Non-fiction

English Year 4 Summer Persuasive Writing

Animals in Captivity

Explore issues around animals in captivity, reading texts including Zoo by Anthony Browne and Rainbow Bear by Michael Morpurgo. Study adverbials and expanded noun phrases.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to issues around zoos
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss children’s experiences of zoos and watch a virtual tour. Generate research questions together about the history, features and purpose of zoos and display. Introduce the activity, remind children of research skills.
Activity
Children select research questions in a mixed ability group and research the answers using provided websites (see resources) and any hard copy texts. They record findings in books or on a Research frame (see resources). More able should cite the source used.

Day 2 Teaching
Review Day 1’s research. Discuss the concept of viewpoint and how this may affect a text. Model how an opinion can be backed up with explanation or examples. Introduce today’s task of thinking of arguments ‘for’ zoos.
Activity
In mixed ability groups, children discuss and compile a list of arguments for zoos. They can refer to Day 1’s research and record their ideas to share with the class.

Day 3 Teaching
Introduce Zoo by Anthony Browne and read the story. Discuss children’s responses to the story. Consider the viewpoint on zoos which the book conveys. Open this out to a discussion of the arguments ‘against’ zoos.
Activity
In mixed ability groups, children discuss and compile a list of arguments against zoos. They can refer to Day 1’s research and record their ideas to share with the class. Encourage children to move beyond purely emotional responses.

Day 4 Teaching
Recap Zoo, flicking through the pages and discussing some of the illustrations. How would we feel if we visited this zoo? Introduce today’s task: to write a persuasive letter to encourage the zoo keeper to improve the zoo’s conditions.
Activity
Children write a letter to persuade the zoo keeper of Anthony Browne’s Zoo to improve conditions for animals.
Easier: Provide the writing frame (see resources).

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Adverbials and fronted adverbials
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Zoo by Anthony Browne

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Adverbials and Fronted Adverbials

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Remind children of their discussions around zoos and animals in captivity. Discuss slides 1-10 of Grammar PowerPoint: Adverbials and Fronted Adverbials. Agree that adverbials are useful in persuasive writing as they can be used to give further information or to clarify.
Activity
Distribute Adverbials in Persuasive Writing (see resources). Children read the text and identify and punctuate the adverbials.
Harder: Then ask children to discuss and decide on the main purpose of the text.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise slides 2-9 of Grammar PowerPoint: Adverbials and Fronted Adverbials (see resources). Focus on prepositions. This will help children write their own adverbials. Discuss slides 11-12. Notice how the adverbials can intensify or add to an idea in order to present a persuasive argument.
Activity
Provide each child with Zoo: Adverbials sheet (see resources).
Most: Children explore adding and then creating adverbials to influence a reader, referring initially to a bank of adverbials.
Harder: As Most but children create their own adverbials.
Easier: Children select the best adverbials and write them straight onto the sheet.

Day 3 Teaching
Display Pet Trouble (see resources) and tell children a story of a pet you had as a child and the trouble it caused one day. Use and emphasise the adverbials in your story. Agree that traditional pets can cause chaos but what if children were suddenly faced with an exotic pet?
Activity
Children choose an animal from Exotic Animal Trouble (see resources). They write a list of things that the animal did in their house. They chose their favourite 4-5 ideas and build up the images by adding adverbials. Children write a short passage, listing chaos and elaborating with adverbials.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Adverbials and Fronted Adverbials
Revise how adverbials can give information about a verb, to do with time, place or manner. Note the punctuation of fronted adverbials.

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Noun phrases and expanded noun phrases; provoking emotion
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Rainbow Bear by Michael Morpurgo

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases (see resources) to revise noun phrases and expanded noun phrases, slides 1-8. Discuss and list useful prepositions which children can use to look for phrases which expand the noun phrase. Introduce Polar Bears B (see resources). Read the fact box together.
Activity
Distribute differentiated copies of Polar Bears (see resources) to children in pairs and a copy of the Instructions sheet. Children read the text and discuss the blue discussion box questions. Children then go on to complete a noun phrase hunt.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise noun phrases using PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases (see resources), using slide 9 to consider the impact of using noun phrases. Recap Rainbow Bear, sharing the illustrations. Pick an illustration and model building up an emotive expanded noun phrase around one of the nouns.
Activity
Provide each child with Expanded Noun Phrases Prompt sheet (see resources). Children choose from a selection of illustrations and develop a list of expanded noun phrases, aiming for maximum emotional impact.

