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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 19: ‘The Diary of Gaius Oranius Betto (Diary recount; History - the Romans in Britain)

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Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 19
Model text: The Diary of Gaius Oranius Betto, by Ross Montgomery
Curriculum links: History (The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain)

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Ross Montgomery; a fascinating diary entry about the Romans use of elephants in the invasion of Britain, written from a Roman soldier’s viewpoint. 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 investigate how synonyms can be used to expand their vocabulary choices in their writing and will learn how to proofread writing for punctuation errors. In their final writing task, pupils are asked to write their own diary entry, recounting the same events as the model text but from a British soldier’s viewpoint, using the diary entry features that they have rehearsed throughout the unit. There is an opportunity to explore this viewpoint through roleplay. This unit could be used within a history topic about the Romans and their invasion of Britain.

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 pairs of synonyms; use a thesaurus to find synonyms for words; edit writing to improve vocabulary choices using their knowledge of synonyms

2. Grammar: To proof-read for punctuation errors

Pupils will: proof-read writing for punctuation errors, visiting a variety of editing stations

Additional objectives to teach or revisit:

  • Using consistent tense
  • Use apostrophes to show singular possession and contraction

Additional year 4 curriculum teaching points

  • Fronted adverbials
  • Simple organisational devices
  • Nouns and pronouns to avoid repetition
  • Modifying nouns to create expanded noun phrases
  • Punctuating direct speech

Year 4 vocabulary

Spelling words: centre, group, island
Tier 2 words: beset, nudge, swift
Tier 3 words: centurion, combat, conquer, defend, invade, military, troops, warfare

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