I find it difficult to find the nonfiction text I want to use in class. I’m fussy, yes, but the texts I want my children to learn from and use as models for their own writing are elusive. It’s easier to write my own. This is a list of variables:
- Content – I want to make sure the text doesn’t miss anything important.
- Depth and detail – I want my kids to build up a richer understanding. I like the strange extra stuff: insect breathing spiracles; the argument between Hooke and Newton; where latin names come from.
- Length – I get an hour per week to teach science. I want the text to be an important part of the lesson, but not the whole thing.
- Layout – not always a labelled diagram. Straight text is good.
- Modelling useful features – I like to use the text as a guide to help pupils write their own versions. Structure and grammar are really important and need to be explored in science texts as in all other texts we want children to read and write.
- Differentiation – if I’ve written my own text, I can adapt it to support pupils who need it. It’s harder to type up and format someone else’s text.
Anyway, I’d like to share one of my texts. Please feel free to use.