Non-fiction

English Year 3 Spring Instructions and Explanations

The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

Inspire writing in this hands-on block with the beautiful Ink Garden of Brother Theophane, learn about illuminated manuscripts and making dyes. Study conjunctions and prepositions.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to instructions and explanations
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Essential texts
The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen and Andrea Wisnewski

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and share The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen. Discuss the illustrations, noting what children can see in them: what the monks are doing, what is happening and how the colours affect the mood of the page.
Activity
Children explore some of the pages and discuss, using the Prompt Questions. They make notes of their descriptions and opinions.

Day 2 Teaching
Reread The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane, drawing attention to unfamiliar words and listing them as you read. Discuss what a glossary is and how it is formed using simple explanations. Model write an example glossary entry.
Activity
Children select a few words from the class word list and create a glossary entry for each on a strip of paper. They write an explanation for the word in clear language and then put the strips in alphabetical order to create a glossary.

Day 3 Teaching
Display and share the explanation text: How a Quill Pen Works, identifying and discussing key features. Repeat for the instruction text: How to use a Quill Pen. Discuss the key differences between the two texts.
Activity
Children read a range of texts and discuss and decide which ones are instruction texts and which are explanation texts. They sort them accordingly. Children make notes, justifying their choice, making links to purpose and text features.

Day 4 Teaching
Look back through the book; explain that most people were illiterate at this time. Discuss how tricky it can be when you are learning to write. Try writing some tricky characters, first without, then with instructions.
Activity
Children have a go at writing some tricky characters. They create instructions for writing one, and then write a short explanation as to why it is tricky.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Conjunctions to extend sentences
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Essential texts
The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen and Andrea Wisnewski

Grammar Presentation: Extending sentences with conjunctions

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane. Show the Grammar Presentation, exploring and revising conjunctions. Look at the Conjunctions poster and explain that children will identify, choose and use conjunctions today.
Activity
Children use the Conjunctions: Identify, Choose, Use sheet to explore and use conjunctions.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise conjunctions using the Grammar Presentation. Children then work in pairs to verbally explore how to extend sentences using conjunctions. More confident children explore the position of the conjunction and the order of the clauses.
Activity
Children use the Add a Clause: sentences sheet and the Conjunctions Cards to select a sentence and conjunction. They extend the sentence using the card selected and record on whiteboards.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise conjunctions using the Grammar Presentation and recap The Ink Garden…. Agree that Brother Theophane has trouble following the rules. Practise today’s activity, asking questions and answering in role (using conjunctions to explain).
Activity
In pairs, children read the questions on I have a question, Brother Theophane sheet and each have a go at answering the questions verbally using sentences extended by conjunctions before recording them.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Extending sentences with conjunctions
Revise how conjunctions join clauses, exploring a greater range and discussing the type of information they link and their impact on meaning.

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Prepositions for time, place and cause
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Essential texts
The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen and Andrea Wisnewski

Presentation
Grammar Presentation: Prepositions for time, place and cause

Group Reader
Purple is Best by Ruth Merttens

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Purple is Best, then explore prepositions for time, place and cause, using the Grammar Presentation. Show children the Prepositions poster then model identifying the prepositional phrases and prepositions from the Purple is Best extracts.
Activity
Children read the Purple is Best: extracts and identify prepositional phrases in the sentences, underlining each phrase and circling the associated preposition. Children then identify if it is a time, place or cause preposition.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise prepositions using the Grammar Presentation. Show children the instructions for making a cabbage dye and model adding on a given prepositional phrase to the first sentence. Then challenge children to suggest an alternative.
Activity
Children discuss and stick in order the instructional Cabbage Cards. They then extend each sentence by cutting out and sticking down one of the prepositional phrases for time, place and cause, identifying what sort of preposition it is.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap the Grammar Presentation and explore composing prepositional phrases. Then recall The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane and explain that Theophane has some questions for the children about making dyes. Model answering the first question.
Activity
Lay out the Purple is Best texts and Theophane’s Questions. They read them through and answer the questions using a prepositional phrase. Challenge children to use a range of prepositions in their writing.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Prepositions for time, place and cause
Explore how prepositions can tell us about time, place and cause, linking phrases to a sentence. Practise spotting them in sentences and adding new ones.

Group Readers

Purple is best

This is a book about colours and dyes. How did people dye their clothes in ancient Egypt? In Roman times?  What plants make good dyes?  Which dye was more expensive than gold? Children read this book, seeing the colours as they go.  

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

Composition
Unit 4 Composition: Write instructions and an explanation about making dyes
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Essential texts
The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen and Andrea Wisnewski

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane and discuss the plants Theophane used to make his dyes. List the steps he describes. Talk children through the process of dye-making.
Activity
Children make dyes, but without following any written instructions. They make notes, including annotated diagrams, as they go about making their dye.

Day 2 Teaching
Look at the dyed fabric from Day 1. Recap Features of Instructions and how conjunctions can be used to join clauses. Model write instructions using children’s notes from Day 1.
Activity
Children write a set of instructions about how to make dyes. They include key features of instructions and use a range of conjunctions.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss explanations and how they differ from instructions. Share the explanation in the back of The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane. Note key facts about making dyes and model write introductory sentences, incorporating prepositions.
Activity
Children plan and write an explanation of how natural dyes are made. They include prepositional phrases to add detail.

Day 4 Teaching
Explore Beautiful Beetroot, discussing the different types of writing. Note the images, layout and alliterative title. Discuss the importance of accurate handwriting, spellings, punctuation and grammar for a published piece of writing.
Activity
Children work as a publishing team, using photos and fabric samples to create artistic book pages about making their dyes, writing out their instructions and explanation in neat, accurate handwriting. Children proofread.