Saturday, March 7, 2009

Literacy Unit - Rowan of Rin #3

We are working through the book Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda. Last week we read chapters 5 and 6 and focused on dialogue and feelings. For an overview of activities in earlier chapters please use these links:
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4

Chapters 5 and 6 - Summary
The party of Rin's strongest heroes (and Rowan) begin their journey. The journey is filled with challenges to test the depth of each traveller's courage. The steep climb exhausts Rowan who consequently faints - leading the others to grumble at his weakness. Rowan recovers quickly and, upon checking the map, discovers that a verse has appeared which seems to give warning about the forest they are about to encounter. With this new information, the party continues on. Deep in the forest they encounter a mass of spiders which they must pass through in order to continue their journey. Ellis, who has a paralysing fear of spiders, cannot bear the task and flees back the way they had come. With a sense of urgency, the others work out a solution to passing through the spiders and continue their journey.


Code Breaker
  • Look at punctuation and format for dialogue
  • Consider the alternatives used for 'said'
  • Students work in pairs to practise reading the sections of dialogue using appropriate expression
Text Participant
  • In their groups from last week, students consider how the characters were feeling during the events of chapters 5 and 6 and produce a news interview on video. (It is worth mentioning here that after watching the first set of videos, students had many ideas for how to improve them. We made these adjustments to the second set of recordings: costumes, fake microphone, interviewer and interviewee both in shot, filmed outside, use of tripod, introductions to characters.)
Text User
  • Discuss how an author provides insight into a character's thoughts and feelings by showing, not telling.
  • Students find examples of how different characters are feeling and the words that show these feelings. For example, when Ellis is terrified, Emily Rodda describes the sweat on Ellis' face rather than writing "Ellis was terrified".
Text Analyst
  • Explore how authors shape a story to win sympathy for the protagonist. Discuss why this is important and how it has been used in other stories ie. Cinderella, Snow White.
Bring it all together
  • Students write a short story using the things they've learnt during the week. They choose a conflict eg. A girl wants to go to the movies with her friends, but she needs to convince her parents to let her go. As they write they need to gain the reader's sympathy, show feelings without telling and use correct punctuation for dialogue including words other than said. (This was a much bigger task than I could have imagined, so I was lucky to have such a capable group. I was particularly impressed with one student who did a really brilliant job of bringing all these aspects together in his story.)

Here is the complete Rowan of Rin unit.


  1. can you please put up (in full) these two chapters. I teach year six and can not find these books :(

    Thanks, Sarah Holsworthy x

  2. This is fantastic. I am doing grammar in context units for 3 grade 6 classes and 3 grade 5 classes. A different novel with each class.I am teaching Rowan of Rin with one of my grade fives and you have given me some great ideas. How do I post my complete units of work in this site?


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