15th December - Big Cats

For 12 days in December, Rising Stars is giving you a fantastic free English lesson plan to use with your pupils!

Today's free lesson plan uses Annabelle Lynch's Big Cats. You can buy it here

English Grid

Objective to be taught



Reading NC

Y1 pupils should be taught to:

Develop pleasure in reading, motivation tor read, vocabulary and understanding by:

Listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently.

We should present pupils with a range of materials to analyse during guided reading. High quality non-fiction texts that are accessible to year 1 pupils are often hard to find. However, ‘Tadpoles Learners’ provide engaging texts that will both support and challenge pupils. ‘Big Cats’ is the perfect introduction to non-fiction for Y1 readers. The book includes a contents page, a word bank and a mini quiz at the end of the book.

Teachers could use this book during guided reading to introduce skimming and scanning techniques as explained.

Using non-fiction texts may appeal to Y1 pupils. Teachers could give pupils a counter each and begin to share the text. 

The first double spread is called ‘Roar!’ and the text is: Lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards and jaguars are big cats. They can all roar. There are also photographs of each breed of cat. Teachers could ask pupils to place their counter on a word. Pupils might develop confidence to read independently.

Another double page is called ‘Big cat babies’ and the text is: ‘Big cats have babies called cubs. After sharing this text teachers could present the sentence frame ______ have babies called _________ and see how many different sentences pupils can create (cat/kittens; dog/puppies; cow/calves and horse/foals)

GaPS Appendix (NC)

Y2 pupils should use and understand the following terminology:

noun, noun phrase
 statement, question, exclamation, command compound, suffix
, adjective, adverb, verb 
tense (past, present) 
apostrophe, comma 

This text could be used with Y2 pupils in the autumn and spring terms as a tool to teach grammar and punctuation. To prepare pupils for the KS1 GaPS test, they will need to use and understand the terminology identified in the appendix.

Y2 pupils should be able to identify nouns and verbs in the context of a sentence. So, we should teach pupils this terminology in a context too. 

Because this book is an introduction to non-fiction, the sentences are fairly simple and easy for pupils to analyse. For example, ‘Homes,’ Big cats live in grasslands, forests or snowy mountains.

Teachers could ask pupils to read the sentence and underline the verb in a specific colour; write the verb on a post-it/whiteboard or whisper the verb to a partner. Repeat activity with nouns. Then discuss what an adjective does and ask pupils to identify the adjective.

This books is very good at using ‘have’ in a context. ‘Teeth,’ Big cats have sharp teeth to catch and eat animals. Teachers could ask pupils to identify all of the verbs. Pupils may/may not select ‘have’ and this might generate a rich teaching point.



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