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Year 6 Model Text Resource Pack 11: ‘A River Speaks’ (Poetry; Geography - rivers)

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Real Writing
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Real Writing Year 6 - Unit 19
Model text: A River Speaks, by Joshua Seigal
Curriculum links: Geography (Rivers)

Writing Unit overview

This writing unit for Year 6 is built around an original model text by author Joshua Seigal; a delightful KS2 poem in the form of a first-person recount about a river’s journey from source to sea. 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 figurative language, making cross curricular links with geography (describe and understand key aspects of: physical geography, including… rivers…), including the correct use of tier 3 vocabulary related to rivers. Finally, they will write their own poem, describing the journey of a river from source to sea, using figurative language and thinking carefully about how they will create a vivid image for readers.

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 spell words with endings that sound like /ʃəs/ , spelt ‘-cious’ or ‘-tious’

Pupils will: match root words to the correct suffix; use a dictionary to look up definitions; find missing words to complete sentences; compose their own sentences with given vocabulary

2. Composition: To use figurative language, using other similar writing as models for their own

Pupils will: annotate a poem identifying figurative language (KS2 metaphors, personification, simile, alliteration, onomatopoeia, imagery); create their own poem using figurative language

Additional skills to teach or revisit:

  • Using pronouns, noun phrases and apostrophes to show contraction and possession.

Additional year 6 curriculum teaching points:

  • Investigating the difference between formal and informal speech.
  • Correct subject and verb agreement

Year 6 vocabulary

Year 5/6 statutory spelling words: gracious, precious, ferocious(ly)

Tier 2 words: grasp, sustenance, embrace
Tier 3 words: source, meander, valley, estuary

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 figurative language?

Figurative language uses words and ideas to suggest meaning and creates a vivid image for the reader. Similes, metaphors, personification, onomatopoeia and alliteration are all examples of figurative language. It is commonly used in fiction and poetry.


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