Day 3 Teaching
Show a copy of Rainbow Bear, reminding children of the expanded noun phrases they created inspired by the illustrations. Introduce today’s task: to write persuasive gallery text for one of the illustrations in Rainbow Bear for an exhibition of Foreman’s work.
Activity
Children choose an illustration to write a descriptive and emotive gallery text for. Remind children to look for interesting nouns to develop noun phrases around. Encourage most to organise their writing into short paragraphs.

Day 4 Teaching
Remind children of Day 3’s writing and how it is designed to accompany the illustrations from The Rainbow Bear. Agree on a list of criteria which will help children to edit and improve their writing. Model starting this with yesterday’s modelled writing.
Activity
Children work with a partner to improve their writing for impact and accuracy. Once children have checked and edited their work they create a polished version in neat handwriting for display.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Expanded Noun Phrases
Learn how noun phrases and expanded noun phrases can build images around a head noun. Consider the impact and test by replacing with a pronoun.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Features of persuasive texts; plan and deliver a speech
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Zoo by Anthony Browne
The Persuasion Book by Sue Palmer (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Ask children to tell a partner what persuasive writing is. Discuss children's ideas and agree that a persuasive text seeks to persuade the reader to think something. Review the different points of view children have been exploring during the topic and discuss the terms ‘for’ and ‘against’.
Activity
Distribute differentiated Persuasive Writing Examples (see resources). Children read the texts and sort them into ‘for’ and ‘against’ piles, justifying their choices. They then analyse one of the texts using Analysing a Persuasive Text to guide discussion and support recording.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and discuss slide 5 of The Persuasion Book by Sue Palmer, explaining that the skeleton is like a map of a persuasion text. Remind children that each point will be elaborated on with further explanation or examples. Demonstrate this with an example argument.
Activity
Distribute Keeping Pet Birds A or B (see resources). Children read the text and map the text as a skeleton. They make notes in each section so that they have the ‘bones’ of the text.
Easier: Children write into the skeleton frame (see resources).

Day 3 Teaching
Display and reread Keeping Pet Birds A. Identify the topic sentences and how they introduce a paragraph. Use slides 5-7 of The Persuasion Book to explore how each point is elaborated upon in the rest of the paragraph. Today children will plan a persuasive speech.
Activity
Give children a random position to argue. They think, discuss and develop points which they elaborate on. Children record arguments in a skeleton format. They should include introduction and conclusion notes.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss what makes successful persuasive writing and agree that effective delivery is also very important for persuading listeners of your point of view. Discuss and compile a list of performance tips. Explain that children will be preparing their speeches aloud and practising them to get better at their performance.
Activity
Children prepare speeches individually, and then with a partner. Encourage children to give constructive and kind feedback. Then in groups of five or six, children deliver their speeches. How persuasive does the group think they have been?

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a persuasive article for a website
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Children will write a persuasive article about animals in captivity to go on the BBC website! They will choose the point of view that they are going to argue and will be researching using reputable websites. Introduce the Skeleton Frame (see resources) as a planning format.
Activity
Distribute Websites for Article Research (see resources) and Skeleton Frames or paper for children to draw their own. Children record any main points that they know they wish to include. They then use the websites and any other texts to research and elaborate on their points.

Day 2 Teaching
Display Think Twice Before You Buy a Pet Bird (see resources). Note the structure: introduction, series of points, conclusion. Discuss the function of the colour-coded devices (listing adverbs, adverbs of manner, rhetorical questions). Encourage chn to add some to their plans today.
Activity
Distribute Persuasive Devices and Organisation (see resources). Children look for ways to incorporate adverbs for ordering and manner, and rhetorical questions. When finished, they compose a powerful title and write the introductory paragraph to their article.

Day 3 Teaching
Model how children can write and elaborate on their points from their plans, using the birds in cages example. Remind children how noun phrases can be used to build images, and in this case, we can make nouns seem better or worse to induce emotion.
Activity
Children use their notes and resource prompts to write persuasive paragraphs, each built around a main point. Encourage children to use the persuasive and organisational devices they have planned for. Ask children to develop emotive images using expanded noun phrases.

Day 4 Teaching
Look briefly at the last paragraph of Think Twice Before You Buy a Pet Bird (see resources) and recap the function of a conclusion. Once children have finished their articles they will proofread and edit them. Compile a list together of what you would like chn to focus on.
Activity
Children write their summing up paragraph. They then reread, edit and improve their whole article referring to the checklist created in the Teaching and with the support of a partner if they wish.
Easier: Some will need time to finish their articles and adult support to make improvements.