Non-fiction

English Year 5 Spring Information Texts

Reference Texts

Look at remarkable facts, common beliefs and reference texts. Learn whether you should believe – or not! Study modal verbs/adverbs and relative clauses.

The planning and resource documents for each session in this English block are free to all users.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Exploring certainty and bias
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
True or False? Dorling Kindersley

Optional Texts
Ripley’s Believe it Or Not (2018)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and discuss surprising statements from True or False? by Dorling Kindersley. Decide whether or not they are believable, giving reasons for judgments.
Activity
Work in small groups to agree judgments about the believability of further statements. Talk about the basis for making judgments.

Day 2 Teaching
Introduce the book True or False? by Dorling Kindersley. Use this to revise the features of reference texts.
Activity
Use extracts from the book to investigate research statements, recording findings and choosing a favourite ‘Fast Fact’. Discuss and debate the reliability of the book itself.

Day 3 Teaching
Read a newspaper article about fish ‘speaking in regional accents’. Discuss the features of the article and its likely audience. Talk about its reliability and how it could be checked.
Activity
Read other newspaper articles about the same story. Discuss their purpose, audience, clarity, style and reliability. Use these articles to introduce the idea of bias.

Day 4 Teaching
Use the Fish articles to see how word choice can change the emphasis of writing. Discuss two further examples of this, seeing just how strong the overall effect can be. Revise how to use a thesaurus.
Activity
Work with a partner to make word changes to write very positive and very negative versions of captions from Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Read these together and discuss how we can learn to spot bias.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Identifying and Using Adverbs of Certainty
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
True or False by Dorling Kindersley

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Adverbs of Certainty

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read a chapter from True or False? by Dorling Kindersley. Discuss some quotes from other children about this chapter, that use adverbs of certainty and then teach these using a Powerpoint.
Activity
Explore six sentences about True or False? that use adverbs of certainty. Change the adverbs and explore the effect of changing word order. Start to learn to spell adverbs of certainty.

Day 2 Teaching
Read some responses from children to a statement about ostriches from True or False? Discuss how these responses use adverbs of certainty.
Activity
Discuss ideas about a True or False statement with a partner and then write about these using adverbs of certainty. Practise spelling adverbs of certainty.

Day 3 Teaching
Read a child’s summary of their learning from True or False? and identify the use of adverbs of certainty in this.
Activity
Read about the statement discussed on Day 2 and then summarise learning using adverbs of certainty. Test spelling of adverbs of certainty.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

SPAG PowerPoint: Adverbs of Certainty
This is a short PowerPoint which revises the use of adverbs to modify verbs in the context of wanting to indicate a degree of certainty or possibility.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Understanding the basis of accurate research from reference texts
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
True or False? by Dorling Kindersley

Optional Texts
Strange but True by Andrea Mills, 2015

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss possible explanations for a bizarre and surprising image and start to think about different sources of information.
Activity
Read texts from Facebook, Twitter, a reference book, a website and an academic book, each of which provides a different explanation for the image and discuss the reliability of these sources.

Day 2 Teaching
Listen to a short presentation about Wikipedia and discuss this with partners and as a whole class.
Activity
Carry out a whole-class collaborative, paper-based Wikipedia simulation in order to better understand the process of its construction.

Day 3 Teaching
Read a page from DK True or False? and discuss the facts and information that includes. Choose topics to research using Wikipedia.
Activity
Use Wikipedia to research topics and to make notes about these.

Day 4 Teaching
Read another page from DK True or False? and look in particular at the style and content of the ‘Fast Fact’ sections.
Activity
Write ‘Fast Facts’ using the research notes from Day 3. Talk about why anyone would trust these reference texts.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Using modal Verbs to indicate degrees of possibility
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
True or False? by Dorling Kindersley
Strange but True by Andrea Mills

Optional Texts
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
(2018)

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Using Modal Verbs

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read about some True or False statements in Strange but True. Use modal verbs to show how these statements are not entirely true or false. Use a Powerpoint to teach how modal verbs are used.
Activity
Read extracts from Strange but True and match them to summary headings that use modal verbs.

Day 2 Teaching
Talk about how some reference texts aim to create curiosity and a sense of wonder. Speculate about an image from Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Use a Powerpoint to teach how modal verbs can be used for speculation.
Activity
Work in a small group to speculate about further statements, using modal verbs to express confident speculations or less confident suggestions.

Day 3 Teaching
Look at two chapters in True or False?, one to do with the past and one the future. Use a Powerpoint to teach how modal verbs can be used when writing about the past or the future.
Activity
Write about a past or future scenario using modal verbs.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

SPAG PowerPoint: Using Modal Verbs
Children are shown how modal verbs are placed in front of the active verb in a sentence and can be used to modify a verb by indicating how certain or possible something is.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Writing well-researched reference texts
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
True or False? by Dorling Kindersley

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss the reliability of printed and internet reference texts. Introduce the week’s focus: writing a reference text.
Activity
Decide a topic for research, devise a research plan, read and make notes from a range of sources.

Day 2 Teaching
Make a class success criteria list for reference texts. Introduce Planning Skeletons or another planning format.
Activity
Plan research text, researching any needed additional information.

Day 3 Teaching
Model the formal register that is often used in reference texts. Draft example sentences and alter these to find an appropriate tone.
Activity
Write first drafts of reference texts, reading sentences aloud as they are written.

Day 4 Teaching
Evaluate an example first draft reference text. Identify positive features and demonstrate how to make a plan for editing and improving.
Activity
Work with partners to improve writing. Decide how they should be published.