What’s the procedure?

This post is republished from the readilearn blog.

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Reading and following procedures is a part of everyday life. We need to follow a procedure to make a cake, take medicine, repair a bicycle, treat head lice, assemble a DIY bookcase, or install an app on a digital device. The list in inexhaustible.

Sometimes procedures are presented as text, sometimes as illustrations or diagrams, and sometimes as a combination of both. They work best when each step of the sequence is accurately described and illustrated.

However, not all procedural texts are created equal. Sometimes the language may be inappropriate and unclear. Sometimes steps are omitted or sequenced incorrectly. Sometimes diagrams have little resemblance to what is required and confuse, rather than clarify, the process.

Trying to figure out what to do can cause a great deal of frustration in such circumstances.  The more practised we are with following procedures, the more adept we are at interpreting inadequate instructions to achieve a good outcome.

It is never too soon for children to learn to read and follow procedures. The inclusion of procedural texts in a classroom literacy program has many benefits.

Following a procedure provides a context and purpose for reading.  It requires children to interpret instructions through a combination of text and visual representation. It generally implies that children are doing or making something, which engages their interest and encourages participation. It develops an essential real-life skill that is transferrable to a range of situations. The sense of achievement in successfully completing a project is both affirming and empowering and often requires no other feedback.

Procedural texts can be easily incorporated into a class reading program as an independent or group reading activity. An assistant to support, encourage and oversee can be invaluable.

Features of procedural texts

The reading of a procedural texts differs from reading fiction or non-fiction texts.

  • The title, and sometimes a short description, tells what will be done or made.
  • There is generally a list of requirements.
  • The body of the procedure is written as a sequential series of commands.
  • The verb, telling the action to be performed, occurs at the beginning of the sentence.
  • The sentence is directed to the reader, and means, “You do this.”
  • Each sentence is generally short with one action to be performed in each step.

There is a range of readilearn resources to involve children in reading and following procedural texts. Many of the procedures are provided in different formats for use with the whole class or with small groups or by individuals. Some are supported by additional resources, and How to make a paper plate cat face is presented with two levels of text.

These include:

How to make a paper plate cat face

how-to-make-a-paper-plate-cat-face-level-1

How to make a 2D bus with wheels that move

how-to-make-a-2d-bus

How to make a friendship tree

how-to-make-a-friendship-tree-readilesson

Make your own paper plate clock face

make-your-own-paper-plate-clock-face-free-preview

How to make moon cake

how-to-make-a-moon-cake-sl

How to make a book cover

how-to-make-a-book-cover-readilesson

How to make a healthy smiley face sandwich

make-a-healthy-smiley-face-sandwich-readilesson

I hope you and your children enjoy using these resources. They were always enjoyed in my own classroom, and have been the most popular resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Please contact me if you have any questions. I welcome your feedback, especially suggestions for improvements to existing resources and ideas for new ones.

Remember, if you haven’t yet subscribed, an introductory discount of 20% is available to all who subscribe this year. Just use the coupon code welcome2 at the checkout to receive your discount.

I’ll see you next week. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend.

Thank you

Thank you for reading.

Happy teaching and learning,

Norah

 

You can contact me:

via email hello@readilearn.com.au

via the Contact page

on Twitter @readilearn or @NorahColvin

on Facebook @readilearnteachingresources

on my other blog NorahColvin.com

I invite you to rate and review any resources you use, and to share information about readilearn on social media.

 

14 thoughts on “What’s the procedure?

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    Oh, you’ve hit on something here. “It is never too soon for children to learn to read and follow procedures.” I’m cheering for you and all who get your resources for their classrooms. Please! 😀 I taught university students how to write “process analysis” (which is a schmancy way of saying “how to”) and it was painful. They should have learned to understand, follow, and communicate this in writing years before. Excellent, Norah. 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Sarah. It’s very affirming to receiving your feedback. How clever are you to teach process analysis at university level. At least with early childhood there are not too many steps. It’s still amazing how often steps are omitted though. I think people forget to follow their own procedures to check for accuracy. I hope I did! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Annecdotist

    I love that treating headlice was in your early list – certainly worth knowing the correct procedure for that!
    But, seriously, I love seeing your resources and I’m sure your procedures are clear and straightforward to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Anne. You have probably not had to worry about head lice for a long time. Recently when I picked up G2 from Kindy to come for a sleepover, I took her to the hairdresser on the way home. The hairdresser discovered she had head lice. I had to buy all the treatment products and carry out the procedure. Talk about an expensive rigmarole! It did the trick though. I was concerned how G2 would react with me doing the treatment, but she took it in her stride. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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