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Year 2 Model Text Resource Pack 21: The Day the Elephants Led the Parade (Narrative; music)

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Real Writing Year 2 - Unit 21
Model text: The Day the Elephants Led the Parade by Gabrielle Kent
Curriculum links: music

Writing Unit overview

This writing unit for Year 2 is built around an original text by Gabrielle Kent - a story based on the section ‘The Elephant’ from the musical work ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Camille Saint-Saëns. 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 order the events in the story and write their own, choosing a different animal described by the music. Pupils will learn how to spell words ending in -al (making the sound /l/) and will learn new vocabulary, including examples of synonyms. They will also explore how to expand nouns by adding information before and after the nouns to create expanded noun phrases. This unit gives pupils the opportunity to write a narrative based on a recorded piece of music and can be linked to the music curriculum.

Key curriculum skills

Three fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 2 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To spell words ending with the sound /l/ spelt -al at the end of words

Pupils will: learn that the letters -al can be used to spell the /l/ sound at the end of words. They will read and spell words ending in -al and write simple sentences dictated by an adult.

2. Vocabulary: To write ideas, including new vocabulary

Pupils will: explore new vocabulary from the model text ‘The Day the Elephants Led the Parade’ and investigate synonyms (words with a similar meaning). Pupils will then use these words to describe images of different carnivals and parades.

3. Grammar: To compose sentences that contain similes

Pupils will: learn what similes are and use them to describe the music and animals in the ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ by Camille Saint-Saëns using the similes worksheet.

Additional teaching points to teach or revisit:

  • using commas to separate items within a list
  • adding suffixes to make longer words (-ment, -ful, -ly, -ness, -less)
  • to use expanded noun phrases
  • using subordinating and coordinating conjunctions
  • using the past tense consistently when writing
  • rereading writing to check that it makes sense
  • proof-reading to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • read aloud what they have written

Year 2 vocabulary

Year 2 common exception words: wild after again every great last people beautiful children grass parents climb
Tier 2 words: carnival, enclosure, float, fountain, herd, lumbering, march, parade, patiently, trumpeted
Tier 3 words: composer, orchestra

What is a synonym?

Synonyms are words with the same or a similar meaning. the words fast, speedy and rapid are all synonyms of the work quick.

What is a simile?

Similes are a figure of speech used to compare one thing to another using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.

Simile examples

  • Clean as a whistle
  • His room was like a pigsty
  • This house is as old as the hills
  • Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
  • As fast as lightning

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