Information texts (dictionaries, fact and fiction, report) (5 weeks)

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1 Published on 16-Dec-2010 Year 1 Non-fiction Unit 4 Information texts Information texts (dictionaries, fact and fiction, report) (5 weeks) This is the fourth in a block of five non-fiction units in Year 1. It can be purposefully linked to many other areas of the curriculum. In total, five weeks are allowed for this unit. It is recommended that this is split into smaller blocks of three and two weeks, with children being given the chance to consolidate and extend understanding through applying learning in a different context at a later date, possibly using ICT-based sources and presentation. The unit has three phases, with oral or written outcomes and assessment opportunities at regular intervals. Phase 1 Using another curriculum area as a starting point, for example history, model how to pose questions and encourage children to ask their own questions. In shared reading, use information books (or ICT sources) to find answers, exploring how to use index and alphabetical order. Use dictionaries and glossaries to find definitions of words from reading. Discuss differences between fact and fiction. Give children practical opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of the curriculum area under focus, for example by comparing old and new toys and discussing. Use digital cameras to record and illustrate differences. Phase 2 Analyse how information texts work, particularly non-chronological reports, focusing on layout and language features. Use talk for writing, with digital pictures to remind children of content, and practise composing sentences orally in the style of the text. Phase 3 Demonstrate how to write in the style of a non-chronological report. Support children in using the style as they write about a theme, for example wheeled toys. Children write their own page for an information book, using digital photographs to support the writing and illustrate text. Overview Play games looking up interesting words in dictionaries and encyclopaedias by alphabetical order. Discuss how to find books that might give more detail on a topic by examining covers, title, blurb and illustrations. Give the children further experience in using the alphabetical system by continuing to use dictionaries, glossaries and encyclopaedias and starting to use directories and indexes in books. With the children, make a class dictionary or glossary of special interest words. Discuss the differences between books containing stories and those containing factual information. Introduce the terms 'fiction' and 'non-fiction'. Introduce the class topic (e.g. video, visit out of school, visitor to school, practical activity) and write up as children contribute the information they found out. Record the information as a list, chart or spidergram, as appropriate. Discuss what information on the topic the experience did not provide and model posing questions to collect further information from books. Children search for appropriate books based on cover, title, etc., and explain to the class the reasons for their choices. Model how to use the contents page and index to locate the appropriate part of the book to find answers and give children the Page 1 of 10

2 opportunity in guided reading to use indexes and contents pages. Demonstrate how to scan a page to read subheadings, pictures and diagrams that might provide relevant information and then close reading to extract the information. Repeat this process using an ICT platform and demonstrate how to locate information on screen. Give children opportunities to carry out these processes in guided and independent reading. In shared writing, model how to write a non-chronological report supported by appropriate pictures and diagrams for a page in an information book. Children contribute to the report by trying out some sentences on their individual whiteboards. In pairs, children assemble information on a different subject, for example food or pets, and produce a simple non-chronological report by writing sentences to describe aspects of the subject and supporting them with pictures Framework objectives covered: Year 1, Term 2: T20 and T21 use dictionaries to locate words; to understand that dictionaries and glossaries give definitions and explanations; use other alphabetically ordered texts; understand the purpose of contents pages and indexes and to begin to locate information by page numbers and words by initial letter; T17 use terms 'fiction' and 'nonfiction', noting some of their differing features; T19 predict what a given book might be about from a brief look at title, blurb, etc., and check to see if it is; to assemble information from own experience, for example food or pets; T25 write simple non-chronological reports. Objectives To ensure effective planning of literacy teachers need to ensure they plan for all elements of literacy effectively across the year ensuring that assessment for learning is used to plan and amend teaching. It is essential that core skills such as phonic strategies, spelling, and handwriting are incorporated into these exemplar units to ensure effective learning. Most children learn to: (The following list comprises only the strands, numbered 1 through 12, that are relevant to this particular unit. Where there are relevant Steps in Learning for an objective, a link has been included.) 2. Listening and responding Listen with sustained concentration, building new stores of words in different contexts Listen to tapes or video and express views about how a story or information has been presented 3. Group discussion and interaction Ask and answer questions, make relevant contributions, offer suggestions and take turns 5. Word recognition: decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) Recognise and use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes already taught Recognise and use alternative ways of spelling the graphemes already taught Identify the constituent parts of two-syllable and three-syllable words to support the application of phonic knowledge and skills Recognise automatically an increasing number of familiar high frequency words Page 2 of 10

