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A Spelling Seed for Children of the Benin Kingdom


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5, Year 6

Literary Theme: Lessons From History

Author(s): Dinah Orji


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Children of the Benin Kingdom by Dinah Orji.  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.


Word List Words

available, explanation, identity, opportunity, pronunciation, recommend

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words with 'silent' letters

Words with the /i:/ sound spelt ei after c

A Planning Sequence is available for Children of the Benin Kingdom.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Informal letters, contrasting diary entries, survival guides, eyewitness reports, story summaries

Main Outcome:

Non-chronological report


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week planning sequence for Children of the Benin Kingdom by Dinah Orji.  It is the perfect novel to complement historical learning on the Kingdom of Benin.  The book follows the story of Ada, who discovers her true identity and must travel into the heart of the rainforest to heal the divisions that are occurring within the kingdom.  Through the sequence, children will explore the story from various perspectives, comparing characters and writing letters and diary entries in role.  They will offer advice taken from warnings given and discover the meanings of new words within the context of the story. Throughout, children will be gathering information and building the skills towards writing a non-chronological report on the Kingdom of Benin.  There will also be plenty of opportunities to practice reading skills and take part in discussions around the events of the story.

Synopsis of Text:

Ada has lived close to the great rainforest for her whole life, helping her beloved Papa Eze to heal fellow villagers when they fall sick. But when Papa Eze himself becomes unwell he knows it s time to reveal to Ada her true heritage - a closely kept secret that has so far protected his daughter from her enemies.

Ada must now travel deep into the forest to discover the ancient Edo kingdom of Benin and use everything within her power to heal the terrible divisions that are tearing the kingdom apart. Pursued by those who want her dead, Ada sets off on an incredible journey which tests her strengths to their limit with just her close friends, the guidance of her ancestors and her own self-belief to help her.

An immersive adventure story for any child who enjoys being transported to another world, this short novel also fits well with the increasing interest in African fiction and children s stories that are inclusive, diverse and explore a greater range of cultures, stories and settings.

The historical Benin Kingdom is now an option for UK primary teachers at KS2, and is a great option for those who are keen to diversify their curriculum. The book includes a factual section at the end, to help readers widen their knowledge of the Kingdom of Benin and West African culture and traditions and Dinosaur Books Ltd will be providing free resources linked to the text, for teachers to download.


Kingdom of Benin, West Africa, Nigeria, identity, rainforest, kingdom

View Children of the Benin Kingdom Planning Sequence

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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