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Bishops Waltham Infant School

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Listen to A Sailing Boat in the Sky again and think about what part of the story is effective. What parts do you like? Why do you like them?

This week we are going to work towards writing the rest of our adventure story.


Now that you have listened to A Sailing Boat in the Sky again we would like you to create a tick list (success criteria) that you can follow during your planning and writing session.


With someone at home think about what makes a good story.  What do you like about the text? 

Write down some of your ideas.


Did you include characters

Isobel, Nicholas are the main characters.  But there are also other characters like Simona, Gus, Eric, Eloise, Rachid, Magda and Granny.


Did you mention the setting

We could see the sailing boat travel from the golden sand dunes and visiting different settings on the journey.


Quentin Blake uses good adjectives and describes things.  Did you spot that?  He describes objects (nouns) with effective language for example Rachid had a ragged scarf around his neck.  


All good stories have problems (something that goes wrong) but will always have a solution.  In this story each problem is different but the solution is the same.  The characters are saved by the children in the sailing boat in the sky. 


Did you notice the happy ending?  In this story Quentin Blake is really effective because he leaves us wondering what will happen next.  This is called a cliff hanger ending.


Of course there is also the wonderful detailed illustrations that make the picture book come alive!



"Oh no!" said Isobel.  "What's this horrible, dark cloud in front of us?"


Did you notice that the writer had expanded the noun?  He didn't just describe it. He made it into an expanded noun phrase.  Watch the video Meet Dave to understand more.

Now have a go at making your own expanded noun phrases about certain objects,  characters or settings in the story.


Here are a few to start you off...


A steep, golden dune.

A ripped, red scarf.

A dark, cloudy sky.


This handy Expanded Noun Phrase mat could help you become a more effective story teller!

We are now going to focus on problems and solutions in stories.

Remember that you are planning and writing your own adventure story, with your own wheeled vehicle in it.  There needs to be at least one problem and solution.


Go back and listen to the story again.  A Sailing Boat in the Sky is an adventure story.  It has lots of problems. As the story goes on pause the video at each problem and discuss with someone at home what the problem is.  For example, Simona is shot in the wing and cannot fly.


Below is a list of things that you may have talked about in the story.



Child Slavery/No education/Poverty



All of these areas are real problems in the world. All caused by humans!  It makes you think doesn't it?  


We are now going to focus on our new adventures for our own stories. 

You need to think of new problems that could feature in your story. These can also include natural disasters like floods or volcanoes.  Have a think and organise your ideas into the single bubble map.

You will also need to think about the solution to the problem (which may always be that the character saves an animal or person in the new wheeled vehicle, just like in A Sailing Boat in the Sky)





Record your thinking on this single bubble map - what problems could happen in your story?

Now it is time to plan your new adventure using the planner below.

Think back to your story opener from last week.  Remind yourself of the new adventure you have started to write. 

Now it is time to think about the problems you would like in your story. Each problem and solution must include an expanded noun phrase.  Remember, the solution can be that they are saved by your characters in the vehicle - just like A Sailing Boat in the Sky.

You also need to plan your ending to the story.  Will yours end with a cliff hanger?  Or will your ending be happy ever after?


Now that you have learned about what makes an effective story, you know what expanded noun phrases are, you know about problems and solutions and you have planned what you would like to include in your story, it is time to get writing!


This might seem like a really big task so break it up into little chunks and have a brain break.  These little chunks could even be your paragraphs.


What we are looking for this week in your writing is that your story makes sense.  To ensure the writing makes sense it is really important to read it out loud.  We call this Monkey Talk in the classroom.  Put your fingers in your ears and listen to your voice as you read it back.  This will ensure that you notice any mistakes or words missing and you can edit them in with a purple pen.

We also want you using full stops at the end of the sentences.  Maybe even the odd exclamation mark or question mark would make the story more exciting to read.

Check that your spellings are correct by using the common exception words that we are learning in school.

Most importantly HAVE FUN!

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