Instruction Writing

Improve your child's instruction writing skills

Writing clear instructions is a skill your child will have to develop early in their academic life as it will be required throughout high school and beyond, into their professional life as an adult. This writing style has specific characteristics that ensure readers are able to follow and understand what they are being told to do.

Types of instruction writing include:

  • Step-by-step guides
  • Instruction manuals
  • Cooking recipes
  • Travel guides

Learning about instruction writing will also improve your child’s explanation writing skills, as it requires attention to detail, critical thinking and a logical sequence of events to ensure the reader is able to follow these directions.

Writing instructions can also help children understand the importance of clarity in writing and teach them how to use adverbs or adjectives to add relevant context and helpful advice.

We’re here to help your child writer master the art of instruction writing! This page includes guidance from education experts on how you can teach writing instructions to your child, including free worksheets for them to practice.

What is instruction writing?

When writing instructions, your child will need to have attention to detail and knowledge of what they’re explaining, to ensure that the reader can successfully follow their directions.

Instructions are written for all kinds of activities, from cooking, to DIY, to gaming! Explicit instructions are needed to ensure that the reader is able to successfully follow each step until they finalize the product, dish, or project being worked on.

At elementary/primary school level, children should focus on making instructions factual and impartial, to ensure they are writing clear, explicit instructions.

How to write a good set of instructions

In order for your child to write a good set of instructions, they need to include a variety of details that are easy to understand and follow. Here's a list of "instructions" for your child to follow during the instruction writing process:

  1. Start all instruction writing pieces with a clear title and brief introduction.
  2. List the equipment/materials the reader will need underneath the title.
  3. Order each instruction, step by step, using numbers.
  4. Ensure that each step follows a logical sequence.
  5. Technical writing may be needed.
  6. Use action words (verbs) to tell the reader what to do.
  7. Use describing words (adverbs) to explain how things should be done in detail.
  8. Ensure your child is revising their work as they write each instruction.

Example of a good set of instructions

Looking for further guidance? Use this example to help your child apply the rules above to their own writing:

How to Build a Snowman


  • Snow
  • A carrot
  • 2 sticks
  • 6 small rocks


  1. Push your snow into a pile.
  2. Roll your pile of snow into a ball.
  3. Make a second, smaller ball.
  4. Carefully place the smaller ball on top of the larger ball.
  5. Decorate using the carrot for a nose, the sticks for arms, and the rocks for the eyes and mouth.

Activity & resource

Now that we’ve reviewed what instructions are, talked about what’s necessary to make a good set of instructions, and provided you with an example, it’s time for your child to have a go! The template below will transform your young learner into an instruction writing master! It includes an example, prompts, and sentence starters to guide your child.

Instruction writing resource.

How Night Zookeeper can help

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Night Zookeeper is the perfect resource for your child to develop and practice their knowledge of different writing styles! Our reading & writing program for kids can be used by homeschoolers, teachers, or as a supplemental learning resource to improve your child’s writing skills.

Our program uses gamification to teach writing in a fantastically fun way, and includes thousands of high-quality writing activities and resources, such as interactive lessons, word games, reading comprehension challenges, and much more!

All student writing submitted is also graded by our team of tutors, who provide encouraging comments and feedback to support your child’s progress!

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