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Let’s find out about Beijing

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By Kay Clifford — Early Years Leader and adult tutor

This poster gives children a flavour of life in Beijing. It features some difficult vocabulary and is most suitable for Y2 readers. However, Y1 children will enjoy the text and will be able to read many of the words in a shared reading session.


Shared learning and teaching

  • Look at the poster together and ask the children what they think it might be about. Refer to the title, photographs and headings. What type of text is it?
  • Ask the children if they know anything about Beijing. Write the facts they know in the K section of a KWFL grid like the one in the activity sheet. This can be enlarged to A3 to be shared with the class or downloaded for the IWB from It doesn’t matter if some of the children’s facts are not quite right – they can check facts later when they have found out more information about Beijing.
  • Ask the children if there is anything they would like to find out about Beijing. * In pairs, compose questions. Remind them that questions begin with words such as: Where…? Who…? Why…? How…? What….? Share the questions, writing them on the class copy of the KWFL grid.
  • Choose one question and model finding the answer. Read that section of the text together. Remind the children to use previous reading strategies to decode the text. Do the same with another question.
  • During the next shared class session look at the F part of the KWFL grid (How did I find it out?). Ask how they have been finding out about Beijing. Add the ideas to the grid.
  • Read the poster through together. Tell the children you will be asking what they have learned about Beijing at the end of the session. Record ideas in the L section of the KWFL grid.
  • Compare what the children have learned (L) to what they knew (K) at the beginning.

Previous learning

Children should: be able to distinguish fiction and non-fiction texts and the different purposes for reading them; have some experience of writing simple non-fiction texts and recognise the features that shape non-fiction texts.


Find additional non-fiction texts about Beijing to widen the children’s knowledge about the city. Download some pages about Beijing from the internet.

Guided and group activities

  • Make books about Beijing. Use the poster, other non-fiction books, the KWFL grid and the internet to find information. Use headings, pictures, labels, information boxes, captions, bullet points, etc.
  • Give children their own KWFL grid (see activity sheet below) to complete as they think of questions they want to know or find out useful information.
  • Ask them to write a postcard/letter from Bejing to their family, pretending they are at the Olympic Games.
  • Build an Olympic City in a small world tray, with signposts and labels describing each area.
  • Write a programme for a Sports Day, naming events to be included.
  • Make a poster about a city/town/village the children are familiar with.
  • Create a tourist information office in the role-play area with information about Beijing in it – eg, books, leaflets and posters the children have made, pictures of attractions, articles from magazines or the internet, postcards.

Key learning outcomes:

To recognise automatically an increasing number of HF words;

To recognise the main elements that shape different texts;

To independently plan what to write and draw ideas together;

To write non-chronological texts using simple structures;

To ask and answer questions about the text.

Useful website

The Beijing Tourism Administration website has information on the culture and sights of the city


  • Share the individual KWFL grids and transfer information onto the class grid. Ask the children to try to answer each other’s questions, or to suggest places to look for answers.
  • Read some of the postcards that have been produced – do they give a good flavour of what there is to do and see in Beijing?



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