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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 11: ‘Amazing Animals: The Arctic Fox’ (Report; Science - living things and their habitats; Geography - biomes and vegetation belts)

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Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 11
Model text: Amazing Animals: The Arctic Fox by Jo Franklin
Curriculum links: Science (Living Things and their Habitats); Geography (Biomes and Vegetation Belts)

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Jo Franklin; a fascinating report describing the arctic fox and its habitat. 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 nouns can be modified with prepositional phrases and explore word families, using their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes. In their final writing task, pupils will create their own report about an amazing arctic animal. This unit could be used as part of a geography topic on the Arctic or within a science unit based on animals and their habitats.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 4 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To explore morphology of words

Pupils will: identify the root word for a word family; complete given sentences; create their own word families using given word roots and use these to create sentences

2. Grammar: To expand nouns using prepositional phrases

Pupils will: modify nouns using prepositional phrases; write descriptions using prepositional phrases to create expanded noun phrases.

Additional skills to teach or revisit:

  • Using a range of conjunctions to create sentences with more than one clause
  • Prepositions
  • Using consistent tense
  • Apostrophes to show singular possession
  • Commas to separate items within a list

Additional year 4 curriculum teaching points

  • Fronted adverbials
  • Simple organisational devices

Year 4 vocabulary

Year 3/4 statutory spelling words: circle, difficult, height, natural, weight
Tier 2 words: harsh, hostile, temporary, typically, vertically
Tier 3 words: adapt, adaptation, Arctic, Arctic Circle, camouflage, climate, habitat, omnivore, predator, prey, scavenger, survive, wilderness

What is a word family?

Word families are groups of words that are related to each other in a combination of having the same root word (with prefixes, suffixes or other words added to make compound words like superman), grammar and meaning. Words that change when written in the past and present tense (for example understand and understood) are also part of the same word family. A word root is a basic word with no prefix or suffix added. The words play, playful, playing and replay are all part of the same word family as they all have the same word root (play) and are related in meaning.

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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