English Year 3–6 units (2024)

Sample units to support implementation of the English K–10 Syllabus.

Unit features

Sample units are optional resources forming part of the curriculum reform support package in English for primary teachers. These units are designed for teachers of 3–6 students and represent ‘one way’ of designing teaching and learning experiences.

As part of the Curriculum Partnership Schools project, primary school teachers across the state worked collaboratively with the Primary Curriculum team to develop English 3–6 sample units.

The English K–10 Syllabus provides a refreshed approach to English units. Sample units include value-added features that support this approach.

Timeframe for use

Each unit is 5 weeks in duration, aligned to department scope and sequences.

Sample units

  • are structured around 2 ‘components’ that support cumulative, explicit and systematic teaching
    • component A (foundational literacy skills)
    • component B (conceptual understandings of subject English)
  • exemplify the importance of learning about and enjoying literature through the study of quality texts
  • include suggested ‘mentor’ and ‘supporting’ texts that meet NESA’s text requirements for English 3–6
  • are designed to be taught in numerical order within each Stage or multi-age year
  • link to teaching advice documents that provide additional guidance on best practice teaching of foundational skills.
  • align with the department's Spelling, Handwriting and digital transcription and Sentence-level instructional sequences. These will be made available in Term 4, 2023
  • support teachers to identify, plan for and teach ‘connected content’ in ways that reflect latest research
  • include resources and suggestions for assessment and differentiation
  • address all syllabus outcomes and content for Stage 2 and Stage 3
  • comply with curriculum policy and registration requirements
  • are inclusive of people with vision impairment and comply with legislative requirements for accessibility

Before engaging with sample units, it is important to develop a deep understanding of the Years 3–6 components of the English K–10 Syllabus and the underpinning evidence base.

Professional learning and resources

Professional learning courses and resources that support the teaching of these units.

Professional learning

  • Department microlearning course [course code once available] (elective professional development)
  • Introduction to English K–10 (Years 3–6) Syllabus (NESA) – all NSW teachers have access to the course by logging into NESA Online Learning.

Resources

English K–10 (2022) Syllabus (Years 3–6) – information for school leaders

How to use sample units

What are sample units?

Sample units are optional resources to support classroom teachers in designing high-quality teaching and learning experiences for students.

Like any resource, sample units must be reviewed for suitability prior to use. They are designed to be adopted and adapted for your school context and student learning needs. Teachers should exercise professional judgement when making these decisions.

Note

Where staff cannot adapt or modify sample units, consider use of alternatives that:

  • have a strong evidence base
  • are better matched to local-level curriculum requirements
  • are more effective in meeting student needs.

Navigating a unit

All units are best viewed digitally as opposed to printed hard copies.

To move through sections of a unit, open the unit and view the navigation pane (Ctrl+F or selecting View > Navigation Pane). In the navigation pane, select the Headings tab.

To go to a heading in a sample unit, select that heading in the navigation pane. This allows teachers to view headings without scrolling.

Structure of a sample unit

Each sample unit has been designed using the following structure:

  • Title – indicates key learning area, stage of learning and unit number.
  • Contents – key reference page to support navigation.
  • Unit overview and instructions for use – outlines suggested duration, explicit teaching focus areas and the preparation required to teach each component of the unit.
  • Teacher notes – provides additional information to support the teaching of the unit, including definitions, descriptions, additional resources and ideas for integration with other key learning areas.
  • Outcomes and content – details syllabus focus areas, outcomes and content points to be addressed each week in the Component A and Component B teaching and learning sequences. Links to National Literacy Learning Progression (Version 3) are included where relevant.
  • Resources list – details the resources required and indicates the weeks in which they will be used.
  • Component A teaching and learning
    • Term 1 units provide a weekly teaching guide to support teachers in planning and documenting weekly Component A teaching and learning. Links to a scaffold for planning (DOCX 81 KB), teaching advice documents and a detailed example – Component A teaching and learning (DOCX 428.1 KB) are also included.
    • Term 2–4 units link to a scaffold for planning (DOCX 81 KB) and documenting weekly Component A teaching and learning. Links to teaching advice documents and a detailed example – Component A teaching and learning (DOCX 428.1 KB) are also included.
  • Component B teaching and learning – each week includes an example learning intention and success criteria and a suggested teaching and learning sequence for 4 lessons. Differentiation ideas, assessment suggestions and additional notes are also included.
  • Resources – printable resources to support teaching and learning, including teacher reference material and student activities.
  • References – provide links to third-party material, websites and further reading.

