Non-fiction

English Year 4 Summer Reports

Narratives of Liberation

Explore recounts using biographies from the civil rights movement: Henry’s Freedom Box and the story of Rosa Parks' life. Use dialogue punctuation, apostrophes and paragraphs.

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 about an escape and write a short recount
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Listen appropriately to peers.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest/imagination.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
-- Participate in discussion about books, taking turns and listening to what others say.
-- Discuss non-fiction.
-- Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.
-- Identify main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarise these.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally, building an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- 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.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own writing and suggest improvements.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and read the start of Henry's Freedom Box. Discuss the events in and note that this is a type of chronological report.
Activity
Working in small groups, reread text and then discuss and record some talking points.

Day 2 Teaching
Read to the end of Henry’s Freedom Box and discuss the story. Learn about the background to the story.
Activity
Read a text about the background to the story and then answer questions based on this.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss features of biographical recounts and discuss. Explain how to produce a ‘map’ of the main events of Henry’s life. Reread story, recapping events.
Activity
Produce a ‘map of events’ of Henry’s life. Look back through the story to remember events, before summarising each event in a box. Draw inferences about the characters.

Day 4 Teaching
Introduce and model writing a letter from Henry to a childhood friend or sibling, recounting his life from the factory to when he arrived in Philadelphia.
Activity
Write a letter to a childhood friend or sibling, in role as Henry. Read letters out loud in order to check and improve on them.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Write dialogue using correct punctuation and a variety of reporting clauses
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate in role play.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
-- Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting.

 

Composition
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
-- Use and punctuate direct speech.

You Will Need

Texts
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Presentations
SPAG: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Reread Henry’s Freedom Box and use a Powerpoint to consolidate the use of speech marks, capital letters and reporting clauses.
Activity
Children decide which of two scenes they want to focus on and allocate roles. They then role play the dialogue. Children consider how the dialogue might be described in a reporting clause.

Day 2 Teaching
Watch some of the scenes from Day 1 and use a Powerpoint to further consolidate the use of punctuation in written dialogue. Make a class prompt list for reference.
Activity
Children note down the dialogue from their scenes. They indicate who is speaking and how they are speaking. They use correct punctuation for direct speech.

Day 3 Teaching
Use an example dialogue from Day 2 to focus on developing reporting clauses. Move reporting clauses around so that they are not just at the beginning or end of the speech. Recap dialogue punctuation then spot the errors on a Powerpoint slide.
Activity
Children write their dialogue in best, adding a variety of reporting clauses, some of which are positioned in the middle of the sentence. Children check their punctuation and ensure that there is a new line for each new person speaking.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Writing and Punctuating Dialogue PowerPoint
Teach children how to write dialogue, adding the reporting clause at the start, in the middle or at the end of the speech. Rehearse end of sentence punctuation.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Explore a biography; use paragraphs in writing biographical recounts
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Listen and respond appropriately to peers.
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss non-fiction.
-- Retrieve information from non-fiction.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Identify main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarise.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Who was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Optional Texts
Little People, Big dreams: Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser

Presentations
SPAG: Paragraphs

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Who was Rosa Parks? Read Chapters 1 and 2 and discuss. Explain that Rosa Parks is an important figure in the continuing struggle of black people for equality and that you will explore biographical recounts about her.
Activity
Read Chapter 3 in groups. Children follow discussion prompts to answer questions about the text.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on Rosa Parks’ life so far then read Chapters 5 and 7. Read a summary of the bus boycott and discuss what happened.
Activity
Children read extracts about Rosa Parks and answer differentiated questions in small groups.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Chapter 9. Draw a time line of Rosa Parks’ life and discuss how one event came to define her. Use a Powerpoint to explore the use of paragraphs.
Activity
Children read a summary of Rosa’s life. They choose a section that they will write about and give reasons for their choice.

Day 4 Teaching
Model writing in organised paragraphs using a section of the summary of Rosa’s life.
Activity
Children use a range of provided written sources to write short paragraphs recounting their chosen part of Rosa’s life. Children reread their paragraphs and make improvements.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Paragraphs PowerPoint
Teach children how paragraphs help us to understand a piece of writing.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Identify correct uses of apostrophes and use in own writing
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Listen and respond appropriately to peers.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss non-fiction.
-- Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
-- Indicate possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns.

You Will Need

Texts
Little People, Big dreams: Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser
Who was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Presentations
SPAG: Uses of Apostrophes

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read about and discuss Rosa Parks, remembering what has been learnt in Unit 1.
Activity
Read and answer questions about a summary of the Civil Rights Movement.

Day 2 Teaching
Read about and discuss the Bus Boycott. Use a Powerpoint to teach about the use of apostrophes for possession. Look at some Boycott placards with missing apostrophes.
Activity
Add the missing apostrophes, correct further placard statements then write new ones.

Day 3 Teaching
Look at the use of apostrophes in a summary of the Bus Boycott. Recap apostrophes using slides from the Powerpoint.
Activity
Add in apostrophes to a summary, then write a pair of sentences where one has two apostrophes used wrongly and one has two apostrophes used correctly.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss the effectiveness of the boycott. Model the opening of a postcard from a child at the time of the boycott, to a relation or friend, giving a short account of events.
Activity
Imagining that they are a child living in Montgomery, write a postcard to a friend or relation in another city, giving a clear account of what happened. Use apostrophes in this writing.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Uses of Apostrophes PowerPoint
Teach children that apostrophes can be used for possession, singular and plural, and also for contractions. Ensure that all uses are fully rehearsed and understood.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a recount in the form of a biographical blog
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

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

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.
-- Identify main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarise these.

Transcription
-- Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of handwriting.

 

Composition
-- 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.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own writing and suggest improvements.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
-- Extend the range of sentences with more than one clause.

You Will Need

Texts
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Who was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Little People, Big dreams: Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Look back at chosen text and recap the key events. Explain that children will research, plan and write a blog either about Henry’s journey or about Rosa’s bus ride, arrest and the bus boycott. Clarify what a blog is and model making effective notes.
Activity
Give children summary resources. They read the summaries in pairs and discuss which key bits of information they wish to include in their blog. Children make notes for their blog.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on Features of Biographical Recounts. Explain that today children will need to organise their ideas into paragraphs and think about how they will introduce and round off their blog. Discuss paragraphs then suggest possible blog titles.
Activity
Children plan their blog. They use the template to organise their notes from Day 1 into 3-4 paragraph summaries. Children also come up with a title for their blog entry.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap again on Features of Biographical Reports. Discuss language and tense and remind children that a blog is written fairly informally. Model writing the opening of a blog – introduce the topic in the form of a brief overview of what the content will be.
Activity
Children start writing their blog. They write an opening summary sentence to begin then use their plan to create 3 or 4 further paragraphs that outline the key events of their chosen subject.

Day 4 Teaching
Consider ways to improve an example blog entry. Model editing the blog then discuss how the blog should end. Come up with possible ending sentences that summarise the overall outcome. Recap on features of effective handwriting.
Activity
Children finish writing their blog, including a summary sentence at the end. Once they have a full first draft, children edit and improve their work. They then publish their blog, including improvements, using neat, accurate handwriting.