Fiction

English Year 3 Spring Myths and Legends

Arthurian Legends

Explore Arthurian legends through Marcia Williams’s King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Study nouns and pronouns for clarity and cohesion and direct speech.

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 setting, characters and style of Arthurian stories
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
-- Participate in discussions and performances.
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Use dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read.
-- Increase familiarity with a wide range of books, including legends.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justify inferences with evidence.

 


-- Participate in discussion, taking turns and listening to what others say.

Transcription
-- Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary.

Composition
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Assess the effectiveness of writing and suggest improvements.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table retold by Marcia Williams

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show children King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and note that it is a very famous legend. Define a legend and note that being set a long time ago some of the words will be unfamiliar. Read the first chapter.
Activity
Children create an Arthurian Legends Children’s Picture Dictionary using the word list. They look up words in dictionaries, write their definition neatly and illustrate with a drawing.

Day 2 Teaching
Remind children that legends are retold and different versions exist. Show them images of legendary figures depicted on historical objects and then some equivalent modern images. Introduce some of the Arthurian characters.
Activity
Children read The Sword in the Stone in reading groups. They work together to answer the questions at the end of the story.

Day 3 Teaching
Children will start to compose a piece of collaborative writing today. Use the Sentence Strips from Paragraph 1 and model improving as part of a shared writing session. Model how to use exciting descriptive language and powerful verbs.
Activity
Share The Sword in the Stone Split Sentences between groups and mixed ability pairs for children to develop, as modelled in the whole class teaching. Children edit and extend them changing and revising as necessary.

Day 4 Teaching
Model editing example sentences from Day 3 to make a paragraph hang together and make sense. Read aloud your writing using expression and gesture to bring the story to life.
Activity
Children read their sentences in the right order, ensuring that their paragraph hangs together and makes sense. Children read it aloud collaboratively thinking about how it could be performed in role as story-tellers. Children memorise their paragraph for performance.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Nouns or pronouns for clarity and cohesion; retelling legends
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write.

 


-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Assess the effectiveness of writing and suggest improvements.

Grammar
Choose nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition.

You Will Need

Texts
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table retold by Marcia Williams

Film
The Sword in the Stone by Wolfgang Reitherman (1963 Disney) - see clip references on specific days

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Pronouns

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show and discuss the 3 versions of the Arthurian legend. Then look at the PowerPoint: Pronouns, exploring personal pronouns and possessive pronouns. Note how the writing flows better once there is a mix of nouns and pronouns.
Activity
In pairs, children read the recount of Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. They replace the underlined nouns with pronouns then re-read to check that the writing flows.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise pronouns using the PowerPoint: Pronouns. Introduce and show the pike clip from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone and discuss how Wart escapes the pike. Chart the events in 3 complete sentences then underline the pronouns.
Activity
Children work in pairs to retell the whole pike scene. They write in the past, using the 3rd person to retell the scene. Children should add pronouns and other interesting language.

Day 3 Teaching
Look back at the third person recount of the pike scene and rewrite in the first person. Explain this is written from Wart’s point of view. Watch squirrel or sparrow scenes and plan a story about changing into a bird or animal, that includes adventures and dangers.
Activity
Children plan a new story. They use the planning frame provided to imagine they have changed into a different creature and plan a short recount to be written in the first-person.

Day 4 Teaching
Together, write an opening for a recount about the pike scene written in the first person. Remind children how to use powerful verbs and other fantastic words wherever they can, as well as the importance of using pronouns and nouns effectively.
Activity
Children look back at their plan from Day 3 and add in any final ideas. They then write their story. Children read their story aloud to a partner to check that the story flows and makes sense.

SPAG: Grammar and Punctuation

Pronouns PowerPoint
Children learn how pronouns can replace nouns and noun phrases. They explore two types: personal and possessive and explore their role in cohesion.

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Punctuating dialogue; role play and retelling
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Select and use appropriate registers
-- Participate in discussions and performances

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Increase familiarity with a wide range of books, including legends.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings and thoughts.
-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
-- Use and punctuate direct speech.

You Will Need

Texts
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table retold by Marcia Williams

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Punctuating Direct Speech

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap The Sword and the Stone then read Excalibur. Contrast the character of Arthur with Sir Pellinore. Note we don’t get to hear what King Arthur said to challenge Sir Pellinore to give up his wicked ways. Children suggest possible ideas using ‘knightly’ language (see resource reference sheet).
Activity
Children role play the conversation between King Arthur and Sir Pellinore. They think about how King Arthur might try to persuade him, and then develop a short scene, recording notes to remind them.

