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Planning for success in non-fiction writing

Unit 2


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This process for teaching non-fiction writing makes it as manageable as possible whilst also ensuring that every child has what he or she needs to succeed. Just as with the Planning for Success in Story Writing course, the approach centres on the Y-shaped diagram, but there are some important differences. We look at linking assessment to outcomes, and how a text should be introduced and enjoyed before it is analysed. Christine and Lindsay walk us through the process using the example of writing instructions for making a healthy snack. This begins with exploring a model, which in this case is instructions for making a milkshake, before working together on a set of instructions for making fruit kebabs. In both cases, it’s recommended that children actually make kebabs and milkshakes to help them better understand how the instructions and language work. The collaborative stage of the lesson always follows the same process: teaching VGP skills and modelling these through shared writing before children attempt to write their own version of the shared text. Having outlined the process, we move on to look at how it can be applied to cross curricular lessons - in this case writing a non-chronological report about an Ancient Greek mythological creature. We see how a shared plan can come together, working on an example of the minotaur, with children being given responsibility for different areas of research. When it comes to pupils writing their own independent task, we’re still advised to support with the planning so that children can concentrate on applying their newly acquired skills. We finish with a range of strategies for adding a sense of purpose to children’s writing, to really encourage them to focus.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of Christine Chen and Lindsay Pickton

Christine Chen and Lindsay Pickton

Christine and Lindsay are experienced English specialists based in Kingston upon Thames. They support numerous primary schools, alliances and federations. Both have worked in schools as senior literacy teachers and helped to launch and run school improvement programmes across their borough, and written for publishers including OUP, Pearson and Collins.

About the Course

These bitesize courses present flexible, tried-and-tested approaches for teaching reading
and writing. The CPD snapshots provide practical strategies whilst also stimulating thinking
and discussion. They include core principles and routes through planning that enable every
child to appreciate language and to experience success.

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