Day 1 Teaching
Discuss what children think of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman so far. Put it into context as part of a bestselling trilogy and that Pullman is a significant author. Today children will consider why the book is sometimes called a ‘page-turner’.
Children read and discuss the opening pages of Northern Lights, prompted by a discussion prompt. They think about different aspects of the opening that compel the reader to read on.
Day 2 Teaching
Discuss the idea that the settings of Northern Lights are based on real places but that there are differences that tell the reader that this is not our world. Explore images of real and fictional Oxford and the way that Pullman creates settings.
In pairs, children read the opening of chapter 3, and consider the contrasting images of Lyra’s Oxford and the way that Pullman has described them. They use questions provided to structure their analysis.
Day 3 Teaching
List the main characters met so far and consider the idea that rounded characters are multifaceted: they can be both good and bad. Discuss the way that Pullman presents characters through action, description and speech.
Children choose Lyra, Lord Asriel or Mrs Coulter. Reading extracts provided, they collect evidence revealing negative and positive traits. They use this evidence to construct arguments supported by the text, arguing that a character is good or bad.
Day 4 Teaching
Discuss how Pullman took elements of Oxford to inspire Lyra’s Oxford but was selective and used imagination to develop his settings into something different. Model how to do this with a familiar place, being descriptive and imaginative.
After discussion and thinking time, children create a setting description in a paragraph or two, focusing on using words for impact.