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Transcript of 'Machine Gunners'
Year 8 Non-Fiction
(Reading and Writing)
Activity One: After reading the first chapter...
The Pros and Cons of Being Bombed!
In this chapter, we can see the good and bad points about growing up in a town that is under attack. In the form of a table, write down all of the positives and negatives you can find in the chapter.
EXTENSION: Is there any pattern as to whose perspectives the positives come from, and whose the negatives? Comment on why this is so>>>
Go on to read Chapter 2.
H/W: Research air-raids in wartime Britain. You should arrive at five key websites that will provide you with good research material to write a journalistic piece about life during air-raids.
In groups of 3
How does Robert Westall establish the characters of the three children in this chapter? In your groups, each take responsibility for one of the characters, focusing on the following:
how the character is described by the writer
how the character is revealed through speech and action
what other characters think of your character
Work in PEA chains, making specific reference to language techniques.
Go on to read Chapter 3/4
Activity 3: 'Air Raid' Project
Using your designated websites, produce a journalistic piece about air raids in World War II.
The history of the air raid shelter
what made of
Procedure of air raids
who did what
what happens in an air raid?
The role of the warden
who were they?
what did they do?
how were they seen?
A particular air raid
one side of A4
what you are writing about?
how you will use your sources?
Looking at your plan:
is you area of focus specific and not too wide?
are your main paragraphs in a random or logical order?
have you thought about how to introduce in a way that will grab the reader's interest?
eg. Article: The Air Raid Siren!
Warning of enemy planes was given by sirens. When people heard the sirens' wailing sound, they went into air raid shelters.
The air raid warning system was developed in 1938/9. The sound of the 'warning' signal and the 'all clear' would become very familiar to people living in large cities in Britain
You are sat there minding your own business - perhaps innocently spreading jam over your toast, or quietly reading a book; when all of a sudden, that devastating, piercing sound fills the air all around. And everybody freezes...
The sound you hear is the sound of the air raid warning system. This was first developed in 1938/9.
YouTube: Air Raid Warning
Starting to Write Your Article
Check your plan
Highlight relevant areas of research
Re-check quality of opening
Continue to write rest of article
Consider returning to opening at close of article
c 600-700 words
Complete first draft for homework
Improving Your Article
>Logical sequence of ideas
>Links between paragraphs
>Paragraphing or effect (eg. single sentence paragraph
>Ending that returns to opening?
>Not running them together
>Topic sentences leading paragraphs
>Blunt sentences for effect
>Correct comma use
>Colons / semi-colons used well
>Engaging, involving vocabulary
>Effective verb / adverb use
>Purposefully chosen words
Highly accurate spelling / punctuation / grammar
Research well and subtly integrated into piece
working in pairs
Which is the most effective opening and why?
Catch up with reading!
Read Chpater 5-7 of 'The Machine Gunners'
Read chapters 8-10
Read Chapters 12-15
Complete reading of the novel...
'The Machine Gunners' : Structuring a Novel
For the section of the novel you have read, or for the whole novel, turn the sequence of events into a flow diagram. Try to stick to the key events only.
In your flow diagram, make a note of the chapters in which these key events happen. Rate the excitement level of each event between 1 (completely unexciting) to 10 (extremely exciting).
Look at what the writer covers between these moments and insert your observation between the key moments. Rate the excitement levels of these too.
Compare your observations with your partner. Between you, try to reach some conclusions about how this writer structures his sequence of events...