Non-fiction

English Year 2 Autumn Information Texts

Pets

Share beautifully illustrated books about pets: Dogs and Matilda's Cat by Emily Gravett, and reference texts. Write, using expanded noun phrases and sentence punctuation.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Discussing and describing pets; introduction to information texts
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Dogs by Emily Gravett
Matilda’s Cat by Emily Gravett

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce pet theme. Children tell a talk partner about a pet they have or know. Share Emily Gravett’s Dogs. Discuss the different dogs. What do children think of them? Compare the dogs, such as naughty dogs, or lazy ones, cute ones, yappy ones.
Activity
Children work in groups. They discuss the dogs in the book then create and draw their own dogs and write sentences in the style of Dogs in order to create a group book to share.

Day 2 Teaching
Introduce Matilda’s Cat by Emily Gravett and compare with Dogs. Ask children what they know about cats then explore what Matilda’s cat did and didn’t like doing. Compare this with a non-fiction information book or page. Discuss the differences, such as layout, images, and purpose.
Activity
Children discuss and write true and false sentences about cats, using Matilda’s Cat and non-fiction information texts for content.

Day 3 Teaching
Compare an information book on dogs with Emily Gravett’s Dogs. Recap the main features of information books and make a list to display. Note the style of the writing and discuss how topics are arranged on different pages or in different sections.
Activity
Children work in pairs to find examples of information book features from a given list. They identify and discuss the features, annotating on the copies or using sticky notes.

Comprehension
Unit 2 Comprehension: Reading, discussing and answering questions
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Group Readers
The dog who wouldn’t stop barking by Ruth Merttens

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read pages 1-10 of The dog who wouldn’t stop barking. Encourage children to read with you, using their word-reading skills. Remind children to check for sense as they read.
Activity
Children work in groups. They read aloud The dog who wouldn’t stop barking, checking that they are reading accurately.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss and recap The dog who wouldn’t stop barking. Clarify that it is a story, not an information book. Read page one together and show children how to use the text to answer the question: Where was Alice’s house in the street? Repeat with page two, asking: Where does Alice’s granddad live?
Activity
Children reread The dog who wouldn’t stop barking and discuss questions relating to the text, including inference questions.

Group Readers

The dog who wouldn't stop barking
The dog who wouldn’t stop barking, by Ruth Merttens, is a story told in the form of a recount, and the illustrations have a humorous cartoon-like feel. Set in a domestic context but with a nice fantasy element, children will follow the narrative and want to find out whether the plan works!

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

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Expanded noun phrases
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Dogs by Emily Gravett

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Reread Dogs by Emily Gravett. Write: I love dogs, with the word dogs underlined. Explain that dog is a noun then demonstrate building increasingly expanded noun phrases around it.
Activity
Working in threes, children discuss and describe one of the dogs from Dogs, recording ideas on a large sheet with the image of the dog in the middle. Groups rotate from dog to dog, writing and expanding noun phrases to describe them.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap expanded noun phrases and use the noun cat to build noun phrases with the children, this time with a factual tone. They write adjectives on whiteboards and stand in a line together holding whiteboards to explore building noun phrases. Expand the phrase further using with.
Activity
Children use dog images to inspire expanded noun phrases, writing in factual sentences. They try to guess one another’s dog from the description.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Sentence punctuation; organising information
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
A selection of information books about pets

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Distribute and discuss the punctuation cards (see resources). Display and read sentences from an information book and hold up correct punctuation for each sentence as you spot missing punctuation.
Activity
Children punctuate and sort sentences about pets. They then write some additional sentences using the correct punctuation.

Day 2 Teaching
Display tortoise text (see resources) and discuss. Explore the text structure and note the topic boxes, each with a different focus. Read the introduction box together and note the punctuation used, including the use of the exclamation mark.
Activity
Children work as copyeditors as they edit a piece of writing, checking and adding in correct punctuation. There are two levels of text to edit available.

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children how information books can be used to find answers to questions. Look at a simple non-fiction pet book and model writing questions to use with the book. Then use the book to find and write the answers using sentence punctuation.
Activity
Children read information books, or copied pages, about pets. In pairs, they discuss the text and think of questions they can see the answers to in the text. They then write question and answer sentences, taking care with punctuation.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Research and write an information page about pets
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Boris and Sid find a Tiger and imagine they kept the tiger as a pet. Discuss other unusual pets and decide what information owners would need to keep such animals. Choose a pet and a topic, such as ‘what it eats’, then model how to research this.
Activity
Children work in pairs. They use books and online resources to research their unusual pet. They record information on a research template under topic headings.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on research from Day 1 and look at good examples. Then look at the writing frame (see resources) and emphasise the importance of the introduction box. Model writing an introduction, highlighting your use of expanded noun phrases.
Activity
Children write an introduction for their information sheet. They then swap sheets with a partner for feedback.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss what might go in the other sections of the writing frame. Identify a topic and model writing a question for it that would frame the section. Then model an answer using 2-3 sentences that address the question in that box.
Activity
Children frame questions for each of their topics. They then write 2-3 sentences that address the question in that box.

Day 4 Teaching
Write out two sentences on the flip chart. One should use neat, clear handwriting. The other should use irregular and inaccurate handwriting. Note that the neater writing is easier to read. Recap the features of good handwriting and any joins learnt so far.
Activity
Children produce neat versions of their information sheet in careful handwriting.

Group Readers

Boris and Sid find a Tiger
Boris and Sid find a Tiger, by Ruth Merttens, gives a nice twist to familiar animals which turn up in children’s lives. Useful to read alongside information texts on animals as well as fiction, this story is for those who are beginning to decode slightly harder words.

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