Using leaflets in English lessons

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By Christine Jenkins

Information leaflets about places of interest or events make a great free resource for a variety of reading, writing and speaking activities.

In the National Curriculum (2014), pupils in Years 5 and 6 are expected to ‘retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction’ and the accompanying non-statutory guidance refers to ‘reading information leaflets before a gallery or museum visit’. Here are six ways to use leaflets in the classroom which will take the children beyond just skimming through them. Select leaflets which link to other classwork, such as ones related to a trip the children will go on, or ones related to places the children may refer to in Science or Geography.

Leaflets

Leaflet study

This activity could be carried out with several copies of the same leaflet or as a comparison between different leaflets. The children work in pairs to read their leaflet carefully and then closely examine the leaflet in order to respond to some key questions about its purpose, audience, layout features and language. Encourage them to think about how the layout and language features support the informative and persuasive purpose of most leaflets.

  1. Do you think your leaflet is aimed at any particular audience? Are there parts which are aimed at different audiences? (e.g. things which would appeal to children or adults?)
  2. What is the purpose of your leaflet?
  3. Look at the use of headings and subheadings. Are they helpful? Why?
  4. Has colour been used for the text? How does this help?
  5. Are there any shaped boxes containing text? What do you think is the reason for these being used?
  6. How are pictures used? What is the balance of text to pictures? Are the pictures effective? Why?
  7. Does the leaflet contain any descriptive language? Find an effective example.
  8. Have any imperative verbs been used? What effect does this have?
  9. Are there any questions in your leaflet? Why do you think they have been included?
  10. Are there any superlatives used in your leaflet (e.g. biggest, newest, oldest)? Why do you think they have been included?
  11. Are any numbers included on your leaflet (e.g. prices, opening times etc)? Are these helpful? Why?
  12. Do you think your leaflet achieves its purpose successfully? If you had to improve one thing about it, what would it be?
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