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Year 3 Model Text Resource Pack 9: ‘What time is it? GMT and the time zones’ (Explanation Text; Geography - locational knowledge)

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Real Writing Year 3 - Unit 9
Model text: What time is it? GMT and the time zones
Curriculum Links: Geograph (locational knowledge)

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 3 is built around an original model text by Jo Franklin; an explanation text, explaining why it will be a different time at places around the globe at any given moment. The example text is available as a PDF in three versions (plain, illustrated and annotated); annotated and non-annotated PowerPoint presentations are also included.

In this two-week unit, pupils will have an opportunity to learn some precise, subject-specific vocabulary as well as some of the features of explanation texts. It will culminate in them writing their own explanatory text about time zones. This unit could link with the geography curriculum focusing on locational knowledge.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 3 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary - nouns: abstract and concrete

Pupils will: sort abstract and concrete nouns into groups. Choose five abstract nouns and work these into sentences of their own. Challenge a partner to identify abstract nouns from a collection of mixed concrete and abstract nouns.

2. Grammar - the present perfect form of verbs

Pupils will: fill in the gaps with the correct form of present tense. Write an email to a friend in the United States, using the present perfect tense, describing what they have been doing; then add another paragraph to this email describing what their classmates have been doing.

Additional objectives to teach or revisit:

  • subordination
  • expanded noun phrases
  • adverbs
  • conjunctions to show time or place
  • past and present tense
  • apostrophes

Additional Year 3 teaching points

  • extending sentences with a wider range of conjunctions
  • using paragraphs to group related material
  • using headings and subheadings

Year 3 vocabulary

Year 3/4 statutory spelling words: calendar, imagine, straight, different, through, length, Earth, opposite, separate
Tier 2 words: deviate, segment
Tier 3 words: globe, meridian, GMT, longitude

What is an explanation text?

An explanation text explains how or why processes occur or why something is the way it is. Explanatory texts includes information about causes, motives or reasons rather than simply giving a description of what happens (this would be a report).

Examples of explanation texts include explanations of processes in science, explaining how something works (such as an invention), explaining phenomenon such as volcanic eruptions, or the water cycle or question and answer style articles.

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