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

image of Year 3 Model Text Resource Pack 25: ‘Diary of a Fossil Hunter’ (Recount; Science - rocks)
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Real Writing
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Real Writing Year 3 - Unit 25
Diary of a Fossil Hunter, by Loretta Schauer
Curriculum links: Science (rocks)

Writing 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 diary 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 as sentence starters in KS2. It will culminate in them writing their own version of an extract from Mary Anning’s diary using a variety of diary entry features.

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; use a range of sentence openers when composing sentences starting with conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions as shown.

Additional objectives to teach or revisit:

  • 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 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

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.
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
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.

What is an adverb?

  • gently
  • happily
  • loudly
  • finally
  • now
  • always
  • soon

What is a preposition?

  • 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.

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