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Year 3 Model Text Resource Pack 25: ‘Diary of a Fossil Hunter’ (Recount; Science - rocks)

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This resource is part of our writing curriculum
Real Writing
  • Covers every objective for years 3-6
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Real Writing Year 3 - Unit 25
Diary of a Fossil Hunter, by Loretta Schauer
Curriculum links: Science (rocks)

Unit overview
This writing unit for Year 3 is built around an original model text by Loretta Schauer - an imagined diary entry from the famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning. 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 have an opportunity to learn technical vocabulary related to fossil hunting. They will look at the etymology and morphology of dinosaur names, and explore using conjunctions, adverbials and prepositions to express the passage of time. It will culminate in them writing their own version of an extract from Mary Anning’s diary.

Key curriculum skills
Two fully resourced lesson plans are included for Year 3 English objectives:

1. Vocabulary - To explore the etymology and morphology: dinosaur names
Pupils will: understand the meaning of the terms etymology and morphology; discuss the origins of the word dinosaur, and dinosaur names; match dinosaur names to meanings; work out the meaning of made-up words from root words, and use them in sentences.

2. Composition - To use a range of conjunctions, adverbials and prepositions to express the passage of time
Pupils will: revisit word classes; understand how conjunctions, adverbials and prepositions can help us indicate how time is passing in our writing; match sentence starters and sentence finishers; compose sentences starting with conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions as shown.

Revisited skills

  • Subordination
  • the correct use of past and present tense
  • the use of noun phrases

Additional year 3 curriculum teaching points

  • the use of prepositional phrases
  • use of the present perfect tense
  • the use of paragraphs organised around a particular time, space or theme
  • and the inclusion of organisational features such as headings and subheadings

Year 3 words: featured vocabulary
Tier two words: discover, magnificent
Tier three words: ammonite, belemnite, excavate, fossil, geological, limestone, ichthyosaur, plesiosaurus, rock, specimen
Year 3 spellings: actually, appear, complete, decide, enough, suppose, thought, although, woman

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