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Dicing with Grammar

Average Rating4.65
(based on 175 reviews)

It's simple really: English grammar can be a very dry subject, but this need not be the case. For a few years now, I have been developing a games-based approach to teaching important grammar concepts. It is amazing how the introduction of dice takes the learning into a new place - the element of chance making it seem less like work and more like play. Because I test my games extensively in the classroom, I get a feel for what works. Dump your boring worksheets and start dicing with grammar.

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It's simple really: English grammar can be a very dry subject, but this need not be the case. For a few years now, I have been developing a games-based approach to teaching important grammar concepts. It is amazing how the introduction of dice takes the learning into a new place - the element of chance making it seem less like work and more like play. Because I test my games extensively in the classroom, I get a feel for what works. Dump your boring worksheets and start dicing with grammar.
Iron Man, 3 week writing unit
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Iron Man, 3 week writing unit

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This is a fully resourced unit inspired by ‘The Iron Man’. Children change key parts of a known story into news reports. Every session has a detailed plan, a presentation and resources for writing tasks. This was planned for Y4, but it could be easily adapted to any KS2 class (everything is fully editable in Word and PowerPoint). There are some preview screen shots to give you a feel for the unit, but the whole unit is included in the attached zip folder. Each lesson is organised into subfolders for ease of use. Enjoy! Here is a brief overview of the 15 sessions: Pre-unit Assessment - Cold task – ‘Lion loose in school grounds’ • I can show what I already know about newspaper reports Asking questions – reading comprehension • I can ask questions about the text I am reading Interviewer and eye witness part 1: Hogarth • I can use drama explore events from different points of view Interviewer and eye witness part 2: Hogarth’s father • I can reuse words from the text Interviewer and eye witness part 3 and 4: farmer and police officer • I can use drama explore events from different points of view Paragraph structure • I can group and order information Headlines and summaries I can tell, sell and summarise Adverbials of time (fronted adverbials) • I can use adverbs to say when an event happened Adverbials of time (again!) • I can use adverbs to say when an event happened Switching between different voices (objective journalistic comment and informal first person quotes) • I can change between third person (journalist) to first person (eye-witness) Extend a paragraph with further related information • I can add information to a paragraph (sticking to the theme) Co-create a toolkit and pick out key features from news reports • I can identify the features of a news report Combine writing from sessions 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 to create a full news report. • I can edit, improve and publish my work Generate ideas for hot task through drama and plan a news report • I can plan a news report Extended writing - Apply learning from across the unit • I can write a newspaper report (based on a known narrative)
Theseus Journalism
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Theseus Journalism

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This is a five session writing workshop designed to support Y6 writers achieve their age related expectation. During the project, children pick events from the story of Theseus and retell them using a journalistic style. They explore topic sentences, direct speech, reported speech, passive voice and many other skills. All resources are included. I ran this as a one-day writing workshop for writers who were a little off track. It could easily be adapted for use in any KS2 setting - everything is fully editable. I had some great outcomes - I’m sure you will too.
Persuasive writing, climate change
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Persuasive writing, climate change

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A three week KS2 writing unit with a powerful environmental theme. All lesson plans, PowerPoints and activitiy resources included - it’s ready to go. Pupils explore a one-sided argument about fossil fuels, and then create their own persuasive writing about food waste. Turn your class into eco-heroes! Teach children about persuasive devices, and encourage them to use these skills to make a positive change. I used this project in Y4, but it could be quickly adapted for any KS2 class - all resources are fully editable.
The Tin Forest
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The Tin Forest

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This resource is six activities linked to the text. They are ready for children to pick up and use independently. Defining and reusing tricky words from the text Picking out the key features of a fable from the text (and from ‘The Promise’) Adding fronted adverbials to sentences from the text Grouping synonyms to create a word bank for fable writing I can plan a fable of my own I can write a fable of my own
The Present, short film
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The Present, short film

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This is a KS2 sentence intervention for the whole class based on the brilliant short film ‘The Present’! It is made up of 12 carefully planned and fully resourced sessions, complete with PowerPoint slides. Everything is editable and it’s all ready to use with no additional preparation. For one reason or another, many children arrive in Year 4, 5 or 6 with significant gaps in their understanding of basic sentence grammar. Often we are asking them to repeatedly take part in extended writing tasks when they can’t tell us what a sentence is or write accurately. Use these 12 lively sessions with your class and you will quickly see an impact on sentence accuracy. Soon, children will be engaging with grammar and you’ll here: “Is this a run-on?” or “Does this sentence make sense?” Music to any teacher’s ears! Allow about an hour for each workshop and adapt it to suit your own needs. Let’s give children the knowledge and skills to start talking about sentences. If you purchase this unit, please use the zip. Each lesson is resourced in its own sub-folder for ease of use. All planning (Word) and slides (PowerPoint) are included too. The images are just to enable previewing of the unit. Overview of the unit Workshop 1 (slides 1-3) Sentence assessment task Workshop 2 (slides 4-14) I can tell the difference between a sentence, a fragment and run-on I can change fragments and run-ons into sentences Workshop 3 (slides 15-19) I can tell the difference between a sentence, a fragment and run-on I can change fragments and run-ons into sentences Workshop 4 (slides 20-28) I can start a sentence with How? When? or Where? Workshop 5 (slides 29 – 39) I can use these conjunctions: ‘because’, ‘but’, ‘so’ Workshop 6 (slides 40-45) I can tell the difference between statements, questions and exclamations I can write statements, questions and exclamations Workshop 7 (slide 46 – 52) I can identify a run-on I can correct a run-on Workshop 8 I can punctuate direct speech (slide 53-59) Workshop 9 (slides 60-64) I can start a sentence with How? When? or Where? (2) Workshop 10 (slide 65-69) I can peer assess writing and set a target I can plan a story Workshop 11 (slides 70 – 74) I can use accurate sentences in my story writing Workshop 12 (slide 75-84) I can edit my work and improve it for my readers
varjak paw diary unit
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varjak paw diary unit

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This is a 3 week KS2 writing unit based on an extract from ‘Varjak Paw’. Each of the 16 sessions has a clear and detailed lesson plan, presentation slides and differentiated activities (greater depth, on track and support) complete with resources. It’s all here! For a large chunk of this unit, children explore a wonderful extract from chapter 21: Varjak discovers a toy shop and meets a toy cat. Using this passage for inspiration, children create short bursts of writing whilst learning and applying new skills. These short bursts are eventually combined to create a diary entry. When you open the zip, you will find a folder for each session - everything is organised in a user-friendly way. As with all of my resources, all files have been created using PowerPoint and Word, so you can edit and adapt as you wish. I have aimed this unit at Year 4, but it could be used in any KS2 setting - I would happily do this project with Year 6 pupils. This unit has been very carefully sequenced and builds towards quality writing outcomes. It is packed with talk, reading, vocabulary, grammar and composition skills. Unit Overview Session 1 Prewriting activity – I can visualise a story setting Session 2 Cold task – What do you already know about diary writing? Session 3 I can notice and define adventurous words and phrases Session 4 I can reuse adventurous words and phrases Session 5 Reading activity: I can read like a detective Session 6 I can use prepositions to show where something is (in relation to something else) Session 7 I can use preposition phrases to organise a paragraph Session 8 I can describe how a character is feeling using their body language Session 9 I can punctuate direct speech correctly (sentence level) Session 10 I can punctuate direct speech correctly (text level) Session 11 I can use ‘but’ to change direction in an unexpected way Session 12 I can write sentences using adventurous vocabulary and prepositions Session 13 I can pick out the key features of diary writing Session 14 I can use the key features of diary writing Session 15 I can plan a diary entry independently Session 16 Independent diary writing. Children have the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills and knowledge.
I can add -ing
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I can add -ing

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A two player dice game that really gets children talking about the rules for adding -ing. This resource comes with a peer marking sheet so that children can learn from each other. Depending on your class, you’ll need at least 30 minutes to play this.
first day back poetry
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first day back poetry

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Upper KS2 poetry: ‘What I DIDN’T do over the summer!’ We didn’t all go on amazing holidays over the summer, but there are amazing things in front of our noses. Try this poetry activity with upper KS2 children. You’re welcome.
Bog Baby, three week writing unit
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Bog Baby, three week writing unit

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Talk! Drama! Reading skills! Sentence skills! Making and drawing! Spelling skills! Writing a narrative! This is a creatively planned and fully resourced three week writing unit. It is aimed at year 1, or the beginning of year 2. The planning and activities have been carefully differentiated and there are plenty of opportunities for greater depth writing. If you buy this, please use the zip folder. It is organised into folders, lesson by lesson. The following objectives are covered across the three week unit (many are covered more than once): Drama • I can explore a story through improvisation and role play. I can act out a story I know using voices for characters. Spelling • Suffixes that can be added to verbs) with a focus on -ed endings: I can add the –ed suffix to verbs. Sentence/Punctuation • How words can combine to make sentences: I can show what I already know about sentences. I can talk in sentences. I can spot sentences. • Introduction to capital letters, full stops demarcate sentences: I can add full stops to the end of a sentence. • Joining words and joining clauses using and: I can join my ideas together using ‘and’. • Capital letters for names: I can use capital letters for names. Composition • Sequencing sentences to form short narratives: I can put sentences in a sensible order. I can use the skills I have learned to write a story. • Similes: I can write a simile. **Reading: ** • Vocabulary: I can fix meaning breakdowns. • Inference: I can tell you about why a character does or says things. **Terminology: ** • letter, capital letter, word, sentence, punctuation, full stop
Greater depth writing workshop - suspense and science fiction
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Greater depth writing workshop - suspense and science fiction

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This is a one day greater depth writing workshop aimed at upper KS2. There are 13 resources attached and a detailed plan of the day. Children have a complete piece of writing by the end of the workshop. Here is a brief summary of the day: Part 1 Get to know the model Reading as reader: How did the story make you feel? Reading as writer: How did the author do that? Drama (pairs) – bring the text off the page Part 2 Know your animal! Part 3 Know your mysterious object! Part 4 Quick plan Part 5 Parentheses activity Part 6 Extended writing time Success criteria for extended writing I can organise my story creatively and keep the reader in suspense (withholding vital information and using flashbacks) I can create suspense using modal verbs and rhetorical questions I can interrupt my sentences using ‘dramatic dashes’ (parentheses) I can use technical language appropriately in my creative writing (precise language around my animal’s physical features, habitat, behaviour and offspring) I can use figurative language
27 editing stations
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27 editing stations

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27 ways to for KS2 writers to edit and improve their own writing. This project was written by Fiona Keeling and Maurice Leahy and has been loosely inspired by Brighton Train Station (bear with us). We put it together to help children develop writing further at the editing stage. The PowerPoint explains how it works, but we are sure you’ll find your own ways to use this. Fiona brings it to life in her classroom with a cap, whistle and realistic train tickets! It was a lot of work, so if you spot the odd error, please let us know and we will put it right. We hope it saves you some precious time. Please leave a review. Happy editing!
Scratch coding, hungry frog
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Scratch coding, hungry frog

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This is whopping 70 slide powerpoint and 16 scratch files to walk you through coding a finished ‘launcher’ style game. The powerpoint gives you everything you need to know and all the code blocks too. You have to launch an animal at its food, and code gravity and obstacles. It’s great fun and will take a class around 5 lessons. It really depends on how much coding they have done and how much further they want to take the game. I have used it across KS2.
Science fiction model for Y5 or Y6
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Science fiction model for Y5 or Y6

