Every Student

LS&W1 - Producing Text - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

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Attribute meaning »
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Motivators »
Modelling »
Contingent responding »
Independent practice »
Incidental teaching »
Strategic pausing »
Prompting »
Shaping »
Blocking access »
Match to sample»
Scaffolding »
Explicit teaching »


Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Sand play
Technology sessions
Leisure time
Sensory play
Work tasks
Art activities
Outdoor play


Teaching Resources

Switch toys
Personalised books
Computer components
Drawing board
Mystery bag
Masking tape
Page frames
Art supplies
Pre-writing worksheets
'Wikki Stix'
Keyboard overlays
Interactive apps, software and websites
Interactive touch screen devices
Switch activated equipment
Writing implements
Writing surfaces
Pencil grips
Interactive whiteboard
'Big Keys' keyboard
Stencils of simple shapes


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-3A A student produces most lower case and upper case letters and uses digital technologies to construct texts

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

Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-2A A student communicates for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

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

ENLS-8A A student writes short texts for everyday purposes

ENLS-11B A student composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts

HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS5.1 Copies symbols, pictures, letters or words

HSC LS5.3 Writes and transfers specific information using standard formats

Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content Students:

-use simple functions of keyboard and mouse, including typing letters, scrolling, selecting icons and dropdown menus 3A

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

-construct texts using software including word processing programs 3A

-understand foundation movements that underpin NSW Foundation Style 3A

-use foundation movements as a basis for the introduction of formal letters when composing simple imaginative and other texts for enjoyment or to convey an idea or experience 3A

-develop basic skills of writing, including correct pencil grip, good posture, handwriting movements and accurate use of alternative writing tools, to form some lower case and upper case letters 3A

-write from left to right and leave spaces between words 3A

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

-recognise the letters of the alphabet and know there are lower and upper case letters 4A

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



Life Skills (ENLS) Content Students:

-select and use appropriate means of communication, including technology, for a particular audience 2A

-recognise how technology is used for different purposes and audiences in film, websites and other multimedia texts 5A

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

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

-recognise the range of conventions used in written texts 8A

-write short texts using correct conventions 8A

-write own name 8A

-write signature in consistent form 8A

-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

-use a range of technology to create meaning when composing texts 11B

-select and use a range of technology and strategies to create visual and multimedia texts for particular purposes, contexts and audiences 11B

-explore ways to present information using appropriate technology and strategies 11B

HSC Life Skills (LS) Content Students:

-copy letters or symbols to represent their own names on official documents and personal correspondence 5.1

-copy their own names and personal details in appropriate formats 5.1

-develop strategies to copy personal details from one format to another 5.1

-write their own names in signature format or equivalent by hand or using technology 5.3

-write, using technology, to request information 5.3


English Learning Continuum Content

Recognises different components of a computer e.g. mouse, keyboard Uses an interactive touch screen to drag and drop Makes marks within the confines of a space
Recognises and uses some individual keys on a keyboard for a purpose Scribbles Traces simple lines and shapes
Makes marks within the confines of a page   Copies lines and shapes

Recognises different components of a computer e.g. mouse, keyboard

Explicitly teach students the different components of a computer or other technological device by naming each part and matching the real object or photo to its symbol with word label. Use the photos, symbols and/or word labels to play matching and memory games with students. Model how to say the name of each item and encourage students to repeat it. Praise and reward students throughout the games.


Label actual computer or technological devices by physically placing symbols and or words on them. Turn this activity into a mystery bag game where students pull out a symbol or word label and match it to the actual item correctly to receive a reward or a point.


Make a SMART Notebook file or other interactive whiteboard file where students are required to drag and drop the symbol and/or word label onto the correct component of the computer or technological device depicted on the screen. Add sound effects and spoken names for each component to support and reward student responses.


Recognises and uses some individual keys on a keyboard for a purpose

Place a transparent laminated overlay onto a computer keyboard with the letters of a student’s name cut out of the overlay. Present the student with the letters of their name one at a time and in order. As each letter is shown, assist the student to identify and hit the matching letter on the keyboard. Provide the least amount of support required to assist the student to press that specific letter. Point out the corresponding letter on the computer screen (ensure you are using a large, clear font) and say/sign ‘same’. Print out the student’s work for them to keep or take home to show their family.



