Starting Non Fiction Writing

I had this wonderful plan that while the kids had a weeks break from home education (the more structured side) I was going to use the extra time to create a set of Non-Fiction activities. I wanted to create some tasks that both kids could do together – so an explanation and then an activity for my year 5 son and a similar but harder activity for my year 8 daughter. I was feeling quite excited that I was going to get this all done this week. But then life happened in a big way and I found out that I needed to submit 2 reports (granted I did not need to have the reports done this week but I did not want them hanging around once we were back into the normal, crazy, busyness of our home education routine so I thought it best to just get them done).

But, that meant, all that free time I thought I would have to work on this masterpiece (yes, yes I know I was probably being a bit optimistic when I thought I would create a masterpiece of Non-fiction activities – but let this girl dream) was dashed. So what to do? The plan was to have this all sorted out before Monday………..the only solution was  to combine what I had at hand and instead of creating new content rather adjust existing content (probably what I should have aimed to do from the beginning).

I had the Understanding English: Non-fiction: KS2 English Study Book, Ages 7-11, which is written for KS2 but it does give a good framework. If I looked at the book and summarized it I could create the following sub-headings (which could be a way to split our Non-fiction activities up.)

  • What is Non-Fiction, Types of Non-Fiction
  • Reports (Non-Chronological)
  • Instructions
  • Accounts
  • Newspaper Reports
  • Advertisements
  • Discussion
  • Explanations

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So that could be my basic structure but I would still need to make a few adjustments – for example under Newspaper Reports I would need activities showing the different between a normal newspaper and a tabloid.  Plus I knew I wanted to include formal letters somewhere. But the point was I had a starting point to work from.

The next thing I wanted were example texts, good examples that highlighted important features. This was one of things that I had been planning on spending quite a bit of time on this week but now I did not have that time, so what to do.  I was really lost so I went onto the Twinkl site and started searching for non-fiction text examples and suddenly I hit Gold. Wow. And more importantly how did someone like me who uses Twinkl as much as I do not know that they had this? (Just goes to show how much is really on the site.)

I found a huge section under KS2 – Writing Example Texts and I also found a number of KS3 texts (they call them Exemplars).

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I was actually just searching for text example but in the KS2 packs that I downloaded they actually had a number of documents – including a checklist which the kids could use and a word mat (I am thinking these might be very useful for my son).

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And I found a number of examples for each text that I was looking for (really liked that). Plus I found a similar text example for traditional stories and adventure stories which although do not fit in with the current topic are perfect for some fictional writing activities.

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So now a few more bits and pieces (I am going to include a few of the KS3 Non-Fiction Writing lessons from Twinkl), a bunch of printing and I should be set.

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About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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