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year 8 skellig_


									Year 8 Skellig, By David Almond
Lesson 1: Narrative openings

Go through opening strategies – pupils match strategy with example. (Sk1 and Sk2)





Read first two paragraphs of novel. Which strategies does Almond use to hook his reader?

In pairs, pupils create spidergrams identifying the features Almond uses in the first two paragraphs.

Lesson 2: To understand and use key terms that help to describe and analyse language.

Either: word starter 20, Badger, (Noun Phrases), or sentence starter 5, (Word Classes) with weaker groups.

Share homework. Read aloud to class, identify strategies used and strengths.

Lesson 3: To establish standards for effective group discussion.

Working in groups of 4/5, class to list ground rules for group work.

Spokesperson from each group to report to whole class. A set of class ground rules subsequently drawn up.

Read Ch 2: description of garage. Students should identify and list adjectives, nouns etc. What type of atmosphere is created? Students should then create a ‘quotation picture’, ie draw the garage labelling features with relevant quotations. Groups to discuss the possible history of the character in the garage. Share what could be the key events in his life through a series of 5 or 6 frozen images.

Read rest of chapter, asking pupils to add further strategies to their spidergrams as they appear in the narrative. Share quotations chosen. Identify different word classes in each other’s quotations. Individuals to reflect on their role in the groupwork, identifying a target for improvement next time – based on the ground rules created. Share work. Class identify similes and other techniques.

Pupils to write own opening to a novel (2 paras), using a hook, or hooks.

Revise novel openings, taking into account effects that can be achieved through noun phrases.


Lesson 4: To experiment with figurative language, to convey a sense of character and setting.

Students must be silent. Draw a large circle on the board and label it: ‘face as round as a beach ball.’ Add some large eyes, label with: ‘eyes like fried eggs.’ Ask students if they know the technique you are using. They must then come to the front and add a feature of their own.

Read Chapter 10. Analyse the paragraph at the top of p24. Highlight use of similes and the effect of these.

Pupils create their own mysterious character in a mysterious setting (using similes and other figurative language techniques.)

Year 8 Skellig, By David Almond
Lesson 5 – to

Badger Word Starter 24 (Prepositions

Read Chapter 13. Discuss why

Pupils should write one

Highlight the


develop ways of linking paragraphs

and connectives – Purpose)

people write diaries. Teacher models opening of Mina’s diary, focusing on connectives.

paragraph on: - what you said to Michael - why you want the place to be kept a secret - what the house looks like, inside and out - what the owls are like - why you wanted Michael to see the owls

connectives used in your partner’s work – create a class connective work bank.

Lesson 6: Extended writing.

Pupils to complete Mina’s diary.

Lesson 7: to trace development of themes, values and ideas.

Dictionary race: cavities, pnuematisation, anatomy, archaeopteryx. Investigate lexical patterns within these words; word families. Word starter 28 (‘Figurative language – metaphor and character)

Read Chapter 17 (where starter words feature). Look at stanza from Blake poem.

Students work with partners or group to prepare answers to questions. (See Sk3)

Pick the most successful paragraph from your partner’s work and prepare to explain to the class what is effective about it. Feedback ideas. Teacher reads whole poem. (Sk4)


Students to research 5 facts about William Blake to share with the class next lesson. Students must acknowledge sources.

Lesson 8: To identify and understand metaphor.

Share facts about William Blake. How do they relate to the poem? Re-read the poem. Focus students’ attention on stanzas 4 and 5: image of frail bird, exposed to buds and branches. How can their be joy if we suffer when young? Link poem to novel and Michael’s sister.

Students should draw 2 pictures to illustrate their understanding of the metaphors within the poem. They should label their pictures with appropriate quotations from the poem.

Check understanding. Repeat a varied version of starter 28 with your own metaphors – or students could attempt to make up their own.

Year 8 Skellig, By David Almond
Lesson 9: Integrate evidence into writing to






Sentence starter 27 (Topic Sentences)

Prepare to read Ch 18/19 by asking class to look for evidence re the man in the

Mini essay: How does Almond convey the character of the man in the garage? Do class plan,

Share para 2

Finish mini essay. READ CHAPTERS 2127 for next lesson.

support ideas.

garage. Make notes under the following headings: what he does, what he says, influences on his behaviour. Read Ch 18/19

Lesson 10: To present a case persuasively

Brainstorm persuasive techniques (see Sk5)

Lesson 11: As above

Brainstorm: what does a quality speech look like and sound like?

Read Ch 28/29. Divide class in half, each to think of ideas in favour/against home education. Use ideas from own experience and from knowledge of Skellig (see Sk 6 and 7) Select students to read their speeches for/against home education. Pupils should remind themselves of the individual target they set themselves in lesson 3 (Ground rules lesson)

one para per bullet point, plus intro and conc. Introduction: shared writing. First para: model use of PEE structure. Show class how to analyse quotation eg. Verb ‘squeaked’ suggests weakness, ‘sighed’ resignation. Class complete para 2 individually. Explain structure of speech (see Sk 8). Students to begin planning speech for class debate. Remind pupils to use connectives from lesson 6.

Explain structure of next lesson. Set homework.

Finish writing speech. Conduct research to include in speech, eg. Interviews with parents, teachers.

Organise small group debates with pupils in specific roles: Chair/for/against. Debate to begin with speech from each participant.

Class vote on home education. Reflect on performance – was target achieved?

Lesson 12: To practice extracting relevant info. To understand ‘symbolic’

Read Ch 30. Practice techniques for skimming and scanning. Give students key words to look for.

Students to read Ch 31, picking out 6 key events.

Create a storyboard using 6 key quotations for captions. Pictures could be symbolic.

Share ideas for illustrations – drawing out the symbolic.

Draw appropriate illustrations

Year 8 Skellig, By David Almond
Lesson 13: To understand character

Read ch 32-37

Discuss character construction – focus on thoughts and feelings. What do we know about Michael’s thoughts and feelings? Students prepare hotseating questions.

Students hotseat a partner, noting down responses.

Share interesting responses.

Create a character picture for Michael: says, does, thinks, feels.

Lesson 14: To develop an imaginative treatment of a traditional tale

Sentence starter 32 (‘narrative style 1)

Differentiation by number of questions. Read Ch 38-41. Discuss how story of Persephone relates to Michael’s sister and why he wants to name his sister after the mythical figure. Explain Persephone’s story to the class (see Sk9).

Lesson 15: To reflect on the novel as a whole

Read ch 42 – 46 (end of novel). Perhaps review ideas from lesson 3 re What is the creature in the garage?

Share ideas on the success of the novel. Model different ways for students to take notes on their ideas e.g bullet points, flow chart, spidergram.

Myth has been split into sections. Divide up the class. Students to write a narrative (give word guide) for their section of the myth from the point of view of either Hades or Demeter. Students should use techniques from starter. Refer back to previous lesson on character. Teacher could model section of the story. Pupils should begin to collect ideas for their end of unit assessment. For example, what was their favourite part of the novel? Find quotations. Themes of the novel? These notes should be written on a separate piece of paper so that pupils can refer to them during the assessment. (See Sk10)

Share fragments from the narrative. Pupils identify similes etc. Discuss effects of tense change( - more vivid)

Finish narrative. Could be an ICT opportunity. ..students collete sections of myth back together.

Set revision homework. Share marking criteria: layout 2; style (incl persuasive features) 5; knowledge and understanding of novel 5; SpaG, 3.


Lesson 16: Assessment

End of unit assessment: Pupils to write a letter to the headteacher of another school persuading him/her to buy a class set of Skellig.

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