Fiction

English Year 4 Autumn Traditional Tales and Fables

Aesop's Fables

Read a range of fables (Rosen's Aesop's Fables) explore dialogue through drama, debate moral messages and write letters using extended sentences. Finally children write fables.

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: Read, re-tell and understand fables
(suggested as 2 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen/respond appropriately to adults & peers.
-- Participate in discussions, presentations, performances and debates.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).

Word Reading
-- Apply growing knowledge of root words etc. to read and understand new words.
-- Read further exception words, noting unusual phonemes/graphemes.

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction.
-- Increase their familiarity with a wide range of books, retelling some of these orally.
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.

 


-- Check that the text makes sense to them, discussing understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Participate in discussion about book.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Preparation
It is good to have children listen to high quality audio fables read by well-known voices. During the first week, allow children to listen at different times of the day. See websites in Teacher notes.


Texts
Aesop's Fables by Michael Rosen

Optional Texts
Aesop's Fables retold by Michael Morpurgo

Websites
Caged bird and bat from www.bbc.co.uk
Fox and stork from www.bbc.co.uk
Other websites (see resources)

Group Readers
The Hare and the Tortoise

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
We are going to be reading and discussing fables. Say who Aesop was, and point out some of the features of fables, drawing on what children already know. Discuss animal characters, dialogue, short pithy storytelling, and the moral. Point out that fables are oral stories – many have several versions and the moral may vary.
Activity
Put children in small groups, and give each group a fable to read. Use Hamilton Group Reader The Hare and the Tortoise with a group of children who struggle with reading. Children discuss the different fables, their characters and the moral of each one.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Town and Country Mouse in Michael Rosen’s Fables. Rehearse the key features of a fable - talking animal characters, a dispute arising between characters, a brisk, practical style (not flowery or over descriptive). Introduce comprehension questions and discuss how we can prepare to answer these.
Activity
Put children in small groups, each with a copy of one of the fables. Children read their fable and go through the comprehension paper, talking about each of the questions (see resources for differentiated reading tasks).

Group Readers

The Hare and the Tortoise
This colourful retelling of one of Aesop’s best-known fables will draw in even the most reluctant reader. Children will enjoy seeing arrogant hare getting his comeuppance as slow and steady tortoise beats him to the finish line! This book is perfect for using alongside teaching on fables and writing dialogue.

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

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Writing dialogue using correct punctuation
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others.
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Word Reading
None for this unit

 

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

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

Grammar
-- Indicate grammatical and other features by using and punctuating direct speech.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Re-read The Wolf and the Lamb. Discuss the two characters. How good are Wolf’s excuses? Can children think of other excuses and Lamb’s responses? They work in pairs creating a conversation. Look at the use of speech bubbles to record the dialogue.

Activity
Children work in pairs. They role play a dialogue between lamb and wolf. They should try various ideas and select the best to record using speech bubbles. Support children to create a good conversation using powerful language.

Day 2 Teaching
Share and display Dialogue punctuation PowerPoint (see resources). Go through this up to and including Slide 8. Do the exercise on Slide 3; take feedback and check work. Discuss how to come up with some speech-punctuation rules. Take suggestions and write Rules for writing dialogue.
Activity
Put children in small groups, each with a copy of their dialogue from yesterday. Children re-read their own dialogue, and rewrite as punctuated prose, adding appropriate reporting clauses.

Day 3 Teaching
Again, share and display Dialogue punctuation PowerPoint, continuing to the end of the presentation. Can children spot and correct the errors in the final exercise? Share some Knock-knock jokes and discuss how these may be written as dialogue. Refer back to our Rules for writing dialogue.
Activity
Children work individually using differentiated resources. They choose and write jokes, using speech punctuation, applying rules from the list. They may find it helpful to add punctuation and reporting clauses onto the actual jokes before writing them out in their books.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Punctuating Speech PowerPoint
Show children how speech marks ‘hug’ what is said, how to punctuate reporting clauses and how to position these in the middle of speech.

Group Readers

The Hare and the Tortoise
This colourful retelling of one of Aesop’s best-known fables will draw in even the most reluctant reader. Children will enjoy seeing arrogant hare getting his comeuppance as slow and steady tortoise beats him to the finish line! This book is perfect for using alongside teaching on fables and writing dialogue.

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

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Extend sentences using conjunctions (time/place/cause)
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Listen/respond appropriately to adults & peers.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Plan their writing by discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write.

 


-- Draft and write by composing and rehearsing sentences orally, progressively building an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
-- Develop their understanding of the concepts in Appendix 2 by extending the range of sentences with more than one clause using a wide range of conjunctions.
-- Develop their understanding of the concepts in Appendix 2 by using conjunctions to express time and cause.

You Will Need

Texts
Aesop's Fables by Michael Rosen

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Aesop Time/Place/Cause

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display the PowerPoint Time/Place/Cause Slides 1, 2 and 3 to model how to identify a verb. Display Single Clause Sentences (see resources) and show how we start with a simple sentence and use a conjunction to extend it. Continue with the PowerPoint to show how we add information about time, cause or place.
Activity
Children work in pairs. Use differentiated resources and re-write a fable using extended sentences. They link clauses using a range of conjunctions and produce a new version of the fable.

Day 2 Teaching
Sit children in a circle and use the Why/When Conjunction cards (see resources). Remind children that a clause must contain an active verb and ask children to extend a simple sentence adding information about why or when something happened.
Activity
Put children in small groups to play the When/Why Game. Make sure the Time/Cause Conjunctions sheet (see resources) is displayed. Support small groups who need it by modelling how to start with a simple sentence and extend it.

