Friday, 30 November 2007

Online Stopwatch

Use the online stopwatch you'll find by clicking here to time your writing at home over the long Xmas break.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Year Five Creative Writing - Longer Description Competition Project

L.O. To revise the planning of a longer description, and to understand the need to include main verbs in passages of description

Last week you started to work on longer descriptions. Revise this work by clicking here. We'll be using your photographs next term to create a fantastic 'longer description' display (and anyone using a digital camera should keep the files, because we'll be uploading some of your photos onto a special 'longer description' blog!) Try to find the most visually interesting location you can find! Oh, and there is a prize for the best set of photographs (hint: try to capture five distinct elements of a single location)

I want you to take five photographs of a location. You can see above five pictures of Trafalgar Square. You'll need to bring them in on the first day back after the Xmas break

Miss Spurling has a blog!

Miss Spurling is online! Click here to visit her new blog, packed with links to useful sites! Don't forget to leave a comment saying what you've enjoyed!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Year Six Creative Writing - Elegant Prose

L.O. To ensure you use an ‘elegant’ prose style when writing under timed conditions.

Your prose should be like Audrey Hepburn: elegant.

Tick off the following as you include it in your story:
 Impact sentence
 Compound sentence ( a sentence using the joining comma)
 Complex sentence (a sentence using the bracketing comma
 Brackets
 Colon
 Semi-colon
 Dash

Feeling clever? Try to include all of the above in the first fifteen lines of your story! This is not as easy as it sounds!

Homework: To redraft story written under timed conditions. You may choose to type this second draft. Focus on adding additional shown feelings.

Year Five Spellings - Confusing Words

Our spelling this week are 'confusing' words - common apostrophe errors that come up again and again in your stories!

Homework: Make cards for each of the common apostrophe error words, e.g. it's/its on one card, whose/who's on another. Draw a picture to illustrate the difference.

Click here to revise apostrophes (this includes a link to some fun games)

Click here to play a 'confusing words' game

Miss Nicholson's Music blog!

Click here to visit Miss Nicholson's music blog. Please leave her a comment, and tell her what you love about the site.

Don't forget to learn your carol words, too!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You...

Get your Mum to sign you up for the first FSG pupil podcast today, Year Six girls!

Fun Stuff (sent by a Yr 6 girl!)

If you like this, there is something special coming very soon that you'll love... Keep your ears peeled!

Year 5 - Using Connectives

As a special treat, my cat, Mr Evelyn Paw, is setting tonight's homework:

Get a Voki now!

Connective words are used either in or between paragraphs to help to show the connection or relationship between one sentence and another. Used carefully, they can assist the reader in moving from one point to the next.

Connectives may be used to:

make comparisons or contrasts
add to an idea
express a result
explain or illustrate
arrange ideas in order, time or space.

Homework: Redraft one of the paragraphs in your last essay, but add in some of the connectives we discussed in class (don't forget the spelling test on them tomorrow!)

Year 6 - Poetry Comprehension

Get a Voki now!

Homework: Complete the Wycombe Abbey poetry comprehension.

Remember to comment on the following:

The Five Senses



Short vowel sounds
Long vowel sounds

Good luck!

Bracket raps!

Movement and songs can help us remember facts and information.

We created some raps to help us remember the correct use of brackets. Ask your class teacher to show you the Year Five bracket raps. They're in 'movies' in the school 's' drive!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sister School French blog

One of our sister schools, Portland Place, has created their own language blog. Why not click here and visit - they've got a couple of cool videos!

Year Six - Semi-colon

L.O. To revise the use of the semi-colon

A semicolon is an economical way to join two sentences, and therefore two ideas, so that your reader sees the relationship.

The semicolon is another important tool you can use when you write. There are two ways to use this punctuation mark: as a connector between two sentences and as a 'supercomma'.

Comparisons are often used to emphasize a basic idea; however, they are more often used to explain something complex or unfamiliar by showing how something we don't understand relates to something we do.

Learn why it is important to use an interesting, varied prose style by clicking here.

WARNING: never glue two sentences together with only a comma. Grammarians call this sentence error a comma splice.

