Literacy Learning Across Diverse Contexts: Digestive System Research Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer


The subject discipline on which the present curriculum planning assignment focuses is science. The topic is the digestive system (poop), which is rather suitable for children aged four having different backgrounds. This issue is universal, which allows developing learners’ language and literacy skills through engagement in reading, observation, and writing activities. Thus, the specific skills to be enhanced during these activities will be oral and visual ones.

The plan is related to the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). This framework centralizes diversity as one of the core principles of teaching and learning (“Victorian Early Years,” 2017). The suggested activities comply with several learning outcomes of the VEYLDF. First of all, outcome three will be pursued since it involves cultivating the sense of health and physical wellbeing in children under five.

Teaching children about hygiene practices will promote their capabilities and independence, which are ingrained in the principles of outcome three. Next, special prominence will be given to outcome five, which aims at encouraging children to be effective communicators (“Belonging, being & becoming,” n.d.). Particularly, this outcome contains the goal of instructing preschoolers to understand how systems work, engage with texts, and obtain meaning from the texts.

Curriculum Planning

The topic area and educational context is the digestive system (poop). Focus students are kindergarten children aged four who come from families with diverse backgrounds. The educational setting in the classroom, so learners will be engaged in indoor activities, such as sitting in a circle and performing some tasks together. There are several reasons for selecting this topic, the major of them being its universality. Every individual poops and breaks wind, and this theme is specifically pertinent to young children who only start learning how to do the hygienic procedures by themselves. At the age of three to five years old, children are trained in toileting and related activities.

Since preschoolers love animals, it will be useful to employ the latter in the teaching process. For instance, animals can be used to show why one wants to eat and what happens after the food has been consumed. Despite coming from different backgrounds, all children will be actively engaged in the lesson since the topic pertains to each of them.

Literacy Learning Outcomes Teaching and Learning Activities
Outcomes of activity oneinclude:

  • gathering background knowledge about the digestive system
  • predicting what happens after eating
  • learning about poop
  • developing vocabulary
  • enhancing oral language skills
  • At first, the teacher will show children a storybook, I’m a Hungry Dinosaur. The book gives general knowledge about why people and animals want to eat. Storybook reading is highly esteemed by professionals as a means of promoting young learners’ primary vocabulary skills (Aram, 2006). Specifically, phonological awareness and letter knowledge can be promoted with the help of this approach. Furthermore, interactive book reading is reported to stimulate not only vocabulary but also print knowledge of preschoolers (Mol, Bus, & de Jong, 2009).
  • Next, the teacher will employ inquiry-based learning to learn about children’s knowledge on what happens after they eat. Since I’m a Hungry Dinosaurdoes not mention what occurs after digesting food, children will be able to express their assumptions on this matter.
  • Further, the teacher will show learners the book What Happens When You Eat?This didactic tool will give children an understanding of how their digestive system works. The book offers a detailed visual overview of the path that food takes upon being consumed. A variety of colourful pictures, along with numerous flaps, will serve as an informative and engaging tool for learning. Children’s narrative skills are known to have an effect on their reading abilities (Reese, Suggate, Long, & Schaughency, 2010). Therefore, by asking preschoolers to talk on the topic, the teacher will develop their reading skills. Additionally, children will learn to communicate on the topic and discuss it with their peers or parents.
  • Vocabulary to be learnt in activity one: tongue, stomach, to digest, intestines, liver, poop.
  • Skills to be drilled: repeating words, training fluency of oral language.
Outcomes of activity twoinclude:

  • understanding how to do toileting
  • developing oral skills through singing a toileting song
  • promoting the use of information and communications technology (ICT)
  • enhancing children’s vocabulary
  • creating a combined learning scheme including listening and speaking
  • The main tool the teacher will employ in this activity is “The Toilet Song” (The Wiggles, 2019). The song comes from YouTube, which signifies the effect of ICT on the teaching and learning process of young children.
  • Research indicates that there is a positive impact of the relation between traditional teaching methods and technologies on early literacy teaching (McLean, 2013).
  • Although combining various approaches to teaching may be challenging, the advantages of using technologies in education outnumber the disadvantages (McLean, 2013).
  • Since preschoolers are still learning about toileting, the song is a viable approach to both promote their toileting habits and enhance their oral skills.
  • Integrating music activities in early education is reported to promote the development of literacy (Paquette & Rieg, 2008). Such skills as writing progress and reading fluency can be promoted with the help of listening to songs and singing them.
  • Gan and Chong (1998) emphasize the positive role of music and arts program in fostering listening and oral skills of kindergarteners. Such activities are beneficial due to their communicative environment and creative approaches. Children have a natural inclination for rhythm and sound, which makes them inclined to repeat chants, nursery rhymes, and songs.
  • Music also promotes preschoolers’ prereading and writing skills (Standley & Hughes, 1997). Particularly, using music as a teaching tool promotes children’s attention, decreases temper tantrums, and enhances their emotional readiness for school.
  • Vocabulary to be learnt inactivity two: flush, toilet, button, poop, clean-up
  • Skills to be drilled: repeating a song, training oral language fluency, training rhythm
Outcomes of activity threeincludes:

