Imagine life without instructions! How would you know how to bake a cake, or play a board game? Instructions need to be clear and easy to follow, otherwise you can get into a terrible mess.
Diagrams and images are often used to make instructions easier to follow. There are also lots of instruction videos on the Internet that can show you how to do almost anything.
Teach your children about instruction writing using our handy topic guide!
- Check out our list of ideas for teaching instructions.
- Write instructions for a simple game, such as hopscotch. Can your friends play it from your instructions?
- Follow these instructions to build a Shaduf from Lego.
- Use this fun technique to help children write clearer instructions.
- Write simple instructions for a classroom robot to perform a movement.
- Try this Minecraft-inspired instruction writing activity.
- Write and film an instructional video, showing how to make something.
- Give the children a badly written set of instructions to improve.
- Read the poem “Instructions” by Neil Gaiman. What are the instructions for?
- Make a collection of instructions from home and in the classroom. Do they have all the features of instructions? How could they be improved?
- Our Instruction Writing Pack is full of teaching ideas and resources.
- Filter our Images to Inspire Gallery by “Instructions” (under Suggested Writing Genres) for images to stimulate instruction writing.
- Download WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) for a range of instructions from Literacy Wagoll.
- Watch this amazing documentary about ice sculpture and write a set of instructions on how to do it. Don’t forget the safety instructions!
Instruction Writing Knowledge Organiser
Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference during your instruction writing lessons.
Not a member yet? Join us today!
- The oldest written food recipes ever found are on Babylonian tablets held by Yale University. They contain recipes for a royal household, such as lamb stew, and are nearly 4,000 years old.
- James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, also invented a copying machine, the forerunner of the photocopier. He attached a copy of the instructions (one of the earliest instruction manuals for a machine) to it so they could not be lost.
- The Instructions of Shuruppak were written 4,600 years ago, and contain a Sumerian king’s advice to his son. They are engraved on clay tablets.
Writing instructions with Stefan Gates
This video from the BBC shows the importance of clear instructions and how to write them.
Running time: 5:32
Shake Break Exercise Song for Kids
Younger children will love following the simple instructions for this fun dance.
Running time: 1:26
How To Draw A Cute Ice Cream Cone
Follow these instructions to draw a simple ice cream cone. Could your children make their own video tutorial?
Running time: 3:32
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!
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