Author - Stephanie Alexander and Ella Walsh
Photographer -
Publisher -, 2011

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter and line a 
    square cake tin.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla.
4. Sift the dry ingredients together.
5. Mix together the milk and lemon juice.
6. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the milk,
    beating between each addition
7. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 mins or until
    a skewer comes out clean.
8. Rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire
    rack to cool.

Recipe for Banana Cake

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs (60g), beaten
  • 1 cup (approx. 2 large) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 5 drops vanilla
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice 

Text Features
This is a procedural text.  It is a recipe for banana bread and contains step by step instructions on the 'procedure' for making banana bread and a 'list' of the ingredients required.

Language Features
This text contains nouns (banana, vanilla, milk, eggs), verbs (cream, sift, beat, mix, add) and factual adjectives which describe the preparation of the cake, e.g. cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.   The recipe also contains two headings, 'Method' and 'Ingredients', which make it clear to the reader what is involved in making the cake.

Other Textual features (Layout and illustrations)
An image of the prepared Banana Cake is part of the text.

Banana Cake is for everyone!, however the literacy ideas below are best suited for Year 2 - Year 4


Before Reading

Activity 1 - Introducing Word Choice
Introduce the concept of word choice to the students.  Explain that 'word choice' is
the selection of interesting, creative and effective words in a piece of writing.
Ask students to pair up and discuss with their partner their idea of word choice by
asking specific questions:
- How would you describe word choice?
- What are some things you might see in a piece of writing that demonstrates good
  word choice?
- How might you think about good word choice when you are writing?
Prompt students to come up with key elements of text including nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Activity 2 - Identifying good choice of words in a text
Tell the students that we are going to read the text 'Dreadful David' by Sally Odgers
and Craig Smith.
Ask students to listen for nouns verbs and adjectives that the author has used so they
can identify them at the end.

Activity 3 - Shared reading 'Dreadful David'
Re-read the text, 'Dreadful David'
Discuss and record the nouns/verbs and adjectives in columns as they are identified
by the students. Examples:
Nouns: Mother, phone, window
Verbs: clambered, wandered, painted, watered,
Adjectives: Pulled the tails of all the cats- tabby, black or white
Clarify any confusion and provide definitions of nouns/verbs/adjectives if necessary.
Why were the nouns/verbs/ adjectives effective?
What did you like about the noun/verb/adjective?
What made them stand out for you?
How the nouns/verbs/adjectives made the story more meaningful?
e.g. 'David (noun) pulled (verb) the tails of all the cats (noun), tabby, black or white (adjectives)'.

Activity 4 - Identifying good word choices
Explain that the students they will be working in small groups to identify good word
choices in pieces of writing.
Divide the class into small groups of 3-4 and allocate a text to each group, for example, 'Henny Penny' by Jane Wattenberg.
Ask the group to select one group member to be reader and one to be the scribe. 
The other students are word finders.
Record - Once the students have read their text they are to talk about the text and
record their findings
on a graphic organiser with the headings: Group members,
Book Title, Author, Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives.

Activity 5 - Whole class sharing
Following Activity 4 all students can share and discuss their findings. 
Each group can present their book and talk about their graphic organiser and the
good word choices they found. 
Students need to provide their rationale for choosing the words they did.

Activity 6 - Introduction to Procedural Writing
Explain that good writing involves choosing the best words to communicate your ideas
so that the reader will understand what you want them to. 
Explain that some writing involves telling the reader how to do something.
Brainstorm a list of texts that tell the reader how to do something e.g. instructions,
recipes, rules for games, how-to-guides.
Explain that a procedure contains step-by-step instructions for a specific task. These
steps include:
- purpose (e.g. assembling your table)
- list of materials or ingredients (e.g. 1 spanner, 10 bolts, 1 table top, 4 legs etc.)
- steps required - numbered (e.g. step 1 - check you have all materials)
- a conclusion (e.g. your table is now ready to use)
- an image or picture may be included


Students as code-breakers

Code-breakers and text-participants: students identify nouns, verbs and adjective in a text and why they were effective.

