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

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Real Writing
  • Covers every objective for years 1-6
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Real Writing Year 1 - Unit 24
Model text: The Lifecycle of a Sunflower, by James Nicol
Curriculum links: Science

Unit overview
This writing unit for Year 1 is built around an original text by James Nicol - a simple explanation about the lifecycle of a sunflower. 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 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.

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 words: featured 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

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