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2.3 Unfamiliar Texts - 'Sift and Lift' - Study Guide

2.3 Unfamiliar Texts - 'Sift and Lift' - Study Guide


See a video flipbook of this resource here!


Designed to guide students through the NCEA Achievement Standard 2.3 Unfamiliar Texts, this booklet first takes students back to the ‘beginning’, showing them how the perspectives of both writers and readers are formed, and how these perspectives are evident in texts, and in the reactions of different readers.  As with the Level 3 Unfamiliar Texts resource for this standard, this booklet is designed to build confidence for teachers as well as students.  It’s named Sift and Lift because students sift through texts and lift their understanding and appreciation of texts!


This resource begins in the same way the level 3 version does, helping students with the foundations of a text (catalyst, purpose, idea, audience) - a generic aspect for all levels.  Then, however, it's all about Level 2 as we  annotate texts, go over question formats, look very closely at  what analysing a text means, structuring an answer and more.  They are scaffolded carefully to build confidence with methodical steps, templates and modelling.  


Finally, students work on their own to analyse three texts – one each of non-fiction, poetry and prose – then write an answer to the question posed.  Later, you can slot your own texts in to further templates provided as a separate document.



  • Microsoft PowerPoint (resized to an A4 page, so can easily be printed). Note, you can easily upload this to your Google Drive if you prefer that suite. Yes, this resource is EDITABLE, because it's what we need, right?!
  • A 'flatpacked' version. This means students can edit only the parts they need to - the rest is locked down to prevent them ruining the format or accidentally deleting parts of the document. You may prefer to share this version with students if working digitally. (Note: further explanation of flat-packing is provided for teachers within the resource pack.)


This digital resource pack includes:

  • A completely editable 62-page document with explanations, examples and activities.
  • A flat-packed version (see reference to this above).
  • A separate file of templates that you can use with any text.


Information and activities include:

  • Writer and reader perspectives.
  • The literary process – looking at how writers and readers at ‘work’.
  • Establishing the foundations of a text (catalyst, purpose, ideas, audience)
  • How to evaluate techniques.
  • How to analyse texts (including plenty of thinking about what ‘analysing’ means).
  • The format of the 2.3 exam and its questions (with special focus on the verb and the feature that candidates are asked to discuss)
  • How to structure an answer (includes an example)
  • Accessing NZQA information
  • How to read a poem.
  • About the resource book
  • Typical elements of texts
  • Incorporating quotations
  • Timing in the exam
  • Final tips
  • Three texts (one of each genre) plus questions for each so that students complete further practice.
  • Make your own cue cards (templates provided).
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