In Australia, students are nearing the end of their school year. Secondary students are sitting a range of examinations or tests over the coming weeks. Mark is in Year 10, but like many students he is doing one Year 11 subject. This subject is part of our Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and preparing for these assessments can be challenging.
Mark and I are using Be a Better Writer (BABW) by Steve Peha as our guide. I love the fact that Steve’s book can be in the hands of the student and teacher. I call this being able to cross borders. Mark and I have been exploring techniques.
‘Techniques are simple activities that help you do complicated things faster and easier.’ Steve Peha
Our focus has been centred on Creating a Logical Answer to an Easy Question (BABWp8) to
We’re using Steve’s What? Why? How? – simple! After reading the background information we reviewed Steve’s example. The example in BABW is about the American presidential system. This was not an issue for us because any example text could be substituted.
Text Example BABW: A candidate may lose a presidential election even if he or she receives the most votes. How is this possible?
What? Why? How? is an organisation tool. It provides a framework for a logical response. After completing Steve’s example, Mark and I posed an essay question related to his course content.
Aristotle believes that beauty is in the form. How is this connected to Art?
Mark completed the What? Why? How? quickly which gave him an organisational structure for his response, something he was grappling with. What’s also very special is seeing Mark’s confidence grow!
Teachers want ‘a logical presentation of accurate information.’ Steve Peha
Finally, this technique/strategy has a hidden strength:
T0 complete this strategy you have to unpack, understand and answer the question!