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Spring Week 5 01.02.2021



In English this week we will be continuing our study of Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo. This novel links with our Geography topic of Extreme Earth and includes fictional events based on the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. 

In addition to the English lessons we would like children to take part in a reading activity for 10 minutes each day. Please see the reading section for further details.

If any additional support is needed please do not hesitate to contact the Year 4 team via


Monday 1st February

LO – To identify and use past tense verbs.

To start today’s lesson, please listen to the recorded extract from Running Wild below. If you would like to follow the recording, today’s text starts at the top of page 14 and ends at the top of page 19.

Running Wild Chapter 1 Part 1.mp3

Think about:

  • What has happened in the story so far?
  • Why doesn’t Will enjoy this train journey?

Look at the extract from the text below.

  • What tense is the author using?
  • How do you know?


               I glanced up at Mum sitting beside me, but she did not look back at me. I could see she was lost deep in her thoughts, and I knew well enough what they had to be. I regretted again that I’d yelled at her at breakfast that morning. I shouldn’t have done it.


  • Did you spot the verbs (the doing / action / being words) in the text?


Today’s work is all about identifying and using past tense verbs. Please see the activities in the Resource bank for further details.

  • Must: Sort the verbs into past and present.
  • Should: Change the present tense verbs into past tense.
  • Could: Rewrite the extract from Running Wild in the past tense.


At the end of the lesson please listen to the recording of the rest of Chapter 1 (from page 19 to 25).

Chapter 1 - pages 19 to 25

Tuesday 2nd February

LO – To use powerful verbs.

To start today’s lesson, please listen to the recorded extract from Running Wild below. (Chapter 2 pages 27-51)

Chapter 2 - pages 27 to 51

Today we will be applying the skill of writing sentences using powerful verbs. Verbs are basically doing words. They describe an action (run), a mental action (dream) or a state of being (joy). Powerful verbs are more descriptive verbs that tell us more about the action itself and can make a huge difference to how interesting your writing is.


Please see the resource bank for today’s challenges.

  • Must: Challenge 1 – change the given verbs by selecting one of the given examples.
  • Should: Challenge 2 – replace the given verbs with powerful verbs from the word bank.
  • Could: Challenge 3 – continue the description using the skills learned so far.


Wednesday 3rd February

LO To plan a description using senses and feelings.

To start today’s lesson, the children are to listen to the first extract from Running Wild. This is on pages 53 - 65 if you would like to follow in your own book.

Chapter 3 - pages 53 - 65

For your work today, you will be generating ideas and vocabulary for a piece of descriptive writing which we will draft in tomorrow’s lesson. You will be describing your thoughts and feelings as if it is you clinging to Oona as she tramples into the jungle away from the tsunami wave.


Close your eyes and imagine that you are Will, sitting on the elephant’s back. Suddenly, the elephant darts off into the jungle. Imagine what you would:

  • See
  • Hear
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Feel (emotions)


Use the planning frame provided in the resource bank below to collect some ideas which you can use in your writing tomorrow. You should include:

  • Powerful verbs
  • Adverbs (describing your verbs)
  • Descriptive vocabulary such as adjectives and similes

There is an example of a completed planning frame in the resource bank to help you with some ideas if you need it.


You might like to watch this lovely clip of a herd of elephants in an elephant sanctuary running to greet a rescued baby elephant to get some ideas about what it might be like to sit on an elephant as it runs. How would you describe the sounds you can hear?

REMEMBER, you are PLANNING today and generating vocabulary. We will be drafting our writing tomorrow.


Thursday 4th February

LO – To draft my descriptive writing.

LOOK AT YOUR PLANNING FRAME FROM YESTERDAY. You will now be using the ideas and vocabulary you generated yesterday to draft your description of clinging on to Oona’s back as she runs away from the beach, the sea and the approaching tsunami.


Try to include these features:



A compound sentence about what you can see.

The sea crashed onto the beach as I sat carefully on Oona’s back

A sentence about how you feel.


I was shaking with fear…


A simile

Suddenly, Oona ran as fast as lightning.


A verb opener sentence including your senses.

Running wildly, Oona stampeded into the jungle.

A complex sentence about what you can hear.

Oona was charging wildly and I could hear the large palm leaves slapping against her rough hide.

A sentence joined by a subordinating conjunction.

I was petrified because I felt completely alone.

A conjunction opener sentence about what you can see.

As the wind was so strong, I had to hold on tightly.

Powerful verbs.

The fallen leaves were crushed under Oona’s trampling feet.

A list of descriptions separated by commas.

The trees around us were bright, wet and huge.

An emotion sentence opener.

Petrified, I hung on for dear life.


  • Must: Use full sentences with the correct punctuation to describe what you see, hear, smell, touch and feel.
  • Should: Include all the feature elements in the table above.
  • Could: Arrange your writing into paragraphs.


Friday 5th February

LO – To edit and improve my descriptive writing.

Today you will be editing and improving the writing you drafted yesterday.

Look at the ‘Editing Writing’ PowerPoint and remember what we do in school when we go back to ‘polish’ our writing with our purple polishing pencils or pens.


You may want to:

  • Correct any spelling mistakes
  • Add missing punctuation
  • Improve some vocabulary choices to make your writing more interesting for your reader


If you want to find different words with the same meaning (synonyms) you can use a thesaurus. If you don’t have one at home you could use this online version:


Use the marking ladder to help you to assess your edited and improved writing.


We look forward to seeing your edited and improved writing which you can send in to us at