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Year 2 Non-fiction Unit 2 – Explanations

Explanations (3 weeks)

This unit is the second in a block of four non-fiction units in Year 2. It can be linked to many curriculum subjects or themes in which a process needs to be understood. This could include any life cycle, for example sunflowers, tadpoles, ourselves, or work on forces and movement or sound and hearing. It is important that children have the chance to carry out the practical activity, be it an investigation, experiment or construction task, so that they can draw on first-hand experience of the process.

Phase 1

Read a range of non-fiction texts, identifying organisational features of the text including index pages, glossary and title pages. Construct a glossary of words drawn from another curriculum area. Discuss how diagrams, charts, labels and captions are used in non-fiction texts.

Phase 2

Investigate and record the key features of explanation texts. Demonstrate how to organise stages in a process using time and causal connectives.

Phase 3

Revisit and clarify the key features of the text-type. Construct a pictorial flow chart based on an investigation from another curriculum area.

Phase 4

Demonstrate how to write an explanation text using causal connectives to create whole-text cohesion. Children write their own explanation text sequenced correctly and using causal connectives to link sections of the text.


Link this unit to a curriculum area such as science or design and technology in which a process needs to be understood. Carry out the practical activity, for example experiment, investigation, construction task, so that children have first-hand experience of the process. Lead the children in the creation of a flowchart or cyclical diagram to explain the process. Model an oral explanation of the process using the flowchart and appropriate physical gestures. Give the children the opportunity to explain the same process orally also using language and gestures appropriately. Show the children a flowchart or cyclical diagram explaining another process and support their reading before asking them to read others independently. Following another practical task, children produce a simple flowchart or cyclical diagram independently.

1998 Framework objectives covered:

Year 2, Term 2: T19 read flowcharts and cyclical diagrams that explain a process; T21 produce simple flow charts or diagrams that explain a process.


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