  • developing children’s visual skills
  • teaching word recognition
  • enhancing learners’ oral skills
  • promoting the differentiation between shapes and sizes
  • teaching preschoolers to understand the difference between domestic animals and those in the wild
  • The tools to be employed by the teacher in this activity are two books: Peek-a-Poo in the Cityand Peek-a-Poo in the Wild. There are numerous benefits of employing storybook reading with the help of these two books. First of all, both texts are directly related to the topic of the lesson. Secondly, they are suitable for children’s age since they contain many pictures, which makes reading not only informative but also engaging. Long stories might bore young learners. Thirdly, books cover the same topic from two different angles. That is, children can learn both about domestic animals’ toilet habits and the habits of animals living in the forest or the jungle.
  • Storybook reading is reported to have a positive influence on building children’s vocabulary and enhancing their comprehension skills (Hickman, Pollard-Durodola, & Vaughn, 2004).
  • Joint storybook reading is used even in teaching children with cochlear implants (DesJardin, Ambrose, & Eisenberg, 2008). The phonological awareness of young learners can be improved with the help of storybook reading.
  • Debaryshe (1993) notes that storybook reading is a crucial language-learning setting for young children. Thus, such activities help to enhance speaking and reading skills, as well as listening abilities.
  • Vocabulary to be learnt in activity three: city, wild, polite, shape, square, round, big, small, long, short, animals’ names.
  • Skills to be drilled: repeating words and phrases, discerning between shapes and sizes, differentiating between domestic and wild animals.
Outcomes of activity fourincludes:

  • teaching word recognition
  • developing children’s oral skills
  • training preschoolers’ visual skills
  • teaching children about the digestive system
  • demonstrating the positive link between ICT and teaching and learning to read
  • promoting children’s literacy through play
  • The tool employed by the teacher in this activity is a set of flashcards on an iPad with images of animals and their poop. The main purpose of using such an approach is to incorporate the element of picture-sound synesthesia, which presupposes creating a cognitive association between an image and a word.
  • Also, flashcards will be employed with the aim of assessment.
  • Additionally, flashcards will enable the teacher to train children on different shapes and sizes (on the basis of animals’ poop images).
  • Flashcards will also show the digestive system organs (mouth, stomach, tongue). Thus, the teacher will be able to train children in discerning between these organs and recognizing them once they see one of them.
  • The use of iPad applications in the early years of teaching has been researched by scholars (McKenzie, Spence, & Nicholas, 2018). McKenzie et al. (2018) note that preschoolers’ learning of letters and sounds can be significantly promoted with the help of such application.
  • Meanwhile, Mangundayao, McLaughlin, Williams, and Toone (2013) remark that flashcards are rather effective in teaching primary maths skills to young learners. Scholars note that the flashcard system has the potential to enhance children’s knowledge of colours, numbers, and shapes (Mangundayao et al., 2013).
  • Vocabulary to be learnt inactivity four: tongue, mouth, stomach, poop, water, square, round, long, short, small, big.
  • Skills to be drilled: naming the organs of the digestive system, differentiating between shapes and sizes, training memory and attention.

Implications for Teaching and Learning

Planning for literacy learning incorporates several crucial elements. First of all, when planning for the selected teaching area, one needs to take into consideration the children’s age and diversity of their backgrounds. By doing so, the teacher will comply with the VEYLDF guidelines and outcomes. Secondly, a critical aspect regarding this planning activity is including a sufficient amount of new information but not overwhelming children with it. That is, the number and variety of activities should be enough not to get preschoolers tired or bored but, at the same time, to make them excited about the learning process. Thirdly, one should take into account scholarly research and experience described in studies where the authors identify and explain the best practice approaches.

