Developing children's writing abilities boosts their confidence, creates enjoyment and relevance in the task and cultivates a range of decision-making and problem-solving skills that can then be applied across the curriculum. The Countdown series provides all the support you need in helping children to improve their prose, poetry and non-fiction writing.

Countdown to Non-Fiction Writing is a comprehensive and flexible resource which you can use in different ways. It includes:

  • 37 stand-alone modules which cover all aspects of writing and understanding non-fiction texts, including the nature of language, logical thinking, recognising ‘facts’ and planning;
  • A countdown flowchart provides an overview, showing how modules are linked and allowing teachers and pupils to track their progress;
  • Photocopiable activity sheets for each module that show how to make decisions and solve problems which writers face on the journey to a finished piece of work;
  • Teachers’ notes for each module with tips and guidance, including how modules can be used in the classroom, links to other modules and curriculum links, and advice on helping and guiding pupils in their writing;
  • A self-study component so pupils can make their own progress through the material. This option gives young writers a sense of independence in thinking about their work and through offering a scaffolding of tasks, encourages confident and effective writing;
  • 'Headers' for each module showing where along the 'countdown path' you are at that point;
  • Contents page for quick access to particular modules and relevant aspects of writing.

In short, Countdown to Non-Fiction Writing saves valuable planning time and gives you all the flexibility you need in helping pupils to prepare for, understand, and write non-fiction. The structure of the book allows teachers to utilise the modules for ‘self-study’, as a longer programme following the ‘countdown’ structure, or to dip into the book for individual lesson activities and ideas to fit in with wider programmes of study.

Introduction Section 1 – Non-Fiction, Fiction, Truth and Lies  37 How can we tell it’s non fiction?  36 What is a fact?  35 What is an opinion?  34 What is truth?  33 Fact, opinion and wisdom  32 Example of fact and opinion  31 Some tips for writing non fiction – Purpose, audience and style  30 Non fiction text types – Persuading, Instructing, Reporting, Explaining, Recounting, Discussing  29 Types, forms and styles  Section 2 – Questioning Skills  28 Be nosy – the importance of questions  27 Types of question – closed, open, specific, general, rhetorical, philosophical  26 It’s OK not to know – feeling comfortable with uncertainty  25 Yes but what does it mean?  24 Interpretation: questioning the answers – and questioning the questions – refining and clarifying questions  Section 3 – Evaluating Information  23 Evaluating information  22 Ambiguity (and punctuation)  21 Scepticism  20 Reading between the lines  19 The words in the tones – emotive language  Section 4 – Persuasive Writing 18 How to put feelings into writing/the power of generalisations  17 Words that influence (including strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs)  16 The language of advertising – wordplay, puns rhymes, slogans, exaggeration, intriguing questions, embedded suggestions  Section 5 - Writing an Argument (Discursive Writing)  15 How to prepare an argument  14 Argument planner  13 Persuasive arguments  12 Does it follow? Logical linking / evidence is strength 11 A note on metaphors  10 Controversial issues / viewpoints  9 Assessing arguments  8 The value of discussion  Section 6 - Writing to Inform  7 Some tips  6 Descriptive writing – examples and games  5 Personal and impersonal  4 Directions and instructions  3 Recounting and reporting / news article template  2 Writing a letter  Section 7 – Putting it all together  1 Concept maps and making notes  Review