Greek mythology and legends.
During this week's writing sequence, you will learn how to write a narrative piece which builds up the tension. You will also learn how you can use double commas, double dashes and brackets to add extra information.
As we now know from our learning last week, the ancient Greeks loved to tell stories (they didn’t have TVs, laptops, phones, X-boxes etc..) telling each other stories was how they entertained themselves and made sense of the world around them.
Their stories often had a hero (like Demetris last week) who had to go on a quest. The hero would meet other characters along the way: some were trying to help but many were trying to stop the hero fulfilling their quest. In many Greek myths the obstacles facing the hero were actually creatures/monsters.
Many writers have ‘magpied’ these ancient creatures and put them into their own stories: Percy Jackson; Harry Potter; Who let the Gods out; the Chronicles of Narnia; Lord of the Rings … to name but a few.
TASK 1: Look at the pictures of ancient Greek mythical creatures; are any familiar to you? If you can, discuss them with someone at home.
Before the hero actually faces the creature/monster, a writer will try to build up the tension. A key purpose of the model below is to build up the tension. That means to let the reader know we are working up to a dramatic moment in the story. Good writers find ways to make the reader feel both excited and nervous.
TASK 2: Read the model. Journey to the underworld
Stealthily, Demetris crept along the dark, dismal tunnel. His heart was banging against his chest and his breathing was becoming more erratic. Doubts pushed and shoved their way into his thoughts. Could he really steal the helmet of invisibility? What would happen if Hades caught him? The goddess Phronesis had given him clear advice on what he had to do (plus three magical gifts) …but what if she was wrong! Even though the task ahead of him was a daunting one, Demetris knew he had to try and be calm and focused. Although he wanted to turn and run, it was not an option. If he fulfilled his quest, all across the land people would know his name; stories would be told for years of his bravery. Demetris, who was the son of a poor fisherman, would be made King of all Kreeta. He had to go on.
The tunnel was going deeper and deeper into the depths of the earth. He could feel large rats scurrying over his feet as water dripped off the tunnel roof on to his head. The stench was terrible! Demetris seemed to crawl for an eternity until he felt a cold, sharp air hit his skin. Ahead, he could see a purply-blue light that filled his whole body with dread. The blue cave (which the goddess had warned him about) was now very close. The monstrous creature would be there. Cerberus …the guardian of the underworld. Could he – a young man of only twenty-one years –defeat the three -headed hound? This dog (the size of a building) was no ordinary dog. Everyone knew that just one bite and it was over; each head was filled with dagger-like venomous teeth. Suddenly, he could hear howls and barks so ferocious it sent uncontrollable shivers through his entire body. With a deep breath, Demetris raised the sword of truth in front of him. He entered the cave. His time had come! Destiny awaited …
- Find 5 words in the text you think many children in Year 4 wouldn't know and clarify them.
- Highlight/make a list of words and phrases from the model that build up the tension
ADDITIONAL ART/DT CHALLENGE (you could work on this over the week)
- Read through the PowerPoint below on ancient Greek mythical creatures and create an art piece of one of the creatures.(sketch, colouring, painting, collage, masks)
- You could make up your own mythical creature too.
An alternative version of the PowerPoint for those struggling to access it.