Planning for every student

Sample units are provided as a starting point for teachers to contextualise learning for their students. Implementation of inclusive practices in planning, programming and assessing supports learning for the full range of students and ensure all students can access and engage with the units.

In NSW classrooms there is a diverse range of students including:

  • Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander students
  • students learning English as an additional language or dialect, including Aboriginal English speakers
  • high potential and gifted students
  • students with disability.

Some students may identify with more than one of these groups, or possibly all of them.

Advice for teachers on curriculum planning for every student in every classroom.

Teachers are also encouraged to enrol in ‘Curriculum planning for every student in every classroom’, available in MyPL, to explore curriculum planning strategies and resources to optimise learning for every student.

Annotating a sample unit

Use comments to annotate a unit, including to show evidence of strategies to optimise learning for specific groups of students, or individual students. This could include strategies to enhance teaching and learning, such as differentiation or personalised adjustments.

To learn how to share comments read Share and collaborate with Word for the web. Staff can reply to a comment, adding further detail about the level, type and effectiveness of support provided to a student or group of students.

Suggested mentor and supporting texts

A mentor text is a text that is studied as an example to show how specific textual features are crafted. The text provides students with a model to emulate when crafting their own text (NESA, 2021). Supporting texts provide further opportunities to extend and deepen learning.

Mentor and supporting text lists have been developed to help teachers prepare for teaching and learning activities in sample units. These documents detail the mentor and supporting texts studied in units for Stage 2, Stage 3 and 3–6 multi-age. Links to digital texts are included in the units but are not included in these lists. All lists will be available by the end of Term 4, 2023.

Text selection

Where staff cannot source a suggested text, select alternatives that:

  • address the identified outcomes and content
  • align to the same mentor or supporting textual concept.
Mentor and supporting texts

The following documents detail the mentor and supporting texts studied for Stage 2, Stage 3, and 3–6 multi-age A and B years.

  • Term 1 mentor and supporting texts (DOCX 233.8 KB) (Staff only)
  • Term 2 mentor and supporting texts (DOCX 234.3 KB) (Staff only)
  • Term 3 mentor and supporting texts (DOCX 232.2 KB) (Staff only)
  • Term 4 mentor and supporting texts (DOCX 234 KB) (Staff only)

Stage 2 units

Sixteen sample units for Stage 2 will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2023 and 2024. These units are cumulative and are designed to be taught in numerical order.

A suggested term-by-term approach, aligned with the department’s scope and sequence is outlined below, including the mentor textual concept(s) and unit description.

Stage 2 – First year

NSW students in Years 3 and 4 may be working towards Stage 2 outcomes from the English K–10 (Years 3–6) Syllabus. First year sample units are designed for early concept development of Stage 2 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of their students.

