Fiction

English Year 3 Autumn Myths and Legends

Roman Myths

Explore myths using Marcia Williams’ The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice and Group Reader Romulus and Remus. Study dialogue punctuation, conjunctions and word classes.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to Roman mythology and gods; revision of word classes
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice by Marcia Williams

Essential Resources
Gods and Goddess Cards (see resources)
Dreams of Destiny (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce myths: traditional stories, set in the past with magical elements. Explain the importance of gods in Roman mythology and introduce a selection using resource cards (see resources).Tell the oral tale: How Ganymede became Cupbearer to the Gods of Mount Olympus. Discuss what children have learnt about the gods.
Activity
Children work in pairs. They create a story map for How Ganymede became Cupbearer to the Gods of Mount Olympus then use this to take turns retelling the myth to their partners.

Day 2 Teaching
Remind children of how Roman gods watched the mortal world. Read, Dreams of Destiny (see resources). Involve all children as you read then discuss the myth and note any additional features to those listed on Day 1. Display ‘Word Classes’, read and discuss: nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.
Activity
Children go on a word hunt, using one of the two myths explored so far. They read the text, picking out interesting words and classifying according to word class. Children write each on a sticky note and stick it in the correct column of a giant word-class table.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss the importance of gods in everyday Roman life. Display and share an extract from The Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus (see resources). Review what children know about the gods so far. Explain that children will be researching gods and goddesses to produce fact files.
Activity
Children work in pairs to research and discuss a Roman god or goddess. They create a fact file about their god or goddess using the template provided.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Dialogue punctuation; role play; reading & comparing myths
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice by Marcia Williams

Group Readers
Romulus and Remus by Ruth Merttens

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Punctuating Dialogue

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Romulus and Remus, then shared read to page 10. In pairs, children discuss and predict what might happen next and why. As a class, identify the skills required for effective group reading. Introduce the Group Reading Prompt (see resources) that will guide discussions.
Activity
Children read Romulus and Remus (to p.20) in groups, using the Group Reading Prompt to guide their discussions.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap Romulus and Remus up to page 16 then shared read pages 17-20.
Ask children what caused the brothers to fall out. Note the speech, explaining that this is called direct speech. Try saying the speech with expression.
Activity
Children role-play an argument between Romulus and Remus in order to generate and develop powerful dialogue. They then record the best dialogue in speech bubbles (see resources).

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children of Day 2’s role play. Use PowerPoint: Punctuating Dialogue to show how direct speech is punctuated. Record the same dialogue in speech bubbles and as punctuated direct speech with reporting clauses and compare.
Activity
Children record their dialogue bubbles from Day 2 as punctuated direct speech using a range of reporting clauses.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss how Roman myths have been retold many times and each retelling can result in a slightly different version. Share The Birth of Romulus and Remus from The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice by Marcia Williams. Discuss the similarities and differences between this version and the Hamilton Group Reader.
Activity
Children read the next two parts of the story from The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice (King Numitor's Crown and The Founding of Rome) and discuss similarities and differences between this version and the Group Reader. Children choose a preferred text and offer reasons for their choice.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Punctuating Dialogue PowerPoint
Children learn about direct speech and how to record it, using inverted commas, reporting clauses and using a new line to show changes in speaker.

Group Readers

Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the founding myth of Rome. Children will discover the fantastical story of how the twins were raised and the tragic tale behind the founding of one of the greatest cities of the ancient world!

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

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Inference & prediction; story-mapping; retelling
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Essential Resources
The Oak and the Linden Tree Reading (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap on the features of Roman myths. Display and share the opening of The Oak and the Linden Tree (see resources) and discuss. Explain that children will continue to read the story and discuss questions about it in pairs.
Activity
Children read the next part of The Oak and the Linden Tree (see resources) with a partner. They discuss and answer questions about the text.

Day 2 Teaching
Together recap The Oak and the Linden Tree so far. Draw a quick story map and discuss predictions of how the story will end. Share the ending (see resources) and discuss. Ask how the story would differ if told by one of the characters.
Activity
Children retell the myth from the perspective of a character, basing ideas on the original text and drawing inference. They record this as a story map.

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children about their story map from Day 2, noting how it can be used to retell the story. Discuss and model the opening of a letter from Philemon or Baucis to a cousin, retelling the myth, using first person.
Activity
Children write a letter to a cousin relaying the events of the story from Philemon or Baucis’s perspective. Children can include a couple of lines of punctuated dialogue in their letter.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Conjunctions to extend sentences, expressing time and cause
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Essential Resources
The story of Ceres (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Conjunctions for Time and Cause

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share The story of Ceres (see resources) and write: The tree was special. Agree that this is a single clause sentence. Write an additional clause: It belonged to Ceres and join the two clauses together using the conjunction: because. Discuss further examples.
Activity
Children verbally retell The story of Ceres using clauses extended by conjunctions. They then record these multiclause sentences.

Day 2 Teaching
Reread The story of Ceres (see resources). Use the Power Point: Conjunctions to Express Time and Cause (see resources) to revise using conjunctions to extend sentences and explore swapping the order of the clauses and punctuating appropriately.
Activity
Children answer a series of questions using multiclause sentences. They practise composing sentences with the subordinate clause at the beginning and the end of the sentence.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Conjunctions for Time and Cause PowerPoint
Teach how conjunctions can be used to extend sentences to express time and cause. Explore clause order and how to punctuate a sentence which opens with a subordinate clause.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Extended writing: write and perform a myth
(suggested as 5 days)

You Will Need

Text
The Romans: Gods, Emperors & Dormice by Marcia Williams

Essential Resources
Unit 1 Image Resource: Gods and Goddess Cards

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Match the Gods and Goddesses from the cards (see resources) to the descriptions. Discuss how gods sometimes got involved in the affairs of humans. Discuss the Shared Scenario (see resources) and choose the most likely gods to intervene (Venus & Cupid). Discuss ideas and model recording as a quick story map.
Activity
Children choose a scenario and match with appropriate gods/goddesses to respond to the problem. They think about, discuss and role play what the god/goddess would do and say. Children then record story plans as a story map.

Day 2 Teaching
Circle the beginning, problem and resolution parts of the shared story map from Day 1. Agree that each part of the map can become a paragraph. Model writing the introduction. Use lots of detail to help ‘picture’ the characters, setting and action.
Activity
Children use their story maps to write the opening paragraphs of their myths.
They use rich language and some multi-clause sentences.

Day 3 Teaching
Identify the problem part of the story on the shared story map and note that introducing some speech here will be helpful. Model adding a couple of speech bubbles to the map and ensure children remember how to punctuate dialogue.
Verbally rehearse and model writing the first two sentences.
Activity
Children continue to write their myths, ensuring they include some punctuated dialogue.

Day 4 Teaching
Today children will complete their myths. Create a proof-reading checklist, explaining that children will work to proof-read and improve their writing once completed. Model writing the end of the myth.
Activity
Children complete their myths then work with a partner to reread and discuss their writing. Children make improvements to their writing.

Day 5 Teaching
Explain that today children will prepare and perform their myths. Identify the key features of a good reading and create a list of performance tips. Also note listening behaviours and discuss what children can do if they lose their audience’s attention.
Activity
Children practise reading their myths, initially to themselves and a partner, and then to a small group or an adult. Children should think about the performance tips in order to evaluate and improve their performances.