Real Writing Year 3 - Unit 1
Model text: How to build an Iron Age roundhouse, by Loretta Schauer
Curriculum Links: History (Iron Age)
Writing unit overview
This writing unit for Year 3 is built around an original model text by Loretta Schauer; a set of instructions outlining how to build an Iron Age roundhouse. 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 have an opportunity to learn technical vocabulary used in the construction of historical buildings. It will culminate in them writing their own set of instructions for how to make a model roundhouse using craft materials. This unit could be used as part of a topic on the theme of Iron Age Britain and could be linked to Design & Technology.
Key curriculum skills
Two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 3 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:
1. Vocabulary - identifying word families based on common words
Pupils will: sort word cards into word families; create definitions for made up words based on their roots, and work them into sentences; use the roots they have learned to create their own new words and definitions.
2. Grammar - use of the forms ‘a’ or ‘an’ according to whether the next word begins with a consonant or a vowel
Pupils will: sort word cards into those that would follow ‘a’ and those that would follow ‘an’; select three words and use them in a sentence with the correct determiners; create a quiz for their classmates.
Additional objectives to teach or revisit:
- identifying the grammatical features of different sentence types
- the correct use of past and present tense
- the use of commas for lists
Additional Year 3 teaching points
- extending sentences with a wider range of conjunctions
- the use of conjunctions, adverbials and prepositions to express time and cause
- the inclusion of organisational features such as headings and subheadings
Year 3 vocabulary
Year 3 / 4 statutory spelling words: circle, complete, strength, material, build, naturally
Tier 2 words: straw, flexible, circular, conical, heather, hearth
Tier 3 words: thatch, weave, wattle, daub
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.
When do we use ‘a’ and ‘an’?
The words ‘a’ and ‘an’ are articles, which is a type of determiner. The use of ‘a’ or ‘an’ is determined by the first letter of the word it comes before. If the word begins with a vowel, then ‘an’ is used. If it begins with a consonant, then ‘a’ is used.
The exception is when the word begins with the letter ‘u’ where it is making the /yoo/ sound, for example unicorn or useful.
When using an expanded noun phrase, the article that is used is determined by the word immediately after it. If adjectives are used, then it is the adjective that should be looked at.
- an eagle
- a majestic eagle