How does Planet Castor improve the consistency with which learning is presented?
Great answers come from great questions!Mr Castor
A warm welcome to Planet Castor’s pedagogical approach towards teaching nonfiction writing. Our lives are filled with nonfiction. Everywhere we look there are news articles, maps, recipes, letters, adverts, and so on. In order to be successful in schools, in the workplace, and in our personal lives, we must master the skills attributed to each of the six nonfiction text types (Reports, Explanations, Instructions, Recounts, Persuasive and Discursive).
As an inexperienced teacher, while I may have presented my learners with “great” questions to engage them at the start of the writing process, rarely did I spend enough time in the planning process. My former students were all missing a visual cue: a conceptualised character that could support them in any writing challenge, both now and in the future. Something that would trigger past learning in order for them to each make current gains. This is not to say that I did not provide my earliest students with some sort of planning structure; however, the proforma I introduced them to was not necessarily what their former teacher/s had used. By adopting our consistent, alliterative approach towards teaching nonfiction, your students will soon come to learn how each character can help develop their independent writing skills and enable them to all “shine”.
Planet Castor’s Six Conceptualised Non-fiction Characters:
- Rory the Reporting Rocket: Use my jet burners to plan a report.
- Ed the Explanatory Extraterrestrial: Use my feet and toe nails to plan an explanation.
- Pluto the Persuasive Planet: Use my arms and fingers to plan a persuasive text.
- Remi the Recounting Researcher: Use my satellite receiver to plan a recount.
- Izzy the Instructional Inventor: Use my light bulbs to plan a set of instructions.
- Castor and Pollux the Discursive Discoverers: Use our balanced bubbles to plan a discussion.
Having now taught for over two decades, there are many occasions when my path crosses some of my former students, and many of them delight in telling me how these six characters still help them to “shine” in their writing. And, this conceptualised approach towards teaching all six nonfiction text types will become even more effective should a whole school adopt it.
Planet Castor’s Toolkits contain many resources, linked to each nonfiction text type, that teachers may like to make effective use of. One approach for bringing each character further to life is by continually moving them to a new location inside the classroom. It is a proven way to enthuse learners- as they search their familiar surroundings for their conceptualised friend.