Term 1

Unit 1 – Narrative

Students will explore how narratives set up expectations for the reader using predictable structure and familiar characters and situations. They will analyse excerpts of the mentor text and use as the basis for their own innovation. Students will also plan, draft and revise a narrative sequel using an orientation, complication, resolution structure.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 1 Narrative (DOCX 3 MB)

Unit 2 – Genre

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of genre, and perspective and context. They will apply their understanding of genre to group texts according to their purpose, subject matter, form, structure and language choices. Students will experiment with genre to create a variety of texts using their understanding of structure and language choices to suit a text's purpose.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 2 Genre (DOCX 6 MB)

Term 2

Unit 3 – Argument and authority

In this 5-week unit of learning, students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of ‘argument and authority’ and ‘genre’. They will explore how an argument may be a single perspective that is presented or defended. The difference between authorship and authority is explored and how they can enhance an argument presented. Students will develop texts using language choices for persuasive effect. Students will also plan and deliver a spoken presentation.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 3 Argument and authority (DOCX 5.90 MB)

Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of imagery, symbol and connotation and characterisation. They will develop their understanding of imagery, symbol and connotation and how author’s use imagery and symbols in literature and identify how figurative language can influence meaning. Students will experiment using salience and figurative language to create a multimodal text. Students will make connections to characters in a text by composing a journal entry.

Stage 2 First Year – Unit 4 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 17.5 MB)

Term 3

Unit 5 – Characterisation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of ‘characterisation’ and ‘narrative’. They will explore how authors use dialogue to convey what characters say and think. Students will analyse excerpts of the mentor text and use these as the basis for their own innovation. They will use their understanding of characterisation to compose a narrative.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 5 Characterisation (DOCX 8.4 MB)

Unit 6 – Perspective and context

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of ‘perspective and context’ and ‘theme’. They will identify ways in which perspective is represented in texts and how it informs the setting. Students will use their understanding of ‘perspective and context’ to create a factual and historical account. They will also describe the difference between themes and topics, and use symbols to represent themes in texts.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 6 Perspective and context (DOCX 4.1 MB)

Term 4

Unit 7 – Narrative

Students will develop their understanding of narrative and imagery, symbol and connotation. They will explore the purpose and structure of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Cultural narratives. Students will investigate how authors use imagery and symbols in literature and identify how figurative language can influence meaning. They will analyse language features in spoken texts and use figurative language to compose and recite a poem. Students will also plan, draft and revise a narrative.

Stage 2 First year – Unit 7 Narrative (DOCX 23.25 MB)

Stage 2 – Second year

NSW students in Years 3 and 4 may be working towards Stage 2 outcomes from the English K–10 (Years 3–6) Syllabus. Second year sample units are designed for later concept development of Stage 2 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of their students.

Term 1

Unit 9 – Narrative

Students will explore the mentor concept of narrative and the supporting concept of characterisation through a deep text analysis. Throughout the unit students will develop a deeper understanding of narrative conventions and explore the interplay of plot, character and setting then apply this knowledge when creating their own texts.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 9 Narrative (DOCX 2 MB)

Unit 10 – Genre

Students will explore the mentor concept of ‘genre’ and the supporting concept of ‘perspective and context’ through careful text analysis. Throughout the unit students will understand that genre refers to texts that are grouped according to purpose, subject matter, form, structure and language choices. Students will plan, create and revise texts for considering perspective and context and informative purposes.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 10 Genre (DOCX 3.9 MB)

Term 2

Unit 11 – Argument and authority

Students will explore the mentor concept of ‘argument and authority’ as well as the supporting concept of ‘genre’ through a deep analysis of the mentor text. Throughout the unit students will explore the difference between authority and authorship. They will develop a deeper understanding of rhetorical devices used to strengthen an argument in order to persuade an audience. Students will apply this knowledge when creating responses and written texts.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 11 Argument and authority (DOCX 4.63 MB)

Unit 12 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will explore the mentor concept of imagery, symbol and connotation as well as the supporting concept of characterisation through a deep analysis of the mentor text. Narrative elements are also explored throughout the unit. Students will produce writing that includes figurative language and free verse poetry. They will develop skills to use language purposefully by applying their understanding of the textual concepts to produce writing that evokes feelings or creates images, while engaging the reader.

