Back to sample list

Recognising false leads

Learning intention

For students to be able to develop an understanding of how to infer accurate meaning from a text that starts with false leads.

Explain

to students that texts sometimes start with information and ideas that are the opposite of what the text is really about.

Show

Ahmed usually loved playing soccer. Frantically chasing an opponent to try to get the ball back into his possession filled him with excitement. He was thrilled when he saw the ball coming towards him and would race to get it. He enjoyed swerving and ducking to keep the ball and looking for that chance to drive it closer to his goal. But, today his heart was just not in it. He was playing for his school against Lower Valley School. His team was nearly ready to go on.

Ask

students how Ahmed feels about playing soccer against Lower Valley School. If necessary, discuss the meaning of the figurative expression of his heart not being in it.

Ask

students for other examples of figurative language and discuss.

Discuss

how most of the information in the text sets up the idea that Ahmed loves soccer, whereas right now he does not feel that enthusiastic.

Ask

students to identify the main clues to this comparison between Ahmed's general feeling and his feeling right now. For example, the word 'usually' (in the first sentence) is one clue. The writer is flagging that there are times when Ahmed does not love soccer.

Explain

that the word 'but' in the sentence 'But, today his heart was just not in it' in this text is like a flag or signal that a change is going to happen.

Emphasise

that the word 'but' should always alert them to the possibility of the previous information being misleading.

Ask

students to think of replacements for the word 'but' that will also show that the author is changing the direction or meaning of the text. For example: however, sometimes, in spite of this, occasionally, all the same, although, on rare occasions.

Ask

students to work in pairs to rewrite the sentence 'But, today his heart was just not in it', using one of the examples or creating a new one. For example:

  • On rare occasions his heart was not in it and today was one of them.
  • It had happened once before that his heart was not in it and now it was happening again.

Share

responses and write several on the board highlighting the substitute words.

Ask

students if the meaning has been retained in all examples.

Extension

 

Explain

that there are many different ways to create false leads.

Show

The movie advertisement said hilarious comedy. Excellent, I thought, that is just what I need. Lots of laughing, laughing till my cheeks ache from smiling and giggling till my belly hurts. So I got a ticket and went in. Well, I think I smiled twice.

Discuss

with students how the author creates the false lead here.

Ask:

What did they initially think the author was going to say?

Ask

students to write a short text where they create a false lead. Ideas might include: attending a party or school excursion they were looking forward to or not looking forward to; going shopping for a new outfit; or doing an odd job to earn some money to buy a special gift for your grandmother.

Allow

students to write this in the form of a short play and then perform it.

Discuss,

share and provide feedback.