Non-fiction

English Year 2 Summer Information Texts

Dinosaurs

Using Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, explore differences between fiction and non-fiction. Research and create fact files using noun phrases. Study sentence types.

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: Distinguish between fiction and non-fiction; read and compare non-fiction texts about dinosaurs
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
-- Continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent.
-- Read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes.
-- Read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above.

Comprehension
-- Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways.
-- Participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.
-- Listen to, discuss and express views about a wide range of non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read themselves.
-- Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways.

 

Transcription
-- Spell by segmenting spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling many correctly.
-- Learn new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known.
-- Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.
-- Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

Composition
-- Consider what they are going to write before beginning by writing down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary.
-- Plan or say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence; Re-read to check that their writing makes sense.
-- Read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds
The Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia, Penguin Random House

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds. Teach children to recognise the book as a fiction text. Starting with the au grapheme in dinosaur, explore the different graphemes used to represent the phoneme /or/.
Activity
Working in ability-related pairs, children read a short, edited version of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs. They locate examples of the /or/ phoneme present in the text and sort the words according to the grapheme used to represent the sound.

Day 2 Teaching
Re-read Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs and compare the book to the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Teach children to recognise the latter as a non-fiction text. Shared-read a short text about Stegosaurus and lead chn in a discussion about amazing dinosaur facts.
Activity
Children work in mixed-ability pairs. They shared-read a wide variety of dinosaur reference books, text and websites. They discuss and note down amazing facts they have learned.

Day 3 Teaching
Read children two non-fiction texts about Gigantosaurus. Guide children in a discussion as to which they feel is the superior text. Model making notes about what makes the better text more successful.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They select their favourite non-fiction dinosaur book from the class set, discuss their choice with their partner and make brief, bullet-pointed notes about why it is so good.

Day 4 Teaching
Read a final extract from the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia and revisit what makes the book effective as a non-fiction reference book. Model converting notes about a favourite dinosaur reference book into full sentences using best handwriting, spacing and punctuation.
Activity
Working independently, children draw on notes compiled earlier to write a series of sentences about the non-fiction dinosaur text they would recommend to a friend. They read their work aloud.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Identify adjectives and noun phrases and use these in descriptions of dinosaurs
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.

Word Reading
-- Continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent.

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
-- Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.
-- Use spacing between words that reflects size of the letters.

 

Composition
-- Write down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence.
-- Re-read to check that their writing makes sense.

Grammar
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing [and other texts].
-- Learn how to use expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly].

You Will Need

Texts
The Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Penguin Random House

Presentations
Grammar: Nouns and Adjectives

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read children extracts on fossils and fossil hunting from the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Help children identify common and proper nouns in the text. Work through slides on the Nouns and Adjectives PowerPoint to develop children’s understanding of the two categories of noun.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They shared-read brief extracts from a fossil hunter’s diary. They find examples of common and proper nouns in the text. When finished, they read other information texts on dinosaurs and fossils and identify further common and proper nouns.

Day 2 Teaching
Read children information about dinosaur eggs from the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Revisit the difference between common and proper nouns. Teach children the place first of adjectives and then of adverbs of degree in developing and extending noun phrases.
Activity
Working in ability-related pairs or small groups, children discuss adjectives that would be suitable for describing dinosaur eggs. They record these on ‘dinosaur egg shaped’ pieces of paper. They modify some of their adjectives with adverbs.

Day 3 Teaching
Confirm children’s understanding of how adjectives and adverbs can be used to extend noun phrases. Introduce children to descriptive phrases based on adjectival comparison (as long as a bus, etc.) Model using adjectives, adverbs and descriptive phrases to write sentences describing a favourite dinosaur.
Activity
Children work independently. They write descriptions of their favourite dinosaurs using adjectives, adverbs and comparative descriptive phrases.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Nouns and Adjectives PowerPoint
This helps children identify nouns, both common and proper, and also adjectives. They begin to understand the concept of a noun phrase and learn about qualifying adverbs.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: understand how to research dinosaurs using non-fiction texts
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
-- Continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent.
-- Read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation.

Comprehension
-- Participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.
-- Explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves.
-- Discuss the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related.

 


-- Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways.
-- Discuss and clarify the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways.
-- Write for different purposes.
-- Write down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary.
-- Make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by evaluating their writing with the teacher and other pupils.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
The Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia, Penguin Random House
A range of other good quality dinosaur non-fiction text that contain contents pages, indexes and glossaries.

Group Readers
Nana, what’s an information text? (provided below)

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read children part of the Hamilton Group Reader Nana, What’s an information Text? by Ruth Merttens and Jackie Abey. Lead children in a discussion as to the key features of information texts.
Activity
In mixed-ability groups, children takes turn to read Nana, What’s an information Text? aloud. They note all the key features of information texts referred to in the story and look through class information books to find further examples of these.

