Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 21
Model text: The Tropics, by Joshua Seigal
Curriculum links: Geography (climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts)
Writing unit overview
This two-week writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Joshua Seigal; an imaginative KS2 poem; describing The Tropics. The example text is available as a PDF in three versions (plain, illustrated and annotated); annotated and non-annotated PowerPoint presentations are also included.
Through a series of scaffolded activities, pupils will explore the poet’s use of pronouns, and their use of humour and informal vocabulary. They will also investigate vowel suffixes -al, -ic and -ity. In the final writing task, pupils are asked to create their own poem describing The Tropics, following the structure of the model text. This unit could be used within a geography topic about The tropics, rainforests, climate zones or biomes.
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 use further suffixes: vowel suffixes -al, -ic and -ity
Pupils will: decide which vowel suffix can be added to given root words; write sentences containing some words with suffixes taught
2. Grammar: To use pronouns for clarity and to avoid repetition
Pupils will: edit sentences, adding pronouns where needed; sort pronouns to show whether they are possessive or personal; use pronouns when writing a description of a rainforest
Additional skills to teach or revisit:
- Apostrophes to show singular possession
- Apostrophes for contracted words
- Noun phrases
- Present progressive verb form
Additional year 4 curriculum teaching points
- Organising paragraphs (or stanzas) around a theme
- Using adverbials
- Discussing writing similar to which they are planning (poetry)
Year 4 vocabulary
Year 3/4 statutory spelling words: earth, uncertainty
Tier 2 words: frolic, luscious, mozzies, replete, swarm
Tier 3 words: equator, foliage, humidity, season, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, tropics
What is a suffix?
A suffix is a group of letters that can be added to the end of a word. The suffix can change the word’s meaning. Examples of suffixes include -ing, -ed, -er, -est, -ness, -less, -ful, -ly, -ment and -ous.
What is a pronoun?
Pronouns are words that can be used in a sentence to replace a noun or noun phrase. Examples of pronouns include I, me, my, we, they, yours and ours.
What are the types of pronoun?
There are different types of pronouns that pupils in Key Stage 2 will become familiar with in Year 4.
Personal pronouns are used when referring to people or things already known. Personal pronouns are: I, me, you, he, she, it, we, us, they or them.
Different pronouns are used when writing in the first, second or third person and can be singular or plural.
- I have a new toy. It is the same one that you have.
Possessive pronouns indicate who owns the thing or things in the sentence. Possessive pronouns are: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours or theirs.
The toy is his.
Take care! The words his, her, your, its, our and their can also be used as possessive determiners which show who owns something. My is also a possessive determiner.
In the sentence above, ‘his’ is used as a possessive determiner before a noun. Care must be taken to decide if these words are used as pronouns or determiners. To check, pronouns replace a noun, whereas determiners are used with a noun to create a noun phrase.
What does ‘clarity’ mean?
This means to make something clear so that it is less confusing and more understandable.