3 Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling unfamiliar words that are not completely decodable Read more challenging texts which can be decoded using their acquired phonic knowledge and skills, along with automatic recognition of high frequency words Read and spell phonically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words 6. Word structure and spelling Spell new words using phonics as the prime approach Segment sounds into their constituent phonemes in order to spell them correctly Recognise and use alternative ways of spelling the graphemes already taught Use knowledge of common inflections in spelling, such as plurals, -ly, -er Read and spell phonically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words 7. Understanding and interpreting texts Make predictions showing an understanding of ideas, events and characters Recognise the main events that shape different texts 8. Engaging with and responding to texts Select books for personal reading and give reasons for choices 9. Creating and shaping texts Independently choose what to write about, plan and follow it through Convey information and ideas in simple non-narrative forms Find and use new and interesting words and phrases, including story language Create short simple texts on paper and on screen that combine words with images (and sounds) 10. Text structure and organisation Write chronological and non-chronological texts using simple structures Group written sentences together in chunks of meaning or subject 11. Sentence structure and punctuation Compose and write simple sentences independently to communicate meaning Use capital letters and full stops when punctuating simple sentences 12. Presentation Write most letters, correctly formed and orientated using a comfortable and efficient pencil grip Write with spaces between words accurately Prior learning Check that children can already: Understand that some books contain stories while others give information. Page 3 of 10

4 Read and write simple captions. Join in with saying the alphabet. Teaching sequence phase 1 Note: Children working significantly above or below age-related expectations will need differentiated support, which may include tracking forward or back in terms of learning objectives. EAL learners should be expected to work within the overall expectations for their year group. For further advice see the progression strands and hyperlinks to useful sources of practical support. Reading; exploration (5 days) Using another curriculum area as a starting point, model how to ask questions, for example How many wheels does a fire engine have? Ask children how they know whether you are asking a question or not. Focus on question words and inflection of voice. Demonstrate how to use an information text to find the answers, showing how the index, contents page and glossary work. Play games sorting books into fiction and non-fiction and matching key words to books, for example, 'Does 'fire engine' come from the book about things with wheels or the book about sewing?' Give children words from the index of a book and ask them if they can sort them into the right order, using the alphabet to help. Ask children to come up with their own questions in pairs. Discuss what makes a good question. Are there some questions which couldn't be answered? Why not? Help children begin to distinguish between sensible questions (which may, however, not be able to be answered by a particular book) and those with no answers, for example How many wheels are there in the world? Demonstrate how to find the answer to one or two questions and then ask children to demonstrate to others how to do it. Carry out practical work relating to the curriculum area, for example, playing with wheeled toys in the playground (see Developing early writing (Ref: ), unit 6: Wheels pp ) Discuss activities with children, encouraging them to ask questions and make observations. Record activities using a digital camera. Learning outcomes: Children can ask simple questions. Children can identify a contents page and an index in an information text. They can use these to find the right page to answer simple questions, for example Where would I find out about kittens? Teaching sequence phase 2 Reading; analysis (4 days) In shared reading, read examples of non-fiction texts. Check briefly to see whether they have index, contents page, etc. Identify structural features which may appear on every page, for example heading, introductory sentences, photographs and captions. Look for additional features such as 'Did you know?' boxes. Discuss how good layout of pages helps you find information easily. Begin a simple checklist of what makes a good information text. Look at language features of information texts in more detail. Show children how the texts use formal, impersonal language. Ask children to help you turn sentences into an appropriate style for an information text. Page 4 of 10

5 Learning outcomes: Children can say what the key structural features of a simple information text are. Children can say whether a sentence is in an appropriate style for an information text. Teaching sequence phase 3 Talk for writing; writing; evaluation (6 days) Start with general talk, encouraging children to recall what they did in the practical activity. Use digital photographs to stimulate their discussion and encourage use of new vocabulary, noting good words and phrases for later use. Focus on two or three key ideas to help children structure their talk. Demonstrate how to select specific information in preparation for writing, showing how to note key words to help you remember what you want to write. Introduce the idea of writing a new page for an information book. Look at the book and the checklist prepared earlier to remind children about layout and key features. Show a prepared layout with one or two features missing and ask children to check that everything is included. Demonstrate how to write a heading, checking with children that you are positioning it correctly and using a capital letter. Look at a few introductory sentences in the book and point out that they give a general introduction to the subject on the page. Demonstrate how to compose a sentence, checking with children that it is general and not specific and modelling how to rehearse before writing. Count the words as you write and ask children to tell you when you get to the end of the idea. Read through what you have written, checking that it makes sense, starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. Ask children if it sounds like a sentence from an information book. Continue writing, using the photographs and writing captions for them. Show children how to turn a descriptive sentence into a more formal one appropriate to an information text. Model the process and then ask children for suggestions for the next caption. Scribe an appropriate suggestion, showing children, as appropriate, how to apply phonic knowledge to spelling regular words. Using whiteboards, ask children to work in pairs to compose and write a sentence to form a caption for another photograph. Encourage them to rehearse the sentence first, counting words and checking as they write. Check and ask them to evaluate for appropriate style, capital letters, full stops. Ask children to write further sentences independently for another photograph caption. Encourage them to rehearse first and check carefully for sense, appropriateness and accuracy. Evaluate and take feedback. If appropriate, children could go on to write sentences for a 'Did you know?' box. Choose a selection of the best contributions and add them to the main page. Add these to the original book, including the title in the correct place in an index and on the contents page. Evaluate against the checklist. Learning outcome: Children can write sentences for an information text in an appropriate style. This work could be repeated later, using different content and extending demand. Ensure that children have appropriate specific phonic input during this time. Complete teaching sequence Note: Children working significantly above or below age-related expectations will need differentiated support, which may include tracking forward or back in terms of learning objectives. EAL learners should be expected to work within Page 5 of 10

