A week worth of recount writing lessons – Years 1/2/3



This unit of work helps students to produce brief written recounts that clearly relate ideas and information. It provides an opportunity to plan, write and review recount writing processes.

Australian Curriculum Links:

The English curriculum is composed around the three interrelated strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. Writing and representing program aims to balance and integrate all three strands. (Source:http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/)

Content Description:



  • Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)


  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)
  • Reread and edit text for spelling, sentence-boundary punctuation and text structure(ACELY1672)
  • Write legibly and with growing fluency using unjoined upper case and lower case letters (ACELY1673)

Skills to be taught in unit:

  • Prewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Word processing using editing tools
  • Research

Achievement Standards:

Receptive modes (listening, reading and viewing)

This unit aims to ensure:

  • Students understand how similar texts share characteristics by identifying text structures and language features used to describe characters, settings and events.
  • They read texts that contain varied sentence structures, some unfamiliar vocabulary, a significant number of high frequency sight words and images that provide additional information.
  • They monitor meaning and self-correct using context, prior knowledge, punctuation, language and phonic knowledge.
  • Some students make connections between texts by comparing content.

Productive modes (speaking, writing and representing)

  • When discussing their ideas and experiences, students use everyday language features and topic-specific vocabulary
  • They create texts that show how images support the meaning of the text.
  • Students create texts, drawing on their own experiences, their imagination and information they have learned.


Lesson Sequence:


[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title]Sequence 1[/tab_title][tab_title]Sequence 2[/tab_title][tab_title]Sequence 3[/tab_title][tab_title]Sequence 4[/tab_title][tab_title]Sequence 5[/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]Students will read and explore a variety of factual and fictional texts and events and write a range of Recounts. Language focus-Introduction to Recount writing including social purpose, structure and language features. [/tab][tab]Students will read and explore a variety of factual and fictional texts and events write a range of Recounts. Language Focus – Deconstruction of Structure/ Language of recounts. [/tab][tab]Students will read and explore a variety of factual and fictional texts and events write a range of Recounts. Language Focus – Structure/ Language of Recounts. [/tab][tab]Students will read and explore a variety of factual and fictional texts and write a range of Recounts. Language Focus – Structure/ Language of Recounts. [/tab][tab]Students will read and explore a variety of factual and fictional texts and write a range of Recounts. Language Focus – Structure/ Language of Recounts. [/tab][/tabs]

Sequence 1:


  • Introduce the text type – a personal recount. Read a recount of a familiar situation to the class. Discuss the purpose and structure of it. 

Social Purpose:

  • A recount tells about past events or personal experience such as a diary entry. A biography is also a recount; it gives information about important events in someone’s life. A recount text serves to inform and entertain the audience. A biographical recount could also inspire and motivate people to achieve their dreams in life.

Structure: Recounts are usually organised to include:

  • Title
  • Orientation- who, what, where
  • Series of events in a chronological order or sequence
  • A final evaluative comment.


  • As a class – read a recount of a familiar situation for example, a diary entry or school excursion.
  • Annotate and deconstruct this recount to demonstrate structure and purpose of each section.

Sequence 2:

Lesson: Modelled Writing
  • Share the slide show with the class, emphasizing the structure and purpose. http://www.slideshare.net/Bevstr001/recount2
  • Brainstorm personal pronouns such as I, you, we, he, she, it, they
  • Brainstorm and define ‘Time connectives’ such as first, second, next, then, finally.
  • Brainstorm and define ‘Action Verbs in past tense‘ [doing /action verbs (kicked), thinking verbs (remembered), feeling verbs (enjoyed), saying verbs (said) and relating verbs (was)].
  • Brainstorm some recount topics. Examples: My last birthday, My first day at School, Our school excursion etc.
  • Discuss the structure of a Recount (orientation, who, what, when, where).
  • Emphasize that events should be set in a sequence using time connectives. Also emphasize to use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and to show names, use exclamation marks to show anger and excitement and a full stop at the end of the sentence.
  • Complete the recount scaffold using the topic ‘My weekend” as an example. (Highlight time connectives and verbs in past tense. Point out capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and full stop at the end of each sentence.)
  • Discuss the grammatical features of a recount. Discuss it uses time connectives, action verbs in past tense, personal pronouns and evaluative language. Examples could include; “It was a great day!”, “He was an amazing person!”

Sequence 3:

Lesson: Joint Construction:

  • Students discuss about their last school excursion  (Students are given a recount Performa as a guide, emphasize the use of time connectives, past tense and paragraphs)
  • Develop as a class a set of criteria related to the structure of a recount to assess students’ formal presentation, e.g. begin with an orientation, sequence events in a chronological order using time connectives, and end with an evaluation.)
  • Presentation (teacher records facts on the board)
  • Engage students in an oral discussion on how to improve the structure using time connectives, verbs in past tense and evaluation at the end.
  • Record students’ responses; edit these responses to write a recount.
  • As a class, check the recount structure using the set criteria/ scaffold.

Sequence 4:

Lesson: Joint construction:

  • Revise the structure and grammatical features of the recount.
  • Students read books and use internet to get information about some influential people in Australian history.
  • As a whole class, jointly construct a recount on the life of a famous Australian in history.
  • Using the set criteria proofread and edit the recount with students.

Individual Construction:

  • Students are given some topics on the whiteboard to choose from.
  • Use a recount scaffold to assist students in sequencing events.
  • Students are given a brief biographical record / timeline of the most influential people in history. Examples of influential people could include, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.
  • Students record the facts using past tense and time connectives.
  • Self-editing/ Proof reading
  • Publishing/ presentation.

Sequence 5:

Lesson: Individual Construction:


  • Students plan and independently write their recount.
  • Self-editing
  • Publishing/ presentation


  • Anecdotal records
  • Teacher observation
  • Verbal responses
  • Class Discussion
  • Written work sample
  • Student Portfolio samples






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