The above activity would also suit the use of adapted keyboards with extra large and colourful keys.


Play games such as LetterPop from the HelpKidzLearn website which require students to match the letter on the screen to the letter on the keyboard. When students press the correct key the letter pops and moves onto a new one.


Uses an interactive touch screen to drag and drop

Provide opportunities throughout the day for students to practise dragging and dropping items on an interactive screen. This could be practised during any lesson using interactive whiteboards, iPads, interactive plasma screens or other touch devices. Use apps or software that aim to specifically teach the drag and drop movement. Examples include:


  • Drag and Drop – a very simple drag and drop puzzle
  • KidzBlox1 Free – a very simple drag and drop blocks puzzle
  • Buzzle – a theme based drag and drop matching activity
  • Pony Drag and Drop – a slightly more complicated drag and drop puzzle
  • Words and Pictures – a drag and drop activity for students who are learning to match letters or expand their vocabulary
  • Pesky Picnic – a drag and drop game for older students requiring them to drag and drop food into a picnic basket before the ants get to it
  • Clean Up: Category Sorting – drag and drop objects according to category
  • Kids Trucks: Puzzles – puzzles for toddlers
  • Animal Puzzle – puzzle games for kids



Model scribbling by making big looping or small round movements without taking the writing implement off the surface. Allow students to use a variety of implements to scribble, such as fingers, sticks, brushes, textas, pencils, crayons or chalk. The use of a grip may support students to successfully hold a writing implement. A grip could be made by placing a tennis ball over an implement or building up plasticine around it. Activities to encourage scribbling include interactive touch screen apps, drawing/writing boards, glad wrap painting and finger painting with a variety of substances such as pudding mixture, shaving cream, paint, sand, mud, jelly or goop.


Makes marks within the confines of a page

Use commercial or homemade supports to encourage students to remain within the confines of a page when making marks. Examples include a raised wooden frame, or products such as Wikki Stix. Use these supports and model how to make marks within the confines of a page. Engage students in activities that allow guided practice. Decrease the level of support provided until the student is independently able to make marks within the confines of a page. Praise and reinforce students for remaining within the confines of a page when making marks.


Makes marks within the confines of a space

Use a stencil or commercial product such as Wikki Stix to frame a space on a page for the student to make marks. Block access to the remainder of the page. Use a thick texta to outline a space on a page. Model making marks within the confines of the identified space and provide the least amount of support required to help students do the same. Fade the amount of support required until the student is able to make marks within the confines of a space independently. This same activity could be used to shape students’ behaviour when colouring in a simple picture.


Traces simple lines and shapes 

Provide students with a range of pre-writing activities that require them to trace a variety of simple lines and shapes. Websites that provide pre-writing worksheets include: Kids Learning Station and Pre-school Activity Box.


Model the correct ‘pencil hold’ and show students how to trace over lines and shapes. The use of a grip may support students to hold a writing implement. Apps which encourage tracing include: Tracing Lite, Neon Mania Free, Trace and Learn Lite, Trace and Share, Shapes Touch and Write and Babygraphia.


Copies lines and shapes
Provide students with a range of opportunities to copy a variety of different lines and shapes on a surface or page. Initially use large, dark lines and shapes to provide a model for the student to copy. Gradually fade the intensity of the line/shape and decrease the size until the student is able to copy these patterns at a conventional size. Initially shape the student’s hand movements by copying the patterns with hand over hand support. As the student begins to successfully complete the task fade the level of support given. An app such as Squiggles could be used to support the development of copying.






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 or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as occupational therapists could provide additional assessment information.
  • Work samples could be collected and analysed to assess student work for all targeted writing skills and computer skills.
  • Progress reports could be printed and analysed from apps, online activities or software.



Suggested Apps


Drag and Drop
Shapes Touch and Write
Trace and Share
Trace and Learn Lite
Lazoo: Squiggles
Tracing Lite
Animal Games for Kids: Puzzles
Kids Trucks: Puzzles
KidzBlox HD
Neon Mania