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Writing text types A practical journal

Published by Prim-Ed Publishing® 2010 www.prim-ed.com Under license to R.I.C. Publications® Copyright© Maureen Hyland 2009 ISBN 978-1-84654-238-1 PR–6236 Copyright Notice No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by an information retrieval system without written permission from the publisher.


Contents Health, wellbeing and who I am

Topic categories................................................ ii Forms of writing.........................................iii – iv Graphic organisers............................................v Before writing checklist..................................vi After writing checklist......................................vi

Reflecting on ‘me’................................ Recount 31 Which option would you choose?....... Report 32 Real person or mirrored image?..... Discussion 33 Bertie’s dilemma................................. Narrative 34 Time for a hobby................................ Procedure 35 Me and my life...................................... Recount 36 Exercising fingers only......................Exposition 37 Hitting the target..............................Explanation 38 Setting things straight........................ Narrative 39 Harmful products................................... Report 40

Sources of energy

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Way back when.................................... Recount 11 To be read by all..................................... Report 12 What’s the alternative?................... Explanation 13 On the road.........................................Exposition 14 Matching the alternatives .............. Procedure 15 When the wind blows...................... Discussion 16 From the source.................................. Narrative 17 From uranium to nuclear energy.... Explanation 18 Changing habits.................................Exposition 19 Getting the message across............. Narrative 20

Environmental issues

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Identifying the causes........................... Report 21 Making a difference............................ Recount 22 A flow-on effect.................................Exposition 23 Once upon a time … ........................ Narrative 24 Change: For better or for worse?...... Recount 25 Save the creatures large and small..... Report 26 Pollution: What is the point?.......... Discussion 27 Warming the ice...............................Explanation 28 The consequences of a spill........... Procedure 29 The growth and logging of forests ............................................................ Discussion 30

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Global concerns

For those in need.............................. Procedure 41 Living in poverty..................................... Report 42 Lending a hand..................................... Recount 43 A time for peace................................ Exposition 44 The heaters and the heated........... Explanation 45 The celebrations of silence............... Narrative 46 The fight for change............................ Recount 47 Financial aid: Your opinion............... Exposition 48 Where life is difficult......................... Narrative 49 Warming up: Our fault or not?........ Discussion 50

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Logged on . ............................................ Recount 1 Mobile phones: At what age?.......... Discussion 2 Way out there........................................ Narrative 3 Online safety........................................ Exposition 4 A good or a bad thing?....................... Discussion 5 Hav u bn 2 ny gr8 movies l8ly?...........Exposition 6 The impact of the inventor................... Recount 7 Technology and a ‘closer world’...... Procedure 8 Making contact..................................Explanation 9 Consuming faster than before............. Report 10

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Impacts of technology

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Notes

Reaching out, stepping up Stepping through life........................... Recount 51 What should Stella do?..................... Narrative 52 Who to turn to? . .............................. Discussion 53 So removed.......................................... Narrative 54 More than headlines........................ Exposition 55 Fulfilling a dream............................... Procedure 56 Looking back......................................... Recount 57 Is it just me?...................................... Discussion 58 On the horizon........................................ Report 59 Weighing up the options................. Explanation 60

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Topic categories

Impacts of technology

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Sources of energy

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Each journal page provides you with a new writing topic. The topics have been grouped into six categories. The symbols below have been used to indicate the different categories.

Health, wellbeing and who I am

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Environmental issues

Global concerns

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Reaching out, stepping up

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Forms of writing Information about the seven forms of writing is provided below and on the following page. There is a definition and an outline of the structure and special language features to help you to write correctly in each of the formats.

Report

Definition: A narrative is a text that tells a story. Narratives are generally imaginative but can be based on real events. Narratives can be of a variety of forms, such as short stories, myths, poems and fairytales. Text structure: A narrative consists of three parts: (a) an orientation, where the setting is presented, characters introduced and a time set in which the event(s) occur (b) a complication, where problems arise surrounding the main characters (c) a resolution, where the characters’ problems are resolved.

Definition: A report is a text that consists of an organised factual record of events or a classification and description of one or many things. It can be related to the present day or based around something from the past. Text structure: A report begins with a general statement or introduction that indicates the nature of the topic. This is followed by a description of features relevant to the topic. In some cases, this can take on the form of ‘named’ paragraphs or subheadings. It can conclude with a summarising statement. Language features: vocabulary related to specific topic, action verbs, words identifying classifications, descriptive language.

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Narrative

Recount

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Language features: words to link stages in time, adjectives and adverbs for description—use of action verbs, and can be written in first or third person.

