Should Lakeview Zoo be Closed? Newspaper Discussion Text Planning for Year 5/6


About this unit:

This is a ten-lesson unit of English work based on the reading and writing of a newspaper discussion. It is intended for Upper Key Stage 2. This unit follows the 2014 National Curriculum objectives which are outlined below. The English objectives covered by this unit are highlighted in yellow.

The ten lessons in this unit allow children to explore, discuss and understand writing based on a newspaper discussion text. During the first week children will prepare and participate in a debate. A petition has been submitted to Lakeview Council which was organised by animal welfare officers. Children discuss and take part in hot seating activities to understand the viewpoints of different stakeholders. After these activities children prepare and participate in a debate on whether or not to close the zoo permanently.

In the second week, children will discuss, plan and write a discussion based on the decision to close the zoo. A newspaper article has been published reacting to Lakeview Council’s decision. Through guided and shared activities children will write their own version of this text ensuring they have included the correct language and organisational features appropriate to a newspaper discussion text.


What is included?

  • A sheet with the National Curriculum English objectives for Y5/6 which are highlighted to help track and assess the progress of the class; to track coverage of the English curriculum and to show what objectives the unit covers.
  • *NEW* Printable child-friendly learning objectives for children’s books.
  • Newspaper discussion planning for ten days including possible science and geography cross-curricular links.
  • *NEW* Now includes a PowerPoint containing the lesson structure and learning activities for all ten lessons of the unit which can be presented to the children. The PowerPoint design and content can be adjusted to suit the needs of a class.
  • Hot seating/debate activity Resources:
  • E-mail from Lakeview Council informing Lakeview Zoo about an upcoming debate to discuss closing the zoo.
  • Stakeholder character cards: Including the Manager of Lakeview Zoo, Lakeview Animal Welfare Officer, Zoologist, Zoo Visitors, Local Resident and Lakeview MPs.
  • Hot seating worksheet for children’s books.
  • Blank debate cue cards for each argument/counter argument.
  • Debate structure for children.
  • Debate rule worksheet for children to complete.
  • Debate voting slips.
  • Debate outcome evaluation sheets.
  • Debate outcome discussion questions: extension sheet for higher- achieving children.
  • Newspaper discussion texts presented in the context of a newspaper article reporting on Lakeview Council’s decision to CLOSE Lakeview Zoo. The newspaper reports the closure of the zoo stating an opinion against this decision. Two master newspaper discussion texts that children could read and discuss:  Newspaper discussion text 1: for the core of the class AND Newspaper discussion text 2: simplified version for lower-achieving children.
  • Boxing-up Plan for newspaper discussion (differentiated on three levels).
  • Success Criteria for newspaper discussion (differentiated on three levels).

Four files included:

Should Lakeview Zoo be Closed? Newspaper Discussion Text Planning for Year 5/6 (PDF File).

Should Lakeview Zoo be Closed? Newspaper Discussion Text Lesson PowerPoint.

Should Lakeview Zoo be Closed? Newspaper Discussion Text (PDF File).

Should Lakeview Zoo be Closed? Newspaper Discussion Text for lower-achieving children (PDF File).


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Resources may not be shared, distributed or displayed digitally for public view, uploaded to school or borough websites, distributed via email, submitted to file sharing sites or shared with another school or institution, even with those within the same academy chain.



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