6 the overall expectations for their year group. For further advice see the progression strands and hyperlinks to useful sources of practical support. Phase 1: Reading; exploration (5 days) Using another curriculum area as a starting point, model how to ask questions, for example How many wheels does a fire engine have? Ask children how they know whether you are asking a question or not. Focus on question words and inflection of voice. Demonstrate how to use an information text to find the answers, showing how the index, contents page and glossary work. Play games sorting books into fiction and non-fiction and matching key words to books, for example, 'Does 'fire engine' come from the book about things with wheels or the book about sewing?' Give children words from the index of a book and ask them if they can sort them into the right order, using the alphabet to help. Ask children to come up with their own questions in pairs. Discuss what makes a good question. Are there some questions which couldn't be answered? Why not? Help children begin to distinguish between sensible questions (which may, however, not be able to be answered by a particular book) and those with no answers, for example How many wheels are there in the world? Demonstrate how to find the answer to one or two questions and then ask children to demonstrate to others how to do it. Carry out practical work relating to the curriculum area, for example, playing with wheeled toys in the playground (see Developing early writing, unit 6: Wheels pp ) Discuss activities with children, encouraging them to ask questions and make observations. Record activities using a digital camera. Learning outcomes: Children can ask simple questions. Children can identify a contents page and an index in an information text. They can use these to find the right page to answer simple questions, for example Where would I find out about kittens? Phase 2: Reading; analysis (4 days) In shared reading, read examples of non-fiction texts. Check briefly to see whether they have index, contents page, etc. Identify structural features which may appear on every page, for example heading, introductory sentences, photographs and captions. Look for additional features such as 'Did you know?' boxes. Discuss how good layout of pages helps you find information easily. Begin a simple checklist of what makes a good information text. Look at language features of information texts in more detail. Show children how the texts use formal, impersonal language. Ask children to help you turn sentences into an appropriate style for an information text. Learning outcomes: Children can say what the key structural features of a simple information text are. Children can say whether a sentence is in an appropriate style for an information text. Page 6 of 10

7 Phase 3: Talk for writing; writing; evaluation (6 days) Start with general talk, encouraging children to recall what they did in the practical activity. Use digital photographs to stimulate their discussion and encourage use of new vocabulary, noting good words and phrases for later use. Focus on two or three key ideas to help children structure their talk. Demonstrate how to select specific information in preparation for writing, showing how to note key words to help you remember what you want to write. Introduce the idea of writing a new page for an information book. Look at the book and the checklist prepared earlier to remind children about layout and key features. Show a prepared layout with one or two features missing and ask children to check that everything is included. Demonstrate how to write a heading, checking with children that you are positioning it correctly and using a capital letter. Look at a few introductory sentences in the book and point out that they give a general introduction to the subject on the page. Demonstrate how to compose a sentence, checking with children that it is general and not specific and modelling how to rehearse before writing. Count the words as you write and ask children to tell you when you get to the end of the idea. Read through what you have written, checking that it makes sense, starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. Ask children if it sounds like a sentence from an information book. Continue writing, using the photographs and writing captions for them. Show children how to turn a descriptive sentence into a more formal one appropriate to an information text. Model the process and then ask children for suggestions for the next caption. Scribe an appropriate suggestion, showing children, as appropriate, how to apply phonic knowledge to spelling regular words. Using whiteboards, ask children to work in pairs to compose and write a sentence to form a caption for another photograph. Encourage them to rehearse the sentence first, counting words and checking as they write. Check and ask them to evaluate for appropriate style, capital letters, full stops. Ask children to write further sentences independently for another photograph caption. Encourage them to rehearse first and check carefully for sense, appropriateness and accuracy. Evaluate and take feedback. If appropriate, children could go on to write sentences for a 'Did you know?' box. Choose a selection of the best contributions and add them to the main page. Add these to the original book, including the title in the correct place in an index and on the contents page. Evaluate against the checklist. Learning outcome: Children can write sentences for an information text in an appropriate style. This work could be repeated later, using different content and extending demand. Ensure that children have appropriate specific phonic input during this time. Assessment Assessing Pupils' Progress In this exemplified unit we have identified the 'main' assessment focuses for reading and writing. However, it is important to remember that teachers should interpret and adapt the teaching sequence to meet the needs of particular classes and this may affect the types of evidence which it is desirable and possible to gather. In order for a judgement to be made against writing assessment focuses 1 and 2 it is important that children are given space and time to develop their own ideas and define their own purposes for writing. Opportunities to plan for this will arise throughout the literacy curriculum as well as through the application of skills across the curriculum. The suggested outcome for this unit is a short information text. It is important to be aware that with good teaching, many children will be able to go beyond this, and to encourage this where possible. Page 7 of 10

