Designing embedded literacy project work for independent learning – revised structure

Ind Learning

Yesterday, I outlined my rough ideas for a generic integrated project template that would bring together unit standards 26622 and 26624 with some kind of narrowly focused content.

The purpose is to design an independent learning project template that would help tutors and learners (and in my case home school parents and older home school students) start to put together evidence portfolios for assessment and credit towards the core literacy and numeracy unit standards that they need for NCEA and other qualifications.

These projects should work with trades-focused training as well as with other subject areas or topics of interest.

The main point is that the reading and writing around a particular topic or interest or specific area in the curriculum becomes the opportunity to develop reading and writing skills.This is the embedded part.

In other words, it’s not about doing reading and writing for their own sake, but doing them in the context of something else, for example an independent investigation or inquiry project around some aspect of training or study undertaken by the learner.

This type of independent work won’t suit every learner, obviously. However, it will suit some. And it should help create opportunities to develop independent learning outside of the regular training or classroom environment.

Anyway, I’ve revised the structure that I brainstormed yesterday. Here’s what I’m looking at now:


  1. Negotiate the project
  2. Assign reading 1
  3. Assign reading 2
  4. Ensure both texts are at or above step 4 in the reading strand
  5. Administer a pre-assessment for vocabulary items if appropriate
  6. Discuss prior knowledge
  7. Front load any relevant new words or concepts
  8. Clarify the project outcomes


  1. Reading: First time through the text
    • Predict
    • Read
    • Identify and record problem words
    • Identify and record explicit information in the text
    • Make notes
  2. Reading: Second time through the text
    • Read
    • Identify and record implicit ideas in the text
    • Identify and explain writer’s purpose
    • Evaluate the text in terms of one of usefulness, interest, validity, credibility
  3. Writing
    • Identify appropriate writing frame, structure, or model
    • Plan (brainstorm, mind map, organise, categorise, and outline)
    • Compose
    • Revise and edit using an editing checklist
    • Produce final digital version
    • Optional: Publish to blog

From there normal assessment mechanisms can kick in if they are required. Next up… hopefully, some prototype templates and further guidelines.


Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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