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Show not Tell – KS2 Writing Features Challenge Mat Worksheets

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This set of worksheets allows KS2 children to consider the idea of ‘show not tell’ for their own writing. Each task – understand, explain, challenge, test, apply – explores how this technique can give writing more impact.

Perfect for home learning, as an exercise before an independent writing task, and as a way to challenge more able learners in lower year groups, the worksheets are bright and engaging, using eye-catching images to fire children’s imaginations, and giving them the opportunity to apply their knowledge in creative writing activities.

This primary resource is divided into four sections:

  • Understand
    Read the sentences and write down what you are being shown in each one. Then read the next set of sentences, and draw lines to match the ‘show’ sentence to the ‘tell’
  • Challenge
    Explain in your own words why it is better for a writer to ‘show’ details rather than telling the reader. Then rewrite the sentences given so that they are ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’ sentences.
  • Test
    Read the texts given and think about what you are being “shown”. Then, pick out three different points for each text and fill in the tables.
  • Apply
    Imagine that a character has been dared to enter the derelict house shown in the picture. Whilst they don’t want to go in there alone, they also don’t want their friends to know this. Write a story about this. Make sure you include lots of little ‘shows’ to let your reader know how the main character really feels.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

  • Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • Predict what might happen from details stated and implied

  • Worksheets
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