Procedure

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Definition: A recount is a text that tells about past experiences or events. It can be based on the author’s personal experience (not always factual) or historical events. Text structure: Most recounts begin with some form of orientation, where the who, what, when, where and why of the text are introduced. This is followed by a chronologically-ordered set of events. There can be some form of concluding statement or re-orientation at the end. Language features: use of past tense, correct sequencing of events, words related to time, action verbs and personal comments.

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Definition: A procedure explains how to make or do something. Text structure: A procedural text begins with an aim. In most cases this is followed by a list of required materials. Ordered actions or steps then outline what or how things need to be done. The text can conclude with an evaluation. Language features: sequential steps, command verbs (e.g. add), words used to link stages of procedure (e.g. next, then), present tense, detailed information.

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Discussion

Definition: An exposition aims to present ideas in the form of a logical argument, encouraging the reader to agree with the writer on the particular issue being addressed. Text structure: The text begins with a statement outlining the writer’s opinion on a specific issue. This is followed by arguments with evidence to support the stance. A conclusion summarises the presentation or suggests that the reader now forms an opinion. Language features: use of topic-related vocabulary, use of connectives to show results of actions, verbs used to express opinion, use of emotive and persuasive language.

Definition: A discussion text examines more than one stance of an issue. Different viewpoints are investigated before a decision or concluding statement is presented. Text structure: A discussion text begins with a general introductory statement that provides some background to the topic or issue. This is followed by arguments for and against the topic under discussion, each with supportive evidence. The text ends with a conclusion to both sides and/or a recommendation. Language features: topic-related words and phrases; verbs, present tense, connectives such as therefore; emotive language used to convince the reader.

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Explanation

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Exposition

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Definition: An explanation is a text that outlines how or why things occur, or how things operate. Text structure: An explanatory text begins with a statement about what is to be explained. This is followed by details of sequential events or stages in operation. It usually ends with some form of concluding statement. Language features: use of topic-specific vocabulary; words that outline cause and effect; words identifying time relationships—for example, following, then; and the use of present tense.

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Graphic organisers Use graphic organisers to help you organise your information before writing.

Concept charts Know

Want to know

Who

Learned

What

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Where When

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Why

5W chart

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KWL chart

elephant

trunk

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Venn diagram

Evaluation

Comparison Interesting

Same

Different

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Minus

BC

C

Concept map

Plus

B

ABC

habitat

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appearance

Compare or contrast

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Concept development

Item 1

Item 2

Characteristic 1

Characteristic 2

Characteristic 3

PMI chart

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T chart

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Before writing checklist • I understand what is required of me. • My thoughts and feelings on the topic are clear.

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• I have carefully researched any information I may need.

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• I have noted any keywords or phrases I may need.

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• I have organised my information in a clear and logical way.

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• I have sketched out a writing plan (sentences/paragraphs/main ideas).

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After writing checklist

• My writing makes sense.

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• My writing is easy to understand. • I have checked my spelling. • I have checked my punctuation. • My facts are correct.

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Logged on

Recount

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Record your weekly use of computers. In the first seven sections, write the date, where you used a computer (for example, home, school, library) and the purpose for which it was used. In the final box, write a conclusion that summarises your use of computers.

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Mobile phones: At what age?

Discussion

An internet forum begins with the question below. Write five replies, each showing very different points of views and supporting arguments. Don’t forget to mention the age of each person who adds a comment because people of different ages often view things quite differently.

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When and why should children own a mobile phone?

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3

Way out there

Narrative

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Use one of these ‘story starters’ to help you write a short narrative play about a communications breakdown in space. The day the wea Internet oice v W ther d h e a fi a i t n t ’s d n t ll n e A h a : d d v i a igationa t on om barde Un r m f o b t g h n l e i s t televis atellites it ion collided s hit one il transm ational a m e . screen Intern ? address! tion! a t S e Spac

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Online safety

Exposition

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Create an email sent to you by a friend who is the victim of cyberbullying. Write your reply email, giving your friend some advice.

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Discussion

A good or a bad thing?

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Your dad showed you this magazine headline: ‘Television cause of breakdown in family communication’. Discussion broke out among all members of your family. Write what each person said and the arguments they presented. Include how the conversation concluded.

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Hav u bn 2 c ny gr8 movies l8ly?

Exposition

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A debate with only one speaker per school has been organised between your school and a neighbouring school. The topic is ‘Text messaging should be taught in primary schools’. In the debate you have to present the affirmative view. How will you argue and sum up your case?

