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Title of the book:Father (Year 5)

Features of the text:


Author/ illustrator Grahame Baker-Smith

Publisher/Year: 2010

Linguistic features. Use the New National Curriculum to focus on:

Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation / Questions/Pages you would
want to explore further and why

Picture book

Chronological order, Repeated narrative Father to son, son to own child, continuing repeated themes.
Implied reader - Intertextuality Greek mythology and war. Understand complexity of relationships. Symbolism of pictures. The history of aviation.
1st person narrative, past tense until son is born and becomes the present tense. All writing uses capitalisation except the r added into FArTHER in the title. Font
style (typography) mimics handwriting, and size varies.
Poppies are significant imagery, referring to remembrance soldiers uniform

Text changes from both pages to single pages across the book, pictures are mostly doubled paged and bleed. Some framing of pictures take place

- Texture and medium of pictures varies across a single page, with photos and watercolour and animation all together.
- Colour is dull, low saturation and hue. except for occasional bursts of colour, especially the red poppies which are very striking.
- Illustrations reflecting thoughts are brighter than the reality
- Continuous narrative characters are portrayed twice in one place/picture
- Endpages throughout book there is reference to Greek mythology through the images used, this is portrayed in the end pages e.g. sundials, helmets,
Greek landscape
- Reflection on end papers shows a juxtaposition
- Blank space at the end of the book use of white space, and continuation of white space frames the image allows for inference.
- Pictures flow across the gutter

Path of poppies are symbolic to the path the father has laid out to the child after his departure.
Father is viewed as an important figure to the son with his dreams and his father as separate.

Eye-contact of the father- he does not look into his eyes, or at anything in particular.
Father shuts himself away.
Mum is present through-out the story, but only referenced in illustrations, only male characters are directly referred to in the text.
Live by the sea, on top of a rock usual home setting.
Height of the house is symbolic of the fathers dreams.

- Ancestry the idea of inheritance on a sub-atomic level passing on of the dream rather than physical belongings
- Obsession
- Complexity of relationships
- Life and death
- War
- Ambition flight as a metaphor for freedom and aspiration.
- Feathers
- Son signifies fresh start and new chapter in life.
Pure narration from one character, no dialogue
Use of ellipses to create a continuation of the text.

Drama Opportunities:
Hot-seating Teacher in role. This activity focuses on the unexplored
character of the mother, she is seen in the images but is never
mentioned in the text throughout the story. The teacher will firstly play
the role of the mother, and model to the children appropriate
responses to their questions that help them delve into her role within
the boys life.
Role on the wall Exploring 3 different character profiles: the father;
the son as a child; and the son as a father himself. Children will work
in 3 groups, each focusing on one profile each. The aim of the activity
is for the children to deepen their comprehension of the characters
within the story. The children will draw a figure on a large piece of
sugar paper and then inside the body they will write the characters
thoughts and feelings, whilst on the outside they will write how they
think the character is perceived by everyone else in the story. The
children should use inference of the text as images as evidence to
support their ideas.
Thought Tracking Focus on the image below. The children will work
in groups of 3, to recreate a still image of this scene. This will be
developed through thought tracking where each child will verbalise an
interesting thought for their character to demonstrate the emotions of
the scene.

Literacy Opportunities (with a focus on grammar) :

Grammar in context Inference in the absence of words - Relative
The children will explore a
hidden story within the book by
looking at the collage page to
the right. Each child will take it
in turns spin the spinner and
choose a relative clause, they
will then build upon the story by
saying a sentence containing
that relative clause.
Synonyms using a thesaurus. The class pulls all of the interesting
adjectives from the story and creates a whole class list. The children
will then use a thesaurus to find synonyms to replace the adjectives
within the story. The purpose of this activity is to explore how different
words can change the meaning and emotion of the text and therefore
demonstrate the impact of finding the right word.
Using the story as a context for narrative The children will write in
role as the boy character exploring how he felt on the island and his
relationship with his Father. Children will explore the themes within the
story e.g. loneliness, isolation and living in a small and place.

Cross Curricular Opportunities:

Art- Collage looking at the impact of light and dark. Using the national
curriculum objective of the aim of use of sketch books to collect,
record, review, revisit and evaluate ideas. Children could also draw
the story of Icarus onto mosaics that could then be displayed across
the school.
Music- using instruments to recreate the sounds of the seaside in the
specific scenes of the book that this is shown. To meet the national
curriculum link of improvisation and composition of sets of music.
History-study of the World War 1 links that are present in the book, in
particular the battle of the Somme which highlights the relevance of
the poppies and bright colours in the book and also gives the children
an understanding of where the father has gone. The representation of
ancient Greece can be relative in the topic of history as children can
learn about Icarus, whose father created wings to fly to escape from
Crete in a similar manner that the son may want to escape from the
fathers dominating bossiness. The national curriculum link is the study
of broader history as well the British heritage if the wars.
PSHE-no statutory requirements in the national curriculum, guidance
from relevant syllabus. Talk about the father and sin relationships.
Discussing how we build and create relationships. Use of dialogic
teaching for children to voices views and opinions.
Design and Technology- the children could work as a whole to create
wings o help fly. Consider the mechanism and the theory behind the
product. The national curriculum aim is using mechanical systems for
their own products.
Science - consider the process of flying and how this is possible. The
national curriculum reference refers to forces with the introduction of
gravity, air resistance and mechanical forces.
Geography- looking at the locality at Greece and the way that they
live. How is that different to our housing and life's? Look specifically at
Olympus and the changes between then now. The curriculum
emphasises that this is important as children should be able to name
and locate countries and regions.
Modern languages- maintain the theme of Greek heritage look and
food and labels of food and what this may be called in the Greek
language. Children can meet curriculum objectives by presenting
information, listening and engaging and understanding basic words.
Physical education- focus on the page of the book that the son shows
all the activities that he did with the father. Keep the theme of Greece
to link activities to the famous Olympics. Score groups and measure
what activities children like best. This meets the aim of running and
jumping in the curriculum as well as taking party in outdoor activities.

