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Year 4 Model Text Resource Pack 18: ‘Cowboy Story’ (Narrative; Geography - North America)

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Real Writing Year 4 - Unit 18
Model text: Cowboy Story, by Margaret Bateson-Hill
Curriculum links: Geography (North America - knowledge of places)

Writing Unit Overview

This writing unit for Year 4 is built around an original model text by Margaret Bateson-Hill; a descriptive story describing a cowboy’s journey across the plains of America. 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 explore homophones and how their meanings and spellings differ. They will also investigate Standard English forms for verb inflections, understanding how written and spoken language can differ. In their final writing task, pupils will write their own story, based on the model text, of a cowboys journey across America. This unit could be used within a geography topic about North America.

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 spell words that are homophones

Pupils will: match homophones to their meanings; choose the correct KS2 homophones to complete a given sentence; write definitions for homophones, using a dictionary to help them

2. Grammar: To recognise the differences between Standard English and non-Standard English

Pupils will: identify whether sentences are written using Standard or non-Standard English; correct sentences so that they use Standard English; write direct speech, using Standard English and punctuating speech correctly

Additional skills to teach or revisit:

  • Apostrophes for contracted words and singular possession
  • Using a consistent tense when writing

Additional Year 4 curriculum teaching points

  • Punctuating speech
  • Creating expanded noun phrases by modifying nouns
  • Nouns and pronouns to avoid repetition
  • Describing characters and settings

Year 4 vocabulary

Year 3 / 4 statutory spelling words: probably, weight
Tier 2 words: companion, descended, excess, lowing
Tier 3 words: brand, chaps, chuck wagon, coyote, driving, herd, lasso, mountain, plain, rain slicker, ranch, reins, settlers, vaquero, wrangler

What are homophones?

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

Examples of homophones or words that are often confused from English Appendix 1, Years 3/4:

  • accept/except
  • affect/effect
  • ball/bawl
  • berry/bury
  • brake/break
  • fair/fare
  • grate/great
  • groan/grown
  • here/hear
  • heel/heal/he’ll
  • knot/not
  • mail/male
  • main/mane
  • meat/meet
  • medal/meddle
  • missed/mist
  • peace/piece
  • plain/plane
  • rain/rein/reign
  • scene/seen
  • weather/whether
  • whose/who’s

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