Non-fiction

English Year 4 Spring Persuasive Writing

Save the Rainforests!

Cherish rainforests, persuading others to do so too, with Where the Forest Meets the Sea and The Vanishing Rainforest. Expand noun phrases and revise possessive apostrophes.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Rainforests and why they are important; persuasive text structure
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Where the Forest Meets the Sea and discuss the message that the book is trying to get across. Explore each page and the hidden messages that are inferred. Note that this is a persuasive text.
Activity
Children discuss the book with a partner using the Analysis Frame to guide their discussion and to record ideas.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss what persuasion is, exploring the key structural features. List the different forms of persuasive text and discuss the importance of fact gathering in order to persuade someone about an issue. Model researching using books and the Internet.
Activity
Children research using a range of resources and make notes on sticky notes.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap the structure of a persuasive text and identify key sections. Explain that children will use their research to plan a persuasive text in the form of a poster.
Model write sections and explain how to make each fact into a short paragraph.
Activity
Children discuss in groups and plan the different sections they need. They compose their facts into short paragraphs starting with a sentence that sums up the subject of that paragraph.

Day 4 Teaching
Share some poster drafts from Day 3, highlighting effective features and how they promote the persuasive nature of the poster. Discuss how to improve sections for accuracy and how to lay out the sections to best effect.
Activity
Children support each other to make improvements to drafts before writing out neatly and assembling to make a poster.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Expanded noun phrases (adjectives, adverbs, preposition phrases)
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Re-share Where the Forest Meets the Sea, discussing children’s favourite pages.
Focus on one page and get children to describe it. Revise noun phrases using the Grammar Presentation then model building some expanded noun phrases.
Activity
Children work in pairs to list nouns from one of the book images, and then use these to build expanded noun phrases. They discuss the type of words they are using (determiner, adjectives, adverbs, nouns).

Day 2 Teaching
Revisit the Grammar Presentation, recapping from Day 1 then explore prepositional phrases which expand noun phrases. Give children noun phrases for them to add prepositional phrase on to.
Activity
Children add prepositional phrases to their noun phrases from Day 1, further expanding them. Children record their phrases on leaf shapes for display.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap on expanded noun phrases using the Grammar Presentation. Then explore how expanded noun phrases can be used when persuading. Explore and model writing the start of a description of an image.
Activity
Children write a description of their focus image, using expanded noun phrases that include some prepositional phrases. Once complete, they re-join their partner and share their writing. How are the descriptions similar? How do they differ?

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases
Revise how noun phrases can be expanded using adjectives, adverbs and additional nouns. Explore how prepositions and prepositional phrases can expand noun phrases further. Make links to writing emotively and persuasively.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Protecting rainforests: persuasive speeches and letters
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt. Discuss the use of fiction to introduce the issues and whether they think this works well. Explore the Persuasive Writing poster and briefly go through the key language features.
Activity
Children read the speech bubbles from Persuading Through Fiction: Opinions with a partner. They discuss the different opinions and underline or circle examples of persuasive language features.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap persuasive writing language features and explore examples you collected at the end of Day 1. Revisit the book to find examples of people trying to persuade. Plan and improvise what Grandfather might say to persuade of his point of view.

Activity

Children choose another character and plan and rehearse the arguments for the particular point of view of that person. They present a short improvisation to the class and discuss if they were able to convey their feelings to their audience.

Day 3 Teaching
Reread/recap The Vanishing Rainforest and then read ‘Why Rainforests Matter’. Note aspects that might be incorporated into a letter persuading the timber workers to preserve the rainforests. Introduce the Letter Writing Planning Frame.
Activity
Children plan out their letter ideas, including: an introduction, the 2 or 3 points of their argument, and a summing up paragraph. They begin to draft the introductions to their letters.

Day 4 Teaching
Recap how to draft a letter then discuss and model how to draft the introduction to the letter. Use persuasive language features before highlighting how each point will be organised into paragraphs.
Activity
Children write their letters to the timber workers. They incorporate a range of persuasive language in their writing. They read their letter to a partner and feedback about effective use of persuasive language.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Apostrophes for possession (singular and plural)
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt

Websites
How to use possessive apostrophes from bbc.co.uk

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share the Grammar Presentation: Possessive Apostrophes, exploring and revising the differences between plural s and possessive s, and the singular and plural possessive apostrophe. Discuss examples.
Activity
Children use the Apostrophe: Identify, Insert, Use sheet to develop their understanding of the possessive apostrophe further.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap apostrophes. Recap/reread The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt and then explore questions about the text which require a possessive apostrophe in the answer. Model answering and recording the examples with the children.
Activity
Children read through the Rainforest Questions and then answer them in full sentences, using possessive apostrophes. They discuss and rationalise with a partner where and why they have positioned the apostrophes.

Day 3 Teaching
Use the Grammar Presentation to consolidate understanding of apostrophes. Ask if children think they could teach use of possessive apostrophes to a Year 3 child and note down the key points they would need to include.
Activity
Children use the list of key points to design a booklet or poster to teach Year 3 child how to use possessive apostrophes. They explain the rules, give examples, and design a quiz (with correct answers!).

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Possessive Apostrophes
Revise the difference between plural and possessive ‘s’ and then explore how possession is expressed when a noun already ends in ‘s’. Spot errors in usage, explaining how to correct these and practise application by answering questions about possession.

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

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Look at The Vanishing Rainforest, noting that it was written in 2003. Read the last page; discuss what has happened since using online data. Recap persuasive texts and explain that children are going to write a persuasive blog post, about the rainforests.
Activity
Working in pairs, children use previous research and add to this as they plan their blog post. They ensure that they have key points for each section.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss the Features of Persuasive Writing poster then borrow one of the plans from Day 1 and model writing a brief introduction and one of the point paragraphs. Remind children that we can write emotively using expanded noun phrases.
Activity
Children start to write their blog entry onto the Blog Writing Template. Children write the first line of each paragraph so that it indicates the topic of the paragraph and incorporate expanded noun phrases.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap the features of persuasive writing as children reflect on their writing from Day 2, with a partner. Take feedback and note anything that children need to work on, discussing how to make improvements.
Activity
Children draft the ending of their blog, ensuring that their final paragraph is the most emotive and includes a call to action. They then reread it with a partner, looking for opportunities to improve their use of persuasive language.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss the writing improvements completed so far noting how easy it is to edit a digital document. Discuss punctuation and spelling, exploring how to use an online and offline dictionary to correct errors.
Activity
Children finish improving their use of persuasive language and overall persuasive impact. They check spelling using dictionaries (either real or electronic) and check for punctuation errors, readying their articles to go live.