SKETCHIT: responding to a key moment in a text Larraine S Harrison ©

Learning focus: Sketchit provides an opportunity for the pupils to make their own personal responses to a key moment in a text. It encourages pupils to listen carefully to the text as it is read aloud, in order to make their response. It is also easily accessible for most pupils, since they can respond visually using sketches rather than worrying about the words. It can also be used before asking the class to direct a small group into a freeze-frame to represent the same moment.

What to do

  • Explain to the children that you are going to read the short text extract to them three times. Warn them to listen carefully because on the second and third reading they will be asked some questions about it. (Do not show them the text).

  • Read the chosen text extract aloud to the class once.

  • Give a piece of plain A4 paper to each child and ask them to fold it in half horizontally.

    They should then unfold it to make 2 ‘boxes’ and give each box a heading as follows:

    Top box = What I see

    Bottom box = Feelings
     

  • Ask the children to make a very rough pencil sketch in the top box whilst you are reading the text for the second time. The sketch should represent the image they see in their minds as they listen to the extract. Emphasise that the sketch should be very rough, like notes, and not a polished drawing. They can use stick people for speed but the sketch should be clear enough for them to explain it to someone else. The need to make a rough sketch, rather than a good picture may need emphasising.

  • Allow the pupils a few minutes after the second reading to complete the sketch, but stop before they start perfecting the drawing.

  • During the third reading the pupils should fill in the bottom box using words and/or sketches to indicate feelings associated with the text as they listen to it again. It can include what the characters feel, and/or what they themselves feel about what is happening.

  • Organise the children into groups of three or four and give them a few minutes to complete the following task:
    Compare the papers in your group. Find one or two things that are similar about your sketches and feelings and one or two things that are different.

  • Stop the activity when one or two groups have finished. Give them 2 minutes to finalise their responses before asking each group to quickly report back to the rest of the class. Use this exercise to illustrate how readers’ responses are influenced by their own feelings and imagination as well as by what the author has written. It demonstrates the importance of what the individual reader brings to a text and how readers can interpret the meaning similarly and differently.

  • Make links with the role of an illustrator in making visual interpretations of a text.

    ADAPTATIONS: Simplify by omitting the Feelings section. Add more challenge by folding the sheet into 4 with added headings Senses (smell, touch, taste) and Links/ associations.