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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 10: ‘Worth Its Weight In Gold!’ (Report; History - Anglo-Saxons)

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Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 10
Model text: Worth its weight in gold! by Loretta Schauer
Curriculum links: History (Anglo-Saxons)

Writing Unit overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Loretta Schauer; a newspaper article recounting the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon artefacts ever discovered. 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 Standard English and explore homophones and homonyms, learning that words can have more than one spelling or meaning. In their final writing task, pupils are asked to imagine that a new Anglo-Saxon hoard has been found somewhere in the country. They will then write their own newspaper report recounting the find. This unit could be used within a history topic on the Anglo-Saxons.

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 use a dictionary to look up the spelling and meaning of words

Pupils will: use a dictionary to find the meanings of homophones and homonyms; write sentences using given homophones and homonyms

2. Grammar: To use Standard English instead of local spoken forms

Pupils will: rewrite sentences as direct speech using Standard English and revisit punctuating speech rules for KS2

Additional skills to teach or revisit:

  • expanded noun phrases for description and specification

Additional Year 4 curriculum teaching points:

  • Fronted adverbials
  • Simple organisational devices
  • Nouns and pronouns to avoid repetition

Year 4 vocabulary

Year 3 / 4 statutory spelling words: believe, century, describe, earth, extremely, important, recently, surprise, thought, weight
Tier 2 words: fine, fragment, nestle, notify, ornate
Tier 3 words: Anglo-Saxon, archaeologist, artefact, conservation, devotional, excavate, excavation, haul, hoard

What are homophones?

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings.

What are homonyms?

These are words that are spelt the same but have different meanings and are usually also pronounced differently.

What is Standard English?

Standard English is used in most books, articles and documents. Most written work completed in school will be in Standard English. When writing in Standard English, the correct verb inflections should be chosen (for example ‘we were ...’ rather than ‘we was ...’) and the use of a double negative should be avoided. Examples of Standard English include the following:

  • We were travelling on the bus. (Rather than ‘We was travelling ...’)
  • I didn’t see anything. (Rather than’ I didn’t see nothing.’)

  • In Year 4, the focus is on the correct use of verb inflections, particularly for the verbs be, do and have, checking that the subjects and verbs agree.

What is direct speech?

Direct speech is when the exact words that someone says are written.

  • “We are going on an adventure,” said Travis.
    Inverted commas, or speech marks, are used when writing direct speech. The inverted commas go around what is said within a sentence. Other speech punctuation is also needed. Punctuation is needed at the end of the direct speech before the inverted comma, and a comma is used after the reporting clause if this comes before the direct speech.

How do we punctuate direct speech?

  • “We are going on an adventure,” said Travis.
  • Travis said, “We are going on an adventure.”

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