Get a Voki now!

Year Three Creative Writing - Redrafting

L.O. To redraft a story by adding more direct speech

We learnt that a second draft involves improving a story, not just copying out a story 'in neat'. Learn more about redrafting by clicking here.

Homework: Finish redrafting your 'dinosaur' story. Add lots of speech!

Feeling clever? Include lots of 'shown feelings'. Learn more about this idea by clicking here.

Get a Voki now!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Year 6 Comprehension - P-E-E

L.O. To revise the importance of using P-E-E when completing a comprehension

Revise P-E-E by clicking here.

Don't forget there is advice about all the comprehension question-types on the 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension' blog.

Homework: Complete the extra bonus comprehension - you lucky girls!

You'll enjoy the quiz you can find here.

Year 5 Comprehension - H.I.V.E./Questions about summarising a text

L.O. To understand that questions asking you to summarise a passage in your own words require one to write a short summary using synonyms

In class, you started to work on a comprehension based on the book 'H.I.V.E.: The Overlord Protocol.' You can visit the H.I.V.E. website by clicking here.

Revise 'questions that ask you to summarise the text' by clicking here to enter my comprehension blog. Don't forget that you can find hints and tips about all of the comprehension question-types on this blog!

Don't forget that we'll be videoing your bracket raps tomorrow! Revise what you've got to do by clicking here.

Year 4 Creative Writing - First 15 lines - Character Descriptions

L.O. To understand the need to 'zoom in' on details when writing a character description

When writing a short, short story it is a brilliant idea to describe one of the characters.

Click here to remind yourself of how to describe a character.

Click here to learn where you can fit a character description into your story. We'll be looking at this in greater detail next week.

Homework task: Look in magazines and newspapers, and find five interesting faces. Stick the pictures into your book, and describe them, writing three/four lines per description.

Recommended Read: Uncle Montague's Tale of Terror!

You'll love this book!Edgar's uncle lives in a house beyond the woods. Edgar is sure that the village children watch him from behind the trees as he passes through, but he is determined not to show his fear.

One day Edgar's uncle enthrals him with a chilling set of tales, and there is evidence of each one having actually happened: a tiny doll, a gilt frame, an old brass telescope... How did Uncle Montague come by such a grim collection of cursed objects?

But there is no time for answers. Edgar has to make it back through those dark woods before dark... or are the answers OUT THERE?

Click here to visit the website! Be warned: it is pretty spooky!

Enjoyed the website? Leave a comment by clicking on 'comment'

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Big News: Visit Miss McGillewie's new Year Three blog!

Miss McGillewie has created a blog - the Falconet - for Year Three. Visit by clicking here, or on the link in the 'essential links!

Yr 5 Creative Writing: Longer Descriptions

L.O. To appreciate the need to plan longer descriptions carefully

One of the titles 11+ examiners love is 'write a long description'

Click here to revise longer descriptions.

Homework Task: Complete your description of a balloon ride.

Feeling clever? Don't forget to include the adverb-starter comma.

Yr 6 - Before the Passage

L.O. To understand the need to ask questions of a text if asked to write a story concerning what precedes the events in a comprehension passage

Homework: Redraft the Black Mask 'preceding a story' you wrote in class. You may type or handwrite the task.

Feeling clever? Make sure you include a colon, and even a semi-colon using the word 'however'

The Subordinate Clause - The 'Messi Wiggle!'

Isn't Lionel Messi, Barcelona FC's Argentine genius, brilliant? He is the best dribbler in the world. A wiggle of his hips - and he's away!

The subordinate clause is like the Messi wiggle - it is the little 'wiggle' that sends the sentence in a different direction, if only for a moment.

Year 5 Spellings - Connectives

Connectives are important tools for structuring your essays. You can use them in all your writing (including History, Geography, Science, Music etc.). These are simple connectives:




my first point is to suggest...,

my second point is....,


in conclusion

These connectives can be used to pull your arguments together:

in such a way,
as we have seen,
an example of this is when...
in the light of this evidence, it could be suggested...
a key point to draw from this is...

