Heroes and Heroines – Primary English

Our history books are full of stories of heroes and heroines that made history. They inspire and guide us, providing role models and informing the way we live our lives. What is a hero, or heroine? What do they do that makes them such? How do our heroes today compare to those of yesteryear? These are questions that are likely to be answered in completing this activity.

Activity One – Speaking and Listening – Presenting
LO:     Justify opinions with facts or reference to similar opinions
Be able to speak clearly and concisely on a topic

Talking Point: Ask the children to name some people who could be considered as heroes or heroines. There’s a good chance you’ll be more likely to get sports or TV personalities than what would really be considered as a hero/heroine. Ask the children to work in small groups to list attributes that heroes or heroines have. Ask one member of each group to present their answers and say whether the heroes/heroines talked about have those attributes.

At Home:  Ask parents/guardians who their heroes were and what it was about them that made them heroic. Report back to the class and see if the hero/heroine is common to many parents.

Activity Two – Spelling and Vocabulary
LO:  Find good quality adjectives that describe a hero or heroine
Recall the spellings of the heroic adjectives

You can use the words collected in the Speaking and Listening activity. Ask the children to choose five of them and draw a hero that embodies those five adjectives. Learn the adjectives used.

At Home: Find a famous person from history and see how many of our adjectives could be used to describe them. Which character collects the most heroic adjectives?

Activity Three – Writing Non-Fiction – Biography
LO: Write for different purposes
Using third person to write a biography

Select some non-fiction biographical books from the Collins Big Cat series and read extracts of them to the children.

Talking Point: What kind of language was used in the extracts? Was it written in the present or the past tense? Was it written in the first or third person.

Remind children of the words they used to describe heroes and ask them if they can think of someone they know to whom those adjectives could apply. They would be their own ‘local heroes’. It could be someone who looks after them, a sports coach out of school or someone in school; a friend or teacher. Ask them to write a biography of that person saying why they are a hero and using some of the adjectives they chose.

At Home:  Present their story of their ‘local hero’ to the subject of their story as a thank you.

Activity Four – Grammar – Connectives and verb forms
LO:   To recognise a connective and know what effect it has on a sentence
To use connectives and verbs correctly and effectively

Talking Point: Write two related short sentences on the board and ask the children whether they sound right spoken in isolation. e.g.
It is raining today.
We can’t go out to play

Ask if they can suggest a way to improve the sound of the sentences. It can be achieved by using the connective ‘so’. Now ask them to think of the sentence ‘X is a hero because…’ and they complete the sentence.

Can they think of and write sentences about their heroes/heroines using connectives such as ‘so’, ‘for’, ‘as’ etc. Tell them that you’re also going to look for the correct form of the verb being used following the connective.

At Home: Ask them to listen to dialogue either on TV or between family members and identify where connectives are used and what they did to the meaning and impact of the dialogue.

Activity Five – Punctuation – Question Marks and Commas
LO:   To know that questions should always end in question marks and that commas are used for pauses and to demarcate lists of single or two word items
To write out suitable questions for a questionnaire or interview using correct punctuation

Talking Point: Write a question on the board without a question mark:

What are we going to do in maths today

… and ask the children to identify what is wrong with the sentence.
Do the same with a sentence with a list of lots of items, asking them to read the sentence to themselves before answering:

When you go to the shops buy an apple two bananas a book a newspaper and a bar of chocolate
…what is missing from the sentence?

Now tell them that they can either write a questionnaire for people to answer about their own heroes or heroines or write out questions for them to carry out an interview with a hero/heroine.

At Home: If their hero/heroine is someone they know out of school, ask them to complete the interview with them. If they’ve drawn up a questionnaire, ask a family member to complete it.

Dave Lewis

Primary teacher

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