top of page
3.3 Unfamiliar Texts - 'Sift and Lift' - Study Guide

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


See a video flipbook of this resource here!


Designed to guide students through the NCEA Achievement Standard 3.3 Unfamiliar Texts, this booklet takes students back to the ‘beginning’, showing how the perspectives of both writers and readers are formed, and how these perspectives are evident in texts, and the reactions of different readers.  This information repeats what students learn in the Level 2 Unfamiliar Texts resource.


Once they’ve understood the literary process we move into Level 3!  Students work through a simple text in a methodical manner designed to ensure good reading habits are formed and practiced.  They learn to find aspects of written texts and how to discuss how these aspects are developed by paying attention to the techniques they find and learning how to evaluate these.  Finally, they learn how to write their own discussion.  An example is provided.  Students then repeat the process with a short poem.  We sift through the texts to lift our understanding!


Next, students compare these texts, and are again helped to do this in a methodical manner.


Finally, there are multiple texts and exam-styled questions for students to practice with.  If they need scaffolding, templates are included to guide them along.



  • 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 68-page document with explanations and activities for students.
  • 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’.
  • Discussion of a text in prose and a poem.
  • How to read a poem.
  • Establishing foundations – the catalyst, purpose, audience ideas.
  • Annotating for texts for techniques.
  • Evaluating techniques – what you could discuss about them using a ‘FITRACERS’ acronym.
  • The structure of Level 3 questions and the types of things you’re asked to discuss.
  • Focusing on the feature you’re asked to discuss.
  • Being wary of the verb in the question.
  • What an ‘aspect’ is and how these are developed.
  • Comparing texts
  • Where to find past exams and exemplars.
  • Methodical steps and templates to scaffold planning and structuring a discussion (including thesis statements).
  • Incorporating quotations
  • Timing in the exam
  • Six texts and an exam-styled question to practice with, complete with planning and writing templates to scaffold students through the process.
  • One comparison questions in relation to two of the above-mentioned texts, again with planning and writing templates to scaffold students through the process.
  • Notes on the realities of the exam.
  • Cue card templates.
bottom of page