It makes sense that if there is no prior knowledge, then there is nothing to activate. Students often study topics they know very little about (that is why, after all, that they attend school!) and therefore teachers must think of ways of providing the necessary background knowledge quickly and efficiently.
As external exams become a larger part of the Queensland senior school experience, it is vital teachers prepare students to be able to work out the meaning of an unfamiliar word without consulting a dictionary or a mobile phone.
Children are reluctant planners when it comes writing with many preferring to just get on with it. In so many ways, this is problematic. Good writing requires structure and organisation but, most importantly, it requires students to actually have something of worth to write about.