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A Spelling Seed for Escape from Pompeii


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Disaster, Hope & Healing

Author(s): Christina Balit


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit.  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

centre, century, history, increase, natural, pressure, build

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words with the /s/ sound spelt sc (Latin in origin)

Words with the /k/ sound spelt ch (Greek in origin)

A Planning Sequence is available for Escape from Pompeii.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Setting descriptions, diaries, letters, thought bubbles

Main Outcome:

Newspaper report


16 sessions, 3+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week planning sequence for Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit.  Children begin by exploring a range of artefacts to try to determine the events that have taken place.  They move on to re-enacting an everyday scene from the city of Pompeii before writing a setting description.  Children will explore the main characters, including how their feelings change through the story, and will write letters of advice to help save them from the eruption. Through collecting banks of powerful vocabulary, children will write a vivid description of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  In the final part of the sequence, children will become journalists and write a newspaper article to report on the eruption, including quotes from survivors in the town. Teachers may wish to run this sequence alongside learning on Volcanoes or The Romans.

Synopsis of Text:

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 meant death for most of the Roman citizens living in Pompeii. But some people must have survived, and Christina Balit has used this as the starting-point for her story. It tells of Tranio, an actor's son, and his friend Livia, the baker's daughter, who witness the destruction of their beloved city.


Volcanoes, Ancient Rome, disasters, Pompeii

View Escape from Pompeii Planning Sequence

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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