be set?
  • When (present, past, ancient past) do you think it will be set?
  • What do you think will happen in the article? (Provide vocabulary support: Nome is a proper noun and name of a city; serum is a medicine.)
  • Why do you think this story is ‘newsworthy’ or worth writing about?

Next, reveal the image and discuss the clues it provides. (Black and white, huskies, snow, very warm clothing.) Ask students to confirm or modify their predictions based on this image.

Ask students to use their predictions, recorded in their answers to the 5 Ws questions to structure and write a short article. It should be based on what they think the Nome Serum run was, structured as a three-paragraph informational text, organised around the three subheadings.

After students have written their predictive text, reveal the body text to the students. Instruct students to compare how similar the events in their text were to the actual events.