Make Instruction Writing Fun in KS1
No Teacher Could Deny That Instructions Are an Artform.
…. Especially if you want your pupils to follow them.
Precise, concise and clear, your delivery of instructions is integral to whether a task will sink or swim. So, it’s fair to say that the majority of us perfect the craft early on – or risk some serious classroom chaos.
Instruction writing – or procedural writing – isn’t just an important skill for teaching, of course.
The children in your KS1 class must also learn the merits of writing specific, unambiguous, step-by-step descriptions. Generally covering how to make or do something, these instructions should be clear and easy to follow by the reader, allowing them to assess exactly what they need to do.
Instruction Writing Teaches Children to Think Carefully and Literally.
In contrast to other writing activities where we encourage their minds to wander, instruction writing relies on precision – and it’s a skill that’s becoming more and more valuable.
With the continuing rise of coding and computational thinking, it’s important to be clear and deliberate; ‘it’s over there’ or ‘behind something’ simply won’t do. Rather, we need to understand the action that needs to happen – and explain it in full – or the end result won’t be desirable.
To help your class get into the habit of writing clear instructions, just try out these tasks.
Rather than writing a list, try a touch of artwork to liven up the task.
Give the class some square cut-outs of paper, with room for both a drawing and some handwriting. Then, ask them to detail a simple activity, part by part.
To further instil the importance of clear instructions, you can turn the cards into a game – if you shuffle them, can a partner put them back into the correct order?
The Long and Short of it
In order for instructions to be clear, they need to be to-the-point.
Provide the class with a narrative which contains instructions that are bloated by other information – part of a larger story, perhaps.
Task the class with stripping away the wider information and producing clear instructions, which are easier to understand and follow than the original text. It’ll make the importance of clarity crystal clear!
Heading in the Right Direction
Instruction writing can still be creative!
If the class aren’t so keen on writing instructions for cake baking and tooth brushing, try something more adventurous.
How about directions to a fantasy land?
Turn left at the lollipops, straight past the dragon’s paddock and you’ll see the castle straight ahead!
Once the children have mastered the written structure, why not draw a marvellous map to match?
Fun Literacy Lessons Shouldn’t be Hard to Find.
Just make Mighty Writer your next stop!
Used in schools throughout the UK and beyond, Mighty Writer is an award-winning teaching resource which uses tactile tools to revolutionise how children learn to write; so much so, you’ll see the results almost overnight.