Non-fiction

English Year 1 Summer Information Texts

Comparing Non-fiction and Fiction

Read gorgeous books about tigers, whales, sharks and polar bears. Understand differences between fiction and non-fiction, read, answer and write questions and produce factual texts.

Start with the core unit to introduce key texts. Then select from comprehension, SPAG and composition units.

Core
Unit 1 Core Unit 1 – Recognise differences between fiction and non-fiction
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzie Stewart
Tigress by Nick Dowson

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read There’s a Tiger in the Garden to the children. Discuss that the story is led by Nora’s imagination rather than reality. In pairs, children write down all the characters on whiteboards. Does the story tell us any facts about them?
Activity
Children imagine they are Nora and revisiting the garden with the tiger and make up fictional things they might come across. They record these as pictures in the story ideas boxes (see resources). Some children write phrases to explain their pictures.

Day 2 Teaching
Read There’s a Tiger in the Garden again and look at the terms fiction and non-fiction. Discuss reasons why it is a fictional book. Can the children now think of any real facts about tigers?
Activity
Children brainstorm facts about tigers with a partner. They write these as sentences in the large tiger outline. Some children sort the pre-cut fact and non-fiction sentences and stick the facts into the outline.

Day 3 Teaching
Read the book Tigress to the children and look at the non-fiction sentences on each page. Add more sentences from the Tiger Facts sheet to the class tiger outline. Discuss avoiding repetition of facts. Activity
Children work in pairs to discuss sentences on the Tiger facts sheet. They stick any facts they don’t have on their outlines. Some children work as a group and continue the list of facts and outline from the main teaching session.

Day 4 Teaching
Give each child an A4 sheet folded in half to make a 4-page booklet. Discuss the layout of their booklet by showing children the question headings for each page on the Steps to success sheet.
Activity
Children use their tiger outline full of facts to create their booklet. They write the question heading at the top and find one corresponding fact to write underneath.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Writing Descriptive Sentences
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies and Nick Maland

Group Readers
Whale Words

Websites
Whale Clip from www.YouTube.com

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show a video clip and discuss what children know about whales. Read the book Whale Words. Write the words big, enormous and massive on the board and brainstorm putting these into descriptive sentences.
Activity
Children have copies of the Whale Writing Frame. Place the Whale pictures on four tables. Children visit each table and write down words/phrases/sentences to describe each of the whales.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Big Blue Whale and use the comprehension questions to explore their understanding of the text.
Activity
Children have copies of the Split Sentences. They draw lines to the matching parts of the sentences. They choose their favourite descriptions and write these as sentences.

Day 3 Teaching
Model how a sentence can be changed e.g. The book says bigger than an elephant. What else could we say it is bigger than? Children brainstorm suitable ideas e.g. a bus, a caravan. Discuss what they have come up with.
Activity
Children have Big Blue Whale Descriptors from the book. They think of their own comparisons and write these. They make a class collection of these descriptors.

Group Readers

Whale Words
This text, with its stunning illustrations, is the perfect accompaniment to a teaching session on information texts. Guaranteed to capture a child’s imagination, it is nevertheless simple enough to be read by those just starting their reading journey.

You can purchase printed copies of this Group Reader from Hamilton Education.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Comparing fiction and non-fiction
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Ice Bear by Nicola Davies
Rainbow Bear by Michael Morpurgo
Tigress by Nick Dowson

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and read Ice Bear to the children. Compare the book to Tigress. Children compare a tiger and polar bear orally in talk partners and discuss ideas.
Activity
Children discuss then write sentences that compare tigers and polar bears on the Similarities and Differences table.

Day 2 Teaching
Introduce and read The Rainbow Bear book up to page 5. Ask children what polar bears eat and look at the alliteration in the text. Challenge children to think of alliterative words to describe seals.
Activity
Give children the Polar Bear Diet Table In pairs, they think of alliterative words to describe each of the prey. Some children write compound sentences about two of the prey. Some children match pre-cut Words and Pictures of a Polar Bear’s Diet.