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7

The impact of the inventor

Discussion

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Research an inventor such as Alexander Graham Bell, Cai Lun, Martha Coston, the Wright brothers or Graeme Clark and his/her life-changing invention. Use your notes to write a biography highlighting how this particular invention paved the way for greater communication for people around the world.

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Technology and a ‘closer world’

Procedure

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It’s time to become an inventor. If you had to send a secret message to someone on the other side of a room without walking to him/her and without anyone’s help, how would you go about it? Contemplate these hints: a paper plane, rubber band propulsion, springs, wheels. Plan, design and make your communication device. Once you know it works, write your aim, a list of materials required and step-by-step instructions.

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9

Making contact

Explanation

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Explain how one person can contact another over a considerable distance using a steamship, telegram, telephone, the internet or Morse code.

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10

Consuming faster than before

Report

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Write a report titled: ‘Technology increases food availability’. Use subheadings such as ‘Faster flights’ and ‘Improved refrigeration’ to present different, relevant areas of information.

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11

Way back when

Recount

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Write a factual recount that includes information about the origins of fossil fuels (both in time and composition), as well as where they have been located and extracted. Include a time line to support the information in your text.

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To be read by all

Report

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You have been commissioned to write a lengthy newspaper report on fossil fuels, including their use and availability in the future. Research the topic and then write your article. Remember to write a captivating headline.

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13

What’s the alternative?

Explanation

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Research and take notes on one form of alternative or renewable energy. Use your notes to write an explanation about how this energy can be used as a replacement for a fossil fuel in a home. You will need to discuss its source and any steps or processes needed before it can be used in a home.

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On the road

Exposition

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Plan and write a letter to a large car manufacturing company outlining your concerns and personal opinions regarding the millions of cars constantly using fossil fuels. Having researched renewable fuel options, make some suggestions in your letter about alternatives you believe manufacturers should be opting for and ask whether or not the company has considered future car designs using any of these options.

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15

Matching the alternatives

Procedure

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Write detailed instructions for playing a card game for two or more players using question and answer cards about different forms of energy, such as nuclear, hydro-electric, wind, solar and biomass. You may like to make the cards and play the game.

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When the wind blows

Discussion

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Research the pros and cons of creating wind farms. What arguments do people in favour of the farms use? What arguments do those opposed to their construction use? Create a dialogue among three people—an unbiased interviewer, a person supporting wind farm development and someone opposed to such projects. Present your text as though it was the transcript of a television interview.

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17

From the source

Narrative

Write four more verses for this poem, which is about the flow-on effect of energy. You shone your light All those years ago. You warmed the Earth And the creatures below.

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You were their source Of energy inside Now used by us In the fuels supplied.

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From uranium to nuclear energy

Explanation

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Write an explanation about the process of transforming uranium into nuclear energy. Remember to begin with an introductory statement and then describe the sequence of events required in the process. Include labelled diagrams to support your text.

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19

Changing habits

Exposition

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Create a poster that draws attention to changes you believe we could all make to reduce the amounts of fossil fuels we use. Give your poster an eye-catching heading that highlights its purpose, followed by clearly defined, energy-saving actions you believe everyone should start to adopt.

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Getting the message across

Narrative

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Keeping in mind that a water drop is part of a never-ending cycle and considering the issues related to dwindling fossil fuel supplies, create a story in the form of a comic strip that tells of a water droplet’s desire to become part of a hydro-electric system that generates power.

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21

Identifying the causes

Report

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After researching the problem of climate change, design your own webpage (on the computer or on paper) about this issue. Use your research to write an information report to include on your homepage. List some links that can be used to locate further information.

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Making a difference

Recount

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Research and find information on someone who has put his or her heart into improving some environmental condition. It could be related to pollution, saving forests, protecting wildlife or any other issue that has raised concerns. Take notes on the person, then write a biography using your gathered information.

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23

A flow-on effect

Exposition

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If you were told your weekly art class was going to be replaced by an environmental awareness programme, how would you feel? After writing an introductory statement about the issue, list arguments you would use either in favour for or against this change.

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Once upon a time …

Narrative

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When driving past a dried-up river bed you noticed a sign that had written on it: ‘Once upon a time, I was a river!’ As you moved on, many thoughts flashed through your mind: Who had erected the sign? Why had the river dried up? How had its drying affected the surrounding area? Use this sign as the basis for a story about the life of a river.

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Recount

Change: For better or for worse?

