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Week Beg. 6/7/2020 English Home Learning



The Alchemist’s Letter

Week beginning 6th July 2020

Week 2

This unit will be another 2 week film unit from The Literacy Shed.  Please do what you can and try your best.  This is week 2 of the unit.

SPELLINGFRAME:  Please continue to do your spelling practice and tests as set by your teachers. 

You can access the film through either one of these URLS.

I have also attached the VOCABULARY NINGA pack to go with this film.  There are some great vocabulary lists and activities you can do that will support you when writing in this unit.  Please have a look at expand your vocabulary choices (making sure you look up the definition if you are not sure!)

Remember: You don’t always have to print all the resource sheets- you can always use plain/lined paper and jot down the titles and labels from the resource sheets

Example of writing from this unit- please see below a good example of writing done for this unit.


Monday 6/7/20:

LO: To understand pathetic fallacy as a writing device.


Definition: Pathetic fallacy occurs when a writer attributes human emotions to things that aren't human, such as objects, weather, or animals. It is often used to make the environment reflect the inner experience of a narrator or other characters. For example, if a writer mourning the death of a loved one writes that "the flowers on the grave drooped in sadness," this would be an example of pathetic fallacy, since the flowers do not, in fact, feel sad



Some questions to think of before we begin:

Why does the sun make us feel happy? Why does a storm make us feel frightened?  Why do you think the weather could be used in a story to convey what is happening at that time, for example when someone is in love and things are good the weather might be bright and the setting colourful.


This is pathetic fallacy.


The weather is used to reflect the mood.


Watch the clip again. Pause as the weather changes throughout the clip think how this reflects the narrative at that time. How is suspense, tension and atmosphere intensified through use of the weather and the appearance of a setting?


Task: To write an inner monologue


Look at the image of Verideon as a boy about to run away (at 2:45 of the clip).


Write an inner monologue describing how he feels at that moment. Try to show how the weather mirrors, and adds to the emotion of the scene.




Tuesday: 7/7/20

LO: To understand symbolism as a method of figurative language.


Think of some props, Eg a beach ball, a necklace, a photograph and a teddy bear. What does each prop or each object make you think of/feel e.g. beach ball reminds you of summer/ happy/laughter. Different people might interpret feelings and thoughts of the objects differently. This linking of feelings to an object or image is called symbolism.



Complete resource 5a. Can you then construct some paragraphs about the clip which explain the symbolism?


Wednesday 8/7/20

LO: To use persuasive language.


Let’s recap on the features of persuasive writing (imperative verbs, short/snappy sentences, rhetorical questions, superlatives (e.g most beautiful, prettiest).  Can you think of any others?


Connective: Furthermore, However, Consequently, Therefore, So, because, firstly, finally

Verbs:   Present tense, passive, conditionals –modals-(would, could, might, if, unless)

Rhetorical questions: ‘Are we to believe that ….’

Emotive language:  No one can deny, some people believe


Can they think of any types of text which use persuasive language? When might it be appropriate to try and convince someone to see things from a different perspective?


The Alchemist’s Letter, Nicholas narrates the personal letter he wrote to his son to try and make him understand why things ended the way it did, and to try and stop Verideon from making the same mistakes. How is persuasive language used in the narration?


Today you are going to write a response to Nicholas (his dad) from Verideon.

What have you learnt about the alchemist and the effect his gold making machine had on Verideon?


Look at resource 6a and read it out loud. Use this resource as a support framework during the independent activities.


How would Verideon have felt as a child?

How might he feel as an adult before/after reading Nicholas’s letter?



To write a letter to Nicholas from Verideon as an adult. You should make some reference to the events they saw in the memories. Try to use persuasive language to show and develop the broken relationship between the characters.


Thursday 9/7/20


To use figurative language to build suspense and tension.


Your independent write will be to write a narrative as The Alchemist about the way he changed during the making of his machine. In order to do this you will need to build suspense and tension to show how the gold affected his life. Discuss the power of the machine.

Why do they think Nicolas invented it? Do they think he intended things to go the way that they

did? Imagine they are Nicolas. How would he have felt the first time his machine worked? What would his plans have been? Did he realise that he was changing? Did he care?


Look at resource 7a. Complete the chart to explain how the features can be used to build suspense and tension in a piece of writing. Play the clip from 2:08- 2:30. How does the writer build suspense?



Write at least two paragraphs as Nicholas narrating how he felt when he realised what was happening to his life because of the gold machine. You show understanding of and use figurative language to build suspense as well as emotive language to convey his thoughts and feelings.


Use resource 7b for support.


Self evaluation- children are to read back and check their work. Have they built tension and suspense through use of language? Have they conveyed thoughts and feelings using appropriate vocabulary and devices?


Friday 10/7/20

LO: To plan and write a narrative.

You will need to write from the perspective of Nicholas (his father) detailing actions and thoughts from the initial production of his machine to the moment he decided to write his letter to Verideon. What tense/person will the narrative be written in?

Look at resource 8a. Look at each box before writing and think of a success criteria to help you write this.

See the example of work below to help you.

Fill in resource 8a (plan).

Then write it out in full sentences/ paragraphs. 

Edit and up-level.


  • Draw detailed pictures/illustrations to go with your story
  • Can you make a little film from your story?  Read it out loud whilst you film it- using your drawings as the backdrops?


An Example of work done from this unit

Below is an example of writing from this unit of work.  Please read it to get an idea of what you can include - but please do not copy it!  Remember we can magpie but not steal word for word.