Planning ideas around Missing! The materials for Missing!

are designed to be flexible to allow teachers make it work for their pupils and not be constrained to a specific literacy sequence. The work undertaken will need to reflect the age of the pupils and their understanding of text types. Pupils in Upper Key Stage 2 should be able to apply their understanding of a range of text types more readily than those in Lower Key Stage 2 and so this may drive teachers’ decisions on where they take the work. I have not put a significant amount of ICT into the plans as we will cover this on the Chapter 1 and 2 training sessions. There are opportunities within this work to:  Use the recorder tool on IWB software to allow children to provide voiceovers for the photographs of their drama work  Use of Wallwisher ( to collate their thoughts in the deconstruction of the text  Allow children to record their versions of the story from different points of view using Voki (  Allow the children to complete the non linear PowerPoint inserting notes from their drama work about each character as well as sound recordings  Create a class blog to record all of the work in this sequence including children’s planning, writing, oral rehearsal and artwork. We believe that it will work well as a stimulus for narrative writing, recount, non-chronological reports, persuasive and explanation writing. Teachers may wish to use texts from the suggested list as a stimulus for the pupils’ work, it may be that they are used in the sequence or to read as the ongoing novel in class. The list is not comprehensive and you may know of even more books which could be used. If this is the case, please let us know and we will update the materials with your suggestion. In some schools teachers are trying to develop writing which mixes text types; this is where children are able to apply their understanding of the types in one piece of writing. An extension of this could be to write a narrative with inserted pieces of writing from other text types. This is based on work such as writing a narrative which includes the character going to a location for which the writer then produces a tourist guide. An example of this would be: A mystery narrative written telling the story of the heist with Dug’s notes contained in a report format on the non linear PowerPoint, a non-chronological report about diamonds (from Dug’s research on what might have been stolen) and an explanation of how the crime was written at the end. In order to make this sequence easier to learn the additional text types would be taught and inserted after the completion of the narrative. This would mean that using this sequence a teacher could cover 4 text types from one stimulus producing four pieces of writing.

Genre / Text Type Narrative Mystery It is likely that many classes will look to use this for their sequence.

Ideas Immerse the children in a range of mystery books (see the book lists) ensuring that they have an opportunity to collate the vocabulary associated with the genre. It is vital that teachers have a clear view of the vocabulary which they will want included in the children’s writing before the start of the sequence. Planning for this at an early stage then allows the teacher to ensure that children have heard, used and applied them several times before they writing. Identify common features and themes from the narratives. Discuss how settings influence the reactions of characters. Use this to develop vocabulary around setting and character. Express opinions about the mood and atmospheres created by different authors of narratives with fantasy settings. Use the Missing! text carrying deconstruction of the text concentrating on the way in which the story is built up. Look at how the author uses different techniques to create suspense and uses narrative hooks to create possibilities for later in the story. There needs to be a great emphasis on the use of speaking and listening activities with drama. The use of ICT will not allow the pupils to show their work to the best of their abilities unless they have had time to orally rehearse and immerse themselves in the story. Teachers could decide to stop the story at midpoint for the children to complete or from the point at which the safe is opened and Dug explains how he solved the mystery. (This is difficult for children and planning will need to detailed and clear.) The approach to this writing will be very similar to that of narrative writing. The focus will be on one of the previous Hartingwells and will need some background research. The best approach for this would be to look at websites about stately homes and the families which lived in them. The National Trust is a good source for this. Books like Moonstruck, Times Flies could provide useful texts to give a background.

Key Features Pupils need to show that they can write using the structure of mystery writing. It is often chronological, even in a longer narrative, but complex structural techniques are sometimes used for effect. Different structures can be used for layering of information or drip-feeding facts to build up a full picture for the reader, e.g. In UKS2 you may wish to use mystery stories to teach flashbacks in action or thoughts as using flashbacks to fill in information needed that wasn’t provided earlier in the story is a very effective technique. Also pupils can be taught to organising sections so they tell the story both before and after a key event. This is a very difficult skill and one which will need clearly modelling. Settings are often places the main character is unfamiliar with. We will be changing this as our main characters have been Hartingwell Manor. Mystery stories often have similar settings such as deep, dark forests, old, uninhabited places and lonely rural landscapes. Other settings can be very familiar places (school, home, the local town) but with an added ingredient that triggers the mystery (a stranger arrives in town, a parcel arrives, people begin acting strangely, something unusual happens) Some classes may wish to use the history from the story to develop a narrative as a back story to the Hartingwell history. The narrative is about something that has already happened in the past so a series of events is usually the underlying structure. The writer can adapt the structure to achieve a specific effect. For example, the story can begin with a main character looking back and reflecting on the past (I was just a lad then. Let me tell you what happened …). Sometimes, a historical narrative begins with the final event and then goes

