Fiction

English Year 5 Spring Stories on a Theme

Faraway Places

Read and write stories set in faraway places using Cloud Tea Monkeys and Mysterious Traveller. Study relative clauses and expanded noun phrases for concise writing.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to faraway stories
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Explore loose-leaf tea and tea picking and locate the Himalayas on a map. Introduce Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. Read the first page and discuss the setting. Note how writers leave clue for readers to make inferences from.
Activity
In pairs, children read the next pages from Cloud Tea Monkeys. Children discuss and compose questions they could ask someone else about the text. Encourage children to include questions about the setting and to ask questions which require inference skills.

Day 2 Teaching
Read with or to the class, pages 11, 13, 15, 18 from Cloud Tea Monkeys, discussing how the tension is built. Can children predict what might happen next? Discuss ideas and any clues in the text.
Activity
Children discuss ideas about what might happen next and how Tasha’s problems could be solved. They then write a rough draft of an ending for the story so far in 200 words.

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children of their predictions last time and then read and discuss pages 19-25 of Cloud Tea Monkeys. Was anyone close? List the characters met so far and discuss how writers build images of characters.
Activity
In pairs, children read pages from Cloud Tea Monkeys and underline informative words and phrases about characters. They choose the most telling words and phrases, write these in quotation marks with an explanation of what this tells them.
Harder: Give children pages which will inform about more than one character.

Day 4 Teaching
Read the end of Cloud Tea Monkeys. What do children think of the story? Make links to the problems encountered by the fictional Tashi and real-life issues around fair- trade. Show a video clip and discuss.
Activity
Children explore sites about Fairtrade and research interesting facts and information to share about how Fairtrade improves people’s lives.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Expanded noun phrases to convey information concisely
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Remind children of Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, reminding children of the vividly portrayed setting and characters. Use PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases (slides 1-8) to revise how noun phrases are built.
Activity
Children use Expanded Noun Phrases (see resources) to identify head nouns and expanded noun phrases from Cloud Tea Monkeys. They then choose nouns to expand in a similar way.
Harder: Challenge children to also identify the different ways that the expanded noun phrase has been constructed.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise PowerPoint: Expanded Noun Phrases (slides 1-8) and explore and discuss how expanded noun phrases can convey complicated ideas and images in concise ways using slides 9-11. Discuss why might writers want to write concisely but richly.
Activity
Children discuss, develop and write expanded noun phrases about an illustration from Cloud Tea Monkeys. Children use these in full sentences, re-reading to check for impact and any unnecessary words.

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children of how the Royal Tea-Taster spotted the cloud tea leaves. Read the pages 31-35 of Cloud Tea Monkeys which describe his reaction when he tasted the tea. Pick out the noun phrases used to describe the tea. How do we know that the tea is special?
Activity
Children write an advertisement for Cloud Tea. They can choose their platform (YouTube video, television, flier, etc.) or you might choose one. They describe the cloud tea, what it is like, where it comes from and how it is made as descriptively as possible.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Expanded Noun Phrases PowerPoint
Children revise the structure of expanded noun phrases before exploring how they can convey complicated information concisely and with impact.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Explore how writers use imagery and tension
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

Optional Text
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. Discuss the setting, read the blurb and Authors’ note. The book begins at an exciting moment of the story (even though it is also acting as an introduction). Discuss how tension is built through the language used and by creating mysteries.
Activity
Children read the opening section of Mysterious Traveller (see resources). They record questions that the passage raises and then underline the words that build tension.

Day 2 Teaching
Read pages 3-6 of Mysterious Traveller. Compare this to Day 1‘s reading. It is much slower and more descriptive. Discuss how this builds tension in a different way. Reread the paragraph beginning, ‘Issa’s old eyes…’. What can we infer about him from these words?
Activity
Children read the copied pages from Mysterious Traveller. They answer the questions from the question sheet (see resources) either formally as a written exercise or through discussion and note-taking.
Differentiation: The questions increase in difficulty – ask slower readers to concentrate on reading and discussing pages 7-10.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss and list all the ways that writers build images (powerful noun phrases, similes and metaphor, describing small details, including different senses, etc.). Read pages 17, 19 and 20 slowly, asking children to spot words and phrases which build vivid images. Discuss how these have impact.
Activity
Children read copied pages as a group, taking turns to read aloud. They underline examples of powerful images: words, phrases or sentences and then select examples to record on the imagery sheet (see resources).
Harder: More able could colour-code their imagery examples.

