Non-fiction

English Year 1 Autumn Labels, Lists and Signs

Getting and giving information

Spark imaginations with Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis and Billy’s Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons. Explore sentence building and punctuation, writing labels, lists and signs.

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: Write lists and labels inspired by Not a Stick
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen and respond appropriately to adults and peers.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding.
-- Give well-structured descriptions.
-- Speak audibly and fluently.

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge.
-- Read by blending sounds.
-- Read common exception words.

Comprehension
-- Participate in discussion about what is read, taking turns and listening to what others say.
-- Become very familiar with key stories and consider their particular characteristics.
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.
-- Link what they hear read to their own experiences.
-- Draw on what they already know or on vocabulary provided by the teacher.

 

Transcription
-- Sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly.
-- 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.
-- Sequence sentences.
-- Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.

Grammar
-- Leave spaces between words.
-- Punctuate sentences using a capital letter and full stop.

You Will Need

Texts
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Say that most children enjoy playing with sticks. Show the front cover of Not a Stick. Discuss potential uses for the stick. Read the book. Identify how the main character uses the stick. Explain that the children will label each picture from the book.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs, each with a selection of pictures and labels. They cut out each picture and label and match them together correctly.

Day 2 Teaching
Read and enjoy Not a Stick. Say the children will write a list to remember how the main character uses the stick. Display pictures from the book and discuss how the stick is used. Write ideas as a vertical list. Discuss alternative ideas and extend the list.
Activity
Children work independently. They identify the different ways the main character uses the stick. Children write their ideas as a vertical list in their books.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Not a Stick. Say the children will use descriptive vocabulary to write a label. Display a selection of pictures from the book. For each picture consider the main use for the stick and orally prepare a suitable descriptive phrase. Select the best ideas and model writing them.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. Give each pair a random collection of sticks. They discuss each stick and develop an appropriate descriptive label for each. Children write their best ideas and label each stick.

Day 4 Teaching
Display a large stick. Consider imaginative uses for the stick; invite children to act out each suggestion. Select a good idea and draw a picture to represent it. Orally compose a descriptive sentence to identify its use. Write the sentence.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups, each with a small collection of sticks. Each child will select a stick and explore a range of imaginative uses for it. They select the best idea and orally prepare a descriptive sentence to identify its use. Children write the sentence.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Build and punctuate sentences
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding.
-- Give well-structured descriptions.

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge and skills.
-- Read accurately by blending sounds.
-- Read common exception words.
-- Read words with contractions.
-- Re-read to build up fluency and confidence.

Comprehension
-- Check the text makes sense as they read.
-- Link what they hear read to their own experiences.
-- Draw on what they already know or on vocabulary provided by the teacher.

 

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.
-- Read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.
-- Leave spaces between words.

You Will Need

Texts
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Not a Stick. Highlight the bossy sentences. Display a jumbled sentence. Notice the capital letter and full stop which begin and end the sentence. Explore how to sequence the words correctly. Read the sentence, using an appropriate intonation.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. Give each pair a set of jumbled sentences. Children cut out the words in each sentence and explore how to sequence them correctly. They re-read each sentence to check it makes sense and adapt it if necessary.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Not a Stick. Explain that bossy sentences usually emphasise something important. Consider bossy sentences the children have heard or read. Say the children can write a sign to share them. Orally compose sentences and use correct punctuation to write them.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups of five. Give each group a theme for the signs they will compose. They work together to orally prepare, refine and rehearse a range of suitable signs. Each child selects a different sentence and uses correct punctuation to write it.

Day 3 Teaching
Say the children will write imaginative signs to accompany ordinary objects. Display a range of common classroom objects. Select an object and enjoy discussing creative uses for it. Orally prepare and then use correct punctuation to write a sign to accompany each item.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs, each with a writing frame. Children choose two familiar objects and consider alternative and creative uses for them. They orally prepare and rehearse a descriptive sign for each object and use correct punctuation to write it.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read, discuss and write inspired by Billy’s Bucket
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
-- Give well-structured explanations.

Word Reading
-- Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.
-- Read accurately by blending sounds.
-- Read common exception words.
-- Read other words of more than one syllable.

Comprehension
-- Draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher.
-- Check that the text makes sense to them as they read and correct inaccurate reading.
-- Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.
-- Become very familiar with key stories, retelling them and considering their characteristics.

 


-- Participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say.

Transcription
-- Sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly.
-- Begin to form lower-case and capital letters in the correct direction.

