Reports

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By Sue Palmer — independent writer and contributor to the NLS

Mountains provide an ideal context for teaching the skills involved in the writing of report text

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The word ‘report’ is frequently used – particularly in the newspaper industry – to refer to a retelling of events, often in order of time. It is not surprising, therefore, that report and recount writing are repeatedly confused. As the skeleton icons below suggest, the retelling of events in chronological order is known as ‘recount’, while report (usually referred to as ‘non-chronological report’ in NLS documents) is descriptive text, telling about the characteristics of something.

Planning report writing is more difficult than planning recount writing. There is no natural progression provided by chronology and so children must devise ways of organising the information for themselves, preferably by categorising it. This involves three main stages:

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