Writing for different genres – SEND

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Writing for different genres SEND lesson plans
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Writing for different genres – SEND is a downloadable set of lesson plans that can be used to support students with special educational needs and disabilities at key stage 3. It has been adapted specifically for SEND students and reluctant writers, and is designed to work in targeted intervention sessions.

It features seven comic strips as prompts to engage neurodiverse students, such as those with dyspraxia, dyslexia or ADD/ADHD. The images, alongside simplified definitions of key terms, vocabulary exercises, word banks and writing prompts will also help to support EAL learners (students who speak English as an additional language) and INA students (International New Arrivals).

Seven genres of writing

It includes lesson plans, teaching notes, exemplars, scaffolded writing templates and worksheets to help students to learn about the language, structure and form of seven different writing styles. By understanding the writing process, they will learn how to produce a range of text types, some of which might be new genres for students.

The writing activities are based on themes to appeal to young adults, such as music, football, aliens and pets, and cover a range of different genres:

  • a fictional diary

  • a formal letter

  • a playscript

  • a fictional recount

  • a list

  • a poem

  • a comic strip.

Each lesson includes suggestions for starters, as well as a range of differentiated activities to develop students’ vocabulary and writing skills. Students will feel more confident developing their own writing style and writing in specific genres. They will also understand the differences between writing fiction and non-fiction texts.

The creative writing activities include a range of literary genres and different texts, including writing a script, a diary, a poem and a fictional account of an event. Students will produce a piece of writing for each, as well as non-fiction texts such as a formal letter and a list, and will also learn about some of the literary techniques they can use to make their writing more engaging, such as similes and metaphors.

Key features:

It is accompanied by a PowerPoint for use in class, which contains useful checklists of the language features and structure of each writing genre.

  • Includes a lesson plan and teaching notes for each of the seven different writing genres.

  • Includes seven original comic strips as writing prompts.

  • Includes a PowerPoint with 22 slides of checklists and activities, summarising the language features and structures of each text type.

  • Includes a range of carefully scaffolded activities to take students step-by-step through the process of writing for each particular genre, including vocab exercises and word banks, sentence starters and frames, and planning and writing templates.

The sessions can be taught in any order and are ideal for use in an intervention or withdrawal context, with small groups or with a whole class.

It has been adapted to suit the needs of young adult learners (originally published for KS2 students) to build their confidence with different forms of writing.

What's included? 

There are 57 pages of classroom activities: 

1. ‘A Week’s Excuses’ – writing a diary

  • Teaching notes                           
  • Comic strip   
  • Vocabulary matching exercise  
  • Features of a diary entry 
  • Diary extracts
  • Diary writing template
  • Sentence starters
  • Word bank

2. ‘Something Odd Out There’ – writing a formal letter

  • Teaching notes 
  • Blank-bubbled version of ‘Something Odd Out There’ 
  • Sentence frame                         
  • Comic strip   
  • Example of a formal letter                 
  • Features of a formal letter
  • Letter template with prompts 
  • Letter template without prompts                                                 

3. ‘Alien Arrival’ – writing a playscript

  • Teaching notes          
  • Vocabulary starter – parts of the body                                   
  • Comic strip                    
  • Features of a playscript
  • Playscript template                           

4. ‘Jennifer Jones’ – writing a recount

  • Teaching notes 
  • Comic strip 
  • Features of a recount
  • Match report planning template
  • Football vocabulary exercise
  • ‘Jennifer Jones’ – all of a muddle
  • ‘Jennifer Jones’ – verbs underlined – and verbs exercise

5. Sad I Ams’ – writing a bulleted list

  • Teaching notes
  • Comic strip
  • Features of a bulleted list
  • ‘Happy I Ams’ – metaphors
  • ‘Happy I Ams’ – list template

6. 'StereoHead'writing poetry

  • Teaching notes        
  • Features of different types of poems         
  • Comic strip             
  • A sense poem planning template
  • A sense poem writing template 

7. ‘The Dark Avenger’ – writing a comic strip

  • Teaching notes
  • Comic strip 
  • Features of a comic strip 
  • Blank comic strip template and checklist
  • Blank-bubbled version of ‘Jennifer Jones'

An extract from one of the lesson plans:

Explain that the students are going to use the comic strip as a starting point for a piece of writing. Ask them what sort of writing would work well. If necessary, draw the students’ attention to the days of the week referenced throughout.

Once you have established the idea of writing a diary, show the students the diary extract
(slide 2 of the PowerPoint or p.9 below) and point out the main features (slide 3 and p.9).

Hand out the second diary extract on the worksheet (p.9). Give the students three minutes to label the features of a diary (working in pairs if they want to).

Share the diary writing template (pp.10–12) with the students. There is also an accompanying word bank (p.13) and a list of sentence starters (p.14) to support them.  

Explain that students should imagine they are the boy in the comic strip and that they will be completing the diary for the week.

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