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Year 1 Model Text Resource Pack 24: The Lifecycle of a Sunflower (Explanation Text; science)

image of Year 1 Model Text Resource Pack 24: The Lifecycle of a Sunflower (Explanation Text; science)
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Real Writing
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Real Writing Year 1 - Unit 24
Model text: The Lifecycle of a Sunflower, by James Nicol
Curriculum links: Science

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 1 is built around an original text by James Nicol - a simple explanation text about the lifecycle of a sunflower. The example explanation 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 learn how the conjunction and can be used to create compound sentences and will use simple time adverbials to help sequence their explanations. Pupils will also explore adding suffixes to root words and will create a class glossary for the scientific vocabulary used when explaining the lifecycle of plants. For the final writing task, pupils will write diaries, recording their observations and explanations while watching a plant grow, including some key features of an explanation text..

Key curriculum skills

Four fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 1 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To add the suffixes to words where no change is needed to the root word

Pupils will: learn how suffixes can be added to the ends of words. They will decide which suffixes ( -ed, -ing, -s) can be added to root words.

2. Vocabulary: To name the letters of the alphabet in order

Pupils will: practise naming the letters of the alphabet and ordering them, before creating a class glossary of vocabulary for a topic on plants.

3. Grammar: To join words and clauses using and

Pupils will: learn how the conjunction and can be used to join clauses. They will rehearse combining simple sentences to create compound sentences when writing about plants.

4. Grammar: To sequence sentences using adverbials of time

Pupils will: learn how simple time adverbials can be used to sequence sentences. They will orally use adverbials to sequence how a sunflower grows before writing sentences explaining how a seed should be planted.

Additional teaching points to teach or revisit:

  • saying out loud what they are going to write about
  • leaving spaces between words
  • punctuating sentences with capital letters and full stops
  • using exclamation marks
  • re-reading what they have written to check it makes sense
  • reading aloud their own writing

Year 1 vocabulary

Common exception words: today, the, a, to, today, is, has, are, some
Tier 2 words: centre, feast, surface
Tier 3 words: bud, cycle, earth, flower, leaves, petal, plant, pollinate, root, seed, seedling, shoot, soil, stem

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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