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Non-fiction writing

Explanation text 

For this non-fiction challenger we would like you to write  an explanation text about how wool gets made, using the video below to support your writing. 

Below the video we have written an example explanation about the life cycle of a butterfly so you can see what a good explanation looks like. 


Use this checklist to edit and improve your writing as you go:

- Title shows what the text is about often using the words 'how' or 'why'.

- Opening paragraph introduces the process. 

- Stages of the process are clearly broken down with subheadings.

- Written in the present tense (it is happening now).

- Impersonal tone (no use of 'i think' or 'in my opinion').

- Technical vocabulary specific to the topic.

- Diagrams or illustrations can be used if needed. These need to be clear and accurate, preferably with annotations or labels. 

- Cause and effect conjunctions explain how one event leads to another (there is a word mat below to help with these).

- The final paragraph (conclusion) links back to the first paragraph. 

- Passive voice is used (e.g. something is done)

How is wool made?

A good example of an explanation;


The life cycle of a Monarch butterfly:

Did you know that a butterfly begins life as a caterpillar? Butterflies are insects which go through a complete life cycle made up of four stages. This includes egg, larva, pupa and the adult stage. 


Egg stage

First, a female monarch butterfly lays a small, round egg on a suitable leaf. This is important because once the egg hatches the leaf will provide all the food. Then, after around four days the egg hatches and a larva also known as a caterpillar emerges.


Larva stage:

Then in the larva stage, the small caterpillar gets straight to work and begins eating the leaf around it. For around 2 weeks the caterpillar eats and eats and sheds its skins four times in this stage as a result of it becoming larger.


Pupa stage:

After that, when the caterpillar is two weeks old it will find a place to create its chrysalis and shed its skin one last time. This is usually on the underside of a leaf. This is known as the pupa stage and lasts for 8 to 10 days. Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar is developing wings to transform into a beautiful butterfly.


Adult stage:

Finally, once the 10 days have been completed the butterfly slowly emerges from the chrysalis and it begins to create a straw out of its proboscis. It then sucks the nectar through the straw. The blood pumps through the body of the butterfly and into the developing wings therefore causing them to fully expand in a few minutes. The transformation of a butterfly is then complete.