Day 3 Teaching
Again, share and display Time/Place/Cause PowerPoint, skimming through it to check children’s understanding. Read A Letter from Crow to his Son (see resources) to children. Identify the time/cause conjunctions and read these sentences together. Then re-read The Mouse and the Lion fable.
Activity
Children apply their grammar learning in a piece of writing. They use conjunctions to create elaborated and interesting sentences as they each write a letter using A letter from Lion to his daughter (see resources) as a template. Encourage verbal rehearsal to build and extend sentences, using time and cause clauses.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Time, Place and Cause PowerPoint
Explain single clause sentences and define verbs. Demonstrate how conjunctions can be use to extend sentences adding information on time or cause.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Animal characters and morals in fables
(suggested as 2 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen/respond appropriately to adults & peers.
-- Participate in discussions, presentations, performances and debates.
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Identify themes and conventions in a wide range of books.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justify inferences with evidence.

 


-- Check that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Participate in discussion about books taking turns and listening to what others say.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Aesop's Fables by Michael Rosen

Websites
The Boy who cried Wolf from bbc.co.uk
Other websites (see resources)

Group Readers
The Hare and the Tortoise

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Children list all the animal characters from the fables they have read. Record the list on the board. Pick Fox from The Fox and the Crow. Ask children to describe his character. Show how the dialogue reveals what he is like – his nature. Say that fables use stereotypical animals with clear traits useful for the moral.
Activity
Distribute Analysing Fable Characters (see resources) and explain to children how to fill in the table. Encourage to use a wide range of sources, including A few more Fables 1 and 2 and Rosen's Aesop's Fables noting difference in language and styles.

Day 2 Teaching
Listen to or read The Boy who Cried Wolf. Ask children what the moral is. Display and discuss ‘The Moral of the Story?’ (see resources) and discuss how it is possible that many fables can be told in different ways that generate different morals.
Activity
Children work in small groups to practise taking turns to speak and listen, explaining their point of view clearly and supporting it with evidence or elaboration. They use differentiated resources and look at the alternative suggestions for the moral of a particular fable.

Group Readers

The Hare and the Tortoise
This colourful retelling of one of Aesop’s best-known fables will draw in even the most reluctant reader. Children will enjoy seeing arrogant hare getting his comeuppance as slow and steady tortoise beats him to the finish line! This book is perfect for using alongside teaching on fables and writing dialogue.

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

Composition
Unit 5 Creative writing: Write own fable incorporating known features
(suggested as 5 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen/respond appropriately to adults & peers.
-- Participate in discussions and performances.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).

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 legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting.

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.

 


-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose/rehearse sentences orally, progressively building varied/rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.
-- In narratives, create settings, characters and plot.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.
-- Read aloud their own writing to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

Grammar
-- Use extended sentences including a wide range of conjunctions.
-- Use and punctuate direct speech.

You Will Need

Texts
Aesop's Fables by Michael Rosen

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Aesop Time/Place/Cause
SPAG PowerPoint Unit 2 Aesop Dialogue Punctuation

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display Analysing Fable Animals (see resources). Do children agree with these? Discuss. Display list of morals from Fables. Introduce the task: to plan own fable. Ask children to discuss which moral they might choose and what characters and plot they could devise to teach that moral.
Activity
Children work in pairs or threes. They use the Fable Planning Sheet (see resources) and an example to discuss and plan their own fable. They need to decide on the characters and the moral.

Day 2 Teaching
Children re-read their Fable Plans to remind them of their moral, characters and plot. Explain that each plot box will form a section (paragraph) in their fable. Show Extending sentences sheet (see resources). Remind children how to extend a single clause sentence using a conjunction to give more information about time or cause.
Activity
Display Extending Sentences sheet. Children write first drafts, referring to fable plans. Encourage verbal rehearsal, building up extended sentences. Tell them to write dialogue in speech bubbles or without worrying about punctuation. We focus on this tomorrow.

Day 3 Teaching
Share some children’s work and point out how we can extend sentences to make the writing more interesting. Remind children that they will be writing dialogue between their characters and how we have to punctuate dialogue correctly. Display and go through the Speech and Dialogue Punctuation Rules (see resources).
Activity
Children work with a partner to read/improve writing. They should extend some short sentences through time/cause clauses and link others with conjunctions. Children should include correctly punctuated dialogue between their characters.

Day 4 Teaching
Explain that today, children will edit and improve their work and then start to produce a final, beautiful copy! Display Finding spellings in a dictionary (see resources). Model how to look up words and check their spelling. Distribute dictionaries and practise this in pairs.
Activity
Children work with a partner to identify spelling errors in fable drafts, underline and check by looking up words in a dictionary. They read right through their fable and correct any errors. Once this is done, they start writing their fable out in ‘best’.

Day 5 Teaching
Children complete a final copy of their fable – making it beautiful work! As they go, they incorporate all their spelling corrections and check that they use correct punctuation, especially in writing dialogue. Once they have written out their fable, they illustrate it. Finally, they read their fables aloud.
Activity
Children work to produce neatly written versions of their fables, complete with all the improvements made over the week. They then illustrate their work – perhaps in the style of Michael Rosen’s Fables? Ask children to practise reading their fables aloud to a partner, then perform.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Time, Place and Cause PowerPoint
Explain single clause sentences and define verbs. Demonstrate how conjunctions can be use to extend sentences adding information on time or cause.

Dialogue Punctuation PowerPoint
Show children how speech marks ‘hug’ what is said, how to punctuate reporting clauses and how to position these in the middle of speech.