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What kind of writing activities do you do during "non-fiction" unit teaching? (Year 2)

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Im in Y2 and its time to teach the dreaded 4 weeks of information texts again. (I know the framework isn't statutory but I have little choice as the head still wants us to follow it for now).
    So, my question to you wonderful creative individuals - How on earth do you make this genre interesting and exciting? I find poetry and fiction fun and enjoyable to teach with lots of scope for writing activities, but I struggle with non-fiction.
    We will be doing information texts around our topic of "Up up and away" so air travel and space. Aside from going over contents/index/glossary pages AGAIN, use of a dictionary AGAIN, finding answers to questions from books AGAIN (All of which my Y2s are confident with and don't require more of) and then writing our own information text (the only worthwhile part for my class) - what else do you do during this unit that is worthwhile and preferably provides opportunities to write?
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I often use a fiction text as a stimulus. This works in upper KS2, I'm sure similar could be applied in KS1.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  4. kerrytd

    kerrytd New commenter

    Can you use the film 'Up' as a starting point as it would link in with your topic? Ask children to imagine that they had also been in the house and landed in this new and unusual place. Produce a tourist information leaflet for other visitors. You could give them different categories to write about eg things to do, places to stay etc. Look at actual examples of similar things and discuss how things are set out eg use of sub-headings, pictures etc. The introduction for the leaflet would give you an opportunity to use interesting adjectives to describe the place in order to attract tourists - look at holiday brochures and how they make people want to visit. Not sure if this is any help but it is a good film!
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But in literacy you are teaching them the features of the text type, the context/content is irrelevant. Unless you are teaching as part of a geography topic and so teaching the subject knowledge as well.

    And to be honest when my class wrote an information text about the UK last term, a fair number had no clue whether what I told them and they saw on film clips was true or not.
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Year 6 SATs papers regularly have "non fiction" texts or tasks which are complete nonsense. One year the kids had to write a guide for how to keep an imaginary animal as a pet. So no, it doesn't matter that the content of what they're writing is fictional, as long as the style is non-fiction.
    One thing I did with Y1s on placement was make a class book about plants (our topic). Mixed ability pairs, each pair contributes 1 page/double page spread about a topic of their choice within the title "plants". The kids took photos of things relevent to their page - trees, the bean plants they were growing etc. I then typed up a contents page and index, front cover etc, and stuck it all in an a4 book and called it "Year 1's class book - Plants" and put it in the book box. the kids loved it and all wanted to read it during free reading time! I'm planning to do similar with my Y1 class this term, only about space which is way better than plants. This way it has a purpose.
    Remember that whilst you may not like NF texts, a lot of kids, esp boys (a cliche I know) may well love them!
  7. 'Man on the Moon' by Simon Bartram is a fantastic fiction book containing wonderful illustrations which would link with your topic. Apologies if you are familiar with it, but very simply, the main character, Bob, travels to work on the moon every day and is totally unaware that there are aliens on the moon. Children love spotting the aliens hidden on each page! Part of Bob's job is as a guide to daily visitors to the moon.
    Perhaps you could then use that to lead in to your non fiction topic by saying that Bob has asked for their help in producing an information leaflet about the moon for his visitors?
  8. I love that idea too! Thankyou :) I have ordered a selection of books from the education library so we will see what has arrived on Monday, they may have included that one if its quite well known.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I recommend... lots of ideas for non fiction

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