Fiction

English Year 2 Autumn Traditional Tales

Explore Brilliant Fables!

Explore brilliant fables, Frog and Scorpion, Ant and Grasshopper, etc. Write dialogue between grasshopper's indignant sister and cruel ant. Look at compound sentences and write a fable.

We recommend that you start with the core unit, the heart of this English block of study. This introduces key textual material and sets the tone for any further units you wish to teach. These can be selected on the basis of the needs of your class – look at the green icons to identify the unit’s particular focus: SPAG, Composition or Comprehension. Whichever units you choose, we suggest teaching them in order, as there is a built-in progression indicated by the numbering.

‘UNIT PLAN’ gives you a text version of all parts of the unit to use in your school planning documentation. ‘DOWNLOAD ALL FILES’ gives you that unit plan plus all of the associated documents.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to animals in traditional oral fables
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss and clarify the meanings of new words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary 4: Explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves.

 

Transcription
-- Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters.
-- Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

Compostition
-- Write narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional).
-- Write about real events.

Grammar
-- Learn how to use expanded noun phrases to describe and specify.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce children to fables as a story type by shared reading the brief text, Fables. Use the Glossary to both explore further the key features of fables and to practice reading and comprehension skills.
Activity
In small groups children read the Animal Fact Files on leopard frogs and Indian red scorpions. They discuss favourite facts they have learned about the animals. They then read through the Jumbled Glossary and untangle the muddled definitions.

Day 2 Teaching
Tell children the fable of The Frog and the Scorpion, pausing at points in the telling to enable children to make predictions and to discuss the behaviour of the story’s characters. In preparation for the activity, model composing short phrases and sentences about yourself on the How I Am sheet.
Activity
In pairs, children discuss their own personalities and characters. They use careful handwriting and good spacing between words to record these observations on their own copies of How I Am.

Day 3 Teaching
Use a story map to retell the fable of The Frog and the Scorpion before then telling children the fable of The Hare and the Tortoise. Explore how adjectives and expanded noun phrases can be used to describe the Hare and the Tortoise.
Activity
In pairs, children use the Animals sheet to record descriptions of a variety of creatures found in fables. They use powerful adjectives and expanded noun phrases in their writing.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Write dialogue between two animal characters from a fable
(suggested as 2 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen and respond appropriately to adults and peers.
-- Articulate and justify opinions.
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Consider and evaluate different viewpoints.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Consider what they are going to write before beginning by planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say sentence by sentence.

Grammar
-- Develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly.
-- Learn how to use some features of written Standard English.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Referring to the story map, retell the fable of The Frog and the Scorpion. Model composing and role-playing dialogue for the two main characters at different points in the story. Show how expressive vocabulary and characterful performance can bring the role-playing of dialogue to life.
Activity
Children work in pairs to think of two animals who might be Frog and Scorpion’s friends. They brainstorm ideas for what these two animals would say to each other following their friends’ deaths. When ready, children verbally compose the animals’ dialogue using expressive vocabulary, and perform their lines of speech as role-play to the rest of the class.

Day 2 Teaching
Review the dialogue created for Frog and Scorpion in class on Day 1 and model converting this into properly punctuated and capitalised speech in speech bubbles. Make errors in both punctuation and capitalisation for children to correct. Teach more able writers to use 66 and 99 speech marks to punctuate speech in narrated sentences.
Activity
Children work in their pairs from Day 1 to convert their role-played dialogue into written speech. Most do so in speech bubbles, but some use lined paper to write out their dialogue as lines of narrated speech. All children ensure they use capital letters where needed and provide sentence-end punctuation for their lines.

Composition
Unit 3 Composition: Explore a dilemma; write dialogue based on a fable
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesizing, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Participate in discussions and debates.
-- Gain and maintain the interest of the listener.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to, discuss and express views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently.
-- Participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.

 

Transcription
-- Write lowercase letters correctly.
-- Write capital letters of the correct size, orientation & relationship to one another & to lower case letters.

Composition
-- Consider what they are going to write before beginning by planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence.

Grammar
-- Learn how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks and question marks.