Stage 2 Second Year – Unit 12 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 9.7 MB)

Term 3

Unit 13 – Characterisation

Students will be learning about the textual concept of ‘characterisation’ and the supporting concept of ‘imagery, symbol and connotation’. Through a close study of the mentor text, they will learn about characterisation as the qualities attributed to imagined characters, including their personality and emotional attributes. Students will examine excerpts from the text that explore the author’s purpose in the development of characters and the various aspects of characterisation, such as appearance, actions, words and thoughts. They will create written texts for imaginative purposes and enhance their understanding of the textual concepts. Students will apply their understanding of characterisation to develop and present their own character in the final part of the unit.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 13 Characterisation (DOCX 2.5 MB)

Unit 14 – Perspective and context

Students will explore the mentor concept of ‘perspective and context’ as well as the supporting concepts of ‘theme’ and ‘imagery, symbol and connotation’ through analysis of the texts. Students develop an understanding of how authors use perspective and context to make connections with the themes. They will recognise how imagery and symbol contribute to meaning in literature. Students create multimodal historical accounts and free verse poetry, drawing upon their personal, social and cultural contexts to explore their own identity.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 14 Perspective and context (DOCX 1.16 MB)

Term 4

Unit 15 – Narrative

Students will gain a greater understanding of the textual concepts of narrative and genre. Through a close analysis of the text, they will explore how narratives set up expectations for the reader using predictable structures and familiar characters and situations. Students will analyse excerpts of the text and use these as the basis for their own innovation when creating written texts. They will plan, draft and revise a narrative using an orientation, complication and resolution structure.

Stage 2 Second year – Unit 15 Narrative (DOCX 7.37 MB)

Stage 3 units

Sixteen sample units for Stage 3 will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2023 and 2024. These units are cumulative and are designed to be taught in numerical order.

A suggested term-by-term approach, aligned with the department’s scope and sequence is outlined below, including the mentor textual concept(s) and unit description.

Stage 3 – First year

NSW students in Years 5 and 6 may be working towards Stage 3 outcomes from the English K–10 (Years 3–6) Syllabus. First year sample units are designed for early concept development of Stage 3 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of their students.

Term 1

Unit 1 – Narrative

Students will develop a deeper understanding of how patterns in narratives set up expectations and notice when those patterns are subverted. They will further explore narrative conventions and characterisation, then apply this knowledge when creating their own science fiction narratives

Stage 3 First year – Unit 1 Narrative (DOCX 2.7 MB)

Unit 2 – Genre

Students will examine and experiment with texts that cross genres. For example, informative texts that also entertain and persuade. Students will create their own texts for different purposes that do not follow the form and function of a single genre. They will enhance their written texts by selecting appropriate multimodal features, including illustrations, maps, graphs and audio.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 2 Genre (DOCX 2.3 MB)

Term 2

Unit 3 – Argument and authority

Students will use the mentor text to analyse representations of ideas in literature through genre that reflect ‘argument and authority’. Students will adapt these representations when creating a persuasive text and a hybrid text that does not follow the form and function of a single genre.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 3 Argument and authority (DOCX 1.1 MB)

Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will apply their understanding of imagery, symbol and connotation to analyse and experiment with composing different genres of poetry. They will identify how perspective is conveyed through authorial choices used in poetry. Students will use figurative language and a range of literary devices to collaboratively create and perform a slam poem that evokes an emotional response from an audience.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 4 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 1.6 MB)

Term 3

Unit 5 – Characterisation

Students will deepen their understanding of the textual concepts of characterisation and narrative. They will explore narrative conventions and patterns and use these effectively to craft engaging stories. Students will enhance their narrative insight by examining how characters reflect or defy traditional archetypes and stereotypes. This unit encourages students to write narratives inspired by personal experiences and draw on their knowledge of characterisation.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 5 Characterisation (DOCX 4.83 MB)

