During the term our English is taught in ‘units of work’ inspired by and based on the following quality children’s texts.
Wolf Brother (Michelle Paver): 4 weeks
Wolf Brother is an exciting adventure set 6,000 years ago during the time of the hunter gatherers. Torak, of wolf clan is the main character. His father’s death, at the hands of a gigantic bear inhabited by an evil spirit, triggers Torak’s quest - to save the forest from destruction. His loyal guide is a wolf cub and the story is told from both human and animal perspectives. There are strong themes in this story, including bravery, loyalty and a deep respect for the forest and its inhabitants.
Main unit writing outcomes:
- Suspense story
Throughout the unit, we look at how the author has developed the description of the setting and interpret it to draw a map. We examine an example suspense story ‘Camping Out’ and identify how author’s create a suspense setting, using key features such as darkness, temperature (and sudden change of) and the weather for example. We then move on to identify suspense writing techniques, such as short sentences, rhetorical questions and adverbs linked to danger. Additionally, we ‘box-up’ the text and use this to create our own suspense story based on the Wolf Brother story. We then write this version including all the features that we have examined.
Stormbreaker (Anthony Horowitz): 6 weeks
Alex Rider is NOT your average fourteen-year-old. Raised by his mysterious uncle, an uncle who dies in equally mysterious circumstances, Alex finds himself thrown into the murky world of espionage. Trained by MI6 and sent out into the field just weeks later, Alex’s first mission is to infiltrate the base of the reclusive billionaire suspected of killing his uncle.
Fast-paced (the novel was later made into a feature film), Stormbreaker is a riot of an adventure story in the vein of James Bond.
Main unit writing outcomes:
- Discussion text: ‘Should Alex Rider carry out the role of an adult spy?’
During the unit, we immerse ourselves into the world of MI6, by considering key characteristics of the main characters and writing in role. We explore a dilemma, using hot-seating and conscience alleys, in order to develop arguments for and against and learn how to develop our oral debating techniques. We then logically combine these ideas into a written discussion text, focusing on using cohesive techniques.
- Persuasive advert: spy gadget
During this part of the unit, we focus on identifying the sound of a persuasive text and how authors choose words carefully to create an effect.
- Persuasive letter: application letter to be a spy
Here, we continue building our knowledge of persuasive language and sentence structures, as well as using bullet points to list key ‘selling points’. We also consider the difference between formal and informal choices appropriate to the audience.
SPaG aspects are integrated into all teaching sequences.