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Book status: The book for this planning sequence is currently reprinting or out of print and therefore not in stock at most booksellers. If you do not already own the book, we would recommend this planning sequence as an alternative:

Alternative sequence

A Home Learning Branch for The Dragon Machine


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Author(s): Helen Ward

This is a Home Learning Branch for The Dragon Machine.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from the Literary Curriculum.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

A Planning Sequence is available for The Dragon Machine.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Dragon guide and encyclopaedia, letters of advice, dragon machine explanation, shopping list, description, letters in role

Main Outcome:

Own version dragon story


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week planning sequence using the text The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward, in which children are initially engaged by noticing a dragon tail and then going on a dragon hunt across the school. Children then create a guide, exploring descriptive and positional language. They engage with the main character in the story’s thoughts and emotions through letter writing. Throughout the sequence, children explore a number of spelling patterns and rules from the Y2 Programme of Study and these are specifically edited for in their final outcome of an extended ‘dragon machine’ story.

Synopsis of Text:

This touching story about a lonely boy with a passion for dragons, shows the power of the imagination to free the spirit, and highlights the importance of friendship.


Dragons, machines, inventions

View The Dragon Machine Planning Sequence

A Spelling Seed is available for The Dragon Machine.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement the Literary Curriculum by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

Spelling Seeds work alongside the texts within the Literary Curriculum and, as such, will also reflect the suggested number of weeks spent on a text, as well.


Common Exception Words

behind, busy, climb, could, doors, floor, many, parents, people, wild

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words ending –il

The /ɔ:/ sound spelt ar after w

The /ɜ:/ sound spelt or after w

View The Dragon Machine Spelling Seed

A Learning Log is available for The Dragon Machine.

View The Dragon Machine Learning Log
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