8 The teaching of this unit should particularly support the collection of evidence against Reading assessment focuses 1 (Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning) and 4 (identify and comment on the organisation of texts including grammatical and presentational features at text level) and Writing assessment focuses 2 (produce texts which are appropriate to task, reader and purpose), 3 (organise and present whole texts effectively, sequencing and structuring information, ideas and events) and 8 (use correct spelling). It is important to remember to link this work for the children with the learning they do during discrete phonics sessions, and encourage them to apply their knowledge when reading and writing. Evidence against a variety of assessment focuses will be collected at many points during the teaching sequence. Independence and opportunities to make decisions are integral to children's development in reading and writing, and it will be important to collect evidence of achievement against the assessment focuses from occasions where children can demonstrate some independence and choice away from direct teaching. Suggestions for the collection of assessment information against a range of assessment focuses are found below. Opportunities for assessment The following are examples selected from the teaching content for this unit of work that will support planning for effective assessment as an integrated part of the teaching and learning process. Evidence gathered during this ongoing work will contribute to the periodic assessment of pupils' progress. Learning outcomes Example of teaching content and assessment opportunities Evidence Approach to assessment Children can say what the key structural features of a simple information text are. In shared reading, the class looks at examples of fiction and non-fiction texts and discusses which is which and how they can be identified. They look at information texts and compile a class poster of key features, such as contents lists, indexes, and page features such as headings, captions and illustrations. In groups, they choose a page from a favourite nonfiction book and use sticky notes to label the features, drawing on the class poster. They talk about their chosen page to others and explain why they think it is effective. Teacher observation, children's labels Teacher observation, children's labels Children can say whether a sentence is in an appropriate style for an information text Using photos of an activity the children have carried out, and drawing on examples from information texts, the teacher models how to write sentences in an appropriate impersonal style. The class makes a simple checklist (You don t say "I" or use people s names; you use the present tense) With a response partner, children practise orally composing sentences for further pictures, using the checklist to help them. Teacher observation, peer- and selfassessment. Teacher observation, peer- and selfassessment Children can write sentences for an information text in an appropriate style. Children collect information about a given subject or theme, including text and images. They select the most relevant and interesting information and discard some content in order to create one page of an information text. For example, children contribute in pairs to a page each of a class digital text about animals who live in different habitats. Having collected the content for their text, children are guided in deciding how to structure it. For example, they decide on the order and layout of text and images. During guided writing, they are encouraged to read aloud so that they can consider the most helpful organisation for their reader. They are Children's writing and drawing Observation of retelling Marking, children's own evaluation against agreed success criteria Page 8 of 10

9 Learning outcomes Example of teaching content and assessment opportunities Evidence Approach to assessment encouraged to avoid random placing of text and pictures that are visually effective but not meaningful when read from beginning to end. They draw on what they have already practised to write sentences in an appropriate style. Key aspects of learning For further information, see the booklet Progression in key aspects of learning (Ref: ) from Learning and teaching in the primary years: Professional development resources (Ref: G). Enquiry Children will ask questions arising from work in another area of the curriculum, for example on wheeled toys. They will ask relevant questions about why things happen and how they work, and explore how to find the answers using different sources of information. Information processing Children will use first-hand experience and simple information sources to answer questions. They will learn where to find information, understand what is relevant and use this to write their own pages for an information book. Reasoning Children will develop their concepts of fact and fiction and be able to explain why they have categorised a particular text. Evaluation Children will present information orally and in writing. They will discuss success criteria and judge the effectiveness of their own work. Social skills When developing collaborative writing, children will learn about listening to and respecting other people's ideas. Communication Children will develop their ability to discuss as they work collaboratively in paired, group and whole-class contexts. They will communicate outcomes orally, in writing and through ICT if appropriate. Page 9 of 10

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