Crick Software blog

Joanne Gibbins

Planning nonfiction writing tasks with DocsPlus

July 12, 2023

Getting students to write confidently within a range of nonfiction genres is no easy task. But our set of WorkSpace planners for DocsPlus on LearningGrids could be just what you’re looking for if you have students starting out or struggling with writing nonfiction text types. The planners are designed to help students organize what they want to say, within a framework that is adapted to the specific writing genre. What’s more, you can use our WorkSpace planners on Win/Mac and iPad/Chromebook, so your students can have access to this fantastic tool wherever they are in school.

Let’s begin by looking at the Discussion Planner. The framework is clearly set out to encourage the thought process involved – students are guided to list their title, key points on both sides (for and against), and a conclusion.

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Once the ideas have been added – you might even want to use Voice Notes so students can record key ideas and prompts – the next stage in the process can begin.

Simply by clicking on the export tool, students can use their work as direct support for their own writing. They can send their planner to the document as an image or as text. They can even create a supportive Wordbar (a bank of key words/phrases) with the text from their planner.

This introductory video to WorkSpace is a brilliant tool to understand how to best support your students’ plan and organise their writing.

There is also a Discussion Frame Wordbar available on LearningGrids, which supports students writing an argument or discussion text on any topic, providing them with a writing frame, general words and phrases, link words and phrases, and a tab to add topic-specific vocabulary.

Find these resources – as well as a range of other planners and frames for different nonfiction genres, including explanation, procedure, report, and recount – by typing ”Planner” into LearningGrids. And if you have any questions at all, our friendly team are here to answer them - email us at or call us at 203 221 2697.

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