Non-chronological report in the form of a letter to a character and balanced discursive piece
Overview and Outcomes:
This three-week planning sequence is based on ‘The Hidden Forest’ by Jeannie Baker. The children start by creating a collage based on the author’s art work that she created to illustrate the text writing an artist’s ‘blurb’ for the piece. They then move on to explore the main character (Ben’s) feelings and how he changes over time. After receiving a letter from the text’s main character asking for help, the children conduct some research into the topic of Giant Sea Kelp and use the information to create a non-chronological piece in letter form in response to Ben’s letter. Finally, a second letter arrives, this time from a local fisherman who cannot see why he must reduce fishing in areas where the Giant Kelp Forests are struggling to survive. Using the technique of Hot Seating an opposing view emerges and the children participate in a debate. This then leads to the writing of a balanced discussion. Throughout the unit, a variety of drama techniques such as Thought-Tapping and role-play are used. Modelled Writing gives the children the opportunity to develop skills in a supported environment. Words from the year 5/6 statutory word lists and direct teaching of grammar from the statutory appendix for year 5 are embedded in the sequence.
Synopsis of Text:
Looking for his lost fish trap, Ben thinks he sees something dark moving under the water. Is it a creature or only his imagination? Diving into the sea with his friend Sophie, he is amazed to discover a wonderful hidden world - and the rich variety of creatures that live there.