Fiction

English Year 2 Spring Fantasy

Stories about Dragons

Dragons are ancient & fascinating mythical creatures. Read, sequence, compare & review dragon stories; produce a version of Paper Bag Princess. Use noun phrases & conjunctions.

Start with the core unit to introduce key texts. Then select from comprehension, SPAG and composition units.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Understanding and composing: responding to fiction
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson
A Small Dragon by Brian Patten (in plan resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson and ask children questions about the story and its characters. Show children a series of old and new maps and explain the meaning of the legend ‘Here be Dragons’ found on some older maps.
Activity
Children work in mixed-ability pairs or trios. They talk about places in the classroom where they think small dragons could hide. They create maps of the classroom and record their favourite dragon hiding places on these with labels and brief captions. Some children also write full sentences describing the merits of particular hiding places.

Day 2 Teaching
Read A Small Dragon by Brian Patten. Lead a discussion about what finding a dragon in the classroom would be like. Teach children to use expanded noun phrases to describe dragons. Show children how to begin a letter with a standard Dear... line.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They write a letter to a friend or family member beginning Dear... saying that they have found a dragon in the classroom. They describe the dragon, say where it was hiding and explain what it had made a nest from. Some write with adult support while others also describe what they would feed their dragon and what mischief the dragon might get up to in the classroom.

Day 3 Teaching
Show children an onscreen retelling of The Dragon Machine and explore their understanding of the idea of ‘sequels’ to a story. Lead a discussion of possible sequels to The Dragon Machine. Model using notes and jottings to capture ideas for sequels.
Activity
Working in ability-related pairs, children brainstorm ideas for sequels to The Dragon Machine. They decide on their favourite sequel suggestion and make notes to capture their ideas. Some children do so as part of a group with adult support.

Day 4 Teaching
Model converting notes and ideas about a sequel to The Dragon Machine into full, accurately punctuated sentences. Show children how you re-read your writing as you go to check for sense and to correct errors in spelling and punctuation. Look at the layout and punctuation of an address on an envelope.
Activity
Children work independently or in ability-related pairs. They write out their proposals for sequels to The Dragon Machine using full, correctly punctuated sentences. Some continue to receive adult support with their writing. Others extend their sequel suggestions by discussing further details and plot developments.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Identifying and using expanded noun phrases in descriptive writing
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

Optional Texts
The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson

Presentation
SPaG PowerPoint: Noun Phrases

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read children The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko. Using the text and the Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases, teach children to define nouns and adjectives and to identify examples in sentences and short passages.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They consider the characters in The Paper Bag Princess, select two and write a series of sentences about them using nouns and adjectives. They highlight these word groups using different coloured pens. Some children write about only one character, while others write about all three.

Day 2 Teaching
Re-read children The Paper Bag Princess. Return to the Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases and teach children to define and identify qualifying adverbs in descriptive sentences. Explain how commas are used to separate pairs of adjectives in descriptions.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They combine determiners, adverbs, adjectives and nouns to create descriptive phrases. They record their favourite of these. Some work with adult support while others compose complete whole, punctuated sentences based on the phrases they have created.

Day 3 Teaching
Using the Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases once again, confirm children’s understanding of the role of adjectives and qualifying adverbs in descriptive writing. Explore how writing can be extended through the addition of prepositional and other descriptive phrases.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They pick a favourite image from The Paper Bag Princess. They use role-play and discussion to capture ideas about what the characters in their picture might be thinking about one another. They record some of these ‘thoughts’ in draft form. They ensure they are using adjectives and qualifying adverbs in their talk and writing.

Day 4 Teaching
Revisit the Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases for a final time. Model converting the draft descriptive sentences recorded yesterday into ‘best copy’ lines. Teach children to re-read their work as they write to check for errors, omissions and ways to improve their descriptive writing.
Activity
Children work independently, although some may continue to work with an ability-related partner. They write out ‘best copy’ versions of the ‘thoughts’ they drafted yesterday. They use good handwriting and word spacing as well as accurate sentence punctuation as they write.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Noun Phrases Presentation
This revises the terms noun and adjective with children, introduces the idea that adverbs can modify adjectives, then helps children identify and build noun phrases.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Comparing different versions of a traditional tale – St George and the Dragon
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
George and the Dragon by Chris Wormell
St George and the Dragon by Hamilton Trust, a modified version of the Group reader text (in plan resources)

Websites
Saint George and the Dragon posted by Cruz English - YouTube clip
St George and the Dragon told by Wilf Merttens - YouTube clip

Group Readers
St George and the Dragon

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce children to the story of St George and the Dragon and ask them to listen carefully to a traditional telling of the tale. Help children to describe the characters in the story and to recall details of the narrative.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They discuss their feelings about the story of St George and the Dragon. They use sets of ‘story strips’ to sequence the main events in the tale. They then orally retell the story in as much detail as they can. Some children work with more or less complex sets of story strips, depending on ability.

Day 2 Teaching
Read children the Hamilton Group Reader, St George and the Dragon. Teach children to use phonics and other decoding skills when reading independently. Remind children of the importance of re-reading words or whole sections if meaning is not initially clear. Prompt children to notice similarities and differences across various versions of the St George and the Dragon tale.
Activity
Children work in small, reading ability-related groups. Groups read different versions of the story of St George and the Dragon. They comment on and note differences and similarities between the version of the story they have read today and the traditional iteration they listened to yesterday. Some groups read with adult support, while others read more demanding texts.

