Non-fiction

English Year 4 Spring Reports

Wolves

Read Wolves in the Walls (Gaiman) and Wolves (Gravett) for features of non-chronological reports. Use adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions of time/cause. Produce reports.

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 Unit: Read and compare fiction and non-fiction about wolves
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks.
-- Read books that are structured in different ways and read for a range of purposes.
-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.

 


-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence.
-- Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.
-- Participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns, listening to others.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
The Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman
Wolves by James Maclaine
Walk with a Wolf by Janni Howker

Optional Texts
Wolves by Emily Gravett

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce the strange and mysterious book Wolves in the Wall as an example of fiction about wolves.
Activity
Discuss characters from the book and make predictions about how the story might develop. Talk together about what this book teaches us about wolves.

Day 2 Teaching
Complete the rest of Wolves in the Wall. Talk about whether questions were answered and how the characters developed.
Activity
Improvise a scene with the four human characters from Wolves in the Wall. Think about what more the book says about wolves and about the features of fiction.

Day 3 Teaching
Use the Usborne book: Wolves to explore non-fiction about wolves. Look at how the book is structured and the sort of questions that it answers. Build up a list of facts about wolves from the Usborne book.
Activity
Complete comprehension tasks to explore the Usborne book in depth and see which questions it answers about wolves.

Day 4 Teaching
Use Walk with a Wolf to explore a book that mixes fiction and non-fiction. Explore the different language characteristics of each.
Activity
Sort sentences from Walk with a Wolf into fiction and non-fiction. Add facts from the book to a class list. Enjoy the book Wolves by Emily Gravett, which blends fiction and non-fiction in an entertaining and memorable way.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Using conjunctions to express time and clause in multi-clause sentences
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s imagination.

Transcription
None for this unit

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

 


-- Read their own writing aloud, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements.

Grammar
-- Extend the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although.

You Will Need

Texts
Walk with a Wolf by Janni Howker

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Time and Cause

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use the first half of the book Walk with a Wolf to check and secure children’s understanding of verbs, subjects and clauses.
Activity
Identify verbs in sentences and choose and add verbs to complete sentences. Write sentences about wolves that include more than one verb and notice the joining word that enables this.

Day 2 Teaching
Finish reading Walk with a Wolf, listening to the story of the hunt. Use a Powerpoint to look in particular at conjunctions and how they can be used to combine multiple clauses into sentences.
Activity
Children make multi-clause sentences with conjunctions about the hunt either by creating their own clauses or by cutting up and combining sets of clauses.

Day 3 Teaching
Children tell the story of the hunt and look closely at one sentence from Walk with a Wolf. They use this sentence to revisit their learning about verbs, clauses and conjunctions.
Activity
Children write about the hunt, using multi-clause sentences. They listen to each other’s writing and make changes to some of the conjunctions, talking about the effect that this has on meaning.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Conjunctions: Time and Cause PowerPoint
This presentation revises clauses, subject and active verb, and shows how we can use conjunctions to add clauses and giving information about time, place and cause.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Reading non-fiction and recognising its features
(suggested as 2 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Retrieve and record information from non-fiction
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.

 


-- Use dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read.
-- Check that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.
-- Identify main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarise these.

Transcription
None for this unit

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

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Wolves by J. Maclaine

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Watch a Steve Backshall video about Grey Wolves and then read two pieces of information writing. Talk about the features of this writing and practise using it to find out about wolves.
Activity
Work with some longer pieces of writing to answer questions about the world of wolves.
Day 2 Teaching
Look at a page from Usborne Wolves with the text removed. Talk about what the illustrations show and what writing might accompany them.
Activity
Draft some writing to go with other illustrations from Usborne Wolves and then design illustrations to fit text about either a wolf hunt or den-building.

Day 3 Teaching
Read an unedited Wikipedia article about Wolves and notice the technical and challenging vocabulary. Begin to make a list of this vocabulary. Look at the glossary in Usborne Wolves and revise how to use a dictionary to find meanings for unknown words.
Activity
Investigate some challenging vocabulary to do with wolves and start trying to use it in sentences.

Day 4 Teaching
Read a one-page report about Grey Wolves and test each other with questions from the text. Work out headings for each of the paragraphs and then see how the skeleton plan on which the report was structured.
Activity
Read another report, about Arctic Wolves, summarise the paragraphs and try to complete a skeleton plan that matches the report.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Express time, cause and place with adverbs and prepositions
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

 

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

Grammar
-- Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause (and place).

You Will Need

Texts
Wolves by Emily Gravett

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Prepositions, Adverbs, Time, Cause

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use simple sentences from Wolves by Emily Gravett to revise verbs and clauses. Use a Powerpoint to show how simple sentences may be extended by phrases introduced with prepositions.
Activity
Practise extending simple sentences about the wolves and rabbit by adding phrases with prepositions. Discuss how these can indicate time, place and cause.

Day 2 Teaching
Look at the use of adverbs in the last sentence of Wolves by Emily Gravett. Use a Powerpoint to teach how adverbs can add additional information about time, place and manner.
Activity
Extend some sentences using adverbs and think carefully about which fit the story.

Day 3 Teaching
Read the ‘hidden’ letter from Wolves by Emily Gravett and talk about the two possible endings of the book.
Activity
Choose one of the endings and write a reply to the letter either from the rabbit or from the wolf. Use sentences that have been extended with prepositions and with adverbs.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Prepositions, Adverbs, Time, Cause PowerPoint
Children revise prepositions and adverbs, and learn how to extend sentences using phrases starting with prepositions or adverbs to add information about time, cause or place.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write reports about wolves using grammar from previous units
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.

Transcription
-- Increase the 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.
-- Organise paragraphs around a theme.
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.
-- Propose changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences.
-- Proofread for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Wolves by J. Maclaine

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Time and Cause
SPAG PowerPoint: Prepositions Adverbs Time Cause

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read a report about Polar Bears that is similar in style and structure to the ones that children will write about Grey Wolves. Look carefully at its features and the way that its paragraphs have been organised. Practise using a Skeleton Plan.
Activity
Work in small groups to make Skeleton Plans for reports about Grey Wolves. Decide on the facts and technical vocabulary that will be included.

Day 2 Teaching
Model how to write a draft report using a Skeleton Plan. Think aloud as you do this, so that children can hear your decisions.
Activity
Children write a first draft of their reports from their Skeleton Plans. They rehearse their sentences out loud before they write them. They read one another’s writing.

Day 3 Teaching
Give feedback about children’s draft reports. Depending on their need, re-visit previous learning about conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs. Guide children to find sentences in their draft that they can improve.
Activity
Improve sentences and then complete report. Use a prompt-sheet to proof-read with a partner.

Day 4 Teaching
Decide presentation expectations depending on the audience for your reports. Look at previous learning about the use of illustrations and glossaries and decide whether these will be included with your reports.
Activity
Complete reports and add illustrations or a glossary. Share and publish your reports. Guide children to reflect on their writing.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Conjunctions: Time and Cause PowerPoint
This presentation revises clauses, subject and active verb, and shows how we can use conjunctions to add clauses and giving information about time, place and cause.

Prepositions, Adverbs, Time, Cause PowerPoint
Children revise prepositions and adverbs, and learn how to extend sentences using phrases starting with prepositions or adverbs to add information about time, cause or place.