Day 2 Teaching
Referring to the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia, teach children to understand and navigate their way around contents pages and indexes in information books. Compare information books with websites. Model using contents pages and indexes to find out information about a particular type of dinosaur.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They use copies of the contents page and index from the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia to solve a series of puzzle questions. Some design puzzle questions of their own based on these pages from the Encyclopedia.

Day 3 Teaching
Referring once more to the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia, introduce children to the concept of the information book glossary. Teach children to order words alphabetically by using their first, second and third letters to correctly sequence a small set of words.
Activity
Working in ability-related pairs, children alphabetically order a set of words related to dinosaurs. They discuss a given set of definitions for these words and, using dictionaries and further glossaries to help them, link the correct meaning to each word.

Day 4 Teaching
Reinforce successful use of information book contents pages, indexes and glossaries as well as websites for researching dinosaurs. Model doing this to find out a Gigantosaurus. Teach children to make research notes using key words, abbreviations and shortened phrases.
Activity
Children work independently or in tandem with a partner. They use class information books and relevant websites to research a dinosaur of their choice. They use jottings and notation to keep a record of their discoveries.

Group Readers

Nana, what’s an information text? 

This is a humorous story, told by a dinosaur. It provides a lot of information about information texts. Brilliantly conceived and illustrated, this is a must when introducing non-fiction texts as a genre. 

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

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Identify different types of sentence and use each type in own writing
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
-- Learn how to use sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation, command.
-- Develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks.

You Will Need

Texts
The Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Penguin Random House

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Using the short, dinosaur-related texts provided, teach children to recognise both statements and questions. Ensure children can form question marks correctly. Model writing statements and questions. Support children to do likewise.
Activity
Children work in mixed-ability trios or small groups. They are given a ‘fossil hunter’s tool’ about which they must write statements and questions. Groups rotate tools and attempt to answer one another’s questions before adding further statements and questions of their own.

Day 2 Teaching
Read extracts from the Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Using examples from this book and from other short texts provided, teach children to recognise commands. Help children to write further commands of their own, ensuring that their sentences display the key features of the form.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. Discussing ideas with partners, they write commands explaining what palaeontologists need to do on finding a fossil. Some go further and add qualifying or extending statements to their commands. Others focus on giving verbal commands in a role-play scenario, recording their favourite orders on mini whiteboards.

Day 3 Teaching
Read children a short text about fossil hunting and use it to rehearse identifying and writing statements, questions and commands. Extend children’s knowledge by introducing them to exclamations. Help children to find further exclamations in the text and to write examples of their own.
Activity
Working in ability-related pairs, children read and cut out a series of sentences. They discuss each and stick them under the appropriate heading – statement, command, question or exclamation. Some add further examples of their own to each column, focussing especially on exclamations.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: use research to produce a class non-fiction book on dinosaurs
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways.
-- Check that a text makes sense to them as they read, and correct inaccurate reading.

Transcription
-- Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters.

Composition
-- Write for different purposes.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence.
-- Write down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary.

 


-- Make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by evaluating their writing with the teacher and other pupils.
-- Re-read to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form.
-- Proof-read to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation [for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly].

Grammar
-- Learn how to use expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly].
-- Learn how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly (see English Appendix 2), including full stops, capital letters, exclamation and question marks.

You Will Need

Texts
The Dorling Kindersley First Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Penguin Random House

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show children how to use information books as well as websites to begin researching dinosaurs for a class Big Book of Dinosaurs. Model using contents pages, indexes and glossaries in class dinosaur information books. Teach children to make research notes using key words, abbreviations and shortened phrases.
Activity
Children work independently or with a partner. They use class information books and relevant websites to research a dinosaur of their choice for a Fact File to will be included in a class Big Book of Dinosaurs. They use jottings and notes to keep a record of their discoveries.

Day 2 Teaching
Using the DK First Dinosaur Encyclopedia and other dinosaur information texts, show children examples of labelled and captioned images. Model writing labels for a picture of a Giganotosaurus. Teach children to use adjectives to expand noun phrases in labels and captions.
Activity
Children work independently or with a partner. They write captions and labels to go with their dinosaur pictures. They use adjectives to expand noun phrases in their writing.

Day 3 Teaching
Explore using alliteration and rhetorical questions in subheadings for the different sections of information texts. Model converting notes and jottings into full sentences. Ensure children understand to place appropriate spaces between words when writing and to punctuate sentences accurately.
Activity
Children work independently or with a partner. They create a subheading for their ‘fascinating fact’ flap on their information page and then compose accurately punctuated full sentences for their fact. They begin writing further ‘bullet-point’ sentences about their dinosaur.

Day 4 Teaching
Revisit composition techniques with children, underscoring the importance of re-reading texts to ensure that they make sense.
Activity
Working independently, children continue to write bullet-pointed sentences for their Fact File. They re-read their work to check for errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar. They look at ways they can enhance the quality and precision of their writing.