Non-fiction

English Year 3 Summer Reports

Video Games

Explore non-chronological reports about video games. Revise word classes and study dialogue punctuation. Read/write informal and formal reports. Design and present a new game.

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: Introduction to the features of NCRs; informal game reviews
(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.
-- Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others.

Word Reading
-- Apply knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to read aloud and understand the meaning of new words they meet.

Comprehension
-- Discuss non-fiction.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences building a varied and rich vocabulary.
-- Use simple organisational devices.
-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
All the required texts are in the resources document

Website
CBeebies games from www.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Children discuss favourite video/computer games then look at a review, noting that it is a non-chronological report. Explore the key features of NCRs and discuss why they are written and by whom.
Activity
Children look at 2-4 game reviews and decide who wrote them and who the audience might be. They then highlight and annotate key features of an NCR that they recognise in the reviews.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss the use of technical or specific language in game reviews/descriptions. Discuss techniques they could use to help them decipher these, including emphasising and recapping on how to use dictionaries to help with tricky words.
Activity
Children read a game description then discuss questions about it. They use dictionaries to check the meaning of tricky words that they identify.

Day 3 Teaching
Explain that children will test some games for young children today and write game reviews to help EYFS/KS1 teachers to choose appropriate games to use in class. Model making notes about the special features and plus and minus points of a game.
Activity
In pairs, children play a CBeebies game and experiment using different characters/ levels etc. They then fill in their notes sheet. Children play the game again and add or make any amendments to their notes.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss how children will use their notes from Day 3 to write their game review. Recap on the sort of information EYFS/KS1 teachers might want to know as well as the key features of a NCR. Model writing an informal report.
Activity
Children look back through their notes and decide how they will organise their review. They use key features of an NCR to set out and write their review.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Punctuating dialogue and quotes; what makes a good game
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

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

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
-- Use inverted commas to punctuate direct speech.

You Will Need

Texts
All the required texts are in the resources document

Websites
What makes computer games fun? from www.bbc.com

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Punctuating Direct Speech

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap recording and punctuating dialogue using PowerPoint: Punctuating Direct Speech. Children then suggest and organise games under game genres. They discuss which they like to play and why. Record some of their words as direct speech.
Activity
Children complete Direct Speech Challenge, identifying, punctuation and generating dialogue.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap dialogue punctuation. Show BBC video about what makes a good game. Explore the rest of the PowerPoint, exploring dialogue punctuation in the context of quotes. Identify open/closed questions, recording a list of the former about games.
Activity
Children record open questions to ask friends about video games. They then interview other members of the class and record their questions and answers in speech bubbles.

Day 3 Teaching
Ask a volunteer to come and answer some questions about video games. Model writing the conversation as punctuated dialogue. Recap punctuating quotes using slides 9-13 of the PowerPoint.
Activity
Children look back at their questions and answers from Day 2. They record some of them as punctuated speech. Then then pick out one or two of the comments and write these ‘quotes’ onto coloured paper or card to create a display.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Punctuating Direct Speech
Revise dialogue layout and punctuation, including inverted commas, reporting clauses and starting a capital letter for opening speech. Make links to writing quotes in report writing.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read and write formal reports about computer games
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

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

Word Reading
-- Apply knowledge of root words, prefixes & suffixes to read and understand meanings of new words.

Comprehension
-- Discuss non-fiction.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Participate in discussions.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences building a varied and rich vocabulary and Use simple organisational devices.

Grammar
-- Extend the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although.
-- Use the present form of verbs (Y2 revision).

You Will Need

Texts
All the required texts are in the resources document

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share the Mario Kart game report and compare to a game review. Highlight key features, emphasising formal language, and then note common features of all NCRs. Analyse the report, identifying features and describing their impact.
Activity
Children analyse game reports against a features checklist. They annotate the reports to create a poster showing the key features the impact each has on the report.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise report features. Emphasise the use of formal language then show children the two sentences, identifying which is formal and which is informal. Highlight the differences and why formal language is more useful in a report.
Activity
Children read the differentiated Harry Potter game reports in ability pairs. They answer the questions and record the answers.

Day 3 Teaching
Compare 20th Century video games to contemporary ones. What concerns parents about modern games? Challenge children to plan a guide for parents on a favourite game. Discuss subheadings and recap note-making. Model planning a guide.
Activity
Children plan a report for parents in pairs using the notes grid. They choose a game, select or decide on useful headings, then make notes under each heading for their game, thinking about their audience’s needs.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss the plans and how they can be used to write a report in paragraphs. Share one child’s notes. Take the first heading and model writing the notes into formal report language. Recap on key language features needed to achieve this.
Activity
Children use their plan from Day 3 to write a report for parents on their game of choice. They use the checklist and use their posters from Day 1 for reference. Children share reports with a partner and take feedback.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Word classes: nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs; video game characters
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

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

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Use dictionaries to check the meaning of words.

Transcription
-- Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of handwriting.

 


-- Use the first two or three letters of a word to check in a dictionary.

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading [nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs].

You Will Need

Texts
All the required texts are in the resources document

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Word Classes

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Revise nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs using PowerPoint: Word Classes. Then read the report on Mario and spot the word classes. Children find four nouns, four verbs, four adjectives and four adverbs. They circle them on the IWB.
Activity
Children read the video game character mini-reports and record examples of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs on a grid.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap slides 1-6 of the PowerPoint then introduce words which change class with function. Model using coloured pens to record different word classes in order to build a sentence about a character.
Activity
Children choose and name a new character to join the Mario franchise. They generate ideas, using the grid to record different word classes, before writing a sentence about the character.

Day 3 Teaching
Display the dictionary definition of ‘plumber’ and notice how after the word there is a definition and sample sentence as well as an identification of the word class. Recap dictionary skills, then model writing some more definitions.
Activity
Children share out given words and write definitions including the word class. They write a sample sentence, showing how the word can be used.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Word Classes
Revise nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Practise identifying and classifying words by their class. Explore how classification depends on a word’s function in a sentence.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Design a new platform game and present it in a report
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

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

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

 


-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.
-- Use simple organisational devices
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.
-- Read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

Grammar
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading [nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs].
-- Use and punctuate direct speech.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce platform games and game development using Internet clips. Highlight the key elements of a game and discuss and agree the key features of a platform game. Model developing an idea based on the example given.
Activity
Children plan a new video game in a small group. They draw the setting/route of their game and plan the other features listed on a large sheet of paper, making clear notes.

Day 2 Teaching
Make a list of what children would need to include in a report describing their game to developers or players. Look at the sample report and list possible headings and information. Highlight technical language; then recap features of an NCR.
Activity
Children use their game plan from Day 1 to help write a report about their game. They draft out the opening section then write the section about how the game is played.

Day 3 Teaching
Look at one or two of the reports written so far and identify the invented technical verbs and nouns. Recap the key language features of an NCR again and look at the next few headings that children need to write.
Activity
Children continue writing their report. They write the end sections of their report and then re-read it back to themselves.

Day 4 Teaching
Ask a volunteer to share their report for editing. Work through the report, highlighting good features and model editing and improving the introductory section. Model adding a punctuated quote into the report.
Activity
Children read through their report checking for any errors and looking for ways to improve their writing. They then work with a partner and present their report to a small group. Children add a quote before creating a final copy.