Unit 6 – Perspective and context

In this 5-week unit, which serves as the sequel to Unit 5, students will engage with the concepts of perspective and context and theme. They will explore how the author uses different viewpoints to enrich the story, focusing on the themes of friendship, resilience, growth, and change. The unit combines critical analysis with creative writing by composing poetry that captures the novel's themes and messaging. It then moves to a comprehensive writing task where students research, plan, draft, edit, publish, and present a blog post inspired by the narrative.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 6 Perspective and context (DOCX 2.98 MB)

Term 4

Unit 7 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

In this 5-week unit, students will learn about the textual concepts of imagery, symbol and connotation and narrative. Students will explore cultural narratives to identify the difference in purpose between Dreaming Stories and Songlines. They will investigate how authors use symbols and imagery to share cultural perspectives in literature and analyse how figurative language enhances meaning. Students will be guided to create and present their own informative podcast about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, traditions and languages.

Stage 3 First year – Unit 7 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 4.37 MB)

Stage 3 – Second year

NSW students in Years 5 and 6 may be working towards Stage 3 outcomes from the English K–10 (Years 3–6) Syllabus. Second year sample units are designed for later concept development of Stage 3 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of their students.

Term 1

Unit 9 – Narrative

Students will learn how an author creates engaging characters through a narrative. They will identify common narrative conventions and patterns and recognise when these patterns are subverted. Students will make connections to a text through their own personal and common lived experiences.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 9 Narrative (DOCX 1.2 MB)

Unit 10 – Genre

Students will explore how a significant historical event can be portrayed through different genres. Students will engage with various texts that describe the Wave Hill Walk-Off under the leadership of Vincent Lingiari, and consider the context and perspective of each of the authors in creating their text. Students will draw on this knowledge to create their own hybrid text about a significant Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 10 Genre (DOCX 1.2 KB)

Term 2

Unit 11 – Characterisation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of characterisation and narrative. They will explore the development of characters as depicted through their appearance, words, thoughts and actions. Students will explore the models of behaviour presented and how the relationship between characters enhances a reader’s engagement with the text. They will create imaginative and informative texts, drawing on their knowledge of characterisation as well as historical knowledge gained.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 11 Characterisation (DOCX 5.47 MB)

Unit 12 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concept of imagery, symbol and connotation and the supporting concept of genre. Students will discover that literature does not always follow the form and function of a single genre, and that symbols are used within both written texts and illustrations. Students will apply their knowledge of symbol, imagery and genre in the creation of a narrative picture book with poetic elements.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 12 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 1.5 MB)

Term 3

Unit 13 – Argument and authority

Students will gain a greater understanding of the textual concepts of ‘argument and authority’ and ‘perspective and context’. Through the study of digital articles, students will recognise the various authorial choices that can impact the authority of a text. They will analyse texts to establish reliability, validity, authority and perspective. Students will also plan, revise and publish factual news articles and manipulate language features to compose a fabricated news article.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 13 Argument and authority (DOCX 4 MB)

Unit 14 – Perspective and context

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of ‘perspective and context’ and ‘theme’. Students will examine and analyse how perspective is influenced by personal, social and cultural contexts and made evident through authorial choices. Students will innovate from the mentor and supporting texts and apply their understanding of poetic form and thematic elements to compose free verse poems, reflecting on their own perspective and context. Students will publish and present their work using multimodal and digital features.

Stage 3 Second year – Unit 14 Perspective and context (DOCX 1.64 MB)

Term 4

Sample units will be released periodically throughout 2024.

3–6 multi-age units

Sixteen sample 3–6 multi-age units will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2023 and 2024. These units are cumulative and designed to be taught in numerical order. The A and B year cycles can be taught in any order. For example, students can be taught Year B units before Year A units.

A suggested term-by-term approach, aligned with the department’s scope and sequence is outlined below, including the mentor textual concept and unit description.

3–6 multi-age – Year A

Teachers of multi-age classes have the flexibility to select Year A or Year B sample units to reflect their cycle of programming.