Day 3 Teaching
Get children to listen to a further version of the story of St George and the Dragon. Lead a brief discussion as to the merits of the various versions of the tale shared in class. Model writing full, accurately punctuated sentences stating your own preferred version of the story and giving reasons for your choice.
Activity
Working with ability-related partners, children consider again the various versions of the story of St George and the Dragon they have heard or read in class. They select their favourite telling of the story and compose sentences explaining why they like this version the best.

Day 4 Teaching
Get children to listen again to the traditional telling of the story of St George and the Dragon. Remind children of the variation common in retellings of old, oral stories. Lead a discussion as to what children would include in their own retelling of the story of St George. Model composing sentences outlining a further iteration of the tale.
Activity
Children work independently or with a writing ability-related partner. They come up with ideas for their own retelling of the story of St George and the Dragon. They use full, accurately punctuated sentences to describe the outline of their version of the tale. Some children write more than others, while some write only with adult support.

Group Readers

George and the Dragon
Children will love the swashbuckling tale of St George & the Dragon, as retold by Ruth Merttens! They will be enthralled by the charming illustrations and enjoy the adventurous story that is suitable for those beginning to read independently.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG and Composition: Using co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions in descriptive writing
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Any and/or all the books and stories about dragons already taught in this block:
The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson
A Small Dragon by Brian Patten (in plan resources)
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
George and the Dragon by Chris Wormell
St George and the Dragon by Hamilton Trust, a modified version of the Group Reader text (in plan resources)

Websites
The Princess and the Dragon from britishcouncil.org
The Hungry Dragon from britishcouncil.org
George and the Dragon from britishcouncil.org
Saint George and the Dragon posted by Cruz English
St George and the Dragon told by Wilf Merttens

Group Readers
St George and the Dragon

Presentation:
SPag PowerPoint: Conjunctions

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show children two dragon-related animated stories from the British Council website – The Princess and the Dragon and The Hungry Dragon. Ask children to discuss the dragons in each and to compare them to the dragons they have encountered in other stories.
Activity
Children work in small, mixed ability groups. They discuss their group’s favourite dragon and rehearse arguments they will later use to persuade a judge that their dragon is the best of all. In the Plenary, groups present their case.

Day 2 Teaching
Help children to display and talk about dragon pictures they have drawn or painted. Using the Grammar Presentation teach children to recognise the co-ordinating conjunctions and, but and or. Model using co-ordinating conjunctions to write a series of short notes describing a dragon.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They describe their dragons to one another in detail and use the co-ordinating conjunctions and, but and or when recording their ideas in note form. Some use a wider range of co-ordinating conjunctions.

Day 3 Teaching
Show the class the British Council animated tale George and the Dragon and ask children to comment on the story. Teach children to identify and understand the role of subordinating conjunctions (when, that, if, because) in sentences using the Grammar Presentation.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They identify co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions in a series of sentences. Some work with a larger range of conjunctions, and find them in sentences where the position of the conjunction is more varied. Children then write dragon sentences of their own that use both sorts of conjunction.

Day 4 Teaching
Review children’s understanding of both co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Model using both to write a series of full, accurately punctuated sentences about the dragon pictures created on Day 1. Teach children to use initial capitals for sentences and to check for full stops at sentence ends.
Activity
Children work independently. They write all about their own dragons using a range of co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions in their sentences. They then read some of their descriptions aloud to the class.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Conjunctions PowerPoint
Children revise the concept of a verb, and the use of co-ordinating conjunctions. They then identify and learn to use subordinating conjunctions in their own writing.

Group Readers

St George and the Dragon
Children will love the swashbuckling tale of St George & the Dragon, as retold by Ruth Merttens! They will be enthralled by the charming illustrations and enjoy the adventurous story that is suitable for those beginning to read independently.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: creating and writing a story closely based on one read in class
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read children The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko. Teach children to use phonics and other strategies to read sentences describing moments from the story. Help children to sequence some events from the tale.
Activity
Children work in mixed-ability pairs. They read a set of story cards describing events from The Paper Bag Princess and sequence these correctly. They use the cards as prompts for a verbal retelling of the tale, including as much detail as possible in their oral recounts.

Day 2 Teaching
Re-read The Paper Bag Princess. Model planning for a new version of the story that follows the same narrative structure, but which features different characters and other details. Teach children to make notes and jottings to capture good ideas.
Activity
Children work in ability-related pairs. They discuss ideas for new versions of The Paper Bag Princess and record ideas in note form on a story planner.

Day 3 Teaching
Play children the first part of an oral retelling of The Paper Bag Princess with the text displayed on screen. Use extracts from the text to teach children to create expanded noun phrases for descriptive writing.
Activity
Children work independently or in ability-related pairs. They draw on their ideas and notes from yesterday and begin writing out their new stories in full, accurately punctuated sentences. They create expanded noun phrases to describe events and characters from their tales.

Day 4 Teaching
Play children the second part of the oral retelling of The Paper Bag Princess. Teach children to locate conjunctions (co-ordinating and subordinating) in extracts from the text. Use conjunctions to extend and improve sentences as you model writing out the final part of your new story. Remind children to re-read work to check for errors and inconsistencies.
Activity
Children work independently or in ability-related pairs. They continue to write their new versions of The Paper Bag Princess. They use a range of conjunctions in their sentences. They re-read their work to check for errors in spelling, capitalisation and punctuation.