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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Suspense tale

Y6 Suspense Tale


National curriculum content

  • Identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own.
  • Noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary.
  • In writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed. 
  • Selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning.
  • In narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action.
  • Using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs.
  • Proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning.
  • Ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing.
  • Ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register.
  • Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.


Lesson objectives

  • To read and internalise the model text
  • To identify and define new vocabulary
  • To understand the structure of a suspense tale
  • To explore and use ‘empty words’ in sentences
  • To explore and use ‘show not tell’ to create suspense
  • To contribute to a shared write
  • To innovate the model text with own ideas
  • To write independently using the skills taught


What we want children to know and the skills necessary to achieve this:

  • How to write for a range of purposes and audiences
  • Effective ways of describing characters, settings and atmosphere
  • How to create cohesion within and between paragraphs
  • How to use dialogue to convey the character and advance the action
  • Proofread and check for errors
  • Edit and assess the effectiveness of own writing
  • Plan their own composition
  • Use short, snappy sentences for effect
  • Personification
  • Parenthesis for extra detail
  • Use ‘empty words’ to hide the danger
  • Add action after a comma 
  • Use actions to hint at character feelings
  • Change the tone between narrative and dialogue
  • Pathetic fallacy



Unfamiliar, text-specific words highlighted by the children (never heard the word); direct speech; parenthesis; hyphens; verb tense; adverbials; cohesion; commas; subordinate conjunction; coordinating conjunction; modal verbs; modal adverbs; relative clauses