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explanation texts how to make it fun? year 4 please help!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by nim79, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Hi - I've also used Until I met Dudley which the children LOVED and also Wallace and Gromit clips for the children to explain how the different machines worked e.g waking up in the morning etc. The children then designed their own different machines - the visual prompt was really useful for our EAL/SEN too.
    Enjoy x
  2. Hi Maggie,

    Would it be really rude to ask for a copy of your planning for this? I always struggle to make this unit exciting but your ideas sound great!

    Many Thanks
  3. 'until I met Dudley ' is a fab book for explanation text!
  4. lallsop679

    lallsop679 New commenter

    Do you have any planning on this? I'm struggling.
    Thank you
  5. Hi Maggie!
    That sounds a brilliant unit of work- Im struggling to think of ideas for explanations. Find the usual ideas of plants growing, and how a bike works really boring. Would really appreciate any planning or resources you have! The children would love to catch a star!
  6. Hi,
    I am a PGCE student and I will be teaching explanation texts to a low attaining literacy set. Do yo have some good plans on how to use the 'until I met dudley' book? it would be really helpful. Thanks
  7. Hi - it may be too late for you to see this, but if you could send me a copy of the plans too that would be really super.

    Thank you

  8. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    Thanks for uploading your resources. Were there any particular actions that went with the cat feeding machine explanation? I've seen with my own children how learning things with actions and reciting them helps them learn and remember how to include connectives etc, but have never tried this myself (until now...)
  9. Hi, I'm an NQT in year 4 and have just done/failed at this unit! I found it reeeeeeally hard to get the children to understand causal connectives etc and even harder to find relevant books. It was rubbish, truly it was! Some got it but I felt I had let many of them down...we did 'explaining how to keep an ice cube cold' as we were doing this in science, but could only eek that out for so long!
    I would love to do this better next time, and would appreciate any help that's out there.
    Would you mind sending your planning/names of resources?

    thank you so much!
    Alison x
  10. Its my first year in year 4 and we have just done this unit. My kids work was mixed, as I felt<u> I</u> was confused about it.
    However, some of it worked really well. They had to write their own explanation for crazy inventions (that I had given them pictures of). Then they invented their own and drew or made it. We then had dragons den in the classroom for them to try to persuade each other that their invention was the best. They LOVED this!! However, their work was only mediocre from it. I am looking forward to reading someone elses planning to see how and why theirs worked, and ours was only partially successful.
    Thank goodness for the TES!!
  11. Hi Waterfin,
    I used the pie corbett actions for the connectives which you can google and find pretty easily and then the children made up their own ones for the rest but I did have a few ideas up my sleeve incase of the deadly silence...
    Title: How does a cat feeding machine work - drawing a line under their neck
    See-saw mechanism: the children decided on a see-saw action with their arm
    cat: pretending to stroke their whiskers with their fists
    These are a few that I can remember...good luck and it is so much fun when you get over the initial embarrassment. We learnt a paragraph a day until the whole text was learnt which helped and throughout the day if there were any 'spare' minutes we 'talked' it again.
  12. My take on this is that the purpose of an explanation text is to communicate the how or why of something and the quality of the writing will come out of the depth of the understanding of that something. If the LO is to write an explanation, but the child doesn't really have much depth or knowledge about the particular subject, then the child will be straining to include content including writing causal connectives which should flow naturally out of causal connection.

    It raises the question in my mind whether the assessment is about writing explanation, or writing an explanation about a particular subject. I can imagine depending on what the subject is, a given child could write to a higher or a lower standard.

    It also raises the question in my mind that if the decision for the subject matter is to create cross-curricular links or follow a creative curriculum, then it comes with the territory that some of the time the resultant work will be compromised, not the best the child could potentially do regarding literacy or science etc..
  13. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    Thanks Maggie.

  14. Hi Maggie,
    this sounds great, I always struggle to think of creative ideas.
    Would it be possible to have a look at your planning if you still have it?
  15. If you read through the posts you will see that Maggie uploaded her planning and resources to TES so you can download them for yourself! If you read this Maggie, thanks very much for the ideas - they are great!
  16. Elfreda6969

    Elfreda6969 New commenter

    My advice to anyone doing explanations is to NOT to link it too closely to another curriculum area as children often find it hard to explain natural phonemena etc precisely or accurately. It also hampers their creativity.
    The best pieces of writing were asking children to:
    write a resignation letter on behalf of a teacher explaining why she wanted to leave
    writing a letter to explain how a series of events made you late for school
    my hero is..
    asking chn to create their own machine then writing their own explanation
    P.S Always model the kind of writing you expect children to undertake and do lots of work on the sentence structure, punctuation etc that they will need. Good luck
  17. I hope this is not too cheeky but wondered if anyone still had plans for Until I Met Dudley??
    I'm really struggling but I have the book!

    Thank you!
  18. lukesmum

    lukesmum Occasional commenter

    We used "How to catch a star" here's a link to our blog http://year4blogspot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/how-to-catch-star-by-year-4-inventors.html
    The children really enjoyed it.
  19. Hiyal
    Do you possibly still have the planning for Until I Met Dudley?
    I would be extremely grateful if I could have a copy...
    My email is mnms242002@aol.com
    I have the book but just don't know where to start!
    Many thanks

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