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Write about the impact on your local environment of recent developments such as new housing estates, industrial sites and roads. Consider, for example, wildlife habitats, increased traffic and demand on resources. Include your personal opinion.

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Save the creatures large and small

Report

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Research an international animal conservation organisation and create a detailed fact file or electronic presentation about the organisation. Begin and conclude with statements about the organisation. In the text, include points related to when and where the organisation was set up, what it aims to do and how it is funded. Also outline some major projects undertaken by the organisation in your country and around the world.

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27

Pollution: What is the point?

Discussion

Imagine you came across a forum on the internet about pollution. Two comments are posted. ‘The only way pollution can be prevented is to stop factories burning fossil fuels but there’s nothing I can do about it.’ Andrew (age 11) ‘I think you’re missing the point. Our school was involved in a clean-up day last week and we collected three bags of rubbish from around a local pond. That’s three bags of pollution!’ Sofia (age 13)

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Add five new comments. Make them from people of different ages with differing points of view.

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Warming the ice

Explanation

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Locate and read information about the different possible causes of rising global temperature, its subsequent effect on ice plateaus and glaciers, and its impact on oceans and communities. Use this information to write a text that explains the effects of rising average global temperature. Start with a general statement, followed by a sequence of events and a conclusion.

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Procedure

The consequences of a spill

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Research oil spills, then plan an experiment that could be carried out to show the effect of oil on a plant growing in water. List materials required and write step-by-step instructions outlining the procedure of the experiment. Remember, results of oil spills often take days to become apparent.

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The growth and logging of forests

Discussion

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Investigate as many arguments as possible associated with the logging of forests and then write a discussion text titled: ‘The growth and logging of forests’. You need to begin with an introductory statement and then present arguments for and against logging, finishing with a conclusion or recommendation.

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31

Reflecting on ‘me’

Recount

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Write seven diary entries about your past week. In each entry, include references to actions that, upon reflection, you believe were good for you, as well as actions that you consider were perhaps not in your best interest.

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Which option would you choose?

Report

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On a separate page, compile a list of 10 survey questions about lifestyle choices. Word them so that they require one of two answers; for example: ‘If you had the option of a salad sandwich or a pizza slice for lunch, which would you choose?’ Carry out the survey and then write a follow-up report below about the lifestyle choices made.

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Real person or mirrored image?

Discussion

Write a discussion text (with a conclusion or recommendation) titled: ‘The images we see of the perfect person influence the attitude we have about ourselves’.

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Keep in mind that a discussion requires an opening statement followed by both positive and negative points related to the topic.

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Bertie’s dilemma

Narrative

Show your attitude to the increased availability of fast food by writing three more verses to complete this poem.

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‘Must cure the hunger, Need a takeaway fix for sure’, Was Bertie’s only thought As he stepped inside the door.

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When Bertie saw the sign, His stomach started to murmur: ‘Free fizzy drink, With chips and a burger!’

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35

Time for a hobby

Procedure

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Think of a hobby you have or would like to take up. Consider what is required to put the hobby into practice, and when, where and how it can be undertaken. Write a procedural text, beginning with a statement about the hobby. Include the materials needed and the steps required to be involved in or to complete tasks in the hobby.

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Me and my life

Recount

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You are going to write an autobiography—a story of your life that focuses on positive feelings and experiences. Include things you’ve been good at during different stages of your life, friends you’ve had, caring things you’ve done for others and experiences that have made you feel good.

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Exposition

Exercising fingers only

Consider this statement: ‘Televisions, computers and interactive games are partly to blame for the growing obesity and health-related problems facing young children’.

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Decide whether you agree or disagree with the statement and write an exposition text arguing your point.

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Hitting the target

Explanation

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Reflecting on advertisements you have seen recently and keeping in mind how important personal image is to many young people, write an explanatory text about how an advertising campaign works. Begin where producers prepare to launch a new product: What are their aims? Who do they target? Include advertising methods, people who are influenced and what determines the success of the campaign.

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Narrative

Setting things straight

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In order to show that people’s wellbeing can be influenced in a negative way, but that they can have the strength to come through their experience having learned a great lesson and be far wiser than before, write a narrative that involves characters of a similar age to yourself. Putting yourself in the position of one of the characters might help you use expressive, emotive language.

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Harmful products

Report

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Choose a harmful or potentially harmful product to research, such as cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Locate information about the ingredients or processes involved in creating the product and its short- and long-term effects. Use your information to write a detailed report. Include major headings and subheadings.

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For those in need

Procedure

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Discuss the possibility of organising a fundraiser to assist a poverty-stricken community. Write a proposal, including a detailed outline of all that would be done to promote and carry out the fundraising event.

