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.

We recommend that you start with the core unit, the heart of this English block of study. This introduces key textual material and sets the tone for any further units you wish to teach. These can be selected on the basis of the needs of your class – look at the green icons to identify the unit’s particular focus: SPAG, Composition or Comprehension. Whichever units you choose, we suggest teaching them in order, as there is a built-in progression indicated by the numbering.

‘UNIT PLAN’ gives you a text version of all parts of the unit to use in your school planning documentation. ‘DOWNLOAD ALL FILES’ gives you that unit plan plus all of the associated documents.

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

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Participate in discussions.

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.
-- Read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words.

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of stories.
-- Participate in discussion about what is read to them.
-- Discuss word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known.

 


-- Check that the text makes sense to them as they read and correct inaccurate reading.

Transcription
-- Begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place.
-- Form capital letters.

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Sequence sentences to form short narratives.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.

You Will Need

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

Teaching and Group Activities for Understanding

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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss stories.
-- Link what they read or hear read to their own experiences.
-- Check the text makes sense to them.
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.

 

Transcription
-- Sit correctly, holding a pencil correctly.
-- Begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction.

Composition
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Say aloud what they are going to write about.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate using full stops and capital letters.

You Will Need

Texts
Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies and Nick Maland

Group Readers
Whale Words

Websites
Whale Clip from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Group Activities for Understanding

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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.
-- Read aloud accurately texts that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge.

Comprehension
-- Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done.
-- Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.
-- Link what they read or hear read to their own experiences.

 


-- Participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say.
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.

You Will Need

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

Teaching and Group Activities for Understanding

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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and build vocabulary and knowledge.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding.
-- Give well-structured descriptions.
-- Speak audibly and fluently.

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.

Comprehension
-- Discuss the significance of the title and events.
-- Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done.

 


-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.

Transcription
-- Begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place.

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop or question mark.

You Will Need

Texts
Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies

Teaching and Group Activities for Understanding

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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Understand books by drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher.
-- Link what they read or hear to their own experiences.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Write sentences by saying out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils.
-- Read aloud their writing.
-- Re-read to check it makes sense.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark.
-- Join words and clauses using and.

You Will Need

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

Teaching and Group Activities for Understanding

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.