Why do this project?

By writing about what they know and care about, children learn that they can use their expertise to inspire and awaken the minds and hearts of others.

Explanation texts are a gift. All of us ‘own’ knowledge capital. Indeed, many people make great sums of money from disseminating this capital. Others, though, choose to share their knowledge freely because of the joy and the benefits it can bring to other people. It teaches your reader something, and this is the wonderful thing that children will learn during the project. This introduction itself is an explanation text. You can tell because it does three things:

  1. It says what an explanation text is.
  2. It says why it is a useful genre for children to write.
  3. It says how it is best taught.

By Year 5, children will be very familiar with reading and writing information texts. Explanation texts are very similar, but where an information text simply tells you what something is like, an explanation text goes on to explain how and why things happen. Explanation texts are probably the type of non-fiction that children will read most as they go through school.

Children know about many things that their peers or adults around them know nothing about. It can be very rewarding and self-affirming to share this knowledge through writing. Children will become aware that they have valuable expertise to pass on to others. This class writing project will show children that sharing knowledge is often an enjoyable, social and satisfying thing to do. You and your class will begin to appreciate the pockets of ‘communities’ that make up a writing classroom, with children talking and sharing with others their passions, interests and parts of their lives. It is important that children understand the power of writing to explain and inform but also experience it as a social resource.

Every day, children explain things so that others can understand them. They often have to explain things to adults. There may be many topics from the lives and cultures of your pupils that you don’t know much about, so this writing project is an opportunity for your pupils to teach you a thing or two!

Explanations can be about something physical in the world (such as geography), things people do or even abstract ideas. It is best to write an explanation text on a topic you know a lot about. Think: do I know exactly why something happens? Or exactly how something works? Could this be useful to somebody else?

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

  • Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
  • Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor texts
  • Over 45 writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
  • Suggested book list for your classroom library

+ Our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:

  • Year 5 purpose and audience writing wheel
  • Publishing and performance menu
  • 4 exemplar texts
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Dabbling and drafting advice
  • Revision checklist
  • Editing checklist

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing



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