Every Student

EXS2 - Expressing Self Through Writing - Intentional

Teaching Strategies

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Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Activity schedules
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Leisure time
Sensory play
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Teaching Resources

'Finished' symbol
Sensory items
Now...Then board
Personalised books
Home/school diary
Interactive apps, software and websites
Interactive touch screen devices


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies

Peer and self assessment»


Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-2A A student composes simple texts to convey an idea or message

ENe-4A A student demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies

ENe-7B A student recognises some different purposes for writing and that own texts differ in various ways

ENe-9B A student demonstrates developing skills and knowledge in grammar, punctuation and vocabulary when responding to and composing texts

ENe-11D A student responds to and composes simple texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences

Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

A student views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia

ENLS-5A A student recognises and uses visual texts media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

A student writes short texts for everyday purposes

ENLS-9A A student composes texts for a variety of purposes and audiences


HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS4.1 Recognises individual photographs, pictures, symbols or words for personal use 

HSC LS5.2 Uses symbolic representations of ideas to produce visual messages


Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content Students:

-drawing on their experience of language and texts, begin to understand that writing and representing can be used to convey an idea or message 2A

-create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge 2A

-know that spoken sounds and words can be written down using letters of the alphabet and how to write some high-frequency sight words and known words 2A

-experiment using digital technologies, e.g. produce own name, commonly used words and simple sentences 3A

-produce some lower case and upper case letters using learned letter formations 3A

-recognise high-frequency words, including own name 4A

-identify most of the sounds and name all letters in a given word 4A

-retell a familiar story in sequence and identify main idea 4A

-demonstrate an awareness of written forms of communication, including labels, symbols, emails, letters and photographs 7B

-compose texts using drawings and other visual media to create meaning 7B

-compose effective sentences in writing using appropriate word order 9B

- compose simple written and visual texts that include aspects of home, personal and local community life 11D

-use visual, multimodal and digital processes to represent simple aspects of home and community life 11D

Life Skills (ENLS) Content Students:

-create simple visual texts to convey a message 4A

-respond to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes in a range of contexts 5A

-use photographs, pictures, symbols and visual aids for a variety of purposes, e.g. to respond to questions about a movie clip, to indicate sequencing and narrative flow 5A

-use photographs, pictures, symbols and visual aids for a variety of purposes 5A

-use visual texts to communicate with a variety of audiences 5A

-construct short texts using visual aids and/or appropriate technology 8A

-write short texts 8A

-transfer information from one source to another 8A

-write about familiar topics for everyday purposes 8A

-write own name 8A

-write signature in consistent form 8A

-complete personal details in a range of formats for a variety of purposes 8A

-compose short texts, drawing on personal experiences, using simple textual features appropriate to purpose and audience 9A


HSC Life Skills (LS) Content Students:

-recognise and follow daily routines, using photographs, pictures and symbols 4.1

-select material with photographs or pictures of family members or friends, for personal enjoyment 4.1

-use small photographs or line drawings in a personal collection to convey a message to known and unknown people in different contexts 5.2

-use photographs or line drawings to produce lists or schedules 5.2

-access a computer to produce visual messages 5.2

-use small photographs or line drawings in a personal collection to convey a message to known and unknown people in different contexts 5.2

-write consistent symbols to represent their own names 5.2


English Learning Continuum Content

Looks at object

Fixes gaze Grasps
Looks at a visual sequence Looks at and randomly manipulates pictorial stories Looks at a photo of self

Looks at object

Place a motivating item directly in a student’s eyesight and state “Look at …” The student may make eye contact with the item for a brief period of time. Immediately praise the student for looking at the object, even if it is a fleeting look in order to shape this behaviour into an intentional action.


Fixes Gaze

Hold a highly motivating item that a student wishes to take at their eye level and say “SN. Look ……”. When the student fixes their gaze on the object, slowly move the item just out of reach. When they fix their gaze on the item again immediately praise the student by saying, “SN, good looking” and allow the object to be taken.



Repeat the above activity with a focus on encouraging the student to grasp and interact with the highly motivating item. Once the student grasps the item, praise them immediately by saying, “SN has the …..”. Encourage the student to interact with the item in an appropriate manner for increasing periods of time. 


Looks at a visual sequence

‘Now and Then’ boards or schedules can be used to direct a student to complete a two-part activity sequence in order. Create the sequence in view of the student verbalising the activities and using the language of 'now and then'. For example say, “SN, Look. Sandwich now, then drink.” Praise the student when they look at the board/schedule and emphasise the order that the activities need to be completed in. Real objects, photos or symbols could be used on the visual sequence according to the level required by the student. 


Looks at and randomly manipulates pictorial stories

Provide opportunities for students to interact with personalised or pictorial stories such as home school diaries. Encourage students to randomly manipulate the visuals in the diary and praise them for looking at and touching them. Verbalise the students' actions as they manipulate the diary by saying, “SN has playground!”



Looks at a photo of self

Place a photo of a student within their eyesight and state, “SN, look. It’s SN!” Use a touch cue to highlight the connection between the student and the photo by first touching the student on the shoulder and then touching the photo saying, “It is SN! Look SN, same.” Use the sign for ‘same’ whilst speaking to the student.


Repeat the above activity using a mirror or camera/video feature on an interactive device to encourage a student to look at an image of themselves. Demonstrate the link between the student and their image in the mirror or on the screen by saying, “SN look. It’s SN!” (pointing at mirror/screen). Tap the student on the shoulder and say, “SN is here! It is the same.” Allow the student to playback or look at their photos/videos following the activity or at a later time.


When the student is beginning to recognise themselves in a mirror or on a screen consistently, experiment with distorted mirrors and apps such as Photo Booth or Liquid Mirror to apply effects to the student’s image as a motivator to look at themselves. Praise the student for looking at the photo.



Key Assessment Points


  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities when assessing these skills.
  • Skill checklists/rubrics could be used to assess some of these skills.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as occupational and physiotherapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.


Suggested Apps


Liquid Mirror