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Year 6 Model Text Resource Pack 23: ‘A Mayan Fact File’ (Report; History - Maya civilisation)

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Real Writing Year 6, Unit 23
Mayan Fact File, by Anita Loughrey
Curriculum links: History, (Maya civilisation)

Writing Unit overview

This writing unit for Year 6 is built around an original model text by Anita Loughrey - a report about aspects of the Maya civilisation. 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 read a non-chronological report about the Maya, finding out about their cities, religion and other interesting facts about this ancient civilisation. They will investigate homophones and expanded noun phrases, eventually writing their own, non-chronological report about Mexico.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully resourced lesson plans are included for the following Year 6 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To distinguish between homophones and other words that are often confused

Pupils will: revisit homophones; understand what is meant by homonym; look up meanings of homophones and homonyms; write jokes and puns using homophones and homonyms.

2. Grammar: To use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely

Pupils will: revisit nouns, adjectives, determiners and prepositions and give examples; understand how to create noun phrases with determiners, adjectives and prepositions; consider more precise vocabulary for improved noun phrases; write a paragraph using expanded noun phrases.

Additional skills to teach or revisit:

  • using parenthesis
  • relative clauses
  • commas for lists
  • using noun phrases
  • Additional Year 6 curriculum teaching points

    • using parenthesis
    • relative clauses
    • commas for lists
    • using noun phrases

    Year 6 vocabulary

    Tier two words: agriculture, catastrophe, hierarchy, mural, noble, pandemic, plaza, society, terrace

    Tier three words: archaeologist, civilisation, hieroglyphs, observatory, parchment, sacrifice
    Year 5 / 6 statutory spelling words: ancient. environment, equipment, government, sacrifice

    What is a non-chronological report?

    A non-chronological report is a piece of text that isn’t written in time order. They tend to be non-fiction, and they give information on subjects or events.

    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 5/6

    • advice/advise
    • device/devise
    • licence/license
    • practice/practise
    • prophecy/prophesy
    • farther/father
    • guest/guessed
    • heard/herd
    • led/lead
    • morning/mourning
    • past/passed
    • precede/proceed
    • aisle/isle
    • aloud/allowed
    • affect/effect
    • altar/alter
    • ascent/assent
    • bridle/bridal
    • cereal/serial
    • compliment/complement
    • descent/ dissent
    • desert/dessert
    • draft/draught
    • principle/principal
    • profit/prophet
    • stationary/stationery
    • steal/steel
    • wary/weary
    • who’s/whose

    How do we expand a noun phrase?

    A noun phrase is a noun with a determiner added before it. An example of a noun phrase is ‘the man’. In the examples below, this noun phrase has been expanded to add more detail about the noun.

  • the old man (an adjective has been added)
  • the giant man (a modifying noun has been added)
  • the man with the walking stick (a prepositional phrase has been added)
  • These are called expanded noun phrases.

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