Name It!

This strategy can be used both as a lesson starter and to encourage students to refine their own sentences, during oral rehearsal in the whole class session.  By using texts and experiences in which students are immersed, grammar skills can be developed in context.  This learning is memorable and robust, because it is applied meaningfully by the students.

e.g.  He put it down.

The furious traffic warden flung the obstinate windscreen wiper onto the pavement.

  • When encouraging precise talk from your students, ask them to Name It! and provide experiences and scaffolds that encourage them to do so.
  • Use rich illustrations and film stills linked to the content being taught, especially ‘action’ scenes to build vocabulary with your class. Ask them to Name It! whilst seeking and providing synonyms.  Display on the learning wall and / or whiteboard during the writing process.
  • When preparing to describe the settings illustrations, it can be powerful to block out the characters’ faces. This allows the eyes to focus more keenly on the environment.
  • When answering reading comprehension questions, encourage students to Name It!, rather than using pronouns.
  • Name It! is an ideal strategy to use when developing students’ understanding of noun phrases, as illustration at the top of this article.
  • When teaching newspaper writing, tell students that journalists look for a ‘human angle’ to help people empathise with the story, rather than it being ‘just another fire’. Therefore, they need to Name It! in order to appeal to the reader.  Students brainstorm people who might have been affected by the events being reported.  Encourage them to be specific by using the strategy Name It!

e.g. the local policeman, Constable Bullworthy; the Head Teacher of  Fairlake Primary School, Mr Brigstock.

  • Model writing a paragraph with appropriate illustrations, encouraging students to look for instances of Name It!

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