Fiction

English Year 5 Autumn Gothic Fiction

Goth Girl

Through Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl, explore how atmosphere, settings & characters are created. Study adverbs of possibility, commas, relative clauses, dialogue punctuation.

The planning and resource documents for each session in this English block are free to all users.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Features of gothic novels and relative clauses
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Preparation
You will need to have read the class the first five chapters of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse in advance.


Texts
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Optional Texts
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell
Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Relative clauses

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, introducing the story and recapping events to Chapter 5. Consider the impact of illustration on the presentation of the book and create a list of Gothic features. Discuss how Riddell uses this genre but makes it funny.
Activity
In small groups and supported by the class list of features, children discuss Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, picking out Gothic elements. They then make and discuss predictions, supported by a ‘Mysteries to Solve’ prompt (see resources).

Day 2 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Relative Clauses (see resources) to introduce relative clauses. Use oral rehearsal to help children hear the relative clause and its position in a sentence. Discuss characters met so far in Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, enjoying Riddell’s illustration style.
Activity
In pairs, children discuss and write descriptive sentences about one of the characters, using copies of illustrations for inspiration. Challenge children to insert relative clauses to give extra detail, using a differently coloured pen to indicate the relative clause.

Day 3 Teaching
Briefly revise relative clauses, using the Relative Clauses PowerPoint (see resources). Children reread writing from Day 2, looking at their use of relative clauses, including position and punctuation. Discuss and model how these character descriptions can be developed using further detail and creating atmosphere through language choice.
Activity
Working with the same partner as yesterday, children create a polished character description. Encourage children to insert relative clauses to add atmospheric detail and support with correct punctuation.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Relative Clauses PowerPoint
Teach children the function and form of relative clauses, including how to punctuate a relative clause at the beginning, end or middle of a sentence.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Adverbs of possibility in a gothic novel setting
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility

Websites
Burghley House from www.burghley.co.uk
Other websites (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap the plot Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, to the end of Chapter 8 (using synopsis resource if needed). Discuss the character, Lucy Borgia, making predictions and reading pp.134-7 to examine clues in the text about her. Encourage children to link their predictions to evidence in the text.
Activity
In small ability groups, children read part of Chapter 9, discussing their ideas and predictions. Discussion is supported by two levels of prompt sheet: ‘Focus Questions’ Harder; ‘Question Sheet’ Easier (see resources).

Day 2 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Adverbs of Possibility (see resources) to introduce adverbs with this function. Check children can identify the verb being modified and list the adverbs for children’s reference. Discuss the setting of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, having mapped out the hall with Post-It notes.
Activity
Individually, children choose a room and describe it, using descriptive language. Children add a prediction or an opinion about the room, using adverbs of possibility to express it, e.g. The Broken Wing is neglected and dangerous. It probably is haunted too. Children can repeat this with different rooms.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss the illustration of G-G Hall (p.6), considering if children would like to live there. Emphasise the use of adverbs of possibility in opinions voiced, e.g. Possibly, Max would find the ghosts too scary. Discuss what it would be like to lead a tour of the hall. Read an example of a tour script (see resources) and discuss language features.
Activity
Children work with a partner to develop a script for a tourist guide in Ghastly-Gorm Hall, supported by ‘Tourist Guide Prompt’ and ‘Vocabulary of Large Houses’ (see resources). Children use adverbs of possibility to present speculation as fact, e.g. Pirate ancestors of the Goth family probably hid priceless jewels under the Sensible Folly.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Adverbs to Indicate Degrees of Possibility PowerPoint
Explain to children that adverbs modify verbs; adverbs of possibility tell us more about how certain we are about the verb.

Composition
Unit 3 Composition: Characters for gothic novels
(suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Play a clip of Riddell recounting the inspiration for Goth Girl (see websites). Discuss how characters and atmosphere are created through illustration and other text features (labels, footnotes, maps, Emily’s paintings, newspaper cuttings).