Day 4 Teaching
Recap on the adventure mystery so far. Predict what might happen next then read the story to the end. Discuss how the mystery about Mariama is solved. What do children think of it? Discuss how to write a book review, displaying and discussing the plan resource.
Activity
Children write a book review about Mysterious Traveller or Cloud Tea Monkeys, guided by the plan resource. Remind children to use headings and other organisational devices to structure their writing.
Easier: Give children sentence starters (see resources) to support.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Relative clauses; building images
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Relative clauses

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Remind children of Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, showing some of the illustrations and discussing the setting, characters and plot. Use PowerPoint: Relative clauses (to slide 8) to introduce/revise relative clauses and pronouns.
Activity
Children use the resource sheets to discuss, identify and insert relative clauses. The activities increase in difficulty.

Day 2 Teaching
Use PowerPoint: Relative clauses (to slide 8) to revise relative clauses. Then teach and discuss punctuation (slides 9-13). Rehearse adding relative clauses and discuss how the position of the noun dictates the position and therefore punctuation of the relative clause.
Activity
Children use the Writing Prompt (see resources) to guide them through the activity. They generate sentences to describe one of the illustrations and experiment with adding and punctuating relative clauses.

Day 3 Teaching
Re-read pages 25-28, reminding children that Mariama said that she ‘did not have the words’ to describe what she saw. Children will imagine that they are Mariama, developing a powerful description, building on their relative clause work from last session. Model developing ideas using sentences created on Day 2.
Activity
Children create a powerful piece of descriptive writing, describing the illustration as if it were a place they had seen, in first person and in the past. They use thesauruses and build a powerful image where every word has impact. They include punctuated relative clauses.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Relative clauses PowerPoint
Revise how relative pronouns introduce relative clauses and how relative clauses can give extra information about a noun or pronoun. Recognise when commas are required.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write a story with a faraway setting
(suggested as 5 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham
or
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Relative clauses

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Tell children that they are going to write their own faraway story and today they will research a setting. Show children some inspiring landscape images (see resources). Model generating ideas for settings as notes.
Activity
Children search for inspirational story settings. They create a copy of their chosen image and discuss and write descriptive language about the picture, building and developing powerful language and imagery.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss and model planning a story set in a faraway setting. Use a familiar planning format or introduce the 100-word method (see resources for example). Encourage children to think about the story structure and how the faraway setting will impact on the story.
Activity
Children discuss story ideas and then plan individually using a précis of 100 words or another planning format.
Easier: Children may want to plan collaboratively supported by an adult.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise story opening and build-up. Readers should be immersed in the setting and begin to learn a bit about the characters. Remind children how expanded noun phrases can convey complicated information concisely. Model writing the opening.
Activity
Children use their plans to draft the opening paragraphs of their stories. Encourage children to use words for impact, building expanded noun phrases and selecting powerful verbs and adjectives.
Easier: Support to decide which part of the plan they will be using today and to build descriptive sentences to describe the setting and characters.

Day 4 Teaching
Celebrate children’s writing so far. Remind about relative clauses and how these can also be used to add extra detail. Explain that today children are aiming to complete their first drafts. Can they include some cliff hangers?
Activity
Children aim to finish or very nearly finish their draft today. Remind them what a powerful ‘character’ the setting can be. They need to make sure the reader gets a vivid image of the faraway place where their story is set.

Day 5 Teaching
As children re-read their stories today, they will identify areas for improvement. With permission, display a scanned copy of children’s writing and model this process with the opening paragraph and with help from the class. Tell children that they will produce a final version for publication.
Activity
Children re-read their stories and edit for impact and accuracy. They check spellings with a dictionary. Children produce a final, neatly written version ready for publication.
Easier: Ask children to choose their best paragraph/s to copy out into their best handwriting.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Relative clauses PowerPoint
Revise how relative pronouns introduce relative clauses and how relative clauses can give extra information about a noun or pronoun. Recognise when commas are required.