Real Writing Year 3, Unit 6
How Magnets Help Us, by Jo Franklin
Curriculum links: Science (Forces and Magnets)
Writing unit overview
This writing unit for Year 3 is built around an original model text by Jo Franklin - an explanation text about magnets. 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 read an example explanatory text on how magnets are used in everyday objects. They will have an opportunity to learn some precise, subject-specific vocabulary as well as some of the key features of explanation texts. It will culminate in them writing their own explanatory information leaflet about magnets
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 - Using a dictionary and thesaurus to explore the meanings of words
Pupils will: understand what is meant by ‘definition’, and that dictionaries can help us find them; understand what is meant by ‘synonym’, and that thesauruses can help us find them; understand what is meant by ‘glossary’ and why they are used; use a thesaurus to find synonyms; write definitions for a glossary.
2. Grammar - Identifying and writing different types of sentences
Pupils will: recap sentence types; sort sentences; write correctly punctuated sentences of each type.
Additional objectives to teach or revisit:
- expanded noun phrases
- conjunctions to show time or place
- past and present tense
- commas for lists
Additional year 3 curriculum 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: opposite, separate, strength, different, enough, important, possible
Tier two words: consequently, credit card, microscopic, interpret
Tier three words: magnet, magnetic, magnetism, attract, repel, pole, iron, nickel
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.