Machine Gunners
Learning intentions:
•Make deductions and inferences from the text
•Identify adapt and use narrative features,
vocabulary and authorial techniques
•Compare life as a child now with that in the
•Respond to the text, its themes, the intentions
and opinions of the author
• Before even telling the class the title of the
book, they were showed a set of images
linked to the story and asked to sort them
into themes and make links between them
Word decipher
• The children discussed words in groups to
work out meaning
• Used the words to predict events in the
Nicht anfassen
Who are your heroes/heroines?
Van der Saar
Stirling Moss
Ayrton Senna
My brother
Nelson Mandela
Army people
Michael McIntyre
My Mum
The Stig
David Tennant
J.K. Rowling
Frank Lampard
Robin Hood
Harry Potter
Andy Murray
Winston Churchill
Tiny Texts
• In the next session, the class looked at
tiny texts in groups. They:
• discussed individual words that they didn’t
know in the group and any remaining were
discussed at a whole class level
• In pairs chose a tiny text to ‘interrogate’ as
text detectives trying to infer as much
meaning as possible
Something was
blocking out the
light through the
branches, he
couldn’t quite see,
except it was
A police whistle
shrilled at the edge
of the wood.
And then slowly,
the spire pounced
downwards at the
firemen, like a
leaping red lion.
‘Your own bairn,
and you wouldn’t
look for him. God
forgive you, for I
never shall.’
She ran and ran,
not looking where
she was going, but
not running away
from the enemy.
What was luckier
was that Mr McGill
never questioned
Chas about the gun
himself; he was the
only one Chas could
never have
Boddser had the
best collection of
souvenirs in
A great hammer
banged on the dark
tin tray of the sky.
MG 15, calibre
7.62mm, firing
1000 rounds a
minute, effective
range one mile.
‘British boys fight
with their fists.’
Reading the text
• As I read, the children were encouraged to
ask about any words they didn’t know and
to ‘Magpie’ words that they might use in
their own writing – knowing that they
would be writing their own short story set
during World War Two
Machine Gunners Chapter 1
• Why was it bad that the milk-cart had too
much milk?
• What was Chas’s hobby?
• What links can you make to the themes
and the tiny texts?
• Some of the lowest achieving writers were
the best at inference and deduction
Today’s Objectives:
• Recognise how a simile can be turned into
a metaphor
• Recognise sterotypes
• Identify features of an author’s style
They were a slummy kind of family, a
great fat woman in carpet slippers and
a hoard of boys of assorted sizes; hair
like lavatory brushes….
Cuthbert, the largest lavatory brush,
picked up a stone, a sudden look of
interest on his face.
Investigating a theme
• Collections Homework
• Do you collect anything?
• Did your parents or grandparents collect
Today’s writing objectives
Use topic sentences
Use the language of comparison
Engage the reader with a lively style
Write complex sentences
Use commas appropriately
Use a colon (:) in your own writing
Collecting – a pastime in decline?
Why collect
Final Comment
Still popular
Hale Heinkel
Build up
Visit from 25th Bomb Disposal Co
Adding opinion to writing
• In Chapter 5, Chas is asked to write an essay on war
• Imagine you or your brother has a collection – write your
essay about a collection of war souvenirs
• Use a colon to introduce a list
• