Reflections on teaching in a digital world

Lesson Plan

Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, a Blogged Response with Peer Evaluation

Time: 2 hours, to be delivered between 0900 – 1100h.

Learning areas: Literacy and Information and Communication Technology

Year: 5

Learning objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Know how to create a single blog page, add two paragraphs of text and an image, and publish it to the internet.
  • Comprehend the moral of Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley, by Aaron Blabey (2009) and apply and demonstrate this understanding during a class discussion (Board of Studies New South Wales, 2002, p. 7).
  • Analyse the role of morals in storytelling, and synthesise this understanding into a moral story of their own.
  • Evaluate the written work of other students, using set criteria.
(Penguin Books Australia, 2014)

(Penguin Books Australia, 2014)

Curriculum links

  • ACELY1704: Plan, draft and publish imaginative… print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, [and] images… appropriate to purpose and audience (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 2011, Literacy).
  • ACELY1705: Reread … others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACARA, 2011, Literacy).
  • ACELY1707: Use … word processing programs with fluency to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, [and] print … elements (ACARA, 2011, Literacy).

Prior knowledge

  • The students have participated in classroom discussions about the role and purpose of varying types of writing.
  • The students are competent at navigating and typing in word processing programs, using a mouse and keyboard.
  • The children are familiar with the practice of ‘think-pair-share’.


  • One laptop per child.
  • Coloured pencils and paper per child.
  • One digital camera, with the cables necessary for photo uploads.
  • A smartboard linked to teacher’s laptop, and markers.
  • Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley, by Aaron Blabey.
  • Established blank blog, ready for content addition.

Introduction (15 mins)

Welcome then seat students on the floor. Read Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley aloud to the students, with great animation and humour.

Body of the lesson (95 mins)

Phase 1 (15 mins)

Lead a class discussion on morals in storytelling, including a Think, Pair and Share on:

  • Why do Pearl and Charlie get along so well?
  • What is the moral of the story?
  • Can you think of other stories with morals? (Aesop’s Fables, nursery rhymes, religious stories, etc.)

Phase 2 (10 mins)

Move students to the laptops at their desks. Using the smart board, walk the class through opening a blog content editing page.

Phase 3 (30 mins)

Provide the following writing prompts to students, encouraging each student to pick a prompt suitable for their ability, or allow them to develop a related topic:

  • Write a moral narrative that could occur in your own life.
  • Write a story about friendship.
  • Write what you would look for in a friend.

Move amongst the class to supervise and scaffold during the completion of the task, encouraging active revision, editing, and proof reading. Encourage students to collaborate by sharing ideas and providing peer review.

Phase 4 (15 mins)

As students finish, ask them to illustrate their texts using the provided physical supplies. Concurrently, identify members of the class who are already competent and confident at uploading digital photos to a blog. Provide a rapid refresher on the chosen blogging platform if required.

As the artwork is completed, provide guidance and supervision while the ‘subject matter experts’ guide the less confident in photographing, uploading and inserting their image into their draft blog.

Phase 5 (25 mins)

Using the smart board, demonstrate how to publish and subsequently re-edit a blog post, then assist the students in publishing their own posts. Encourage the students to read the posts of others. Direct students to provide feedback via the blog comments, using the following feedback prompts:

In your text:

  • I enjoyed…
  • I would like to see…
  • You could consider…
  • You used language well when you…
  • I found your text to be (funny / engaging / clever / moving / etc) because…

Concluding the lesson (10 mins)

At the conclusion of the lesson, bring the children back to the floor and briefly summarise the key points covered in the lesson: morals in storytelling, creating a moral narrative, giving peer feedback, and using a blogging platform.

Discuss some common weaknesses and strengths demonstrated throughout the lesson: consider the quality of feedback, language choices, the use of technology, and group work skills.

Evaluation/Follow up

Student Assessment

Individual students will be assessed on their grasp of the topic through their participation in the class, small group, and individual student/teacher discussions. The blog submissions will be marked.

Self Reflection

Were the group discussions of a suitable length to allow depth of understanding but maintain interest and discipline? Were the prompts and technology challenges pitched at a suitable level, to allow children to work within their zone of proximal development? Did the children understand the key points of the topic? What areas will need later review?


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2011). Year 5 English. Retrieved from

Blabey, A. (2009). Pearl Barely and Charlie Parsley. Melbourne, Victoria: Penguin Books Australia

Board of Studies New South Wales. (2012). Suggested texts for the English K-10 syllabus. Retrieved from

Penguin Books Australia. (2014). Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley [Image]. Retrieved from


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