Literacy and Fairy Tales 3

Traditional Tales have so much to offer in the way of learning. It is not a topic just for the very young.

They are the gateway to a world that is familiar, but that also needs to be explored.

We started with a newspaper report and over the coming weeks we will be exploring - story writing (beginning, middle and end) - instruction text - diary writing - and poetry (nursery rhymes).

I also want us to design and make our own board game.

Tiny does find writing so difficult and is still working at a level below his age, but reading and understanding of text is good. Because I do not want him to be held back during this unit, a lot of the writing I will be doing alongside him.

We will have separate handwriting practice, and he will still be using Reading Express for his comprehension and spelling practice.

This week we are going to use traditional tales to explore stories in more depth, as well as speech marks and instruction text.

We hope you join us in our literacy adventure.

Review of last weeks plans

On Monday we worked from our notes and made a newspaper page on Power Point. This went so well.

The newspaper report came out far better than I expected. He was happy to type from the writing in his book, and managed to do a lot of this independently without too much prompting.

Next came commas in a list. This will need revisiting again. He did enjoy doing it verbally, but started to lose focus on the task when he was asked to write his ideas down.

The Muddled Up game was a big hit. We started off using the images

but then starting simply drawing our own on small pieces of paper.

These images can be kept for further work on story telling. I might even laminate a set of cards with settings - problems to be solved and characters.

It was such a great talking point and allowed us to explore settings in more depth and how they were important to a story, characters (good/evil) and what the problem could be in a story. We even introduced the word protagonist (main character) and he was very happy that after a few attempts he was able to spell such a big word.

Fairy Tale openings was a little difficult. He did managed to say 'Once upon a time...' - and with some prompting managed In a land far, far away...'. We will add to our list as we go on so that he can add them to his Power Point page.

Fairy Tale events. In the same way that the pictures were successful, so were the key words for fairy tale events.

What we ended up with were 3 pigs on a mountain with magic beans. Here's hoping that this will make an interesting story.

Now for this week

Mind-Mapping a Story Plan

To start this week we are going to be writing up our plans for our story. Our plans are going to be written up as a mind-map because that is what Tiny is familiar with.

Mind Map for our story

Tiny wanted a new set of cards. He choose again and this time he pulled out - a witch, The three bears, a castle and a magic lamp. He then added to that Branden and Blueberry the dog.

We don't have a title yet and when we do we will fill out the middle cloud bubble of the mind-map.

We have made a start on this already - and it was easier for me to do the writing at this stage and for Tiny to do the drawings on his mind-map.

We will be writing the beginning of the story in his Literacy book, and only the beginning. We will start by deciding what traditional fairy tale opening sentence he wants to use.

The following day we will look at the opening to our story again. We will go through it to see if we can make the sentences more interesting. I will ask him if he can think of any more adjectives or change the ones we already have.

This editing process is important - even though at this stage I'm expecting to be giving a lot of help. When children first start writing extended pieces of work, they think that it needs to be correct first time. Editing is a way of encouraging them to develop their ideas.

Speech Bubbles

Now were going to have a bit of fun with speech bubbles. I will ask Tiny to pick 2 of the characters from his story and think about what they might say to each other.

Then I will draw one of the characters in his book and write down what he has said they will say. Then I will draw a speech bubble around it. He will do the same with the second character. We will repeat this a few more times.

I will then write a simple speech sentence out for one of the characters. i.e. The wicked witch jumped up and shouted "I'm going to get you!".


There is a great explanation abut contractions on BBC bitesize which I will show to Tiny then we will practice some in his book. Here is the link

Putting story into Word (or Power Point)

Now is the time to look back at the beginning of our story once more. We have already edited it, so we can start to type it out. And now we can add some speech sentences from our speech bubble work.

As we are typing the story together, I will be talking to Tiny about where he might possible add exclamation marks or question marks and we will rehearse how that might make the story read.

We will also be checking to make sure it is written in the past tense. We will briefly talk about past, present and future tense and we will be doing some follow up work on that next week. But, for now Tiny just needs the sentences to make sense in story form.

Newspaper Report

Tiny has said that he would like to do another newspaper report on another fairy tale character. I'm not sure if we are going to have time this week, but we might be able to finish the outline plans for it.

I don't think we are going to have any time for instruction text this week so will add it to next weeks work.

So, next week should include - instructions for making a potion, middle part of the story to write in draft/edit and add to Word, looking more at exclamation and question marks, past present and future tense and where you use them.

I really hope you carry on following us on our journey.

Please get back to me if there is anything you want adding to the Literacy planning.

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