Primary English: Teaching explanation texts

There are always particular genres which primary teachers love to teach and those which they don’t. I love teaching narrative, poetry and persuasive texts, but until recently, I never really liked teaching explanation texts. I’ve just finished teaching a unit on explanation texts  and I loved it. I came up with a new strategy which worked really well, and the texts my students produced were really good.

After deconstructing  various explanation texts and looking at the features of explanation texts my students were ready to write their own. The method I used was:

1. View video footage of selected topic.
2. Write a list of technical words and a list of verbs.
3. Read information texts on the topic and add to current word lists.
4. Create a flow chart or diagram of how or why something works/is (the topic). On the diagram students need to add technical words and verbs.
5. Shut down device (this reduces the temptation to copy for the Internet) and then use your word lists and diagram to write an explanation text about the topic.

Two really good topics which enabled students to achieve great outcomes were: (1) Why volcanoes erupt? and (2) How does the water cycle work? For the volcano topic I used this video LINK and for the water cycle I used this video LINK.


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