Teach children how to write engaging explanation texts with this KS1 text types resource pack. Pupils will write their own explanatory texts about how a plant grows or how to look after a pet.
Two example explanation texts are included, showing WAGOLL (what a good one looks like), to inspire writing and to explore the features of explanatory writing.
What is an explanation text?
An explanation text explains how or why and includes information about causes, motives or reasons. The writing should not only include a description of what happened but explain how or why. They are used to explain the processes involved in natural or social phenomenon or to explain why something is the way that it is.
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.
Key features of an explanation text
- A general statement that introduces the topic.
- The steps or stages in a process are explained logically, in order.
- They are usually written in the present tense.
- Questions can be used to form titles.
- Adverbials of time can be used to sequence steps or phrases in the process (Firstly …, Then…, After that… Finally…).
- Conjunctions are used to show cause (so, because, as, yet, since etc).
- Headings, subheadings and other layout devices can be used to organise and aid presentation.
- Possibility can be indicated using modal verbs (must, can, should, will etc).
- The passive voice can be used to focus on the action or process.
What is included in this explanation text resource?
- Model Text 1 - How Does Cress Grow? An example explanation text linked to the science curriculum.
- Model Text 2 - How Should I Look After My Pet Cat? An example explanation text linked to a topic pupils may have some knowledge of.
- Explanation writing sheet: a PDF containing success criteria that pupils can use to support their writing. It includes examples of present tense verbs and subordinating conjunctions.
- Explanation idea cards: a PDF to inspire pupils’ independent writing.
- Explanation writing plan: a worksheet to support pupils to plan and structure their writing.
- Writing frame: A PDF sheet that pupils could use to present their work.
National Curriculum English programme of study links
Pupils will write sentences by saying out loud what they are writing about and composing sentences orally before writing.
Pupils should write for a range of purposes.
Pupils should consider what they are going to write about before beginning by planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about.
Pupils will learn how to use a subordinating conjunctions.
pupils will learn how to write in the present tense.