You Will Need

Websites
The Ant and the Grasshopper from player.hamilton-trust.org.uk
Other websites (see resources)

Group Readers
The Ant and the Grasshopper

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Play children Wilf Merttens’ telling of the fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper. Prompt discussion of the fable’s two central protagonists, their characters and actions, and explore children’s understanding of the fable’s moral.
Activity
In mixed ability pairs, children respond to a series of questions about the fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper. In particular they share their feelings about the Ant’s treatment of the Grasshopper, explaining their thoughts to the rest of the class and voting on whether they think the Ant was right to send the cold and hungry Grasshopper away.

Day 2 Teaching
Show children part of Wilf Merttens’ version of The Ant and the Grasshopper again and ask the class to sequence the second part of the story. Read La Fontaine’s rhyming version of the tale and help children to compare and contrast the two versions of the fable they have heard.
Activity
In ability-related pairs, children role-play a meeting between Ant and Grasshopper’s sister. They draw on their understanding of the events of the fable, its moral and the mood of each character as they act out the conversation the pair might have.

Day 3 Teaching
Teach children how to write spoken lines for Ant and Grasshopper’s sister using speech marks. Model using a new line for a new speaker when writing dialogue and, with more confident children, explore how adverbs can be used to enhance the flavour and specificity of reporting clauses in speech.
Activity
Remaining in their ability-related pairs, all children write out their role-played conversations between Ant and Grasshopper’s sister using neat handwriting and accurate punctuation. Some use speech bubbles to do so, while most children record their lines as speech, employing inverted commas and reporting clauses to do so.

Group Readers

The Ant and the Grasshopper
This beautifully illustrated retelling of Aesop’s fable is a perfect accompaniment to any teaching on traditional tales or stories with morals. The clear, decodable text and lovely watercolour pictures make this an excellent, accessible book to use as a group reader or whole class starting point for discussion. Children will enjoy thinking about the moral of the story and exploring the characters' actions and feelings.

You can purchase printed copies of this Group Reader from Hamilton Education.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Features of oral fables and sayings
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes.

Word Reading
-- Continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.
-- Read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes.

Comprehension
-- In reading, draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher.
-- Check that the text makes sense to them as they read and correct inaccurate reading.
-- Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done.

 


-- Answer and ask questions.
-- Discuss and clarifying the meanings of words/phrases, linking new meanings to known vocabulary.

Transcription
-- Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.
-- Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters.
-- Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

Composition
None for this unit

Punctuation
-- Learn how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops and capital letters.

You Will Need

Websites
Proverbs from www.engvid.com

Group Readers
The Ant and the Grasshopper

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
In turn, read children the fables of The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Fox and the Crane and The Frog and the Scorpion. Ask children to compare the three tales, noting the common features of fables that each displays. Guide children to use word attack strategies they have learned in class to read the opening section of The Fox and the Crane.
Activity
Children work in ability-related groups to read and answer questions on fables. Most children read and respond to a version of The Frog and the Scorpion, while less confident readers use The Ant and the Grasshopper and more confident readers tackle The Fox and the Crane.

Day 2 Teaching
Read the class the fable of The Fox and the Grapes before teaching children to punctuate and add capital letters to a poorly-written version of the story. Introduce the concept of proverbs, discussing some common examples and their meanings.
Activity
In ability-related pairs or small groups, children read further common proverbs. They link them to their meanings. They correct inadequate punctuation and capitalisation in the proverbs they have been given to read.

Day 3 Teaching
Confirm children’s understanding of what a proverb is and model writing a favourite example out in best handwriting, stressing the need for carefully formed letters, evenly spaced words and adherence to lines. Teach children to recite proverbs in a way that is clear and helps with listeners’ understanding of meaning.
Activity
In ability-related pairs, children discuss proverbs once again, selecting a favourite and writing it and its meaning out in best handwriting. Some children also discuss and write about real life scenarios that illustrate the meaning of a proverb. All children attempt to learn as many proverbs off by heart as they can.

Group Readers

The Ant and the Grasshopper
This beautifully illustrated retelling of Aesop’s fable is a perfect accompaniment to any teaching on traditional tales or stories with morals. The clear, decodable text and lovely watercolour pictures make this an excellent, accessible book to use as a group reader or whole class starting point for discussion. Children will enjoy thinking about the moral of the story and exploring the characters' actions and feelings.

You can purchase printed copies of this Group Reader from Hamilton Education.

SPAG
Unit 5 SPAG: Conjunctions for co-ordination and subordination
(suggested as 2 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Composition
-- Children encapsulate what they want to say sentence by sentence.

