Creating a formal report

Home learning focus

To write a formal report about badgers.

This lesson includes:

  • one video that shows you how to write a formal report

  • four activities

Learn

Reports are informative pieces of writing that give information to the reader about a certain topic. For example: space, the bald eagle, Scotland, flags of the world or anything else you’re interested in.

Watch this short clip to learn about what makes a clear and informative report.

Learn how to write a clear and informative report.

Report rules

  • All the information must be about the same topic.

  • You should provide the audience with lots of facts and evidence rather than personal opinions.

  • Reports must be set out clearly with a title, introduction, paragraphs, subheadings and images. (Subheadings are little titles for each paragraph, or group of paragraphs, to explain what they are about.)

  • They should be written in a formal tone (like how you would speak to your head teacher).

  • They should be written in the present tense (as if the actions are happening now).

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Read this formal report about rainforests then answer the following questions.

This is a good example of a formal report, so you can use it as inspiration for your own writing.

Rainforests report

1. What does the report have at the very beginning?

2. What does each paragraph have?

For questions three to five, see if you can find an example to support your answer.

3. Is it written in the present tense?

4. Is it written with a formal tone (like how you would speak to your head teacher)?

5. Does it use facts?

Activity 2

You are going to write a report all about badgers.

Watch the following clip in which wildlife expert and TV presenter
Chris Packham explains how badgers live underground.

You will fill in a planning sheet afterwards, so pay close attention to the facts.

Chris Packham describes how badgers live underground.
Badger report planning sheet

Now fill in the ‘Badger report’ planning sheet.

In each box write notes about what you will write in each paragraph. Notes do not have to be full sentences. Use the questions in each box to help you.

Either print the sheet out or copy the subheadings down on paper and write your notes under each one.

Remember: A report should contain facts not your opinions. You may think badgers are the cutest animals in the world but that’s an opinion so it should not be included.

Top tip!

You can re-watch the video as many times as you want to get all the information you need.

Activity 3

Now you’re ready to write your report.

Remember

  • Keep looking back at your plan as this shows you everything you want to include.

  • Refer back to the Report rules at the start of the lesson. If you include all of these your writing will be very impressive!

  • Make sure you write in full sentences and in paragraphs. Aim for each paragraph to be between four and six sentences long.

Top tip!

Use conjunctions to make sure that your sentences flow nicely together.

Coordinating conjunctions like and, but and so can help you join two sentences together.

Subordinating conjunctions like which, because and when can help you add extra detail to a sentence.

Activity 4

Read your report to yourself, or to someone else at home, if you can.

Go through the Report rules and tick off the features you have used.

Using a different coloured pen, underneath your writing:

  • Write two things that you really like about your report.

  • Write one thing that you would like to improve next time you write a report. This could be a feature that you forgot to include, for example.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt how to write a formal report.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you improve your non-fiction writing.

There's more to learn

More lessons for Year 4 and P5
More from KS2 English
KS2 English
The official home of CBBC
Newsround
Writing non-fiction for fun
Discover new books