Fiction

English Year 3 Spring Myths and Legends

Greek Myths

Explore, read and write myths with The Orchard Book of Greek Myths (Geraldine McCaughrean) and Greek Myths (Marcia Williams). Practise dialogue punctuation and use conjunctions.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to Greek myths and their conventions
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Text
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

Optional Text
Greek Myths by Marcia Williams

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss what myths are and read the foreword of The Orchard Book of Greek Myths. Discuss why someone might give a gift that is not to be opened, then read the story of Pandora’s Box.
Activity
Children continue reading the story of Pandora’s Box. They discuss the story and prompt questions before writing what they think the message of the story is.

Day 2 Teaching
Ask children to remind you what a myth is. Introduce Athene and read the opening of Arachne the Spinner. Discuss how Arachne might have felt when she realises the old woman is Athene in disguise!
Activity
Children reread the opening of Arachne the Spinner and continue to the end of page 37. They then answer the provided Arachne questions.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap the story of Pandora’s Box from Day 1 and discuss the overarching structure of it. Model recording the steps of Pandora’s story on the blank storyboard.
Activity
Children reread Arachne the Spinner and record the plot events in the same way that was modelled for the story of Pandora’s Box. Children compare their storyboards to the whole-class Pandora’s Box version.

Day 4 Teaching
Remind children about the two myths they have shared during this unit and look back at your list of characters. Challenge children to suggest some questions they could ask them and model recording some questions and then answering one in role.
Activity
Children compose questions for the main characters in this unit’s myths. They then work with a partner to try answering some in role. Children choose their top 3 questions and write an answer to them in the appropriate role.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Punctuating dialogue; inference and prediction
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Text
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

Optional Text
Greek Myths by Marcia Williams

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read the beginning of King Midas and note the use of direct speech. Use the Grammar Presentation: Dialogue to teach, recap or consolidate how direct speech is punctuated and presented.
Activity
Children convert speech bubbles, for a conversation between King Midas and his barber, into punctuated speech. They use simple reporting clauses to indicate who is talking.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on the story of King Midas so far, then continue reading. Discuss the wish Midas chooses and model how to roleplay the scene where the satyr and King Midas discuss his wish.
Activity
Children roleplay the scene with King Midas and the satyr. They then record the dialogue in speech bubbles.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise dialogue punctuation using the Grammar Presentation: Dialogue. Then read and develop speech bubbles from Day 2 into punctuated dialogue, adding in action to the reporting clauses.
Activity
Children use their speech bubble notes and role play ideas from Day 2 to build a more developed scene, with punctuated dialogue. They think carefully about how each character presents their lines and how this would be described as reporting clauses.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Dialogue Presentation
Children identify, read and learn how to punctuate direct speech, including inverted commas, commas between clauses and end of speech clause punctuation.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read, retell and compare versions of Daedalus and Icarus
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Text
Greek Myths by Marcia Williams

Group Readers
Icarus by Ruth Merttens

Optional Texts
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce the Icarus Hamilton Group Reader and read as far as ‘Icarus nodded and jumped with excitement.’ Emphasise the use of powerful language and come up with alternative verbs as a class.
Activity
Children read the rest of Icarus Hamilton Group Reader, looking for and collecting examples of powerful language use as they read. They discuss the Exploring Icarus: guide questions.

Day 2 Teaching
Working together, list the main events from Daedalus and Icarus. Discuss how there are different versions of myths as they are oral stories. Introduce Marcia Williams’ Greek Myths. Discuss how children think her version will differ.
Activity
Children read Marcia Williams’s version of Daedalus and Icarus. They discuss how it differs from/is the same as the Icarus Hamilton Group Reader version and record their ideas in a Venn Diagram. Children pick a favourite and justify their choice.

Day 3 Teaching
Use your ‘main events’ list from Day 2 to shared write a short opening paragraph for your own version of Daedalus and Icarus. Use powerful language and recap thesaurus skills.
Activity
Divide the class into small groups - then allocate different main events of the story to each group. Children work collaboratively in their groups to expand one of the main events into a story paragraph, using a variety of powerful verbs and descriptive language.

Day 4 Teaching
Revisit and improve the first shared paragraph from Day 3. Reread it together, discussing the impact of expression and intonation on performance.
Activity
Children work in their groups to develop and improve their paragraph, adding any language that might add to the impact of the paragraph, rewriting sentences, adding sentences or expanding sentences. Children then perform it.

Group Readers

Icarus

This is a simple re-telling of the Greek myth of Icarus. In this tale Icarus and his father Daedalus build marvellous wings to escape from their prison but as they escape Icarus flies too close to the sun. The simple but engaging illustrations with the story will help bring it alive to children experiencing this traditional myth for the first time.

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

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Use conjunctions to express time and cause
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Text
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

Optional Text
Greek Myths by Marcia Williams

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read the opening of Perseus and discuss. Then revise conjunctions using the Grammar Presentation: Conjunctions for Time and Cause. List the magic weapons that the gods gave to Perseus and compose a sentence together for each one, using conjunctions for cause and time.
Activity
Children join, extend or write clauses using conjunctions of time and cause.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap the Perseus story so far; read the next section. Revise conjunctions using Grammar Presentation: Conjunctions for Time and Cause; explore and discuss how conjunctions can help to answer questions which ask when and why. Model answering questions using conjunctions.
Activity
Children answer the Perseus questions based on today’s reading. They compose two clause sentences for the answers which use when and why conjunctions.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap the Perseus myth and read to the end. Revise conjunctions and then explore swapping the order of clauses using the Grammar Presentation: Conjunctions for Time and Cause. Model answering a question in role, and then swap the clause order to open with the subordinate one.
Activity
Children answer Character Questions in role. They write down the answer, but reverse the clauses, using the correct punctuation to record the sentence.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Conjunctions for Time and Cause Presentation
Explore how conjunctions can join clauses and give extra information about time and cause. Rehearse answering questions. Investigate swapping the order of clauses, punctuating with a comma when needed.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Retell an exciting myth scene from a different perspective
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Text
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

Optional text
Greek Myths by Marcia Williams

Websites

Perseus video clip (told by Anthony Horowitz)
Perseus from player.hamilton-trust.org.uk

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap the Perseus story and make a brief list of exciting events. Explore the events around Medusa and discuss why it is a really exciting part. Discuss from whose perspective you could rewrite this scene in the first person.
Activity
Children plan their ‘first person’ myth scene in the form of a story map, noting down powerful verbs they might use.

Day 2 Teaching
Re-watch the Perseus clip and reread the introduction to Medusa. Explore the use of language and model write the opening of the new version, emphasising the use of powerful verbs, descriptive language and conjunctions.
Activity
Children write the opening of their myth scene using their story maps for reference. They use conjunctions, powerful verbs and descriptive language.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap on the Medusa scene and ask children to imagine what they think one of Medusa’s snakes and Perseus might say to each other. Discuss and model writing this exciting bit of the story using dialogue.
Activity
Children continue with their myth. They include punctuated dialogue in their stories to bring their characters to life and make their story interesting.

Day 4 Teaching
Recap that so far children have introduced the Medusa section of the myth and built up the tension through the use of dialogue to the point at which Perseus has or is about to remove her head. Explore how to finish and edit their myths.
Activity
Children finish writing their myth scene. Once finished, they edit it to remove errors, and to assess their own and their partner’s work for impact.