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Year 5 Narrative Unit 1 – Novels and stories by significant children's authors

Novels and stories by significant children's authors (4 weeks)

This is the first of a block of six narrative units in Year 5. It builds on children's experience and knowledge from Year 4 and introduces new areas of learning that will be developed during the year. It is divided into four parts with regular oral or written outcomes and assessment opportunities. The unit can be linked to other curriculum subjects and themes.

Phase 1

Read stories by a significant children's author including a serialised class novel. Children express their response with reference to other books they have read by the same author. Visualise setting, make predictions about plot and note story structure. Compare story openings and experiment with different types of opening.

Phase 2

Explore aspects of an author's style by comparing themes, settings and characters in different stories. Focus on characterisation and make inferences about the author's perspective on a particular character. Review conventions of dialogue: what it reveals about plot or character. Write a new scene for a story in the style of the author.

Phase 3

Explore the idea of a 'significant author' by collecting information about an author. Draw on children's own responses, survey popularity in the class or school and collect background information. Children work collaboratively in groups to research an author of their choice and make a presentation to the class.

Phase 4

Write a new story inspired by a favourite book or author. Include elements based on reading, for example an interesting story opening or language used to create a particular comic or dramatic effect. Vary the length of sentences to achieve particular effects.


  • Read and compare stories by significant children's authors. Include at least one serialised class novel and draw on children's wider reading for examples.
  • Map and compare story structure in different stories. Compare story openings.
  • Explore aspects of an author's style, for example themes, settings, typical characters. Make links with children's own reading habits and preferences. Look at different ways of presenting characters, for example dialogue, action, description, and discuss response.
  • Explore meaning of text through prediction, visualisation and empathy with characters.
  • Develop particular aspects of written narrative: experiment with story openings; write new scenes or characters into a familiar story in the style of the author; organise scenes using paragraphs effectively.

1998 Framework objectives covered:

Year 5, Term 1: T1 openings; T2 compare story structure; T3 presentation of characters; T4 links with author's experience; T9 active attitude towards reading; T10 evaluate books; T11 experiment with story openings; T12 appeal of established authors; T14 map out texts; T15 write new scenes or characters.

S5 difference between direct and reported speech; S7 how dialogue is set out.


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