Now for the clever-clogs part. Use these connectives to creates contrasts and suggest other points-of-view (counter-arguments):

in contrast,
critics of this plan have argued...
opponents to this viewpoint say...

Don't forget that you are performing your 'bracket rap' next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I'm Not Here on Friday

Teachers have to learn new things too, so I won't be in school on Friday. you need to reread this tonight so you are prepared for your lesson with Mrs Mannan tomorrow.

Homophones Game witch you will like (sic.)

Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings, e.g.flower and flour. You need to learn these words as there are no spelling rules to help you remember them.

Which ice cream would you like?
The witch was seen flying on a broomstick.

Click here to play a fab homophone game.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Year Six - Persuasive Writing - Using Connectives

L.O. To understand that connectives bring fluency to an argument

'The world would be a better place if television had never been invented.' Write an essay either for or against this statement.

Persuasion texts argue a case from a particular point of view. They are written to convince the reader or listener.

• Use our rhetorical techniques, e.g. facts and figures, positive language, rheotirical questions
• Try to get the reader interested and on your side – appear reasonable
• Use strong and positive language e.g. it will ruin the environment if… you must try this before any others…
• Make the reader think that everyone else does this, or thinks that it will make them a better and happier person!
• Reread and decide whether you would be persuaded

Make sure that you use a range of connectives e.g. however, therefore, as a result, in fact, consequently , and a a concluding paragraph with a summary of the points.

Read through your 'finished' writing to decide whether you would be persuaded and that you have a good balance of facts and statements to help persuade your readers.

Feeling clever? Try to make the most important points using impact sentences.

Year Five - Discursive Writing - Conclusions

L.O. To understand that a good conclusion 'sums up' the argument, and gives the writer's opinion

Discussion texts give a reasoned and balanced over-view of an issue or controversy. (They are different to arguments of persuasive texts which develop or argue the case from one point of view.) They are written to help a reader understand two of more different ‘views’ or ‘arguments’ about an issue, each of which may need to be described and explanation with evidence and/or examples, and they usually have a conclusion which gives the author’s opinion.

A good conclusion should be a thoughtful end to a piece of writing.Be confident with what you say, give your opinion, and explain it to the reader.

Feeling clever? Use some of the persuasive techniques we use in our persuasive writing to convince the reader.

Year 3 Creative Writing - Writing a Story with Dialogue

L.O. To understand the need to include dialogue in a short story

We created storyboards for a story featuring a dinosaur.

For homework, we are going to write the first draft of our story. Try to write at least a side of A4, but no more than one-and-a-half sides of A4. Your objective is to include talking (direct speech). Don't forget to indent your dialogue!

We'll write a second draft next week!

Feeling clever? Try to 'set the scene' at the beginning of the story. Click here to learn how!

Year Six - Extra Comprehension

With six weeks to go we need to make sure we can pick up every mark on offer in the 11+ comprehensions.

Homework: Complete the 'Count Grassi in a cab' comprehension. Don't forget there are lots of useful tips at the 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension' site.

Year 5 Comprehension - Questions about 'What kind of sentence?'

We looked at questions that asks you 'Look at the sentence in line 3. What kind of sentence is it?' Revise this work by visiting my comprehension advice blog, by clicking here.

Your homework is to complete the comprehension paper. Think hard about the 'what kind of sentence' questions.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Year 5 Prose - Write a Bracket Rap

VideoJug: How To Use Parentheses And Square Brackets

We are going to be learning about the trickiest comma - the bracketing commma. To understand the bracketing comma we need to be sure we know how to use brackets correctly.

Task: Write 'The bracket rap'. Work in groups of two or three. Last half-term we wrote a tune for 'The comma song'. This time, you are going to write both the words and the tune! We know that using sound and movement can help us learn tricky facts. You are going to write a 'bracket rap' to help you remember how to use this tricky beast.

Remember to use rhyme and rhythm in your bracket rap!

Include the following six 'brackets facts' in your rap:

Brackets are used in written work to enclose an aside or an afterthought, or to add information or ideas which are not essential.

1. Brackets are used when you add something to your writing.
My pal Snozzy (who has red hair) is an Everton supporter.

2. The sentence should be complete, even if the contents of brackets are removed.

There are several ways of beginning to write an essay (all of them equally helpful) and it depends on writers which they prefer.

Remove the brackets and the sentence is still complete: There are several ways of beginning to write an essay and it depends on writers which they prefer.

The suggestion that his secretary, Sally (now his wife), was a criminal genius seriously upset Bob.

The parenthesis now his wife can be removed from the sentences without damaging its meaning.

3. When brackets are used at the end of a sentence, the full stop falls outside the bracket (like this one.

4. The writing inside brackets should be as short as possible, so as not to break the flow of the sentence.

5. You should only use brackets occasionally. If you use them too frequently, they create a choppy effect.

6. Brackets are often used to enclose dates:

James Dean (1931-1955) died tragically in a car crash, at the tender
age of twenty-four.

Oh, and if you've ever wondered why we need punctation, watch this:

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Year 4 Creative Writing - the First Fifteen Lines of a Short Story

In class we studied the first fifteen lines of a short story.

Your homework task is to plan and write the first fifteen lines of a story entitled 'Fire!' Remember to that you've not got to tell the entire story - you are only writing the first 1/2 page!

We are learning to write with a clear structure. Revise story structure by clicking here.

Then click here, here and here to revise the three 'ingredients' we've studied since half-term.

Feeling clever? Try to include lots of 'shown feelings' alongside your direct speech. Click here to revise this key skill.

You can use this structure for almost any story! The great advantage of writing a story like this is that it leaves you free to be as creative as possible!

MASSIVE NEWS: The Falcons Interview blog is here!

Bald Worm's blog has a new kid sister: the Falcons Interview blog. You'll be able to learn everything you need to know to do brilliantly in 11+ interviews. Click on 'Falcons Interview Preparation blog' in the 'Essential links' to start preparing!

Have you visited 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension'?

Don't forget to click on the 'podcast' button in the 'essential links to visit 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension', my guide to success in the 11+ comprehension exams. You'll find two podcasts (radio shows), and lots of brilliant tips on how to answer those tricky questions. What are you waiting for?

Year Six Homework - Comprehension and Interview

The blogs keep on coming at FSG! Click on 'Interview preparation' in the 'Essential links' column to be taken to my new mini-blog, Falcons Interviews. This is where you'll find all the tips you need to become brilliant in 11+ interviews. Of course, we'll be doing lots of interview prep in class, so you'll be ready to go and knock the socks off your interviewers.

The homework tonight comes in three parts:

1. Complete the Wycombe 2006 paper.

2. Visit the interview site.

3. Visit the comprehension blog (at the podcast site), and revise 'questions about the different types of sentence an author uses'.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

I love this picture!

This picture depicts a Victorian penny-dreadful villain - Zenith the Albino. Enjoy this description:

'Zenith's crimson-irised eyes were reflective. He stood there long of leg and broad of shoulder, immaculately dressed, groomed to perfection, cold as an icicle; and dangerous; transcendently dangerous.'

Friday, 16 November 2007

Year 5 Creative Writing - Continuing a Passage

L.O. To understand the need to ask questions of a text before continuing a passage

We looked at the questions you must ask before continuing a passage. Revise continuing a passage by clicking here.

Homework: Complete the first draft of your 'War Horse' story. We'll begin redrafting it next week. Don't forget to set the scene and include lots of shown feelings. Write 1 1/2 sides of A4.

Please read your work to someone at home when you've finished. Ask them what they enjoyed, and one thing you could improve next week.

Feeling clever? You've been collecting verbs of movement. Use them to describe how the horse moves.

P.S. Don't forget to bring in your kung-fu punctuation cards on Monday!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Year Six Weekend - Distinctive Voices

L.O. To understand that use of a distinctive manner of speech serves to develop characterisation

In class we studied the use of 'distinctive voices' in story dialogue. We also looked at setting out our speech using a colon - another little trick to impress the Grumpy Examiner. Revise our work on distinctive voices by clicking here.

Your homework is to write a second draft of your 'timed writing' story, ensuring that you include one character who speaks using a distinctive voice.

Feeling clever? Set out some of your dialogue using a colon. Naturally, you should also be thinking hard about your use of the bracketing comma.

You should also complete the non-verbal paper. When you've finished, use the answer sheet to work out your scores. We'll discuss the 'tricky' questions on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend, and make sure you pop back to the blog on Sunday for 'fun stuff' and some more comprehension tips! Have fun!

Fun Stuff (sent by a Yr 6 girl!)

Year 5 Word Work - Call My Bluff!

What a theme tune! In class, we played 'Call My Bluff', a game designed to improve your vocabulary.

Homework: Revise the silent letter spellings. Test next week - oh, and have a go at at a fantastic silent letters space invaders game by clicking here.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Year Six Comprehension

Please complete the 2007 Wycombe Abbey past paper. Spend 45 minutes on the comprehension section.

Click here for useful info. on harder questions. You may also find it useful to listen again to the annotation podcast.

Year 5 Punctation - Making Kung-Fu Punctuation Cards

In class you started to make a 'Kung Fu punctuation card game', writing short paragraphs using each of the three commas we've been studying in class:
- the listing comma
- the joining comma
- the 'adverb starter' comma

Homework: Copy up the paragraphs you made in class onto playing card sized cards. Make about five or six cards. Write the paragraph with punctuation on one side, and without the punctuation on the other, just like with the A4 paper in class. Draw some illustrations to accompany the writing. Bring your cards in next Monday so we can have a game!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Year 3 Creative Writing - Including Shown Feelings

L.O. To understand the need to include feelings if one wishes the reader to care about the characters in our stories

In class we looked at how important it is to include 'shown feelings' in a story. You can learn more about shown feelings by clicking here.

Watch this video to remind yourself how to include feelings in your stories:

Homework: Imagine you are asleep, when a Wicked Witch jumps out from under your bed!What would you say to her? What does she want? Write a short dialogue about what you'd say to the Wicked Witch - and remember to include lots of feelings.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Year Six Comprehension - Inference

L.O. To understand the need to infer from the text, and identify the author's use of characterisation techniques, when asked to work out how a character feels.

In class, we looked at how writer's manipulate the reader by making them care about the characters.

Questions about characters are all about inferring from what is happening in the text.

Writers are trying to influence how you feel by using a variety of techniques. The highest marks are won by girls who can recognise and analyse how the writer has used language to achieve their purpose.

Homework: Please complete the Comprehension paper on the A4 provided. Be sure to use evidence to prove your answers. Revise our work on 'identifying characterisation techniques' by clicking here.

(Hint: You’ll probably want to need to include the word ‘...suggests’ in your answer!)

Year 5 Comprehension - Simile questions

L.O. To understand that comprehension questions about the author's use of similes require one to discuss the comparison being made.

In class, we revised similes, and discussed how to answer questions about similes in comprehension. Revise how to answer comprehension simile questions by clicking here (read this before answering question 3!). (

Don't forget to annotate the passage before you begin. You may find it useful to listen again to my comprehension podcasts before you start writing.

Task: Please complete the 11+ Haberdashes' Aske's paper on the sheet of A4 provided.

Year 4 - Opening with an Exciting Line and the Setting the Scene

L.O. To begin a story with an exciting opening followed by a paragraph using descriptive techniques to ‘set the scene’

We have been studying the opening to a short story.

We have learnt to open our stories with an exciting first line, and follow that by setting the scene.

Revise exciting opening lines by clicking here.

You'll find our descriptive techniques here, and advice on setting the scene here.

Homework: Plan and write a story entitled 'The Lost Pet'. Make sure you first plan on the sheet provided. Don't forget to open with an exciting opening line , and then set the scene.

Feeling clever? Think about including lots of 'shown feelings' (actions that reveal how the character is feeling). Learn about shown feelings by clicking here.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Fun Stuff

Fun Stuff - Dancing Robots!

Cool! Try to devise your own science-fiction story featuring robots!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Year Five - War Horse!

