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Year 3 Model Text Resource Pack 5: ‘Roman Army Formations’ (Report; History - the Roman Empire)

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Real Writing Year 3, Unit 5
Roman Army Formations, by Jo Franklin
Curriculum links: History (The Roman Empire)

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 3 is built around an original model text by Jo Franklin - a non-chronological report about Roman army formations. 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 the report, describing the formations and tactics of the Roman army. They will have an opportunity to learn technical vocabulary related to
the Roman military, and look at word families and organising paragraphs around a topic sentence. It will culminate in them writing their own report about the Roman Army.

Key curriculum skills

Two fully-resourced lesson plans are included for the following Year 3 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary - Identifying word families based on common words

Pupils will: revisit root words; look at word families based on Latin roots; sort words into families; suggest definitions for made-up words using their knowledge of roots, and use them in sentences.

2. Grammar - Organising paragraphs around a topic sentence

Pupils will: revisit paragraphs; understand what is meant by a topic sentence, and how to write one; pick topic sentences out of groups of sentences; arrange sentence cards into paragraphs with topic sentences; write topic sentences for three paragraphs.

Additional objectives to teach or revisit:

  • subordination
  • the correct use of past and present tense
  • the use of commas for lists
  • Additional Year 3 curriculum teaching points

  • extending sentences with a wider range of conjunctions
  • the use of conjunctions, adverbials and prepositions to express time, place and cause
  • the use of pronouns, conjunctions and adverbs to improve cohesion
  • the use of noun phrases to add detail
  • the inclusion of organisational features such as headings and subheadings
  • Year 3 vocabulary

    Tier two words: advantage, crouch, interlock, protective
    Tier three words: formation, military, combat, commander, strategy, legion, tactics
    Year 3/4 statutory spelling words: century, guard, position, surprise, experienced, continue, famous, though, women

    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 is a word family?

    Word families are groups of words that are related to each other in a combination of having the same root word (with prefixes, suffixes or other words added to make compound words like superman), grammar and meaning. Words that change when written in the past and present tense (for example understand and understood) are also part of the same word family. A word root is a basic word with no prefix or suffix added. The words play, playful, playing and replay are all part of the same word family as they all have the same word root (play) and are related in meaning.

    What is a paragraph?

    Paragraphs are groups of related sentences that belong together. Paragraphs are clearly separated from one another on a page by missing a line or indenting the first line of each paragraph. The sentences within each paragraph are usually about the same thing and the first sentence often tells the reader what the paragraph is about. This is often called the topic sentence.

    Why are paragraphs used?

    Paragraphs help to make writing clear for the reader by organising it into distinct sections.

    In narrative writing, paragraphs can be used to show a change in action, what is being described or breaks in time.

    In non-fiction writing, paragraphs can be used to organise sections around a theme. Subheadings can also be used to help organise paragraphs.

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