See examples here.
What to do:
Provide context sheets before studying a text/poem.
Develop your students skills of locating and retrieving information.
Allow a short amount of time for students to create spider/mind maps out of the information.
Laminate and use as a point of reference throughout a series of lessons?
To create your own context sheet follow these steps:
Step 1: Download a font (dafont.com) which is in some way relevant to the topic, I use this for the title
Step 2: Select an iconic image which aptly summarises the topic and set this as a background but wash out the colour (cutting printing costs!)
Step 3: I then look for silhouettes which are relevant to the topic and use these as areas for text. I then fill these with text. NOTE: always try and get PNG pictures or vectors/images with no background, otherwise it just ruins the whole effect of the page
Step 4: I find other frames (polaroid prints, cameras, print reels – anything) and fill them with images to make the topic come alive and fill in any blank spaces
Step 5: If you’ve downloaded fonts, don’t forget to save as a PDF, otherwise when you open the Word Doc on your school computer, you often won’t have access to the font files
Whilst I use these sheets as an introductions to poetry, they can easily be adapted for any subject. If studying a new topic in Geography or History, the silhouettes can vary to the relevant topic and be filled with information e.g. if studying the Suffragettes, one could be the outline of a woman and then perhaps a stone or outline of a race horse.
For the more able, the language used in the sheet can be made more challenging and also include more of it, to encourage students to sift through and locate relevant information.
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