Term 1

Unit 1 – Narrative

Students will explore how narratives set up expectations for the reader using predictable structure and familiar characters and situations. They will analyse excerpts of the mentor text and use as the basis for their own innovation. Students will also plan, draft and revise a narrative sequel using an orientation, complication, resolution structure.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 1 Narrative (DOCX 2.6 KB)

Unit 2 – Argument and authority

Students will gain greater understanding of the textual concepts of argument and authority, and genre. Through the study of the mentor text and supporting digital texts, students will recognise that an argument can be presented as a single perspective and understand the difference between authority and authorship. Students will analyse digital texts to locate and retrieve relevant information to plan, revise, edit and publish a persuasive multimodal national park brochure.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 2 Argument and authority (DOCX 3.4 KB)

Term 2

Unit 3 – Genre

Students will gain greater understanding of the textual concepts of genre and perspective and context. Students will apply their understanding of genre to analyse texts and identify their purpose, subject matter, form, structure and language choices. Students will plan, compose, revise, edit and publish a hybrid text that will recount a historical extreme weather event in Australia.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 3 Genre (DOCX 3.7 MB)

Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of imagery, symbol and connotation and perspective and context. Students will explore how authors use imagery, symbol and connotation in poetry and how figurative language can influence meaning. Students will apply their understanding of structure and language choices to create a mini anthology of poetry.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 4 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 3.7 MB)

Term 3

Unit 5 – Characterisation

Throughout the unit, students will explore the textual concepts of characterisation and narrative. They will investigate ways in which characters are represented in literature and will experiment with dialogue to develop characterisation. Students will draw on shared experiences of texts read and viewed to plan, draft, revise and present an imaginative text.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 5 Characterisation (DOCX 2.9 MB)

Unit 6 – Perspective and context

Students will develop their understanding of perspective and context, characterisation and theme. They will explore how personal, social and cultural contexts shape perspective and authorial choices. Inspired by the mentor text, students will create imaginative texts including free verse poetry. Using digital technologies, students will publish their work and orally present their texts to their peers.

3–6 multi-age Year A – Unit 6 Perspective and context (DOCX 5.88 MB)

Term 4

Sample units will be released periodically throughout 2024.

3–6 multi-age – Year B

Teachers of multi-age classes have the flexibility to select Year A or Year B sample units to reflect their cycle of programming.

Term 1

Unit 1 – Narrative

Students will explore the textual concepts of narrative and characterisation. They will consider how the mentor text sets up expectations and then diverts from expectations to suit the author’s purpose and audience. Students will analyse the creation of characters and how characterisation can be used to drive the plot. They will write a narrative providing details about setting, characters, and actions.

3–6 multi-age Year B – Unit 1 Narrative (DOCX 2.3 MB)

Unit 2 – Argument and authority

Students will develop their understanding of argument and authority and genre through a deep text analysis. Students will learn that an author’s perspective is highlighted by the points of view that they present within a text, while also considering the credibility of sources of information. They will draft, revise, edit and publish a multimodal persuasive text that includes persuasive and rhetorical devices, arguing the existence or non-existence of an elusive creature people have reported to have encountered.

3–6 multi-age – Unit 2 – Argument and authority (DOCX 7.11 MB)

Remediation update:

  • The unit covers the same textual concept, however, there has been changes to the content points based on the distributive learning model.
  • Increased differentiation using part–part boxes, due to these changes the lesson content has been significantly altered.
Term 2

Unit 3 – Genre

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of genre and perspective and context. Students will apply their understanding of genre to analyse texts and identify their purpose, subject matter, form, structure and language choices. Students will experiment with creating a variety of texts using their understanding of structure and language choices to suit a text’s purpose.

3–6 multi-age Year B – Unit 3 Genre (DOCX 9.2 MB)

Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of imagery, symbol and connotation and narrative. Students will explore how authors use imagery and symbols in literature and identify how figurative language can influence meaning. Poetry is also a focus for this unit. Students will deepen their understanding of imagery, symbol and connotation as they analyse language features in spoken texts and use figurative language to compose a poem that they will recite.

