Non-fiction

English Year 4 Autumn Instructions and Explanations

Art Ideas

Get creative with The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas, exploring instructions & explanations. Study possessive apostrophes and pronouns. Invent and introduce an art machine.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to features of instructions
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Usborne Complete Book of Art ideas by Fiona Watt
(or a children’s art book of your choice)

Optional texts
Any arts and crafts ideas books aimed at children

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Explore and discuss features of instructions using example text and the Instructions Poster. Remind children that when you give instructions you are telling people what to do using ‘bossy verbs’ (imperative) to form command sentences.
Activity
Children read and discuss either copies of pages from the Usborne art book or use a range of art ideas books. They look through the instructions and hunt for key features, making notes for each feature.

Day 2 Teaching
Give children verbal instructions to draw a dog’s face, using time adverbs. Discuss how difficult it can be to give and follow verbal instructions. Highlight the imperative verbs and discuss the importance of being clear when giving instructions.
Activity
Children work in 3s to give verbal drawing instructions. Children note the imperative verbs they are using as well as the structure and length of the sentences. They then write drawing instructions.

Day 3 Teaching
Review what children know about instructions. Recap on features but this time link them to the layout, drawing a box for the title, a box for resources, list of steps and perhaps a helpful hints or adaptations section as a sample structure.
Activity
Children choose an art project from an art book. They write instructions for a year 3 child who doesn’t have the book and needs to know how to create the art project. Children include instructional features including layout to make their text clear.

Day 4 Teaching
Introduce example instructions and ask children to identify the type of text it is, justifying their classification using ideas such as purpose, layout, imperative verbs, time adverbs etc. Explain that the class will test these instructions today!
Activity
Children read and follow the instructions, thinking about how clear they are. They make notes and reflect on possible improvements.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Possessive apostrophes: singular and plural
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Apostrophes for Possession

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss and revise possessive apostrophes using the Apostrophes for Possession presentation. Emphasise and explore the different ways that singular and plural apostrophes are used.
Activity
Children complete the Possessive Apostrophe Challenge, identifying and correcting single and plural possessive apostrophes, as well as generating sentences using a mix of possessive apostrophes.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise apostrophes and recap that possession is not just about physical ownership of an object. Then explore sets of sentences on the presentation and select which one is written incorrectly. Challenge children to correct it.
Activity
Children use given nouns to make a quiz card, using the model from today’s presentation. They write four sentences: three correct and one with a deliberate mistake. Children explain how to correct their error.

Day 3 Teaching
Share slide 9 ‘How to draw a funny picture’. Highlight that these are instructions. Children follow the instructions, and compare their drawing with the sample drawing. Discuss why the instructions are misleading.
Activity
Children choose a pair of ‘fruit-twins’ to write their own simple instructions for a fruit-twin drawing, playing with single and plural apostrophes to make the resulting drawing funny.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar PowerPoint: Apostrophes for Possession
Revise how apostrophes can be used to show possession, including singular and plural nouns. Investigate common errors and identify correct usage.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Introduction to explanation texts
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Explore Techniques for Feathers pages from The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas, noting the instruction text and explanation text. Recap the features of an explanation and find adverbs for time in the piece of text and list them.
Activity
Children read and discuss one of the art explanations using the discussion prompts to explore the text.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise the purpose and impact of conjunctions and adverbs in an explanation text. Watch a clip where Tony Ross explains how he draws Horrid Henry and make a tally of when you hear adverbs and conjunctions.
Activity
In pairs, children write an introduction to an explanation about how Tony Ross draws Horrid Henry. They then use sticky notes to create a sequence of diagrams and captions to explain how it is done.

Day 3 Teaching
Display one of the explanation texts from Day 1 and recap features of an explanation using the poster. Introduce the comprehension task, explaining that today children will discuss the features of an explanation text.
Activity
Give children the animation explanation and comprehension questions. They read the text and answer the questions.

Day 4 Teaching
Show children a moving picture you have made explaining how it works. Children make their own and discuss how the picture seem to move. Model writing the introduction to an explanation of how it works.
Activity
Children make brief notes about their explanation of how the picture appears to move. They include a brief introduction and other features. Children write up their explanation in neat, accurate, joined handwriting.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Pronouns; study of a modern artist
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Optional texts
The Usborne Complete Book of Art ideas by Fiona Watt (or a children’s art book of your choice)
Any arts and crafts ideas books aimed at children

Websites
Who is Bridget Riley? from www.tate.org.uk
Bridget Riley biography from www.op-art.co.uk
Bridget Riley gallery from www.op-art.co.uk

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Pronouns

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Bridget Riley and her art. Explore the Grammar Presentation Pronouns and learn more about Riley. Practise identifying the pronouns and emphasise the distinction between possessive pronouns and possessive determiners.
Activity
Children complete the Pronouns Challenge (see resources), identifying and using pronouns (including possessive pronouns), as well as generating sentences that flow using pronouns.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap pronouns using the presentation. Then read aloud the sentences on the last two slides. Discuss the importance of balancing nouns to pronouns, to ensure that writing is clear, flows, and sits well together. Model editing some writing for this.
Activity
Children look at the two texts on Bridget Riley’s 2019 exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery (see resources). They read them out loud with a partner and edit and improve the writing.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise pronouns and then review the key features of an explanation text. Explain that children will write an explanation entitled: Why is Bridget Riley’s art so popular? Model an introduction, highlighting the nouns and pronouns. Discuss cohesion.
Activity
Children use the introduction as the first section of their short explanation. They use key features and use nouns and pronouns for cohesion.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Pronouns Presentation
Learn how pronouns are used to replace nouns and noun phrases. Explore their cohesive function, reducing repetition and making links through a text and explore what happens if they are used to much or too little.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write instructions and an explanation for an art machine
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas by Fiona Watt (or a children’s art book of your choice)

Optional texts
Any arts and crafts ideas books aimed at children

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Flick through The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas and list the kinds of art activities children like to do. Explain that you have had a brilliant idea for an art machine. Model drawing a diagram of your machine with descriptive captions.
Activity
In pairs, children develop their idea for an art machine. They discuss then design, draw and annotate their own art inventing machine, labelling each process or operation and inventing or using technical language.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss how to approach writing an explanation. Revise features and compare to instructions. Create a comparison table together, linking purpose to features. Remind children of time adverbs and casual conjunctions.
Activity
Children write an introduction to their explanation. They use their annotated diagrams from Day 1 to plan and draft key sections.

Day 3 Teaching
Look through an example explanation and draft and discuss revisions that could be made. Focus on language. Recap on what pronouns do and why we use them. Together, edit a sample explanation that underuses pronouns.
Activity
Children look back through their plan/draft and read it aloud to a partner. Both try to identify effective features as well as areas for development or improvement. They then write the final draft of their explanation focusing on effective use of pronouns.

Day 4 Teaching
Share one or two of the children’s art machine diagrams. Ask who might use these machines. Note that instructions would be needed by users and recap on instruction features. Model writing the first couple of instructions and recap on dictionary skills.
Activity
Children write a set of instructions, aimed at teachers, for their art machine.They include time adverbs and imperative verbs. Children edit their work, using dictionaries to check spellings.