Lesson plans

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KS4 English

Non-fiction – Travel Writing
LESSON 1 – Reading Travel
Starter Activity:

  1. Revision of the T.A.P. strategy. Students encouraged to think about the TEXT TYPE, AUDIENCE, and PUPOSE of any text they meet.

  1. Where do we find travel writing? A number of contexts are put up on the board and students are asked to highlight those where they might find travel writing including broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, web pages, email, brochures and leaflets, letter of complaint or personal letters and emails, journals etc.

Looking at varied purposes within travel writing:

Whole class activity

Students are given a selection of cards with the purposes for various text types printed on them. The class work as a whole, listening to several short pieces of travel writing, and holding up the cards which they think best describe the purposes of a piece and discussing their reasons. This demonstrates that writing in the real world does not always fit neatly into the categories with which students are familiar, and a piece of writing often gains its richness and interest by having a number of different purposes within a few paragraphs.


Extract from "Tokyo Pastoral” by Angela Carter. repr. Virago (1992). Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings. New Society (1970).

Group activity

The class is divided into small groups, and each group is given a travel text from a different context including a journal, an email from a web message board, a piece from a broadsheet newspaper etc. The groups are then asked to annotate the text looking for different language features, then describe it in terms of text type, audience and purpose.


1. Email from gapyear.com message boards by Katy Salter


2. Newspaper Article – Nota Bene from The Independent on Sunday: http://travel.independent.co.uk/news_and_advice/article338141.ece

3. Web journal - Don George from lonelyplanet.com



The groups report back to the rest of the class, sharing and describing texts that they have been working on.

Lesson 2 – Writing Travel

Starter Activity:

The class work together to produce a list of the language features they might find in travel writing.

Modelling planning

The class look together at a possible exam question on the white board looking for key words and using them to think about the purposes their final piece will have.

A mind map is drawn on the board to plan the sorts of elements, anecdotes and language that might be used in the piece, concentrating on sensory language – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and feelings.
Pair work

The class works in pairs to come up with their own mind maps of an area with which they are both familiar, concentrating on the sensory language, and thinking about where they might introduce anecdotes onto their work.

Modelling writing

The teacher writes, on the spot, the beginning of a piece responding to the exam question, and talks the class through the writing decisions that have been made.

Work-shopping writing

The pairs are asked to use their mind map to respond to a different pair of exam type questions, using their mind maps. This makes them aware of how they can angle their material to respond to different audiences and purposes. The teacher has the chance to work with individual children at this point


Some of the written work is shared with the class and discussed.
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