Key areas to teach
Address and revisit the key areas of pupils' learning using a checklist of core skills and concepts to teach to help pupils analyse how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning.
What to teach
There is a range of key areas you might aim to address and revisit over the course of a pupil's learning, including the following.
- Revise knowledge about structure and organisation of main genres of non-fiction texts through shared reading of appropriate texts, asking pupils to predict structure before reading, annotating the text accordingly and drawing up lists of features which can then be used as criteria for their shared writing.
- Describe what writers need to do when transposing texts across forms and genres, such as a book into a film or vice versa.
- Recognise when texts are not well organised to support the reader, through poor signposting or prioritisation, and how to suggest appropriate changes.
- Describe the ways in which a text exploits the features of a text type, for example, for comic effect.
- Identify the ways in which the same information is presented in different media. Suggest why the differences are there both from the demands of the text type and the needs of audience and purpose.
- Read and analyse how writers of non-fiction and media texts (including web pages) use titles, headings and subheadings, illustrations and pictures, font size and style, graphs, tables, diagrams and bullet points, and moving images (sequencing, framing, speech and sound).
- Describe the reasons for book and DVD cover choices, how they relate to the text as a whole and their effect on the reader.
- Recognise particular types of poem or genre and describe some of their structural and organisational features.
- Recognise what effect the choice of form has on the way the content is organised.
- Recognise the various ways in which writers prepare readers for the ending of their texts.
- Evaluate what impact a text has on its reader through its organisation and development.
- Organise paragraphs in non-fiction, such as the way in which topic sentences are supported by evidence later in the paragraph.
- Use text convention checklists to help in commenting as fully as possible on the structure and organisation of texts.
- Comment on the effect of word choice and sentence structure as a feature of the writer’s organisation of the text.
- Discuss why a writer chooses a particular way of organising a text.
- Recognise that non-fiction texts, poetry and drama are crafted differently from novels and short stories, for example, setting and character in drama have visual and aural dimensions.
- Recognise that the genre/form of a text can relate to the structure, for example, a detective story or romance.
- Analyse the structure and impact of key parts of a text – opening, climactic points, ending.
- Recognise that writers of narrative fiction can use a variety of structural techniques – flashback, juxtaposition.
- Recognise how texts are crafted – this could include varying the length and focus of sentences to affect meaning; interweaving action, dialogue and description for effect; using impersonal constructions; withholding information; using short sentences to create tension; foreshadowing; and using motifs.
- Recognise structural features of narrative, including narrative hooks, cliffhangers and parallel narrative (running on different time lines).