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Living in poverty

Report

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Research a country where most people are living in poverty. Using a webpage format, write an article about this country and the living conditions of its people. Include web links that suggest where further information on this country can be found.

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Lending a hand

Recount

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Think back to a natural disaster that has occurred in your country or somewhere else in the world within the past 10 years. Research information about the assistance that was given to those afflicted by the disaster. Write a factual recount that recalls who helped and how they helped.

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A time for peace

Exposition

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Write a letter to government leaders around the world about the importance of peace.

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The heaters and the heated

Explanation

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With an emphasis on the possible effects of climate change, investigate how the actions of some wealthy developed nations can have a negative flow-on effect on some of the poorer countries of the world. Write a text that explains how actions in one part of the world may have an effect on the lives of people in other lands.

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The celebrations of silence

Narrative

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Try to imagine people’s reactions to peace after years of war. Picture their faces and the different ways they might celebrate. Use your imagination and your feelings to help you write a short play about such an occasion. Title the play The celebrations of silence.

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The fight for change

Recount

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Research the life of Nelson Mandela, Al Gore, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ian Kiernan or Sir Bob Geldof and write a short biography, highlighting the particular area in which that person aimed to create change.

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Financial aid: Your opinion

Exposition

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What is your opinion about sending financial aid to overseas countries? Write a text that clearly outlines your views on this issue. Begin with an introductory statement or paragraph and then include a number of different arguments to support your view. Remember, the aim of an exposition text is to persuade the reader to adopt your view.

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Narrative

Where life is difficult

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Think about what it might be like living in a poor community where there is a lack of food, water and educational opportunities. What would your day-to-day living be like? How would you feel? Use your thoughts to help you write a story about someone of your age who lives a life of real poverty.

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Warming up: Our fault or not?

Discussion

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In comic-strip format, present a dialogue that takes place between two adults about the issue of climate change. The adults have opposing views. One person must offer supporting evidence for climate change as a natural occurrence, and the other for it being the result of human activity in wealthier countries.

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Stepping through life

Recount

In each of the A sections, draw a picture of something you used to do. In each of the B sections, write why you no longer do it and what you do instead. Here’s an example: A: a picture of a jigsaw puzzle B: ‘I no longer do jigsaw puzzles because I prefer computer games.’

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What should Stella do?

Narrative

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Stella’s mother gave her some money to pay for an excursion. Brandon offered to swap a DVD she wanted for the excursion money. Write two short narratives to complete this story. In the first, Stella pays for the excursion; in the second, she swaps her money for the DVD. Include her thought processes and the consequences of her decision.

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Who to turn to?

Discussion

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‘Young teenagers turn to their friends for support rather than their parents.’ There are some who will agree with this statement and others who will disagree. Write a discussion text which highlights both supporting and opposing arguments.

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So removed

Narrative

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Plan and write a fairytale about a child who is rescued from his or her hectic life by a wonderfully heroic character.

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Exposition

More than headlines

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You had to buy the paper when you read the headline: ‘What a contrast—young people and respect!’ The article went on to say that young people of today have little respect for family life, property and authority. You felt compelled to reply. Write your letter to the editor.

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Fulfilling a dream

Procedure

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Think of something you would like to achieve by the end of next year. Write a procedural text outlining how you aim to achieve the goal. Include the short-term goals you will set and the steps you plan to move through in your quest to fulfil this dream.

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Looking back

Recount

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Think back to a time when you did something that really taught you a lesson: What was it? Why did you do it? What were the consequences? What did you learn? Write a text recalling this whole experience. Focus on how it has changed your thinking, actions and decisions as you have grown older.

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Is it just me?

Discussion

‘I’m always being told lately that I’m grumpy and I know sometimes it’s true. I’m finding I can’t be bothered with the trivial conversations that happen among my younger brothers and many things annoy me. Homework is frustrating me and so is the way Mum nags me about my room. I used to be able to handle things better. Anyone else feeling like me?’ Jonah (age 12).

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Add four possible responses to this internet forum statement.

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On the horizon

Report

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On a separate page, draw up a list of survey questions to ask the members of your class. The topic is about having to leave one school for another. The questions could be related to such things as friends, choice of school, transport, timetables and homework. Use their answers to write a report below about pupils’ concerns.

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Weighing up the options

Explanation

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Write an explanation that outlines the whole process involved in reaching/making a final decision. You could start with a general statement such as: ‘Making a choice about attending university or not was not a simple, straightforward decision’.

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