This unit of work is based on Rain Player by David Wisniewski. The ancient Mayan tale of boy who must defeat the Rain God in a game of pok-a-tok to save his village from a terrible drought.

Mastery Skills:

  • Identify the audience for and purpose of the writing
  • Select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
  • Integrate dialogue to convey character and advance the action
  • Use of passive verbs to affect the presentation of information (year 6 only)
  • Link within and across paragraphs using a wide range of devices

Short writing opportunities:

  • Setting description
  • Diary entry
  • Instructions/Explanation
  • Character description
  • Poetry

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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.