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Sports Zone

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By Bev Long and Judith Mason — Educational Consultants

The game can be used as a whole class shared activity to model the process, then used by small groups of two or three. The children do not compete, but work collaboratively to meet the deadline. The teacher can take on the role of editor to check and approve the writing for ‘publication’.


Playing the game

  • The children should read the task instructions on page one, with support if necessary. To access the resources needed to assemble the report, use the ‘Click to open your computer files’ button.
  • On page two there are nine pictures, three from each of the sports featured: water sports, equestrian events and athletics. The children should drag and drop the pictures onto the lines linked to the name of the appropriate sport. If they try to link the wrong picture to the sport, it will not be accepted.
  • Once all the pictures have been correctly sorted, the children can choose one sport to write about. They do this by clicking onto the heading of the chosen sport.


Talk to the children about the role play scenario to help them understand terms such as deadline, editor and reporter.

Previous learning

It will help if the children have looked at non-chronological reports and have some knowledge of the Olympic Games – eg, from news reports. When the children choose sentences to create their pages of text, they will need some understanding of which are more typical of non-fiction writing and which are more typical of stories. There are some story sentences added as ‘red herrings’ to promote this discussion.

  • On the next page, there is a template of a magazine page and a range of pictures, captions and sentences to choose from. The children should look at the pictures and read the sentences and captions before deciding which ones to use. They can only use one picture and one caption on each page.
  • When they have looked at the information, they can drag and drop the pictures and captions of their choice on to the page. When selecting the sentences, there is one that is more appropriate for story writing than for report writing, and this will bounce back if chosen.
  • When the reporters have finished their page, it should be checked by the editor. If the editor gives the go-ahead, the children should click on the ‘editor check’ button which will show them if they have met the deadline.

Key learning outcomes:

To recognise the main elements that shape different texts and explain organisational features – eg, captions, layout; To distinguish fiction/non-fiction texts and the purposes for reading them; To group written sentences together in chunks of meaning/subject.

Follow-up activities

After the children have played with the on-screen resource they can research these or other Olympic events and produce pages for their own class magazine.

Using the activity sheet

Use the activity sheet as a follow-up activity, focusing on pictures and captions. The children must match the five given captions to a suitable picture, then write their own caption for the one picture which does not have a matching caption.