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Witton Middle School


5. Reading



L.O: To explore the context and themes in a novel


Today we are going to read Chapter 5 ‘ Twenty four minutes past twelve’


1.Read Chapter 5


or listen


2.For the first time we learn that Tommo in the present is speaking to us as a World War 1 soldier when he mentions ‘no-man’s-land’. 


  • What and where is no-man’s-land?
  • Can you find out some more about no- man’s land? As a minimum find out 5 facts.




L.O: To reflect on what I have read conveying my opinion


We going to look at two extracts from the book ‘ The parent agency ‘ by David Baddiel. 


Barry Bennett hates being called ‘Barry’ and has made a list of ten other things he hates. Barry feels that his friends have better names, better clothes, better birthdays and definitely better parents. Barry wishes he had better parents and is transported to a world where children choose their own.

In the first extract, Barry is planning his birthday party and his younger twin sisters, who he refers to as TSE, The Sisterly Entity, are winding him up with their dad.


1.Read or watch the extract 1


2.Complete activity in separate document


3.Read or watch extract 2


4.Complete activity in separate document



How would you describe David Baddiel’s style as a writer? If you had to explain how he creates and presents characters, what would you say? How does he use dialogue to convey characters or move the action on? Is his writing funny?

Ideas to support your thinking:

  • Sentence structure
  • Humorous
  • Tone
  • Literary devices 
  • Dialogue


Write a paragraph that summarises your opinion of his style of writing.



L.O: To analyse a characters thoughts and feelings


Today we are going to continue with Chapter 5 ‘ Twenty four minutes past twelve’ The links to re-read or re-watch any part of the chapter are below.


or listen


  1. Identify the evidence in the episode about the War.                                                                        
  2. How much do we find out from what the children are aware of? 


Mrs Peaceful has previously paid sixpence to the Colonel for ownership of Bertha.

Why then does the Colonel kill the dog? 


 At the end of this episode/ chapter the author leaves us with the shocking event of Bertha being shot by the Colonel. At the same time Charlie and Molly’s secret meeting at the shack in the wood is revealed. 


  1.  Explore all the characters involved and their feelings at this point. Tommo’s feelings at being betrayed, Charlie’s and Molly’s at being discovered, Big Joe’s at the loss of Bertha...and the Colonel’s. See document ‘help sheet’  if you would like some inspiration how to present this.



L.O: To discuss what you have read making comparisons with similar texts


Today you are going to have some time to explore a book called ‘The Book of Hopes’; within this book there are a selection of short stories, poems, essays and picture. Contributions have been made by well-known authors such as Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson. 



1.Follow the link (if you cannot access the link I have copied some  

                pages into a pdf document).


2.Read ‘ A very short note about hope’ by Katherine Rundell (pg xiii-     xv)


3.Read aloud ‘A way to the stars’ (page 22). The poet creates many different images throughout this poem.  Can you illustrate Almond’s poem.


Consider these discussion questions:


  • How can children relate to this poem?
  • What emotions do you feel as you read this?
  • The poet uses repetition of phrases e.g ‘Up! Up! Up! Up!’ and ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!’ Why do you think Almond has used repetition, does this have an impact on the reader? 


4.Read ‘Hope: or. Learning the Language of Birds (Page 76-78)


Consider these discussion questions:


  • How does the poet create the theme of hope? (e.g imagery, reference to light and dark)
  • Why has the poet written in the third person? What is the effect on the reader?



5.Compare Poem 1 and Poem 2

  • Which do you prefer, why?
  • What emotions did you feel when you were reading them both?
  • Poem 2 refers to nature with references to night and day. Do you think this makes the poem more powerful?



L.O: To analyse a characters thoughts and feelings


Today we are going to continue with Chapter 6 ‘Nearly five to one’.


Before reading:



  • Choose the 5 most interesting things that you think have happened in the story so far.
  • Predict and discuss what you think will happen in Chapter 6 ( write down or feedback your ideas).


1.Listen or read Chapter 6 using the links below:


or listen


2.Discuss or write down your thoughts to the discussion questions.