We release new sequences on January 1st so I thought I would share with you what we have been writing about. These books would also make great presents!
Year 5 and 6
I am starting here because we have included my favourite book of the year in this key stage.
The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris. If you are a fan of Jackie and follow her blog, you will have seen parts of the book as it was prepared for publishing. Since it has been published it has been nominated for many awards. What i hadn’t appreciated is that the words written about in this book were ones that had been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary for children to make way for words such as broadband. What a sign of the times!
Each natural object is written about in poetic form, acrostic. It took me 3 readings to realise that these were in fact acrostics, so good are they. In fact, is that not the point of acrostics, or any form, that it is secondary to the enjoyment and pleasure derived from the words? Jackie’s illustrations are gorgeous – each double page spread spelling out the next item. These are spells not poems. Buy it!
Whilst a very large book, it is only £20 and part of that is donated to the Conservation Trust.
This is one of those books that when you read it, you just know that it will be up for awards at some point. This book consists of about six short stories which are fairy tales with echoes of other stories but are not based on them. The stories all involve colour and are written using the most fantastic language. The themes are Shakespearean: love, endurance, destiny and escape.
Years 3 and 4
Those of you who have known us for a long time will remember that this was the text we used when we very introduced talk for writing to Devon. Whilst this book is not as beautifully illustrated as the one we used then, the text is exactly the same and it is fantastic. Doherty wrote this story after listening to music and visiting the Blue John caves in Derbyshire.
We have also written a sequence around a story in the book Beyond the Stars by Sarah Webb. If you bought this book for King of the Birds then you are set up and ready to go with The Snow Globe by Marita Conlon-McKenna. This story uses the snow globe as a magical object or portal to other places. A great opportunity for everyone to bring in their snow globes and share them.
Years 1 and 2
We have rewritten two sequences for KS1 to update them but they are based on old favourites. Naughty Bus by Jan and Jerry Oke and I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd. Both books went out of print at one point but are back now, although for how long it is hard to tell.
It has been an interesting process rewriting sequences as it has shown us how far we have moved over the years in terms of teaching sequence development. The grammar teaching is now much more focused and precise and the activities in the Learning about the text phase more focused on reading and comprehension.
What have you read that you have loved this term? Do let us know. We would particularly like to know about non-fiction texts for Yrs 3 and 4.