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balaclava Boy - boxed up

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					Year 4 Narrative Unit 4 – Stories that raise issues/dilemmas
Main outcome: Present the children with a setting and characters and an issue or dilemma. They
discuss the problem and possible solutions. This is used to plan a longer story arranged into chapters.
Demonstrate how to write the opening part of the story to set the scene and consider ways to draw the
reader in. Children write their own stories independently using the plans.

The Balaclava Story – from ‘The Fib and other stories’ by George Layton

STORY                              GENERIC STORY                NEW STORY
Home Setting                       Familiar Setting             Setting 1
MC desperately wants a             MC desperately wants
balaclava.                         something that everyone else
                                   has.
Magpie the style of the opening    Magpie the style of the opening     Magpie the style of the opening
paragraph.                         paragraph.                          paragraph.
MC explains why: a balaclava       MC explains why this item is
is needed to be included in        needed to be accepted.
the ‘Balaclava Boys’ club.


School setting                     Change to familiar setting 2        Signal change to setting 2
MC explains what happen at         MC explains things that
school because he does not         happen because they don’t
have a balaclava.                  have the item.

MC leaves lesson and finds    MC is tempted to steal the
balaclava on cloakroom floor. item.

Magpie: And that’s when it         Magpie: And that’s when it          Magpie: And that’s when it
happened...!                       happened...!                        happened...!
MC steals balaclava and            MC quickly shoves item into a
shoves it in coat sleeve.          safe place.



Back to home setting               Back to familiar setting 1          Signal change to setting 1
Dilemma 1:                         Dilemma 1:                          Dilemma 1:
MC regrets stealing balaclava
and tries to get rid of
balaclava but realises it is
lost. MC is racked with quilt.
Magpie: Why had I gone and done                                        Magpie: Why had I gone and done
such a stupid thing?               Magpie: Why had I gone and done     such a stupid thing?
                                   such a stupid thing?
MC is bought a balaclava as a      MC is bought the item as a
surprise present but it is         surprise present
identical to the stolen one!
Dilemma 2:                                   Dilemma 2:                    Dilemma 2:
MC worries that everyone                     MC worries that it will be
will think it’s the stolen                   mistaken as the stolen item &
balaclava and gets rid of                    disposes of item.
balaclava down the toilet.

Back to school setting                       Back to familiar setting 2    Signal change to setting 2
MC is feeling guilty at school               MC feels extremely guilty and
but then sees friend wearing                 worried but then sees the
the stolen balaclava!                        original item.


Twist ending:                                Twist ending:                               Twist ending:
MC had accidently shoved                     It turns out the MC never
the balaclava back in the                    actually stole the original
owners coat sleeve not his.                  item!
i.e: he need not have worried                MC realises the
or disposed of the present.                  consequences.



Support for Writing: Dilemma Text Type Guidance:


Generic structure                            Language features                           Knowledge for the writer
The strength of the story often depends      Characterisation is fundamental. The        Make sure the dilemma or issue to be
on a character facing a difficult (or        main characters are often well-             faced is a really tricky one to deal with.
seemingly impossible) dilemma, with a        established from the beginning with         If there is no easy or obvious answer, it
limited choice of actions. A strong,         additional detail such as background,       will be even more interesting to read
simple story structure usually leads the     history or interests included. The reader   what your main character decides to do.
character to the dilemma quite quickly       understands why a character feels the
and then makes the reader wait to find       way they do.                                If characters change during the story,
out how it is dealt with.                                                                decide how to show this.
                                             Key characters also develop and
The narrative makes the waiting              change over time, usually as a result of    Do they behave differently? Do they
interesting by adding to the suspense,       the events that take place in the story     speak differently?
for example by increasing the                and particularly as a result of the
complexity or gravity of the dilemma or      dilemma they face and their resulting
by threatening the right/chosen course       actions.
of action. (The main character has
decided to apologise just in time and is     Description, action and dialogue are all
on the way to do so but has an accident      important for developing and deepening
and is taken to hospital - soon it will be   character and showing both why and
too late.)                                   how someone has changed.

Most forms of narrative can include
stories which raise dilemmas.
Simpler Boxing up:

Generic                               New Story

Main character desperately wants
an item.



Main character is rejected by those
around because he doesn’t have
the item.



Main Character steals an item but
is immediately regretful.



Main character discovers they have
lost the item.




Surprise gift




Feelings of guilt




Finds it in unlikely place.




Relief - – but realisation!
Generic                              New Story

Main character desperately wants     Charlie desperately wants a
an item.                             GameBoy – everyone has one –
                                     it’s the latest big thing.

                                     Charlie complains and asks her
                                     Mum to buy one.



Main character is rejected by those Charlie is being left out on the
around because he doesn’t have      playground.
the item.
                                    Back at school Charlie can't work
                                    with her friends and gets in trouble.

Main Character steals an item but    Washing her hands in the
is immediately regretful.            cloakroom Charlie impulsively
                                     steals a Gameboy and shoves it in
                                     her PE bag.


Main character discovers they have Charlie runs home but seems to
lost the item.                     have lost the Gameboy.



Surprise gift                        Mum has changed her mind and
                                     bought Charlie a Gameboy



Feelings of guilt                    Guilty nightmares make Charlie
                                     take drastic action – she creeps out
                                     and throws it into the bin.

Finds it in unlikely place.          After a scary assembly Charlie gets
                                     a shock, Fred is playing with his
                                     GameBoy – he found it in HIS bag!!


Relief – but realisation!            Charlie, realising her mistake, is
                                     relieved not too have been
                                     discovered but then realises it is
                                     bin day!!