Sold to a drunken farmer, Joey, a beautiful red-bay foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, finds a friend in the farmer's son, Albert. His father brutally demands Joey work or be sold, so Albert gently trains him to pull the plough. But it's not enough. When war breaks out, Albert's father, needy for money for his struggling farm, sells Joey to the army, where he, like the soldiers around him, must try to cope with the horrors of the First World War.

In class, we read the first few chapters of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse.

Learn about the Morpurgo's inspiration for writing the novel by clicking here.

1. Read chapter 3 and 4 of 'War Horse', and summarise them in your book (just like you did for chapter 1 and 2)
2. Imagine you were asked to write the next chapter of the story. Brainstorm some ideas about what might happen next, and write a full, detailed, neat plan in your draft book.

You shouldn't write the story - we'll be doing that next week.

Feeling clever? We talked in class about cliche. Click here to find a 'machine' that generates unusual similes. Invent some imaginative similes,and write them down, ready to include in your story next week but avoid cliche.

Year Six English and Verbal Reasoning Homework - Continuing a Passage

Your weekend homework comes in two parts:

1. Complete the Verbal reasoning paper. We'll go through it on Monday.

2. Complete writing section question 2: 'They shut the road through the woods seventy years ago...' Continue the story.

Your challenge is to include all four of the commas we have discussed in class:
The listing comma
The joining comma
The adverb-starter comma
The bracketing comma

You should also aim to include a bracket or two.

Feeling clever? Try to include an aftermath ending. Learn more about this advanced technique by clicking here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Year 5 Non-fiction - Mobile Phones Essay

The two most common types of essays are the persuasive and the discursive.

An persuasive essay opens with a boldly expressed point of view and then the rest of the essay presents arguments to support that point of view. Normally, it refers to opposing arguments but demonstrates that these are weak or even false.

A discursive essay presents both sides of the issue in a more balanced way. In the end, however, it normally reaches a conclusion; in other words, the writer states they think. Discursive essay questions are carefully constructed to address sets of issues that rarely have single or simple answers.The following is an example of how a discursive essay on 'The Pros and Cons of People Owning Guns' might be structured:

Introduction: The issue of owning guns

1. Introduction: Some people believe individuals should not own guns

2. Pros:
+ People can protect themselves from intruders
+ People can use guns for recreational purposes (e.g. hunting)

3. Cons:
- Both adults and children can have accidents
- People can use guns for crimes

4. Conclusion (a summary & evaluation of arguments above)
= Problems of accidents and crime make gun ownership difficult to accept
= Gun ownership should not be allowed in the interest of a better society

Your task in this assignment is to write a discursive essay about the advantages and disadvantages of children owning mobile phones. Write 4 paragraphs (1 side of A4)

Your introduction will state that there are both advantages and disadvantages to children owning mobile phones. However, it will sound rather weak if you simply write: "There are both advantages and disadvantages to children owning mobile phones". It will make a stronger impact if you start with a bold or surprising statement, or perhaps a striking fact.

Finally, you'll need a conclusion. Avoid a weak "sitting on the fence" conclusion such as this: "There are some strong points both for and against mobile and it all depends on what your opinion is." This is lame! Instead, you should sum up the arguments you have already covered and state whether, on balance, you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or vice-versa. It may be effective to present the arguments in reverse order this time. Here is an example conclusion for an essay on 'the pros and cons of owning a car', telling you the writer's opinion:

In conclusion, car ownership has several negative effects, including stress, road accidents and destruction of the natural environment. Nevertheless, we have become very dependent on cars because of the comfort and freedom they offer. A total ban seems out of the question, but for the sake of our own health and the health of the planet, we must aim to reduce car use – for example, by improving public transport systems and introducing car pooling schemes.

Writing essays is one of the best ways to develop the mental skills necessary for learning and thinking.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Year 3 Creative Writing - Reviewing Dialogues

1. Watch this video to revise the layout of direct speech in a dialogue.

2. Write a short dialogue (between 1/2 side and 3/4 side of A4, please), based on the following picture - it will help if you imagine the dog can talk!

You may want to begin your dialogue like this:

"Bye, darling, I'm off for a run!" shouted Bob. He had a silly grin plastered all over his face. Bob's daily run was his favourite part of the day.
"Hello, waht's this?" muttered next-door's dog. Saliva began to drop from his whiskery chin.