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Billy’s Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and enjoy Billy’s Bucket. Stop when Billy discovers his bucket is missing. Say the children will predict what has happened to Billy’s bucket. For each idea, help the children to use 'because' to explain their suggestion. Use correct punctuation to write each suggestion.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. Together the children discuss what has happened to Billy’s bucket. For each idea they use 'because' to explain their suggestion. Children use correct punctuation to write their favourite ideas.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Billy’s Bucket. Say the story has a beginning, middle and end. Tell the children they will sequence the story correctly. Consider what happens at each stage of the story. Orally compose sentences to summarise the plot.
Activity
Children work in ability groups of three, each with a summarised version of Billy’s Bucket. Children cut out, read and sequence the text correctly.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Billy’s Bucket. Focus on the part when Billy’s parents ask to borrow his bucket. Consider the reasons Billy provides to explain why they must not interfere. Use 'because' to extend each idea. Use correct punctuation to write each suggestion.
Activity
Children work independently. They orally prepare a sign, to explain why no one can borrow the bucket. Children use correct punctuation to write the sign.

Day 4 Teaching
Remind the children how Billy’s parents react when he asked for a bucket. Explain that many special gifts can be given which do not cost anything. Discuss alternative presents that Billy could receive, using a range of descriptive vocabulary. Write a range of suggestions.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs. They discuss special gifts which do not cost anything. For each suggestion, the children generate a range of descriptive vocabulary. Children select their favourite idea, draw a picture to represent it and write a label to accompany it.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Build sentences and punctuate names inspired by Billy’s Bucket
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- 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.
-- Form capital letters.

 

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.

Grammar
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.
-- Use a capital letter for names of people.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and enjoy Billy’s Bucket. Notice that Billy begins with an initial capital letter. Write a selection of children’s names, spelling some with and some without an initial capital letter. Identify which are incorrect and edit them.
Activity
Children work independently, each with a blank bookmark. They write their name or a sentence to label the bookmark, remembering to begin it with an initial capital letter.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Billy’s Bucket. Remind the children that names begin with a capital letter. Display a bucket full of sea creatures. Children list animals inside the bucket. Orally prepare a suitable sentence relating to each child. Use correct punctuation to write each sentence.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups, each with a writing frame. Children complete each sentence by selecting a name and a sea creature. They use correct punctuation to write each sentence.

Day 3 Teaching
Display a large bucket, containing a small selection of sea creatures. Say you will write a descriptive label about what is inside it. Select a sea creature and orally prepare a descriptive sentence. Use correct punctuation to write the sentence. Notice the sentence begins with a capital letter.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs, each with a writing frame. They orally prepare a range of sentences to describe what they imagine is in their bucket. Children use correct punctuation to write each sentence. They read their writing aloud to check it.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a book, using lists, labels and signs
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
-- Participate in performances.
-- Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to others.

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.
-- Discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.
-- Read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.

Grammar
-- Leave spaces between words.
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.

You Will Need

Texts
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and enjoy Not a Stick. Notice the main character uses their imagination to adapt a familiar object. Say the children will plan their own version of the book. Display a common classroom object and orally compose descriptive phrases to accompany it. List ideas.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability teams of three. They select a familiar classroom/playground object and discuss how to adapt it. Children orally compose, refine and rehearse suitable descriptive phrases and then write a list of the best ideas.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Not a Stick. Say the children will start to write their own version of the book. Display the list written on Day 1. Read the ideas. Select the best three phrases. Add or edit descriptive vocabulary, to improve each idea. Write three labels in a blank booklet.
Activity
Children work independently. Give each child the list of phrases they wrote on Day 1 and a blank booklet. Children orally prepare, refine and rehearse three descriptive phrases. They write three labels into the booklet.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Not a Stick. Emphasise each bossy sentence. Explain that bossy sentences usually tell people what to do. Say the children will write three bossy signs to share information. Discuss and rehearse bossy sentences. Use correct punctuation to write each sentence.
Activity
Children work independently. Give each child their booklet. Children orally prepare, refine and rehearse three bossy signs. They use correct punctuation to write each sentence.

Day 4 Teaching
Display the booklet, written during Day 3. Say the children will publish the book and share it with an audience. Consider a title for the book and design a front/back cover. Read the book aloud with enthusiasm. Identify the strategies for an effective performance.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs. Give each child their booklet. Children add a front/back, cover to the book, along with page numbers. They use the strategies from the Input to rehearse reading the book aloud, before sharing it with an audience.