Planning guidance

Learning needs context and stories are great contexts for learning. The keys in ‘Try This…’ use a planning tool in the shape of a hexagon to create engaging contexts for learning. Click here to download and create one for yourself.

What is a context?

A context is the imagined situation students enter and explore each time you use one of the keys. The context you use frames the curriculum and makes learning meaningful and purposeful for students to engage with. A context is made up of six elements:

  • Characters – people, animals or other living things
    involved in the situation
  • Location – the place or places where the situation
    is happening
  • Events – the action, or things going on in the situation
  • Time – the time of day, season, or period in history when
    the situation is happening
  • Tension – a sense of peril, suspense, or other importance
    within the situation
  • Focus – the main point of interest within the situation

You can use the hexagon to plan your context like this:

  1. Choose or invent a situation from a curriculum area you are looking to explore, or from a book, film or other medium that inspires you. Be creative!
  2. Think of a moment in the situation that you think might engage the students and create an opportunity to develop the learning you have planned for them.
  3. Fill in the details under the headings around the six sides of the shape. Make sure any invented ideas are relevant, historically accurate, culturally appropriate, and consistent with the rest of the situation. If in doubt, adjust the elements or change the context.

Here are some examples from the book

Jack and Beanstalk: