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Year 4 Narrative Unit 4 – Stories that raise issues/dilemmas

Stories that raise issues/dilemmas (4 weeks)


  • Begin to read a short story that raises an issue or dilemma. Summarise the key points in each paragraph to produce an outline of the story structure.
  • Stop to predict the outcome of an issue or dilemma. Explore possible courses of action using improvisation. Children write own endings based on drama and discussion. Compare these endings with the original story ending and evaluate it.
  • Begin reading a longer story as a serial and continue through the unit. Use a journal to record the issues/dilemmas faced by the main character(s) and predict what they will do.
  • Watch an extract from TV or video which shows a character facing a dilemma; talk about how the mood and atmosphere are achieved with music, images and words.
  • Read another story (or link with the serial story) and focus on a problem faced by the main character. Identify and discuss evidence in the text that suggests the character's point of view and their possible actions. Discuss different characters and alternative views on the problem. In drama, children create scenes from the story and then explore characters' thoughts and motives using freeze-frame.
  • Children write in role as a character from the story, advising the main character about what they should do.
  • 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.

1998 Framework objectives covered:

Year 4, Term 3: T1 identify…issues…how characters deal with them…evidence in the text; T8 write critically about an issue…; T11 write a story about a dilemma; T12 write an alternative ending for a known story; T13 write own longer stories in chapters; T20 summarise a sentence/paragraph…; T24 summarise key ideas from paragraph or chapter.