Short stories with flashbacks
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This is the last of four narrative units in Year 6. It introduces children to using different narrative techniques to engage the reader and using paragraphs to achieve pace and emphasis.
Watch the short film The Piano by Aidan Gibbons. Identify underlying themes in the text and how they are conveyed. Identify techniques used to indicate shifts in time through flashbacks in a short narrative.
Use music as a stimulus to gather ideas and decide on the pace of a new short narrative. Children plan their own short narrative.
Children write their own short narrative using paragraphs to structure and pace the ideas and a range of techniques to indicate the passage of time.
1. Read a short story or film that uses flashbacks as part of the narrative structure. Evaluate the text, commenting on the theme, mood and atmosphere. Note how the author/director of the film indicates shifts forwards or backwards in time. Examine how the text is structured. Note the length and pace of the paragraphs or episodes within the text and how cohesion is created across the narrative. Use the findings to create a plan to support the children’s independent writing.
2. Provide a range of stimuli to support the children to generate ideas for their own short story, for example music, images, drama or role-play. The story could be a sequel to the original narrative read by the whole class. Demonstrate drawing the ideas together on the planning frame by adding notes about events, character reaction, mood and cohesive devices.
3. Model writing a short story including flashbacks. Children work on their own narrative using a range of devices to indicate shifts in time whilst maintaining cohesion for the reader. The written narratives can be illustrated and used as the basis of a short film combining images and music to retell the events.