Non-fiction book cover

Y5 to Y9:
Role-play workshop – Make a non-fiction book
Together Everyone Achieves More

A hands-on role-playing workshop where children work in teams of four (Author, Editor, Illustrator, Designer) around an A1 double-sided worksheet to create a 16-page A4 non-fiction book. The workshop offers children the chance to follow the key stages in making books: title, research, planning, editing, proof-reading, blurb writing, designing, illustrating, printing, selling . . . and more. It's fast-paced and mimics the deadlines of real life. It also highlights the need for people to work co-operatively as part of a team.

What it is not
Please note that this is not a writing workshop, though you will see how it can be followed up with writing informational texts in the days after the workshop.

Learning objectives
Co-operative learning, teamwork, understanding of a real-life manufacturing process.

Size of group
The ideal group size is 28 to 32, which is usually one class.
The maximum number per workshop is 40, though there is some leeway here as I wouldn't want to see anyone left out.

Y5 / Y6 – please allow a minimum of 2 hours (eg a full morning or afternoon) – it is an intensive session.
Y7 / Y8 / Y9 – please allow a minimum of 2 hours.

Classroom, library or hall.
Please note the children need to work in groups of 4 at tables – the tables need to be big enough for the A1 worksheet to lie flat.

Ideas for follow-up activities

  • Independent work: Children research their workshop topic and prepare a piece of informational writing.
  • Sharing: The groups show their finished books in assembly, and explain their job roles.
  • Modelling: Use the same step-by-step process for your own non-fiction class assignments.

Pre-visit workshop preparation – your 'must do' stuff
Please prepare the children before my visit as this will save precious time on the day.
Here are your instructions:

  • Divide the class into groups of 4.
    If you have an odd number of children, it's OK to make one or two groups of 3. (Example: class of 30 becomes 6 groups of 4, and 2 groups of 3.)
  • Mix the abilities and break up the friendship bonds.
  • Assign job roles to the children in each group. A memorable acronym is IDEA:

         I = Illustrator
         D = Designer
         E = Editor
         A = Author

  • If you have a group or groups of 3, let them share the job of the fourth person.
  • Groups will need pens, pencils, felts, rulers, sharpeners, and so on.
  • Arrange the room so that each group has its own work table. Tables should be separate from each other, with children sitting around the table (two children on each long side works best). Tables must be large enough for the A1 worksheet (that's 8 x A4 size) to lie flat.

Non-fiction workshop pack

Buy this workshop
After presenting this highly regarded workshop for many years, I've now made it available for schools to deliver in your own time and at your own pace.

The workshop is supplied in shrinkwrap packs of 10 sheets (B2 size, 50cm x 70cm) with a 16-page teacher's guide, and 16 non-fiction topic cards. Each pack is enough for 40 children, working in 10 teams of 4.

It's suitable for all KS2 children – Y3 to Y6. You deliver it at your own pace in a day, or space it out over several days – the choice is yours.

Pricing, ordering, guarantee

  • x1 pack = £49 (for 40 children)
  • x2 packs = £89 (for 80 children)
  • x3 packs = £129 (for 120 children)
  • x4 packs = £169 (for 160 children)
  • x5 packs = £199 (for 200 children)
  • More than 5 packs – please ask for price
  • P&P = FREE

Ordering / enquiries
To place an order or make an enquiry, please email or phone (01606 863540).

To read full details of the workshop, click here: Make a Non-Fiction Book Workshop

Non-fiction book 2 Non-fiction book 3 Non-fiction book 4
Non-fiction book 4 Non-fiction book 4 Non-fiction book 4

Gallery of children's work
Click to see examples of work based on this session: Y5/Y6 role-play work
Click to see examples of work based on this session: Secondary role-play work