Real Writing Year 4, Unit 2
How to Build a Roman Road by Ross Montgomery
Curriculum links: History (the Romans in Britain)
Writing unit overview
This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Ross Montgomery - an instruction text explaining how to build a Roman road. The example text is available as a PDF in three versions (plain, illustrated and annotated); annotated and non-annotated PowerPoint presentations are also included.
In this two-week unit, pupils will read a set of instructions for building a Roman road. They will have an opportunity to learn technical vocabulary related to construction; they will look at synonyms to build a richer vocabulary, and investigate using adverbials, conjunctions and prepositions to express time, place and cause, including learning how these can be used as sentence starters in KS2. Finally, they will write their own set of instructions for building a Roman road.
Key curriculum skills
Two fully resourced lesson plans are included for Year 4 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:
Vocabulary: To build a varied and rich vocabulary - synonyms
Pupils will: revisit synonyms and how we can use a thesaurus to find them; understand the importance of choosing the right synonym for clarity; identify synonyms; find synonyms with a thesaurus and use them in sentences.
Grammar: To use adverbials, conjunctions and prepositions to express time, place and cause
Pupils will: revisit KS2 word classes; understand that conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions can all help us to express time, place and cause in our writing; complete sentence starters; sort words according to class; compose sentences starting with adverbials, conjunctions and prepositions including using some as sentence openers.
Additional skills to teach or revisit:
- using adjectives and prepositions
- using consistent tense
- using a range of conjunctions
Additional Year 4 curriculum teaching points
- using fronted adverbials
- using organisational devices
- creating expanded noun phrases using adjectives and prepositional phrases
Year 4 vocabulary
Tier two words: chariot, direct, durable, plough
Tier three words: concrete, construct, foundation, surface
Year 3 /4 statutory spelling words: build, enough straight, material, weigh
What is a synonym?
Synonyms are words with the same or a similar meaning. The words fast, speedy and rapid are synonyms of the word quick.
What are conjunctions?
A conjunction links words, phrases or clauses and is a type of cohesive device. They can be co-ordinating or subordinating and are used to form multi-clause sentences.
A co-ordinating conjunction joins clauses, and other phrases or words that are of the same importance in a sentence. Examples include and, but, or, nor and yet.
A subordinating conjunction introduces a subordinate clause. Examples include, when, if, because, although, while, until and since.
What is an adverb?
Adverbs are words that modify verbs but can also modify adjectives, other adverbs or whole sentences. They can give the answers to the following questions within a sentence: How ...? When ...?, Where…?, How often…? or How much ...? Adverbs can, but do not always, end with the suffix -ly. We can change adjectives to adverbs by adding the suffix -ly. Examples of adverbs are below
What is a preposition?
A preposition comes before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase and can link these to another part of a sentence. They can show position or direction, timing or show the relationship between parts of a sentence.
- The plane flew above the clouds.
This preposition shows position.
- Dinner is at 6pm.
This preposition shows timing.
- We learnt about the Romans.
This preposition shows relationship, ‘what’ they have learnt.