English: Teaching non-fiction texts

Nicola Davison
19th November 2018
English, secondary, non-fiction text, non-fiction writing, AFOREST, scheme of work, lesson, creative, KS3, KS4, GCSE, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11

Resources to help pupils get to grips with the features of non-fiction writing

National Non-Fiction November, organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, is an annual celebration of non-fiction texts. Why not take this opportunity to explore non-fiction texts with your KS3 or KS4 classes? We have selected a range of top resources to support you in enabling students to analyse, compare and respond to specific types of non-fiction text as well as to write their own. 

Complete lessons

Use these fully resourced lessons to support your students in analysing non-fiction texts by looking at a charity advert and comparing the features of a range of non-fiction texts. They can then practise their non-fiction writing skills by writing a formal letter of complaint or writing an opinion piece about poverty.

Resources for RSPCA non-fiction analysis

Here are the resources I used when planning a lesson (year 9 and year 10) on analysisng a non-fiction text. I used actual RSPCA resources from their website (included) and then differentiated worksheets and flashcards. Focus of the lesson was RAF4. I used the RSPCA 'envelope' resource and glued it onto the front of an A% envelope. Then I placed all of the RSPCA resources in there. In the white space on the front of their envelope I palced their name, as if it was addressed to them directly. The 'Learning OUtcome' and 'now for the hard bit' sheets were phtocopied back to back.
By fluffykat_9

AQA Language Unit 1 - Comparing Language (Q4)

A broad introduction to the fourth question of the 'Reading' section of AQA's Unit 1: 'Understanding and producing non-fiction texts'. These lessons and resources give students an opportunity to work on the skills needed for this section of the AQA English Language exam. For the texts used in these lessons, see resources for Retrieval, Presentational Devices and Inference.
By Daniel Ingman

GSCE Letter Writing

This thirty-slide powerpoint gives students two examples of letters written to the local council to object to the building of three houses on a residential road. Students compare the letters looking for similarities and differences, as well as evaluating which of the two is the best. They are then given the task to write to their council objecting to the proposal to build an office block in the middle of the local park. There is some information about the importance and history of parks to generate interest and enthusiasm for the task. Students then generate ideas together for the content and the structure of the task. Finally students write the letter. The folder also contains a Word copy of the two letters. All resources fully adaptable.

By brahma

Writing to Argue

A fully differentiated resource that engages KS3 and KS4 students with the key features of writing to argue pieces, provides a modelled example and allows students to evaluate the impact of their own writing.
By Lead_Practitioner

Revision mats and displays

We have selected this range of revision mats and displays to help students memorise the language techniques and features that they will need to analyse and write non-fiction texts effectively.

AFOREST Support Mat

An easy to use reminder of the AFOREST technique for students. Each school has its own take on AFOREST, so if anyone wishes to have the template to insert your own school's terms or definitions, just comment below. All feedback welcome. Thanks!
By DJames90

GCSE English Language Non-Fiction Writing Mat

A visual placemat or classroom display resource to aid GCSE students with revision and prepare for their GCSE examination.

The resource covers aspects from the Non-Fiction paper- persuasive devices, punctuation and structure.

Also a great resource to help SEN students with their writing in the classroom/on their desk

Print and laminate!

Suitable for KS3/4/GCSE/SEN

By littlemissteacheruk

Language and presentational devices (EAL, mixed)

A worksheet designed to help students (EAL and mixed ability) understand the main language and presentational devices. For each device, there is a definition, example and explaination of the effect on the reader. This was originally created as a revision aid for EAL students to prepare them for KS3 end of year assessment, but can also be used to help mixed ability students with KS3 end of year assessments and GCSE/IGCSE.
By clacla185

Purposes/types of Writing - posters/display/handout

A bright, colourful collection of posters explaining the different purposes of writing.
Includes a page on each - writing to persuade, inform, instruct, argue, advise, entertain and describe.
Could be printed as posters, cards, handouts or revision packs. Perfect for FS or GCSE learners.
By lucyhermitage

Tasks and activities

These activities would make perfect homework tasks or starters - including creative non-fiction writing prompts, a language features wordsearch and matching activity, and a selection of exemplar texts.

GCSE English Language Features Wordsearch

Easy to read wordsearch includes a table so the learners can provide a definition for the words they find in the grid.

Perfect for GCSE English Language revision or Functional Skills Level 2.

By Rachel___

Matching activity on persuasive writing techniques

persuasive writing techniques skills language devices
By hm8g10

Creative Writing: Non-Fiction Prompts

10 visual prompts for non-fiction writing. Great for a one-off lesson or cover work. Suitable for all ages/abilities (KS2/KS3/KS4)
By jamestickle86

Advise, Argue, Persuade, Explain

It’s hard work finding quality GCSE model writing answers, and even harder work writing them yourself, especially at a high level.

Here, you will find four model answers to show your high-level GCSE pupils.

This resource contains four Word docs:

  1. A leaflet to advise
  2. An article to argue
  3. A letter to persuade
  4. An essay to explain

All four answers focus on a question around homework. This enables pupils to realise that the same topic can be approached in different ways, styles and genres- that it is in the crafting where many of the marks can be found.

At the end of each answer, pupils are asked to reflect on the significance of style and genre.

Save yourself some time; use these exemplars successfully taught to high-level GCSE pupils.

(There’s an extra piece of writing here for you for just £1: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/high-level-exemplar-persuasive-speech-12021164 )

Best wishes,


By englbee

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