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Why is flooding in this country on the increase?

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By David Claytonauthor

The poster text poses a series of questions about the issue of flooding in the UK, followed by some simple explanations of the elements involved. It demonstrates a range of organisational and stylistic features typical of the genre, and introduces some technical vocabulary.


Shared teaching and learning

Before reading

  • Discuss weather events in the headlines. Have any happened in the UK recently? Discuss the effects of flooding as reported in the news.
  • Why do rivers flood? Assess what the children already know.

Previous learning

Children should be familiar with the differences between narrative and non-narrative texts, and be able to identify some of the features of an explanation text.

Shared reading

  • Discuss the poster’s presentation. How do we know it is non-fiction?
  • Point out that all the subheadings are questions. What will the text underneath each subheading do? Establish that this is explanation text.
  • Ask volunteers to read each section. Collect unfamiliar words, modelling strategies for pronouncing them. Use dictionaries and contextual clues to work out meanings.
  • Summarise the main points of each section in note form. How do the diagrams aid understanding?


  • Invite children to explain why we sometimes have wet weather and sometimes dry. Why can this happen both in summer and in winter?
  • How is the section on the water cycle organised? What other ways are there of sequencing the stages?
  • Why might people build near rivers, despite flooding risks?
  • Are rivers more likely to flood at certain times of the year, or when the wind is in a certain direction? Refer to the text to justify hypotheses.
  • Why does the section Is flooding on the increase? start ‘Many scientists believe…’? What do we understand by ‘However, it is certain that…’?
  • Find complex sentences and identify the main clauses. Identify different ways in which additional information is incorporated. Which complex sentences have a cause and effect structure? Notice how -ing verbs are used to start the effect part.

Key learning outcomes:

Year 3

  • To explain a process;
  • To develop specific vocabulary in context;
  • To write non-narrative texts;
  • To use technical vocabulary accurately;
  • To write complex sentences.

Year 4

  • To identify evidence to support hypotheses;
  • To identify how ideas are developed in non-fiction;
  • To interrogate a text to deepen understanding;
  • To use clauses to clarify meaning;
  • To write non-narrative texts.

Comprehension questions

  • What sort of weather can we expect if the wind is coming across Europe from the direction of the North Pole? What do we call this kind of weather system?
  • What time of year do we have rain?
  • What happens to water vapour in clouds when they rise up over hills?
  • What problems are caused by floods?
  • Why do some scientists blame global warming for the increased flooding?
  • Which of the solutions suggested do you think is the best? Explain why.

Group and independent activities

Speaking and listening

  • Role play as weather reporters, using the poster for predictions.
  • Discuss the drawbacks/advantages of each proposed solution to flooding.
  • Create a glossary of technical vocabulary (See on-screen resource 2).
  • Draw a diagram of the water cycle, adding more detailed captions.
  • Use the activity sheet below to create flow diagrams about the oxygen cycle.

Extension activities

  • Research flooding on the Nile. Explain how it benefits local people.
  • Find out about weather in a tropical rainforest. How does its location affect rainfall and temperature?
  • Use knowledge of evaporation and condensation to explain why water drops appear on a cold glass, or why the bathroom mirror steams up.


  • Create a toolkit for a good explanation text.
  • Evaluate the weather reports/water cycle explanations.
  • Share feedback on suggested solutions to flooding.


  1. Smunir
    on 20 January 2015


    Exactly what I was looking for, a text with features analysis.

    5out of 5