3–6 multi-age Year B – Unit 4 Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 8.1 MB)

Term 3

Unit 5 – Characterisation

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the textual concepts of ‘characterisation’ and ‘narrative’. They will explore how authors use narrative conventions such as dialogue and rhetorical questions to reveal characters’ appearance, actions, words or thoughts. Students will apply their understanding of characterisation, narrative structure and conventions to compose a narrative.

3–6 multi-age Year B – Unit 5 Characterisation (DOCX 947 KB)

Unit 6 – Theme

Students will develop their understanding of the textual concepts of theme, perspective and context and narrative. They will explore how an author expresses themes in a text and describe how perspective and context influence writing. Students will draw upon their personal and social context to compose thematic poems and a narrative.

3–6 multi-age Year B – Unit 6 Theme (DOCX 5.94 MB)

Term 4

Sample units will be released periodically throughout 2024.

About these resources

Quality assurance

Sample units have undergone a rigorous quality assurance process as part of our commitment to improving school support. The process ensures that all sample units provided to schools are relevant, of high quality, and underpinned by evidence-based practice.

Alignment to School Excellence Framework

These resources support the School Excellence Framework and clearly align to the following domains and themes.

Learning domain
  • Curriculum: Curriculum provision, Teaching and learning programs
  • Assessment: Whole school monitoring of student learning
  • Student performance measures: NAPLAN
Teaching domain
  • Effective classroom practice: Lesson planning, Explicit teaching
  • Learning and development: Collaborative practice and feedback; Expertise and innovation
Leading domain

Educational leadership: Instructional leadership

Alignment to system priorities and, or needs

These resources reflect the following existing frameworks:

Consultation

Resources have been refined based on findings from consultation with key stakeholder groups and tested by NSW teachers as part of the Accelerated adopter and self-selector schools project in 2022. Subject matter experts from Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners and Literacy and Numeracy reviewed documents to ensure the accuracy of the content.

Evidence base

The evidence base for these resources is:

  • English K-2 Syllabus
  • K-2 English research toolkit
  • Beck IL, McKeown MG and Kucan L (2002) Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • Castles A, Rastle K and Nation K (2018) ‘Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert’, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19:5–51, doi:10.1177/1529100618772271.
  • CESE (Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation) (2017) Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand.
  • Daffern T (2016) ‘What happens when a teacher uses metalanguage to teach spelling?’, The Reading Teacher, 70(4):423–434,
  • Graham S (2020) ‘The sciences of reading and writing must become more fully integrated’, Reading Research Quarterly, 55(S1), S35–S44, doi:10.1002/rrq.332
  • Jones S, Myhill D and Bailey T (2012) ‘Grammar for writing?’, An investigation of the effects of contextualised grammar teaching on students’ writing, 26(8):1241–1263, doi:10.1007/s11145-012-9416-1.
  • Konza D (2010) Research into practice: Understanding the reading process, Government of South Australia,
  • Mackenzie NM (2011) ‘From drawing to writing: What happens when you shift teaching priorities in the first six months of school?’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 34(3):322–340.
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities (2020) What works best: 2020 update
  • NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) (2021) Evidence-based practices for planning and programming
  • NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) (2021) Additional teaching advice documents
  • Parkin J (2021) ‘The simple views of reading and writing: Frameworks for interpretation of the Woodco*ck–Johnson IV’, Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 39(7):1–16, doi:10.1177/07342829211023325.
  • Serafini F and Moses L (2014) ‘The roles of children’s literature in the primary grades’, The Reading Teacher, 67(6):465–468, doi:10.1002/trtr.1236.
  • Snow P (2020) SOLAR: ‘The science of language and reading’, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 1–12, doi:10.1177/0265659020947817.

Contact

Email questions, comments and feedback about sample units to EnglishK6@det.nsw.edu.au.

English Year 3–6 units (2024)
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