Receptive Context:
Before the children are introduced to the book use an empty chair as a
key focus add parts to the chair each day so the children can discuss
as they appear. The chair on its own will represent the theme of
isolation which will be later explored when reading the text. The chair
will look like the chair on the front of the picture book.
Greece introduced as a topic to the class, looking closely at the story
of Icarus. Encourage children to recognise the close links between
farther and Daedalus (Icarus' father). Display literacy texts orientated
around the story of Icarus.
Also due to the artistic influence of Ancient Greece within the text,
display artwork of Ancient Greek buildings, Athens and Olympus, to
reinforce historical and geographical links that exist within the book.
Wings- the process of flight is also a key pictorial theme throughout
the text, therefore one could leave feathers around the classroom prior
to reading the text as a discrete way of discussing the theme of the
Book corner- book corner should be adapted according to the themes
of Ancient Greece, Icarus and WW1.
Continue with themes that are introduced prior to reading the book.
When introducing new texts, look for comparative themes within those
texts. Also notice themes in other curriculum areas.

Maths- collect the data of scores and likes and dislikes from activities
in physical education. Ask children to create graphs and analysis data
to meet statistical mathematical objectives.
Questions you could ask to develop comprehension:
Where is the story set? How do you know?
When is the story set? How do you know?
Which words/ phrases tell you that the son had a turbulent relationship with his father?
Could the father be described as a bully?
Do you know another story where a child has to fill the position of an absent parent?
Can you think of any authors who write about the theme of dreams?
Why is there an r in the title FArTHER?
What is the author trying to portray by the use of different colour?
What do you think the author is trying to imply about the relationship of the characters by the text phrase I would sit on his lap until he
remembered me?
Why do you think that the boy took over his dads workshop and re-built the wings?

The words bossy dream are emphasised through

an enlargement of the text type, this implies that the
dream is very prominent in the Sons thoughts. The
word bossy could describe how the Son saw his
Father and suggests that their relationship was
perhaps damaged by his Fathers strict and
controlling ways. Furthermore this could imply that
this dream of flight was never that of the Son, but he
had it forced upon him by his Father.

The cloud shapes that

perceived to be a
thought bubble like a
dream. But at this
stage we are unsure
of whether it is the
sons dream or a
bossy demand.

The images are set over

a double spread but there
is a stark difference in the
use of colour. The verso
implies the dark and
gloominess of the sons
reality and the recto
shows his vivid and bright

The gold background suggests

to me that the Father was a
powerful man who ruled the life
of his Son.

The son seems to slump in

his stance and does not
hold is head up high like his
father who is a domineering

The ties around the Fathers

waist remind me of DNA
strands. DNA is a genetic force
that is well out of our control, it
is responsible for many traits
that a person has. This implies
that the Sons dream to fly
hasnt been built of his own
accord, but instead was fate, a
part of his DNA, something that
he was perhaps destined to do
and something which he cannot

surrounding image may
look dark but the
background sky of the
text looks lighter. It
could pose the question
if whether the boy has
good will and fortune
coming his way without
following the golden

When walking on sand often foot prints are left

behind. The use of sand in this image could raise
the question of whether the father will leave
prominent footsteps for the child to follow in his

In the Sons thoughts, his Fathers face

is turned away from him and his eyes
are directed towards the sky. This
makes me think that Son feels like his
Father always regarded his dream to
fly as more important than him. This
also suggests to me that the Son feels
he was never good enough to meet his
Fathers expectations.

This image has direct links with Greek

mythology and the country of Greece.
It links to the story of Icarus who made
wings but flew to close to the sun, the
father is wearing a wreath crown and
the pictures surroundings portray a
typical Greek town.

The father is seen here on a

pedestal and raised up from the
ground. This could signify that
the son views him as having a
position of power and his king
like stance portrays authority
and control. This implies that the
son feels as though the father
has reign over his life.

Activity focus: relative clauses

This activity teaches children to
join two sentences together
using a relative clause.
clauses are clauses starting
with the relative pronouns
who, that, which, whose,
where, when. They are most
often used to define or identify
the noun that comes before















1. Create a spinner using split pins. Use images
above for game board.
2. All players place counters on the starting space (1)
& roll a dice to find out who goes first (highest
number )
3. The first player rolls the die. If an even number is
rolled they move two places, if an odd number is
rolled they move one.
4. Spin the spinner and use the word it points to in a
sentence that describes the picture on your space.
5. If they player cannot complete the task, then they
do not move that turn.
6. The winner is the first person to reach the finish.