Activity
In small groups, children read and compare character depictions through text and illustration. They consider the impact of each and their personal preference. Children choose from: Sesta (p.99-101), Hamish & Mr Omalos (p.114-117), Wildman & Wife (p.123-125) and other text features: maps (p.6, p.184), cuttings (p.155) and footnotes (p.154, p.10, p.169).

Day 2 Teaching
Show and discuss the clip of Riddell drawing Ada (see websites). Children then draw Ishmael along with a second clip, pausing and replaying as needed. Discuss the method of developing and exploring characters through drawing.
Activity
Individually, children develop a new villainous character who might visit G-G Hall. They sketch and annotate the person, including details about physical and personality traits, and their motivation for visiting.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Improvising then punctuating dialogue
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Dialogue punctuation

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read p. 207 to the words ‘…muffled thump.’. (If you haven’t been reading along, explain that Hellsung has lured the G-G wildlife to the roof to hunt them. Borgia then steps in to stop him.) Discuss ideas for possible dialogue between them. What other arguments might happen at the hall?
Activity
In pairs, children choose two characters to develop a quarrel with. Provide ‘Argument Triggers’ (see resources) for support. Children use improvisation to explore dialogue ideas and make brief notes of what they have decided.

Day 2 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Dialogue Punctuation (see resources) to revise the punctuation and layout of dialogue. Discuss how to use the improvised scene notes from Day 1 to write impactful dialogue.
Activity
Individually, children write a short scene based on Day 1’s improvisations. They include a balance of action, description and correctly punctuated dialogue. Encourage children to choose their dialogue for impact.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Dialogue Punctuation PowerPoint
Assist children in using correctly punctuated dialogue to give clues about character and to tell the story or move the plot along.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Extended writing: a new chapter in the gothic style
(suggested as 5 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Presentations
Composition PowerPoint: Using dialogue to tell the story

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss story structure (Beginning→ Build-up→ Conflict/Problem→ Resolution→ Ending) and how this can happen within chapters. Demonstrate with Chapter 7 of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (see resources), noting the rise and fall in tension. Introduce the unit task: to write a new chapter, set after the first book ends.
Activity
Individually, children plan a short story, set in the world of Goth Girl, where a new villainous character comes to stay with an evil plan. Support is available in ‘Story Ideas’ (see resources).

Day 2 Teaching
Read the opening sentences of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, considering how story openings draw the reader in. Model writing the opening of a new chapter, using relative clauses to add detail. Create a list of tips for writing an effective story opening (see adult notes in resources).
Activity
Children write their story opening, using their plans and the criteria agreed. Remind chileren to use relative clauses to add detail.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss the build-up and conflict parts of children’s story plans. Explain that adverbs of possibility can be useful for hinting to build tension, e.g. ‘Maybe, the new governess was not who she said she was.’ Create a list of tips for writing effective build-up and conflict (see adult notes in resources).
Activity
Children write the build-up to their new chapters using their plans. Encourage children to use adverbs of possibility to build tension.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss PowerPoint: Dialogue in Stories (see resources). If punctuation errors persist in the class, revise dialogue punctuation here. Plan to use dialogue in today’s writing. Agree and list criteria/tips for writing the problem/conflict and resolution.
Activity
Children write the conflict/problem part of their story. Encourage children to include 3-4 pieces of powerful dialogue. Children may finish their chapters today, ensuring that the resolution links directly to the conflict/problem.

Day 5 Teaching
Discuss ways to improve the chapters, once children have finished writing them: for accuracy and for impact. Pick a few areas to focus on, reminding children that they can use thesauruses for improving language choice. Create a proof-reading checklist for children to follow.
Activity
Children finish their chapter. They then read the whole story and look for ways to improve it, using the checklist created in the input. Children can do this with a writing partner or independently. At the end of the unit, recommend other books in this series. Play clip to inspire further reading.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Using Dialogue to Tell the Story PowerPoint
This brief but focused presentation encourages children to use dialogue appropriately in their own writing and also to punctuate it correctly.