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Picture News Discussion Aids! 🎥

By Jo Martin, Education Consultant

As a teacher, don’t you just love it when you find a ready-made resource that does exactly what you need it to do and you didn’t have to invest hours creating it?! Yes!

I know, for me, when I found something of use, it was an incredibly exciting day! I couldn’t wait to get it printed, laminated (I love to laminate) and use it in my classroom.

Today, I would like to share with you our most recent resources – our Picture News Discussion Pyramid and Mat. These are two resources that I think are incredibly exciting and will really support your weekly discussions.

Your weekly Picture News resource is current affairs, so content is real-life; something children can impact. For some children, this gives them the courage to speak out and share their opinions. Some weeks may inspire and engage your children more than others but, the discussions still take place, which exposes children to a variety of emotions and vocabulary.

One of the things I love the most about Picture News is you never quite know how the children will respond to a story and where your discussion may go. Some weeks, the less structured, informal approach is great but sometimes, it is useful to be able to add a small amount of structure, where you can support children with vocabulary and sentence openers. This is where the mat and/or pyramid come into play!

The content on each is the same but you can choose which format may suit certain situations or certain children best. Their purpose it to encourage children to consider their ideas and opinions and structure these into an oral sentence. The emotion word wall is there to expose children to a range of ambitious emotion vocabulary, and I would highly recommend printing off the weekly technical vocabulary from the PowerPoint to go alongside the mats. The pyramid and mat encourage children to consider if their views are impacted by those around them and then finally, use the discussion for a structured debate, where they listen and then respond to one another.

We all know that this kind of talk is particularly valuable when producing high-quality writing. If your children are engaged and inspired by the week’s story, then use it, and the discussion, to write. You are giving children a purpose for their writing. Send or share their work with their audience and give them a voice and a way into impacting the world we live in and potentially bring about change!

Check out the video below to see the mat and pyramid in action!

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