Developing children's writing abilities boosts their confidence, creates enjoyment and relevance in the task and cultivates a range of decision-making and problem-solving skills that can then be applied across the curriculum. The Countdown series provides all the support you need in helping children to improve their prose, poetry and non-fiction writing.
Countdown to Non-Fiction Writing is a comprehensive and flexible resource which you can use in different ways. It includes:
- 37 stand-alone modules which cover all aspects of writing and understanding non-fiction texts, including the nature of language, logical thinking, recognising ‘facts’ and planning;
- A countdown flowchart provides an overview, showing how modules are linked and allowing teachers and pupils to track their progress;
- Photocopiable activity sheets for each module that show how to make decisions and solve problems which writers face on the journey to a finished piece of work;
- Teachers’ notes for each module with tips and guidance, including how modules can be used in the classroom, links to other modules and curriculum links, and advice on helping and guiding pupils in their writing;
- A self-study component so pupils can make their own progress through the material. This option gives young writers a sense of independence in thinking about their work and through offering a scaffolding of tasks, encourages confident and effective writing;
- 'Headers' for each module showing where along the 'countdown path' you are at that point;
- Contents page for quick access to particular modules and relevant aspects of writing.
In short, Countdown to Non-Fiction Writing saves valuable planning time and gives you all the flexibility you need in helping pupils to prepare for, understand, and write non-fiction. The structure of the book allows teachers to utilise the modules for ‘self-study’, as a longer programme following the ‘countdown’ structure, or to dip into the book for individual lesson activities and ideas to fit in with wider programmes of study.
Table of Contents
Introduction Section 1 – Non-Fiction, Fiction, Truth and Lies 37 How can we tell it’s non fiction? 36 What is a fact? 35 What is an opinion? 34 What is truth? 33 Fact, opinion and wisdom 32 Example of fact and opinion 31 Some tips for writing non fiction – Purpose, audience and style 30 Non fiction text types – Persuading, Instructing, Reporting, Explaining, Recounting, Discussing 29 Types, forms and styles Section 2 – Questioning Skills 28 Be nosy – the importance of questions 27 Types of question – closed, open, specific, general, rhetorical, philosophical 26 It’s OK not to know – feeling comfortable with uncertainty 25 Yes but what does it mean? 24 Interpretation: questioning the answers – and questioning the questions – refining and clarifying questions Section 3 – Evaluating Information 23 Evaluating information 22 Ambiguity (and punctuation) 21 Scepticism 20 Reading between the lines 19 The words in the tones – emotive language Section 4 – Persuasive Writing 18 How to put feelings into writing/the power of generalisations 17 Words that influence (including strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs) 16 The language of advertising – wordplay, puns rhymes, slogans, exaggeration, intriguing questions, embedded suggestions Section 5 - Writing an Argument (Discursive Writing) 15 How to prepare an argument 14 Argument planner 13 Persuasive arguments 12 Does it follow? Logical linking / evidence is strength 11 A note on metaphors 10 Controversial issues / viewpoints 9 Assessing arguments 8 The value of discussion Section 6 - Writing to Inform 7 Some tips 6 Descriptive writing – examples and games 5 Personal and impersonal 4 Directions and instructions 3 Recounting and reporting / news article template 2 Writing a letter Section 7 – Putting it all together 1 Concept maps and making notes Review
A former teacher, Steve Bowkett is now a full-time writer, storyteller, educational consultant and hypnotherapist. He is the author of more than forty books including Jumpstart! Creativity and A Handbook of Creative Learning Activities.
Featured Author Profiles
'If you know that you have a tendency to favour creative over non-fiction when teaching writing techniques, then you really should get hold of this book as soon as possible ... it's an absolute joy from start to finish, and should be given not only to every pupil and teacher in the country, but also to anyone who has ever used the phrase "I'm entitled to my opinion" during the course of a discussion and expected to settle that matter. The modules Steve Bowkett has put together will take pupils on a fascinating, empowering and thoroughly enjoyable journey through language, taking in the nature of truth and reality, the politics of persuasion, and a mysteriously disappeared chicken leg on the way...and at the end of it, they will not only be better writers, but wiser readers, listeners and consumers too. Wonderful.' - Teach Primary