This is our final week on Greek Mythology.
Last week, we looked at how to build up to a big moment in a story and to add tension.
This week’s writing sequence will focus on two characters meeting and holding a dramatic conversation. We will try to create a balance of narration (storytelling) and dialogue (conversation). We will also work on the dialogue being meaningful - this means that it engages the reader and also really adds to the story. Finally, we will try to ensure we are clear on how to set out speech and punctuate it correctly.
In our Friday write we will try to put in all elements of the three weeks: description, tension, dialogue! Our writing will be based on when the characters Perseus and Medusa actually meet which is the story you are following in your reading sessions.
TASK 1: Read through the model and try to visualise what is happening as you read.
Demetris stood horrified. He was at the edge of a vast cavern. An eerie blue-green light flooded the space. Right at the other end, in front of another tunnel entrance stood the gigantic, three-headed hound. Its body covered in matted coal-black fur. Even at this distance, he could see its dagger-like teeth dripping with deadly venom. His whole body froze in fear. He remembered the secret the goddess Phronesis had shared with him. She had said the hound had two major weaknesses: firstly, it was incredibly vain (it loved to hear flattery) and secondly the sound of a flute playing beautifully would sometimes send it to sleep. Although it went against all his natural instincts, Demetris lowered his sword and stepped out of the shadows. Each of the creature’s three heads turned; three pairs of blood-red eyes glared menacingly at Demetris.
“We knew you were coming,” growled the creature, “we picked up your horrible human stench days ago.”
Demetris was absolutely flabbergasted; no one (including the goddess) had told him the hound could speak. The three voices seemed to merge into one and he couldn’t tell which head the voice belonged to. It completely unnerved him.
Hesitantly, Demetris announced, “I …I am Demetris, s…son of Nicholas the fisherman, I have come to speak with… Hades.”
Cerberus exploded and bellowed across the cavern, “YOU a nothing, the son of a FISHERMAN dare to come to the sacred realm of King Hades. You dare to think you can get past ME! Prepare to meet your doom young, foolish Demetris; we are going to tear you to shreds!”
The hideous creature let out a blood-curdling howl and looked like it was ready to pounce. Demetris’s heart started to race. He knew he had to do something and quickly. He got down on his knees.
“Cerberus, I bow before you and this sacred place. I only wish to honour you and your king,” declared Demetris very politely.
The giant dog stilled for a moment. The three monstrous heads looked at one another.
Demetris continued, “All the people across the lands should know of your strength, power and wisdom. Paintings and tapestries of you should be hung in all the great palaces and temples. In fact temples should be built for you and inside should be statues of you covered in gold and jewels”
“Yes, well… you have a point there. I have often thought you mortals do not actually appreciate how important I really am. Don’t get me started on the gods – they’re so wrapped up in themselves,” snapped Cerberus.
“I can see your greatness Cerberus. Please let me show my respect to you by playing you a piece of music that I have written in your honour. I have called this piece of music, The Great Defender,” pleaded Demetris.
To his astonishment, Demetris could actually see that the giant dog’s tail was moving up and down. Wagging like a pet dog!
“You may,” the hound announced.
Out of his satchel, Demetris pulled out the sparkling silver flute which had been gifted to him from Phronesis. With trembling hands, he’d never played a flute before in his life, he started to play the magical instrument. Just as the goddess had promised, Demetris just knew what to do and the music that came out was so beautiful and exquisite. The three heads looked at one another and smiled. Without warning, the creature (who moments before had been about to attack him) flopped down on the floor.
Cerberus whimpered with pleasure, “Ah lovely, play on, play on young and bold Demetris.”
Demetris continued to be play the delightful music and as he did so he could see the eyes on each of the hound’s heads were starting to get heavy and droop. In no time at all, the feared guardian of the underworld was fast asleep.
TASK 2: a) Find at least 6 adventurous words in the text (that you think a year 4 pupil might not know) and clarify them.
b) Put each of those words you have clarified into your own sentences.
TASK 3: How do you visualise Cerberus at the start of today’s text and how do you visualise him at the end of the text? You can either write your answer or draw.
Cerberus at the start of the text
Cerberus at the end of the text