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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 17: ‘The Tale of Johnny Appleseed’ (Narrative; Geography - North America)

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Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 17
Model text: The Tale of Johnny Appleseed, by Ross Montgomery
Curriculum links: Geography (North America - knowledge of places)

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Ross Montgomery; a retelling of one of America’s fondest legends about the folk hero Johnny Appleseed. 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 explore synonyms, developing their vocabulary. They will also investigate how nouns can be modified to create expanded noun phrases and use these to describe characters from other North American legends. In their final writing task, pupils are asked to research and retell another North American legend. This unit could be used within a geography topic about North America.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following LKS2 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To build a varied and rich vocabulary through the use of synonyms

Pupils will: match words that are synonyms; describe a character using their knowledge of synonyms

2. Grammar: To use expanded noun phrases to describe characters

Pupils will: create expanded noun phrases using determiners, adjectives, modifying nouns and using prepositions to create prepositional phrases to describe a character; write a character description using expanded noun phrases

Additional skills to teach or revisit

  • Extend sentences to include more than one clause
  • Apostrophes for contracted words

Additional Year 4 curriculum teaching points

  • Fronted adverbials
  • Punctuating speech

Year 4 vocabulary

Year 3/ 4 statutory spelling words: decide, favourite, fruit, important, knowledge, particularly, peculiar, strange
Tier 2 words: generosity, produce, random
Tier 3 words: frontier, native, orchard, pioneer, sapling

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 prepositional phrases?

A prepositional phrase is a group of words with a preposition at its head that is followed by a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. They can be used to modify a noun or verb. When they modify a verb, they are also known as an adverbial.

The prepositional phrases are bold in the sentences below.

  • The plane flew above the clouds.
  • Dinner is at 6pm.
  • We learnt about the Romans.

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