Historical fiction

Stories which raise dilemmas

Dilemmas are a difficult writing construct for children to translate from reading through to writing and this will need modelling clearly to children. In this story it could be based through extending the story from the point at which Dug works out the solution to the puzzle. This would mean that the dilemma

on to explain what led up to that by moving back in time to tell the whole story. Historical fiction requires a historical setting but can also be an adventure or a mystery. It can also give a fictionalised account of real events or additional, fictional The strength of the story often depends on a character facing a difficult (or seemingly impossible) dilemma, with a limited choice of actions. A strong, simple story structure usually leads the character to the dilemma quite quickly and then makes the reader wait to find out how it is dealt with. The narrative makes the waiting interesting by adding to the suspense, for example by increasing the complexity or gravity of the dilemma or by threatening the right/chosen course of action. (The main character has decided to apologise just in time and is on the way to do so but has an accident and is taken to hospital - soon it will be too late.) Most forms of narrative can include stories which raise dilemmas. Structure often includes:  orientation such as scene-setting or establishing context (It was the school holidays. I went to the park ...);  an account of the events that took place, often in chronological order (The first person to arrive was ...);  some additional detail about each event (He was surprised to see me.);  reorientation, e.g. a closing statement that may include elaboration. (I hope I can go to the park again next week. It was fun.) Structure sometimes reorganises the chronology of events using techniques such as flashbacks, moving the focus backwards and forwards in time, but these strategies are more often used in fiction recounts. An opening statement (thesis) that sums up the viewpoint being presented. (Greentrees Hotel is the best in the world. School uniform is a good idea.)  Strategically organised information presents and then elaborates on the desired viewpoint. (Vote for me because I am very experienced. I have been a school councillor three times and I have ...)


This could be written from a journalistic view point with pupils writing a newspaper report to follow their story. They will need to have see models of newspaper reports and deconstruct the text type before going into role as journalists. The pupils will need to role play the interviews and develop them into reports.


This could be presented as a speaking and listening activity where the pupils have to give evidence to back up their view on who is guilty of the theft of the diamond. There are plenty of opportunities to use ICT within this work and this would not necessarily need to be part of a full sequence instead being used as a drama activity.

A closing statement repeats and reinforces the original thesis. (All the evidence shows that ... It’s quite clear that ... Having seen all that we offer you, there can be no doubt that we are the best.) Note taking Use the non linear PowerPoint to collate all of the notes made during the shared reading and drama work

This would be part of the Phase 2 work developing the children’s understanding of the story. It is important that the teacher demonstrates research and note–taking techniques using the information and wider texts. Children learn how to locate and note the main points in a text. Going one step further! Explanation The work on this area could be extended to the explanation of how the heist took place (again this could be done from different characters’ points of view) Depending on the experience and age of the writer this would need a different level of modelling.

A general statement to introduce the topic being explained. (In the winter some animals hibernate.)  The steps or phases in a process are explained logically, in order. (When the nights get longer ... because the temperature begins to drop ... so the hedgehog looks for a safe place to hide.) NonThis may be appropriate in Year 6 where children have already applied their In the absence of a temporal (chronological) structure where events Chronological understanding of the range of text types and the teacher is looking to produce writing happen in a particular order, non-chronological reports usually have a Reports which is motivating and uses a range of them. logical structure. They tend to group information, often moving from general In this case you may look write a non chronological report about diamonds to be placed to more specific detail and examples or elaborations. A common structure as an insert to the story. includes:  an opening statement, often a general classification (Sparrows are birds);  sometimes followed by a more detailed or technical classification (Their Latin name is...);  a description of whatever is the subject of the report organised in some way to help the reader make sense of the information. For example: its qualities (Like most birds, sparrows have feathers.);  its parts and their functions (The beak is small and strong so that it can ...);  its habits/behaviour/ uses (Sparrows nest in...).