Day 2 Teaching
Use slides 1-8 of PowerPoint: Punctuating Direct Speech to teach/consolidate how direct speech is punctuated with inverted commas (speech marks). Note the use of reporting clauses and come up with other verbs that could be used in reporting clauses for a ‘knightly’ conversation.
Activity
Children use their notes from Day 1 to write punctuated dialogue. They record their spoken language, accompanied with a range of reporting clauses.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise dialogue punctuation using slides 8-13 of the PowerPoint. Get two confident children to help demonstrate how movement, tone and expression help to build the story. Use slides 14 and 15 to highlight how actions or descriptions can be incorporated into a punctuated conversation.
Activity
Children use dialogue from Day 2 to build a descriptive and action-packed scene between Sir Pellinore and King Arthur. They check their dialogue punctuation carefully.

SPAG: Grammar and Punctuation

Punctuating Direct Speech PowerPoint
Teach the conventions for writing direct speech. Spot and correct errors in punctuated speech. Explore incorporating action and description.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Explore characters, plot and language of legends
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Select and use appropriate registers.

Word Reading
-- Apply knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words.

Comprehension
-- Read books that are structured in different ways.
-- Increase familiarity with legends.
-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
-- Infer characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justify inferences with evidence.
-- Discuss books read.

 


-- Check that text makes sense to them, discussing understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning
-- Prepare [texts] to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss and record ideas
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table retold by Marcia Williams

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap the story of Arthur including the Excalibur story. Discuss the cartoon style of Marcia Williams then introduce and model a 100-word challenge: to rewrite the story of Morgan le Fay in 100 words.
Activity
Children read Morgan Le Fay and note down the key events in the story’s plot. They then split into mixed ability pairs to write the story in 100 words.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Guinevere and the Round Table. Explain the revolutionary idea of a round table with nobody sitting higher than anyone else. Challenge children to think who might sit in one of the empty seats and create a list of possible characteristics for a good knight.
Activity
Children think about what makes a good knight. They discuss and then write a character description of a knight, good enough to take one of the empty seats.

Day 3 Teaching
Explain that Sir Lancelot was the knight for the second to last empty seat. Summarise Sir Lancelot of the Lake and explore what a quest is. Take ideas and record on flip chart, explaining that a quest is a journey with a specific mission or goal.
Activity
Children read and then answer differentiated comprehension questions for Sir Lancelot’s First Quest.

Day 4 Teaching
Children sort Legend Language vs Modern Language sentence cards and then pair them up according to meaning. Discuss the register of ‘legend language’, and then pick a sentence from Sir Lancelot’s First Quest and model ‘translating’ it into modern English.
Activity
Children each read a section of Sir Lancelot’s First Quest, discussing the meaning with a partner. They then translate their text into modern everyday English. Children practise reading the original text with expression now that they know exactly what it means. They memorise their text to perform.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a quest story in the style of an Arthurian Legend
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding by exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
-- Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary.
-- Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of handwriting.

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that being planned to help understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.

 


-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.
-- Create settings, characters and plot.
-- Assess the effectiveness of writing and suggest improvements.
-- Propose changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
-- Use and punctuate direct speech.
-- Choose nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition.

You Will Need

Texts
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table retold by Marcia Williams

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read/reread Sir Lancelot’s First Quest. Ask what a quest is and what it might entail. Children come up with ideas. Model planning a quest story using one of the ideas given. Use the planning template for guidance.
Activity
Children plan their quest story. They use ideas from the whole class teaching, or come up with some of their own.

Day 2 Teaching
Use the plan from Day 1 to model writing an introduction to your story. Explore the legend language in resources and include this as well as other powerful language and speech in your writing. Remind children how to punctuate dialogue.
Activity
Children use their planning sheet to start writing their quest story. They try to include some legend and ‘knightly’ language as well as powerful language and speech.

Day 3 Teaching
Explore nouns and pronouns in sentences (see resources). Note that you sometimes re-use the noun to make sure we are clear who or what we are talking about, but use pronouns to maintain the flow of the writing.
Activity
Children continue writing their story. They complete the quest and reach the ending of their story. Children check that language is clear and the use of nouns and pronouns maintains the flow of the writing, while clarifying who or what is written about.

Day 4 Teaching
Share and edit a volunteer’s story as a class. Make a table with adjectives, nouns, verbs and adverbs. Start with nouns from the sample story record and improve the sentences using knightly/legend language as well as powerful language.
Activity
Children improve and produce a neat copy of their story. They develop their sentences to incorporate exciting and legend-focused language, and check that the use of nouns and pronouns is effective. Children use careful, neat handwriting. They illustrate if time permits.