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Here is a short science fiction/suspense model for Year 5 or Year 6. I have also included an annotated version with teacher notes showing all of the key grammatical features, the way the text is structured and some suggested activities. How is this text organised? Are you good at hiding? Do you ever keep secrets? Can you keep secrets from your reader? This story is all about keeping secrets, and causing confusion, uncertainty and suspense! Can you keep the identity of your man character (a cat in the model text) hidden until the end and let the reader try and work out what they are? Can you keep the danger unknown until right at the end? Can you finish on a cliff hanger? So many questions… Build your own story from here. Scatter clues about the identity of your main character and keep the danger hidden. Here are the themes of each part of the story: Setting, fear, an unknown thing coming Flashback 1: unclear warnings and rhetorical questions Sustaining injuries: main character stops what she is doing and runs for home, but it is treacherous Home and family: How is the character motivated to survive? Her den and cubs! Flashback 2: she remembers more warnings, but the threat remains uncertain and confusing Main character finds a familiar place – nearly home? – nearly safe? A mysterious object finally appears – everything scatters – character’s identity revealed Fear changes to hunger – prey becomes predator… cliff hanger!
Civil War on The Moon, by Ted Hughes, space poetry
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Civil War on The Moon, by Ted Hughes, space poetry

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A one week unit for Y5 or Y6 exploring the weird and wonderful poem ‘Civil War on The Moon’, by the amazing Ted Hughes. Once the children have unpicked the tricky vocabulary (using the presentation attached), they will love this poem about two armies fighting for domination of the moon. My classes are always very keen to create new armies for a poem of their own. I use it during our space topic. I have included teacher notes about the parts children find a little tricky and a breakdown of each verse. I hope you have fun with this!
The Tear Thief, 3 weeks of planning
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The Tear Thief, 3 weeks of planning

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Three weeks of creative and fully resourced Year 2 Talk for Writing planning involving drama, reading skills (information retrieval and then inference), poetry, grammar skills, drawing, diary writing and story writing. Each lesson is fully resourced and differentiated - there is also a focus on greater depth opportunities. To get the most from this writing project, it would be useful if the class had access to a copy of ‘The Tear Thief’ by Carol Ann Duffy - a magical picture book. If you buy this unit, PLEASE USE THE ZIP FOLDER - everything you need is in there. Each session is organised into a separate folder. The other files are simply there as a preview to show some of the resources included. Over the three weeks, the following Y2 objectives are thoroughly covered: Grammar • I can say and write a sentences with a capital letter and a full stop • I can use different joining words (conjunctions) to join my ideas • I can use carefully chosen adjectives/expanded noun phrases • I can use an apostrophe to show ownership Reading • I can spot meaning breakdowns • I can visualise a character from a story • I can find information in a story • I can read like a detective (inference) Composition • I can retell a story in sentences • I can add a new part to a story I know • I can create a character • I understand how a story can be organised • In my own writing, I can use words and ideas from a story I have read • I can write a story (using the skills I have been learning) This unit could be easily adapted for use in other year groups.
Christmas Spelling Fun, Year 5 and 6 word list
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Christmas Spelling Fun, Year 5 and 6 word list

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37 spelling questions linked to the Y5/6 spelling list and other patterns and rules that Y5/6 need to know. Complete each challenge to solve the Christmas joke puzzle! The answer is at the end of the sheet - don’t show your pupils. It’s a festive way of assessing spelling!
–able and -ible, two player dice game, presentation, warm-up
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–able and -ible, two player dice game, presentation, warm-up

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It can be tricky for young spellers to choose between the suffixes ‘-able’ and ‘-ible’. The two player dice game ‘WinnABLE’ gives players lots of opportunities to spell and discuss these words and introduces a much needed element of FUN! There is also a simple presentation and a word sorting warm up to use with your class. I’d allow a full session for this suffix work.