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Teaching non-fiction writing KS3 and KS4

Discussion in 'English' started by wasteland, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. wasteland

    wasteland New commenter

    We are currently re-writing our schemes of work for non-fiction KS3 and KS4 and I was wondering how other schools cover non-fiction writing across KS3. We currently take a themes approach e.g. Yr 7 'Travel' where we get pupils to study a range of texts (describe, persuade, argue etc) and get them to write their own texts. It's the same format (covering most/all purposes) for each year group but we change the theme. That way pupils are familiar with all types of non-fiction writing and purposes at KS3 and then at KS4 they have a good understanding of reading and writing non-fiction texts and we just have to hone their skills further.

    How do other schools approach non-fiction writing? Do other schools have a more effective approach? I'd be interested in finding out what works for other schools.

    I was also wondering if anyone has used the 'How to teach non-fiction writing for KS3' by Paul Evans. Is it useful? Can anyone recommend any other resources for teaching non-fiction writing?

  2. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    We do the exact same thing. But instead of making it just a unit, we make sure it's implemented in a homework project - to write a review of the last unit they studied usually every long break so Christmas and Spring. So in year 9 we do a misc en scene unit. One of the review questions would be "write a positive review of how well Daniel Radcliffe portrays the character of Arthur in The Woman in Black". For year 7 we do a myths and legends unit. One could be "using the information you've gathered over this unit, describe the characteristics of Zeus from Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief" or something like that.

    This way, once we cover the non fiction unit, it's not just saved for next year as most will forget the basics. so we try to implement the skills learnt from it and put it into our other units.
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    We wouldn't set any of Veronica's tasks, but we do link non-fiction to literary texts. For example, my y9 class did a magazine article on stereotypes in crime dramas after reading Sherlock Holmes stories. I showed them clips from crime dramas, and we identified sock characters. Then we looked at some Charlie Brooker and Empire magazine articles before they started writing. They produced some fabulous writing.

    We don't have a department approach, but I prefer doing whole texts rather than extracts or films, so the non fiction is hooked on. Magazine articles, speeches and letters are the most common forms, but I've just finished doing film reviews as a bit of light relief.
  4. wasteland

    wasteland New commenter

    Thank you for replying, VeronicAmb and GloriaSunshine. Helps to see how other departments do things. I forgot to add that almost all of our other KS3 units also contain non-fiction writing tasks (diary extract, article, letter, speech etc).

    Really appreciate both your responses - I was beginning to lose hope :-(
  5. whizzbangbang

    whizzbangbang New commenter


    You could search '300 generic activities' in the TES Resources. I'm very confident my file will help you!


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