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Year 4 Explanation Texts - Science related?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bestcoast, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. bestcoast

    bestcoast New commenter

    We have been looking at explanation texts for about a week and a half (would be two weeks if we didn't have an assembly to prepare for!) and I'm stuck in a bit of a rut.
    The children have put an explanation text in a logical order, looked at time connectives and have been looking at Wallace and Gromit's Cracking Contraptions, creating their own version of the Snooze-a-tron.

    I've got a week to fill and as this is followed by assessment week, don't really want to start anything new.
    The children have been looking at circuits in their Science lessons so I was thinking of getting them to create an explanation text for how circuits work. The only thing I'm worried about is ending up with instruction texts rather than explanations.

    If anyone could offer any advice, it'd be greatly appreciated!
  2. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    I was worried about my texts become instructional too, so we made sure that we had:
    1. time connectives
    2. paragraphing rather than a bullet point structure
    3. additional information like hints and tips placed logically with brackets and commas
    4. introduction - why this text is important, who might need it etc
    5. conclusion - summary etc
    We also looked at the layout of non-fiction texts again to think about how to present our information, but I spent most of the unit, like you, trying to be somewhere inbetween non-fiction and instructions...
    It's a tricky one! Hope this helps. x
  3. ecawemma

    ecawemma New commenter

    The text type guidance from the NS might help - available on the unit for explanations on http://emmarogers.org.uk/explanation-year-4/

    Hope it is useful!
  4. bestcoast

    bestcoast New commenter

    Thank you both!
  5. * Don't forget causal connectives - so that, so, which means, if-then, because, therefore.
    * Explanations often answer questions like - who, what, where, why, when, how.

  6. If you have time then see if you can get hold of a copy of 'Until I met Dudley' - it has some really good examples of explanation texts (how toasters/fridges work etc.) - it is humorous and accessible, my y3/4 class enjoyed it. Good luck - we found explanation texts a really tricky one - personally I think that it is quite a vague text-type with lots of overlap... x
  7. Don't forget the shirt machine; covers everything you want and it's directly aimed at yr 4: great for just about everything you could need, especially oral rehearsal and all the language features.
  8. You need to look at the verbs. Instructions use Imperative verbs, explanations use present continuous (?). I just know that someone will correct me on that one!
    If you look at the verbs in the Cracking Contraptions book (love it), they have things like: is connected ie is + the past tense version of the verb, whereas instructions use imperative present tense verbs.

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