Non-fiction

English Year 2 Spring Recounts

Animal Diaries and Recounts

Enjoy Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. Explore conjunctions and the correct use of present and past tense. Write diary entries in role.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to diary features, including person and tense
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Diary of a Wombat. Enjoy the humour of the plot. Notice it is written in the first person, and the past tense. Say it is a diary, written by a wombat. Select illustrations from the story and orally build diary sentences, in the first person and the past tense.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs. Each child orally composes three sentences, all in the first person and the past tense. Two sentences recount something that is true, and one is a lie. Children attempt to identify the lie.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Diary of a Wombat. Write the days of the week in a vertical list. Makes notes next to each day to identify the event/s of each day. Orally convert the notes into complete sentences, in the first person and the past tense.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs to correctly sequence the events of the story. Children use their notes to compose a range of sentences orally, in the first person and the past tense.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Diary of a Wombat. Say the story is written from wombat’s perspective. Select specific events in the story and consider how the family would recount wombat’s behaviour. Children role play the wombat and the family. Children orally prepare sentences reflecting contrasting points of view.
Activity
Children work independently. They select their favourite scene from the story and reflect on how wombat and the family interpret the events. Children write their ideas, in correctly punctuated sentences.

Day 4 Teaching
Read Diary of a Wombat. Display pictures from Wednesday and discuss how the family interprets wombat’s behaviour. Model writing a diary entry, from the family’s perspective, in the first person and past tense.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs. Give children pictures from Friday and a diary template. Together the children verbally rehearse then write a diary entry for that day, but in the role of one of the humans.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Use past and present forms correctly, including past progressive form
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

Grammar PDF: The Past Tense - Simple and Progressive Forms (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and share Diary of a Wombat. Explain that a diary is a personal record of experiences and feelings that have happened. Discuss ways of showing past and present time. Share sentences and identify the simple past and the past progressive verb forms.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs to sort a range of sentences into the simple past and the past progressive. They identify the verbs in each sentence, and understand how they indicate time.

Day 2 Teaching
Reread Diary of a Wombat. Recap how to use the past progressive verb form, displaying prompts (see resource). Display pictures of Australian animals. Orally compose a range of sentences inventing mischief that the animals were causing. Model writing a selection of sentences, using correct punctuation.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs. They identify an Australian animal and use the past progressive verb form to discuss what trouble they could cause. Children write their favourite ideas, as correctly punctuated sentences in past progressive form.

Day 3 Teaching
Say that the past progressive form is useful to portray when one action occurred while another was happening. Read and enjoy a diary entry, written in the first person and the past tense. Identify the simple past and the past progressive.
Activity
Children work independently to write a diary entry, from the perspective of someone in the family. They write in the first person and the include examples of both the simple past and the past progressive.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read, discuss and write recounts, including diaries
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

Group Readers
The Cat's Journey (provided below)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce The Cat’s Journey. Identify different strategies for reading unfamiliar words. Demonstrate using reading strategies to read challenging words. Explain it is written from the perspective of a house cat. Notice the text is written in the first person and past tense.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups. Together, the children read through the text and use a range of decoding strategies to read unfamiliar words. Children use discussion prompts to share their ideas, opinions and feelings about the story.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Diary of a Wombat and The Cat’s Journey. Briefly discuss the features of each story. The children identify what is the same and what is different about each story. An adult records their ideas, as notes, and sorts them onto a Venn diagram.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs to compare and contrast Dairy of a Wombat and The Cat’s Journey. They explain and justify their thoughts and then sort their ideas onto a Venn diagram.

Day 3 Teaching
Read The Cat’s Journey. Remind the children it is written from the perspective of the cat. Discuss how the cat’s owner may interpret the events of the story and how their thoughts may be different from the cat. Recount each stage of the story, from the owner’s perspective. Write ideas as a short diary extract.
Activity
Children work together in small mixed groups to write a diary extract for part of the story, from the perspective of the cat’s owner. Children orally rehearse each sentence and write it using correct punctuation.

Group Readers

The Cat's Journey
The Cat's Journey by Ruth Merttens. The cat recounts her long journey in simple language, making it accessible to children who still struggle to read. What makes this a ‘must’ are the original and idiosyncratic illustrations, which carry the story forward simply and effectively.

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

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Conjunctions for Subordination
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Optional Texts
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

Group Readers
Angry Cat (provided below)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Angry Cat. Read the text aloud and encourage the children to join in. Display an independent clause and model how to use because or when to extend the sentence. Orally explore and prepare a range of extended sentences.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs to compose a variety of extended sentences. They orally explore how to combine an independent and subordinate clause using a subordinating conjunction. They select the most effect sentence, and record their ideas.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and read the four conjunctions for subordination as well as a range of independent clauses. Demonstrate using each conjunction for subordination to create an extended sentence. Read an example diary entry, written by Angry Cat. Identify clauses.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs to write a diary entry from the perspective of the Angry Cat. The children recount an event that made the cat angry. They write in the first person and the past tense and also include conjunctions for subordination to write a range of extended sentences.

Day 3 Teaching
Explain that the children will think of advice to give Angry Cat, to help prevent her from being cross. Identify different strategies to control temper and extend each idea using a subordinate clause. Model writing a correctly punctuated, extended sentence.
Activity
Children work in small teams to collectively identify advice they would share with Angry Cat. Children prepare and write an extended sentence. Together the children rehearse presenting their ideas to their peers.

Group Readers

Angry Cat
Children will explore feelings with this charming tale of a very angry cat! The simple repeated structure and beautifully drawn illustrations will encourage emerging independent readers to engage with the story and draw parallels with their own feelings as they follow cat’s tale.

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

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write an animal diary
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and enjoy Diary of a Wombat. Discuss information about wombats, conveyed through the story. Identify British wild animals. Select an animal and display a non-fiction text about them. Read the information and make notes about them.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups. Each group select a different British wild animal and use non-fiction texts to research information about them. They discuss what mischief their animal may cause! They record their ideas as notes.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Diary of a Wombat. Explain that a diary is a chronological recount, written in the first person and the past. Use the research notes, from Day 1, to write single words or phrases, in the past, to describe the daily activities of a native British animal.
Activity
Children work independently to consider and describe the daily activities of their chosen animal, over the course of 5 days. They write their ideas as single words or short phrases, in the past.

Day 3 Teaching
Say the children will begin to write a diary for a native British animal. Display the activities written in Day 2 and a range of conjunctions for subordination. Model using the conjunctions to orally build a range of extended sentences, suitable for each diary day.
Activity
Children work independently to orally rehearse a range of sentences suitable for the beginning of their alternative animal diary. Children use conjunctions for subordination to ensure they include examples of extended sentences. Children write their ideas using correct punctuation and neat handwriting.

Day 4 Teaching
Say the children will finish writing their animal diary. Read through the writing from Day 3 and model how to edit and improve it. Display the activities written in Day 2. Model finishing the diary. Write each sentence, using correct punctuation and neat handwriting.
Activity
Children work independently to edit and improve the beginning of their diary. They then complete their diaries, applying the modelled extended sentences, punctuation and careful handwriting.