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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 9: ‘The Richest Man in the World’ (Biographical recount; Computing)

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Real Writing Year 4, Unit 9
The Richest Man in the World, by Margaret Bateson-Hill
Curriculum links: Computing

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Margaret Bateson-Hill - a biographical recount about Bill Gates. 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 read an information text about the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates. They will have an opportunity to learn technical vocabulary related to computers and philanthropy. This unit has cross-curricular links to computing, especially the understanding of computer networks such as the internet, and culminates in pupils researching and writing their own biographical recount.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully resourced lesson plans are included for the following Year 4 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discreetly:

Vocabulary: To use further prefixes and suffixes, using etymology and morphology to explore words

Pupils will: revisit the definitions of etymology and morphology; explore how word families can be created by adding suffixes and prefixes to root words; sort words into families; use words from word families in sentences of their own.

Grammar: To extend sentences using a wider range of conjunctions

Pupils will: revisit conjunctions; understand what is meant by a subordinating clause; identify conjunctions in sentences; modify clauses by adding conjunctions and subordinate clauses; complete a sentence making activity; write extended sentences using conjunctions.

Additional objectives to teach or revisit:

  • present perfect verb forms
  • grouping related information into paragraphs
  • using adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions to express time, place and cause

Additional year 4 curriculum teaching points

  • fronted adverbials
  • organisational devices
  • modifying nouns to create expanded noun phrases

Year 4 vocabulary

Tier two words: devise, influence, manufacturer, pioneering
Tier three words: computing, programming, philanthropist, philanthropy, software
Year 3 / 4 statutory spelling words: believe, consider, enough, increase

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 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.

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