This unit of work is based on The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy. The tear thief creeps around at night before bedtime, silently stealing the tears of crying children. What could possibly be the reason for her collecting all these tears?

Mastery skills:

  • Use subordination (when)
  • Use punctuation correctly – apostrophes for possession (singular)
  • Use present and past tenses correctly and consistently

Short writing opportunities:

  • Narrative
  • Descriptive writing
  • Report
  • Labels
  • Letter

Buy The Tear Thief from our partners at Peters.

What is a Stepping Stone?

Stepping Stones are our short term literacy plans for teachers which introduce our text-based mastery approach to writing.

Each plan comprises 15 sessions to teach a small number of key writing skills from the national curriculum. Throughout the unit of work, pupils are given the opportunity to repeatedly practise these skills through meaningful short pieces of writing linked to the text. This builds towards a final extended writing task in which pupils can apply the skills with confidence and independence.

Planning features:

  • Key activities for each session
  • Examples of grammar skills pupils are expected to use
  • Focus vocabulary and links to common exception words and
  • NC word lists
  • Essential resources included for the activities
  • The first session is a ‘hook’ for learning
  • Suggested challenges for those learners targeted to reach greater depth in writing
  • Opportunity for pupils to explore the genre of the final writing outcome in more detail

These plans will give you a flavour of our more comprehensive, award-winning writing programme Pathways to Write.