Writing workshop — Writing for different audiences

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By Teresa Saunders the author of Word Power Activities for Years 3 and 4 and Word Power Activities for Years 5 and 6, published by David Fulton

Introduce children to different writing styles using two sample texts on an environmental issue to spur their imaginations

sewerage

In the third of this four-part series, designed to help children write non fiction, the activities, two online texts and picture resource will help develop children’s ability to write about a subject in different ways. Creating the right tone and style in their writing to match purpose and audience is not only an exciting challenge for budding young writers, it is a crucial life skill for all children.

Workshop resource

Download two online texts, ‘Accidental leak of insecticide at Boxbridge Vale’ and ‘Council’s toxic blunder poisons local wildlife’, and use them to focus writing for audience and purpose.

ACTIVITIES Ages 7-11

1. Let’s talk about it

Learning objective: to discuss how writing style, tone and vocabulary can vary depending on purpose and audience.

Initiate valuable classroom talk with the children by reading each piece of text aloud. Explain the purpose of each one. Can the children identify which is which? Can they give reasons for their decision? How did they react to each piece when it was being read aloud? Did the way the text was written influence the way it was read aloud? Talk about the differences between the two styles and the different words and phrases that were used to describe the same thing. Gather evidence by creating a large circle for each sample text. Then invite the children to write phrases from the text inside the circle which reflect the tone and style of each piece – for example:

Text 1: ‘accidental leakage’, ‘unfortunate accident’, ‘successful operation’

Text 2: ‘carelessness’, ‘ecological disaster’, ‘terrible accident’.

The children should then:

  • compare and contrast the content of the two circles and discuss how the phrases inside them differ
  • role play some of the scenes in the texts to reinforce the language differences.
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