Transcription
-- Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.

 


-- Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters.
-- Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

Grammar
-- Learn how to use: co-ordination (using so, and or but).
-- Learn how to use: subordination (using when, if, that, or because).
-- Learn how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly.

You Will Need

Preparation
It is very helpful to read the advice on terminology in the Notes to Teachers before teaching this unit.


Websites
Animal Rhymes from www.nurseryrhymes.org

Essential Resources
Nutty Nursery Rhyme Lines and Fanboys (see resources)
The Tortoise and the Baboon (see resources)

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Identify compound sentences and the role of coordinating conjunctions. Model creating simple sentences based on the actions of animals in well-known fables, showing how these can be combined in compound sentences. Underline the need for sentence punctuation.
Activity
In ability related pairs, children combine simple sentences based on the actions of animals in nursery rhymes, stories and fables into compound sentences. Most use coordinating conjunctions and, but and so to do so, but more confident writers use additional conjunctions too.

Day 2 Teaching
Read or tell children the fable of The Tortoise and the Baboon, using extracts from it to introduce children to structure of complex sentences and (subordinating) conjunctions. Reiterate the need for excellent handwriting when copying or composing complex sentences.
Activity
In ability related pairs, children identify main clauses and conjunctions in complex sentences based on fables they know. They highlight examples and add conjunctions and subordinate clauses to sentence starters. Some children write complex sentences of their own.

Composition
Unit 6 Composition: Plan and write a new fable based on those read
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English Composition.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
-- Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.
-- Use spacing between words that reflect the size of the letters.

Composition
-- Develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional).

 


-- Plan or say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Write down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary.
-- Encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence.
-- Proof-read to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation [for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly].
-- Re-read to check that their writing makes sense.
-- Read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear.

Grammar
-- Learn how to use expanded noun phrases to describe and specify.
-- Begin to write correctly punctuated dialogue.

You Will Need

Preparation
Children will be familiar with The Hare and the Tortoise and The Frog and the Scorpion from Unit 1, but if you have not taught Unit 3, you will need to allow time for them to read The Ant and the Grasshopper or listen to it here.


Essential Resources
Story Outlines and Maps (see resources)

Group Readers
The Ant and the Grasshopper

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Using modified story maps, briefly retell The Scorpion and the Frog, The Hare and the Tortoise and The Ant and the Grasshopper. Explain that children will compose their own versions of fables for a class collection. Select two animals for a teacher’s retelling of Frog/Scorpion entitled The Swan and the Snake. Model using a planning frame.
Activity
Independently or in ability-related pairs, children select a fable to write their own version. They choose animals to feature in their tale and, using notes, plot key elements of the fable to begin writing tomorrow.

Day 2 Teaching
Propose story openings for fables, then model using excellent handwriting and word spacing to compose sentences describing the characters and settings in The Swan and the Snake. Teach use of expanded noun phrases in descriptive passages.
Activity
Independently or in ability-related pairs, children write the first part of their fables, using powerful descriptive writing including expanded noun phrases. They describe the story setting and its central protagonists, using good handwriting and word spacing.

Day 3 Teaching
Focussing on inverted commas and sentence-end punctuation, teach speech punctuation. Emphasise the ‘new speaker, new line’ rule to set out dialogue on the page. Use synonyms for said and employ appropriate adverbs in reporting clauses.
Activity
Independently or in ability-related pairs, children continue to write their fables. They include a conversation between their two animal characters using accurate sentence punctuation, including speech marks and following the ‘new speaker, new line’ rule.

Day 4 Teaching
Revisit the concluding ‘moral’ in fables. Read and discuss morals of their fables. Children reread texts they have written to look for errors in punctuation and grammar and to improve characterisation and narrative flow.
Activity
Independently or in ability-related pairs, children finish writing their fables and explain the moral of their story. They proof-read their texts. Later, they read their stories aloud to the class, using good intonation, pace and volume.

Group Readers

The Ant and the Grasshopper
This beautifully illustrated retelling of Aesop’s fable is a perfect accompaniment to any teaching on traditional tales or stories with morals. The clear, decodable text and lovely watercolour pictures make this an excellent, accessible book to use as a group reader or whole class starting point for discussion. Children will enjoy thinking about the moral of the story and exploring the characters' actions and feelings.

You can purchase printed copies of this Group Reader from Hamilton Education.