During Reading

Activity 7 - Reading - 'Banana Bread'
Read the recipe for Banana Bread, asking the students to listen for and identify all of
the components of a procedure as your read. 
Discuss the components of a procedure at the end and ask the students to identify the
type of procedure it was.  (i.e. a recipe)


Students as code-breakers and text-participants

After Reading

Activity 8 - Sentence sort activity - small groups
Divide the class into small groups.  Give each group a copy of the Banana Bread recipe, cut up into sentence strips (include headings of Method and Ingredients). 
Ask the students to work together to re-assemble the recipe using a graphic organiser - displayed on the board - with the following headings: purpose, list of materials, steps, conclusion and image.

Activity 9 - Importance of Word Choice
Display a large copy of the Banana Bread recipe so all students can see it.  
Investigate the use of words in the 'Method' section of the recipe and stress that word choice is an extremely important part of writing a procedure. 
Discuss the importance of choosing nouns, verbs and adjectives that help the reader 
who is following the procedure.
Brainstorm with the students to identify:
- verbs used in the procedure e.g. cream, beat, sift, mix.
- nouns in the procedure e.g. flour, milk, butter
- adjectives in the procedure e.g. mashed banana, softened butter
Discuss the importance of the sequence when following a procedure.
Prompt students to identify words that indicate sequence or time, e.g. preheat the oven, alternating, until, before. 
Ask students for more sequencing words, e.g. first, then, next, before, after, finally.
Brainstorm appropriate conclusions for the procedure e.g. Enjoy!, or Best Banana
Bread ever! or Bon Appetit!

Activity 10 - Reading of Stone Soup - a fabel.
Read the old fabel about soldiers who made Stone Soup
Ask students to listen for the procedure and the words chosen. 

Activity 11 - Small group work
Divide the class into small groups of 3-4 students and give each group a large piece of scrap paper and a copy of the reading 'Stone Soup'.
Ask groups to identify each element of the procedure, i.e. purpose, ingredients, steps, 
and conclusion and record the procedure for making stone soup under each heading
on their scrap paper. 
Whole class sharing - of each group's procedure. Clarify, discuss and provide feedback.

Activity 12 - Joint construction of procedure for making Stone Soup
Work with the students using the Procedure Graphic Organiser to create a procedure
for making Stone Soup.
Students can refer to the text. 
Use 'think aloud' and identify the verbs, nouns and adjectives as you work with the class.

Activity 13 - Individual task - Focus on word choices
Students work individually to identify the nouns, verbs and adjectives used in the
procedure for making Stone Soup.  Provide each student with a 3 column chart for
this activity with the headings: nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Activity 14 - Creating a procedural text
Students now work to create their own recipe, either real or fictional, using what they
have learned about procedural texts and word choices.

Provide the students with an assessment rubric, detailing requirements (e.g. Purpose, materials, procedural steps, conclusion, wording word choices/ verbs.)

Provide students with some writing prompts/ideas, for example 'Instructions for
assembling a lego tower', 'procedure for making wombat stew' or 'mud pie'. 
Brainstorm some more ideas from the class and write them on the board.
Provide students time to 'think, pair, share' with a classmate to talk about their ideas
and begin to draft a procedure

Remind students to follow the format for creating a procedural text and provide a
graphic organiser to assist them.
Students can formulate their draft procedure, share with a partner, edit and refine their draft. 
Hold a brief conference with each student to provide feedback before final editing and publishing takes place.

Activity 15 - Publication and sharing
Students can finalise and publish their procedure then share these with the class in
a series of oral presentations.
The class group can judge the best procedure/s - using the Assessment Rubric

Activity 16 - Making Banana Bread
Ensure access to the tuck shop oven, then follow the procedure for making Banana
Bread with students reading aloud from the recipe and assisting.
Cut and share the baked banana bread - Enjoy!
Reference: These lesson plan ideas have been adapted from this website .  I particularly liked the focus on word choices as an important part of writing a procedural text.


Students as code-breakers and text-participants - as they assemble parts of a text into a procedure.

Students as code-breakers and text-participants

Students as text-participants

Students as text-users: joint construction of a procedural text.

Students as code-breakers as they focus on word choices.

Students as text-users - creating their own procedural text.


Students as text-users.  Following the procedure (recipe) for making Banana Bread is a great way to consolidate and conclude.