All of the four activities described in curriculum planning can be justified on the basis of their connection to the children’s age and experience. Activities one and three focus on storybook reading as a powerful tool for teaching young learners. A variety of skills can be promoted with the help of reading, listening to the teacher, repeating words and phrases, and answering questions (Reese et al., 2010). Researchers emphasize the benefits of reading on preschoolers’ vocabulary skills (Aram, 2006).

Activity two, which involves a song as the core teaching and learning tool, also presents a number of advantages for the teaching process. Music has been acknowledged as a powerful tool for promoting children’s vocabulary, as well as enhancing their attention and the sense of rhythm (Gan & Chong, 1998). Additionally, learning through music improves young learners’ writing and prereading skills (Standley & Hughes, 1997). Finally, activity four was used both as a teaching tool and as an assessment method.

Oral skills are highly important for children aged four, so each of the suggested activities was aimed at promoting this dimension of knowledge. Without appropriate oral skills development, children will not be able to succeed in language acquisition in the subsequent stages of learning. The selection of the topic was motivated by the fact that daily life activities increase children’s interest in studying. Thus, by selecting the digestive system as the topic, the teacher would fulfil two goals. Firstly, it will be possible to enlarge children’s vocabulary and enhance other skills. Secondly, the alignment with the VEYLDF will be attained (“Victorian Early Years,” 2017). Specifically, promoting children’s independence (VEYLF outcome three) and encouraging them to communicate (outcome five) will improve.


Planning for literacy learning across diverse context requires thorough preparation and the analysis of children’s basic literacy needs at a given developmental period. For four-year-olds, the most urgent set of skills to promote is the oral one. When a child has an extensive vocabulary and knows how to operate it, he or she will be able to learn to read and write without much difficulty. Therefore, the activities included in the plan are focused on enhancing preschoolers’ oral language skills and training their communication abilities. The connection of each activity to the VEYLDF allows considering them as beneficial for young learners.


Aram, D. (2006). Early literacy interventions: The relative roles of storybook reading, alphabetic activities, and their combination. Reading and Writing, 19(5), 489-515.

Belonging, being & becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. (n.d.). Web.

Debaryshe, B. D. (1993). Joint picture-book reading correlates of early oral language skill. Journal of Child Language, 20(2), 455-461.

DesJardin, J. L., Ambrose, S. E., & Eisenberg, L. S. (2008). Literacy skills in children with cochlear implants: The importance of early oral language and joint storybook reading. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14(1), 22-43.

Gan, L., & Chong, S. (1998). The rhythm of language: Fostering oral and listening skills in Singapore pre‐school children through an integrated music and language arts program. Early Child Development and Care, 144(1), 39-45.

Hickman, P., Pollard-Durodola, S., & Vaughn, S. (2004). Storybook reading: Improving vocabulary and comprehension for English-language learners. The Reading Teacher, 57(8), 720-730.

Mangundayao, J., McLaughlin, T. F., Williams, R. L., & Toone, E. (2013). An evaluation of a direct instructions flashcard system on the acquisition and generalization of numerals, shapes, and colors for preschool-aged students with developmental delays. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 25(4), 461-473.

McKenzie, S., Spence, A., & Nicholas, M. (2018). Going on safari: The design and development of an early years literacy iPad application to support letter-sound learning. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 16(1), pp. 16-29.

McLean, K. (2013). Literacy and technology in the early years of education: Looking to the familiar to inform educator practice. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 30-41.

Mol, S. E., Bus, A. G., & de Jong, M. T. (2009). Interactive book reading in early education: A tool to stimulate print knowledge as well as oral language. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), 979-1007.

Paquette, K. R., & Rieg, S. A. (2008). Using music to support the literacy development of young English language learners. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(3), 227-232.

Reese, E., Suggate, S., Long, J., & Schaughency, E. (2010). Children’s oral narrative and reading skills in the first 3 years of reading instruction. Reading and Writing, 23(6), 627-644.

Standley, J. M., & Hughes, J. E. (1997). Evaluation of an early intervention music curriculum for enhancing prereading/writing skills. Music Therapy Perspectives, 15(2), 79-86.

Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. (2017). Web.

The Wiggles. (2019). The Wiggles: The toilet song | Animated by Super Simple Songs [Video file]. Web.

Read more