Real Writing Year 6 - Unit 19
Model text: The Wrath of Vulcan by Jon Mayhew
Curriculum Links: Geography (Volcanoes)
Writing unit overview
This writing unit for Year 6 is built around an original model text by Jon Mayhew; a first-person narrative describing characters fleeing Pompeii as Mount Vesuvius erupts! The example text is available as a PDF in three versions (plain, illustrated and annotated); annotated and non-annotated PowerPoint presentations are also included.
Throughout this two-week unit, pupils will explore how dialogue is used to advance action in narratives, advancing the plot. They will also investigate how synonyms are used to create more precise descriptions and how contrast is shown through the use of antonyms. In the final writing task, pupils will write their own stories about fleeing from a volcano, deciding whether this will be set in ancient or modern times. This unit could be used alongside a topic on volcanoes as part of the geography curriculum.
Key Curriculum Skills
Two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following UKS2 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:
1. Vocabulary: To know how words are related by meaning as synonyms and antonyms
Pupils will: identify synonyms and antonyms for given words; replace words with suitable synonyms; rewrite sentences using antonyms; write a description of a volcanic eruption using their knowledge of synonyms and antonyms.
2. Composition: To use dialogue to advance action
Pupils will: annotate examples of dialogue from the model text, showing how it advances action; write a section of narrative about fleeing an eruption, advancing the action using dialogue in KS2.
Additional skills to teach or revisit
- Punctuating direct speech
- Using the past perfect form
- Relative clauses
- Expanded noun phrases
Additional Year 6 teaching points
- Using hyphens to avoid ambiguity
Year 6 vocabulary
Year 5 / 6 statutory spelling words: soldier
Tier 2 words: drift, engulf, grove, laden, lair, panic, patron, shiver, wisp
Tier 3 words: explosion, lava, sulphurous, volcano
What is dialogue?
Dialogue is a written conversation between two or more people. It is written as direct speech in narratives, with inverted commas punctuating what is said with other punctuation used in direct speech. It is important pupils understand speech rules in KS2 and the punctuation that should be used.
Action can be advanced using dialogue, with the direct speech giving information about was or is happening, or what will be happening in the future.
Information about characters can also be conveyed using dialogue, through what is said in direct speech or in the reporting clause showing how the speech is said.