Welcome to Our World!

story by Geoffrey McSkimming , illustrated by Gabriel Evans

Learning Intention: 

I am investigating how to create criteria for text structures and language features so that I can compose and edit a coherent text. 

Success Criteria: 

  • I am beginning to understand the conventions of an audio guide.  
  • I can collaboratively create a criterion for the structure and language features of a successful audio guide.  
  • I can review, edit, and improve my work using this criterion. 

Essential knowledge: 

  • More information about agreed-upon text structures can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Code and Convention. 

Before commencing the activity, provide students with an opportunity to explore the text and take notes on each of the subheadings (mystic tree, arbour, lost entry, etc.). Their notes should include a description of the location and details of how it would be used by Mr. Erasmus. For example:  

  • The arbour is a comfortable and wide bench with a shady canopy of thick vines and fragrant flowers overhead. Mr. Erasmus uses it as his favourite reading spot on a warm afternoon. 

Students may need access to technology to research aspects of the garden (such as the function of an arbour, summer house and potting shed). They can also extract information about the property from the story ‘The Waggling of Keithus’ (this issue). Alternatively, if you have a digital subscription, there is an interactive version of this text on The School Magazine’s website.  

After students have explored and analysed the text, explain the task: they will create an audio guide for visitors to Mr. Erasmus’s Garden. Show students the clip, Audio guide: the British Museum your way to introduce the technology of an audio guide to students. Then ask the following questions:  

  • Has anyone ever used an audio guide before?  
  • Where would you use an audio guide?  
  • What would you expect to hear on an audio guide?  

Explain that the class will design the set of criteria an audio guide needs to meet to be successful. Remind students that an audio guide has a dual purpose: to provide information about a location and its objects, but also to offer a route through a venue. Under the following headings, allow students to generate success criteria through class discussion:  

  • Introduction (answers could include: a welcome greeting from Mr. Erasmus or a brief history of the property) 
  • Directions (answers could include: a suggested order in which to see the sights, words like left/right/north/south) 
  • Sightseeing information (answers could include: an explanation of the sight, possible activities, fun facts) 
  • Visitor information (answers could include: location of toilets, kiosks, rules when visiting the property) 
  • Language features (answers could include: formal language, technical vocabulary, present tense) 

As students write a draft of their audio guide, format the success criteria into a checklist using Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or similar software. After students have completed their draft, they should self, or peer assess the draft against this checklist and make improvements as required.  

Finally, using an audio recording program, such as Audacity, students should record their audio guide and publish it on a class platform.