Texts that Teach
There are a great many wonderful texts out there to share with children. However, we very carefully select ones we base our teaching sequences on to ensure they offer all of the following:
- something worth discussing;
- rich language to explore;
- structures (text and grammatical) that can be replicated to inspire pupils' original compositions.
We regularly add to these. See below for our newest titles...
New Texts that Teach Y1/2
Creature Features: Dinosaurs by Natasha Durley
This is a vibrant information book about dinosaurs, organised according to their common features.
It provides a good model for teaching about sentence types - questions, commands; adjectives and noun phrases; vocabulary.
A mouse called Julian by Joe Todd-Stanton
Julian is a mouse who is perfectly happy avoiding other animals. But one day, Julian has an unexpected dinner guest... When the fox tries to sneak into Julian's burrow for a tasty bite of mouse, it finds itself stuck headfirst in Julian's front door! At first alarmed and wary, they soon find themselves having a lovely dinner together, and it's not long before each realises that they have found in the other a lifelong friend.
You might use this to learn about co-ordination with and/but, verbs and the past tense.
New Texts that Teach Y3/4
Everest by Sangma Francis and Lisk Feng
‘This is… the story of the mountain that is tallest of them all…’ This information book makes use of several different text types to communicate a sense of awe and wonder about Everest and the many aspects of this special place, past and present.
We suggest it's a good text to teach about expanded noun phrases, prepositional phrases, vocabulary, present perfect verb form, noun and pronoun referencing.
Carry Me Away – Poems by Matt Goodfellow
This is the first published collection of poems by Matt Goodfellow, a poet and primary school teacher. The poems are wide-ranging and vary in their complexity and mood. This sequence focuses on two animal poems and would be ideal to teach alongside a curriculum topic on animal characteristics or following a non-fiction unit with a text on animals e.g. An Anthology of Intriguing Animals or Everything You Need To Know About Snakes.
It would also be well worth exploring the collection further in guided reading sessions or in another teaching sequence for writing.
Activities are suggested that focus on the following elements: noun phrases with pre-modification and post-modification using prepositional phrases; vocabulary; words and phrases for conveying precise imagery including metaphor, rhyme and alliteration; words and phrases for information linked to non-fiction.
New Texts that Teach Y5/6
Everest by Alexandra Stewart, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton
This fascinating book is an incredibly detailed account of the ascent of Everest. It tells the human story before, during and after the event, through biographical reports and a variety of other text forms and presentational elements. Great model for writing about other key historical events.
This sequence is good for teaching about cohesion, particularly adverbials. It also focuses on verb forms - perfect, passive and modal - and expanded nouns.
The Dictionary of Difficult Words by Jane Solomon, illustrated by Louise Lockhart
This is a book to pore over! It’s packed with some of the most unusual, fascinating and downright delicious words in the English language – perfect for burgeoning sesquipedalians!
It's a great one for teaching vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary... particularly through exploring word learning strategies. The latter half of the sequence focuses on selecting language appropriate to text form, audience and purpose and there is some opportunity for teaching about semi-colons, if teachers wish to.