Each School Magazine Teaching Guide  includes two detailed lesson plans that you, as a teacher, can utilise to use texts from each magazine in the classroom to teach. Teachers can use the lesson plans as a teacher-directed lesson or to lead a lesson that incorporates more independent learning.

The School Magazine lesson plans have a clear sequence and focus that can be completed by a teacher in a single lesson. Each lesson plan is self-contained, making them a versatile and portable resource, often used by casual teachers.

Lesson plan framework

Lesson plans are structured around the learning processes embedded in the Australian Curriculum and explicated in the English Textual Concepts.

They include:

  • Heading — a short, simple statement of the lesson’s focus
  • Subheading — the title of the text and the name of the writer
  • In this lesson — one-sentence summary of what will be achieved in the lesson
  • Curriculum codes — codes from the Australian Curriculum and the NSW Syllabus of the ideas being addressed
  • What you need (optional) — a list of any specific resources or preparation the teacher needs before embarking on the lesson.

The starting point for every lesson plan is the text(s). Every text we publish has context, value and is aligned with the magazine it identifies with. It may be that it’s an unusual or well-executed example of a particular genre; or it displays an unusual and well-executed use of point-of-view, or word choice, or grammar; or it treats a common theme in an unusual way or broaches a contemporary hot topic. Above all, we choose texts that will start conversations and stimulate learning.

Lesson plan learning process

Each lesson plan uses some or all of these learning processes, which are drawn from the ;English Textual Concepts of the NSW English Syllabus

  • understanding
  • connecting
  • engaging personally
  • engaging critically
  • experimenting
  • reflecting

Comparative lesson plans

A lesson plan is not always based around just one text. In fact, many outcomes can be very well addressed by comparing and contrasting texts.

Comparative lessons can work very well, e.g. if the lesson compares and contrasts the different poems in your issue; or the lesson discusses rhythm in poetry, and uses three different poems from the magazine as examples. A theme or issue that arises in more than one text may be explored, e.g. fear; conflict; joy; envy; friendship. We deliberately try to include texts that show variation across text types in each issue, e.g. first-person and third-person stories; realistic and fantasy stories; traditional and free verse.

Differentiated lesson plans

A differentiated lesson plan demonstrates how to use the text at a core level along with providing ideas for supporting students to achieve the core level activity and ideas that may be developed for extending students who have completed the core level activity.

  • Core level: sets the scene; introduces or revises key terms or concepts; orients students to the genre, language structures and connections between the text and their own experiences and knowledge.
  • Support level: provides ideas to support students to achieve the concepts and skills required in the core level.
  • Extension level: provides ideas for teachers to extend students who have quickly mastered the core level.

Differentiated lesson plans include differentiated activities at three points:

  1. Understanding: demonstrates how to use the text or texts in the classroom to teach students new skills and concepts.
  2. Engaging critically: will often be the focus of the lesson. It could include reading, writing, talking or listening activities undertaken alone, in pairs, in small groups, or as a whole class.
  3. Experimenting: students explore and demonstrate their use of new skills and concepts.