Day 3 Teaching
Read pages 7-10 about the rainbow hunt from The Rainbow Bear. Ask children comprehension questions. Discuss children’s predictions about the story.
Activity
Children discuss and write their predictions.

Day 4 Teaching
Read to the end of The Rainbow Bear. Discuss their predictions. Were they correct? Compare the Ice Bear book and The Rainbow Bear.
Activity
In pairs children read the Fact or Fiction sheet and identify the sentences that they think are factual. Identify and discuss the sentence which is an opinion.

Composition
Unit 4 Composition: Writing questions as sentences
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Look at the front cover of Surprising Sharks and discuss the information we can get from this. Explore the question on the back cover. Model writing questions and children practise writing question marks.
Activity
In pairs, children choose a shark from the Shark Pictures. They think of questions about the shark then write these down around the picture using capital letter and question marks.

Day 2 Teaching
Read pages 6-8 of Surprising Sharks and talk about how not all sharks are big, man-eating killers! Display the inside cover of the book and model playing ‘I’m thinking of a shark’ by choosing a shark and children ask questions to guess which one it is.
Activity
In pairs, children have a copy of the ‘I’m Thinking of a Shark’ Pictures. They play the same game as modelled in the main session. Remind them they can only answer yes/no.

Day 3 Teaching
Read the book Surprising Sharks up to page 20 with the children. Discuss their favourite facts on each page. Can they remember the names of the sharks?
Activity
Children have copies of the Surprising Sharks Comprehension Questions. These are differentiated so the easier group have less questions and the harder group have more.

Day 4 Teaching
Together read the rest of the book Surprising Sharks. Discuss the last fact about how many humans are killed by sharks and how many sharks are killed by humans. Discuss the best fact to convince someone that sharks are amazing creatures.
Activity
Children work in pairs to create a poster about sharks. They use the I’m Thinking of a Shark’ Pictures from Day 2 and then write 3 facts each as questions around them, e.g. ‘Did you know that…?’

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a non-fiction book about Fierce Animals
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Tigress by Nick Dowson
Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies
Ice Bear by Nicola Davies

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share the three non-fiction books: Ice Bear, Surprising Sharks and Tigress. Look at Surprising Sharks pages 14-15 and discuss use of labels. Play a game with a Post-it note to cover a label and children guess the hidden word. Repeat using pages 16-17.
Activity
Organise children into three (nearly equal) groups: tiger, polar bear and shark. They use the Label the Animal sheet (see resources) to write relevant labels around the picture. Some children have the Key Animal Words (see resources) to include on their sheet.

Day 2 Teaching
Look at Surprising Sharks again and talk about what a fact is. Recap features of non-fiction writing such as labels and introduce captions. Pick a label from one child’s work on labels from Day 1 and write a sentence (caption) about it.
Activity
Children have their completed Label the Animal sheet (see resources) from Day 1. They choose 3 labels and write captions about them. Some children write two captions and some write five including one short sentence with an exclamation mark.

Day 3 Teaching
Organise children into groups of 3 to write a non-fiction book. Each group should have a child who has written about a tiger, shark and polar bear. Discuss questions as heading e.g. Where does it live? What does it eat? Record their ideas on the working wall.
Activity
Children work in their groups of 3. They have the Fierce Animal Writing Frame (see resources) and write factual sentences about their animal. Some children may need to work as a group with an adult to do this.

Day 4 Teaching
Children will write a last page for their books. They look at the working wall heading questions and agree on one to all write about as a group. Discuss other non-fiction features they could add to their book e.g. blurb, front cover, numbers etc. They can complete these in a time outside of the session.
Activity
Children write their group chosen question at the top of a new Fierce Animal Writing Frame (see resources). They try to use a compound sentence and some children use mostly compound sentences to give information about their animal.