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
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
Main character is rejected by those
around because he doesn’t have
Main Character steals an item but
is immediately regretful.
Main character discovers they have
lost the item.
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.
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