How to Teach Recount Writing

How to Teach Recount Writing

How to Teach Recount Writing


To teach recount writing:

  1. Give the class lots of recounts to read and absorb
  2. As a class brain storm recount writing ideas
  3. Allow the children to practice changing small parts of a good example to get used to writing in this style
  4. Talk through the possible ideas for their own recounts with partners
  5. Have rough drafts (as many as needed)
  6. Let the children discuss each stage of the writing process

What is recount writing?

When we talk about recount writing structure we mean the retelling  - or recounting – of something that the writer experienced. When we think about recount writing however, we may want the ‘writer’ to be a different person than the author of the work. What this means is that the children can put themselves in someone else’s shoes and write a recount of something they have not themselves experienced.


This type of recount writing is very important as it improves imagination and encourages the children to think about others and practice empathy, as well as improving writing technique.


Why is important to include a recount writing unit in your classroom?

We will start with the obvious reason for many of us, it is part of the prescribed curriculum! Although this isn’t necessarily the most important reason to teach recount writing, it is still important because it is our jobs.


But recount writing isn’t only about being meeting some criteria. We teach it because it helps our children grow and develop skills as writers. It expands their imagination and it is also a great way to teach grammar points without it being boring or over the top. In recounts we have to look at writing elements such as; point of view, verb tense and of course correct use of pronouns. All of this means that our classes might be learning about the basics of writing a recount but they are gaining so much more.


What should I cover in my recount unit?

This question is a tricky one because it can depend largely on your school and what is expected of you from the unit. For me I tend to cover:

  • Recognition of recount writing
  • Elements in recounts
  • The difference between recount writing and other types
  • Use of verb tenses, pronouns and point of view
  • Chronology and story timelines
  • Empathy and resilience


Some good recount writing examples

Where can I find good recount writing examples for my class? This question gets asked a lot and it is really important. Children need to see what they are aiming for and more importantly they need to be able to recognise good writing when they see it. The only way to develop this skill is to show them as many examples as you can of good writing.

So where can you find these examples? Well, the best place to look is in your class library. Many excellent children’s books are written in a recount style. If you are looking for shorter more complete recounts a good place to start is with children’s newspapers and short stories.

The best way I have found to give children examples of good writing, is to write a recount with the class. Guide them through the writing stages with good practice and take suggestions from the class. Feeling as if ‘they’ write the recount will also give them confidence.

Why should I use your recount writing unit?

If you want to save time and have your whole recount unit and resources planned out and created for you, you can grab my, Complete Unit on Recount Writing. This best selling unit not only saves you time, it walks your class through the recount writing process without any extra preparation from you. This unit includes everything you need including:

✍ Full and detailed recount writing lesson plans

✍ PowerPoint slides for lessons

✍ Recount writing worksheets pdf

✍ Recount writing activities for every lesson with clear progression

✍ examples, prompts and templates for the activities

✍ Videos and other types of recounts to work from


Grab it from my store today


(also available on TPT here)

 Find more lesson ideas and tips from this post about English lessons. Teaching isn't easy and we all need help some times, read my blog post here about where to get it!

If you would like a FREE lesson on character descriptions based on the book Mr Stink - Grab it here


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