Feeling clever? Try to include some shown feelings. Learn all about feelings by clicking here.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Year 5 - Punctuation - Adverbs

Please use a dictionary to find 10 adverbs not on your sheet,and write a sentence for each adverbs, using the adverb comma, e.g.

Suddenly, he realised he was being followed.

This sentence uses the adverb 'suddenly', and follows it with the adverb comma! Study the following examples:

Generally, it rains a lot here

Usually, the town is busy at this time of year

Learn more about adverbs by clicking here.

Year 6 - Introducing Bracketing Commas

Write half-a-page on the topic 'Why I Wouldn't Want to Dress Like a Victorian'

Your challenge is to include the following commas:

An adverb comma
A joining comma
A listing comma
A bracketing comma

Take your time, as there isn't much to write, and think hard about your use of the comma. You may find it helpful to reread the 'bracketing comma' pack before you begin.

Use a gel pen or highlighter to shown me where you have used the different commas, i.e. draw an arrow and write 'bracketing comma' in the margin.

Feeling clever? Try to include a semi-colon.

VideoJug: How To Use Colons And Semi-Colons

Year Six Homework - Suspense into Action

Imagine you are a soldier in WWI or WWII. Write a scene of suspense building into action, but you must not have anyone killed. Write 1/2 page, and use all of our suspense and action techniques.

You can revise suspense techniques by clicking here, and action here.

Learn more about how to fit suspense into a short story by clicking here.

P.S. Don't forget we'll be performing (and videoing)the bracket song tomorrow! We'll also begin to learn about bracketing commas!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Fun Stuff - Panda Prison Break

Watch two pandas team up to escape from their cage!

We often talk in class about planning 'distinctive' stories. When you get an title, try to think of an unusual twist - and what could be more distinctive for an 'Escape' story than 'Panda Break'?

Fun Stuff!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Dull but important stuff- The Apostrophe

Apostrophes are an endless source of confusion for writers. So I thought you might enjoy watching this short video on the subject:

VideoJug: How To Use An Apostrophe

Below is a transcript of the video. Learn it all, my friends!

Step 1: Missing letters
Apostrophes are primarily used to indicate missing letters. Whenever you are taking away letters to shorten a word, or merge two words, put an apostrophe in their place. This is how we distinguish between words like he'll and hell, she'll and shell.

And it works with years too:
The summer of ‘69

It's important to remember the meaning of what you are writing. A common mistake is to write:

You could of won already. When we really mean: You could have won already. Which can be written as: You could've won already.

Step 2: Ownership
An apostrophe also shows who owns what in a sentence. For instance:
The boy's dinner. (The dinner belonging to the boy)
And it's the same if the word ends with an s:
The bus's arrival.

Apostrophes are also used for something that is owned by more than one person. When the boy's dinner is written as the boys' dinner, it means the dinner is shared between 2 or more boys.

This could cause massive confusion if not done correctly:

Large children's playground (a large playground for children)
Large childrens' playground (a playground for large children)

It works the same with time:
One week's time (in the time of one week)
Two weeks' time (in the time of two weeks)

And quantity:
One pound's worth (worth one pound)
Two pounds' worth (worth two pounds)

Step 3: Exceptions to the rule
There are a few exceptions to the rules, where the ownership apostrophe and missing letters apostrophe seem to clash. While they are exceptions, getting these wrong is the best way to annoy a punctuation-stickler. Watch out for words like:

It's (it is) As in: It's a lovely day today! Or: It's got to be done today (it has)
Its (belonging to it) As in: Dont pull its tail.

Who's (who is) Who's doing the counting? or Who's been to Newquay?
Whose (who it belongs to) Whose shop is this?

You're (you are) You're never going to believe this
Your (belonging to you) Where's your coat?

Step 4: Improper English
Finally, we also use apostrophes to show that someone isn't speaking ‘proper' English:
Gone shoppin'

The Grumpy Examiner says, "Get apostrophes right, or else!"

Play an apostrophe game by clicking here, and there is an excellent quiz here.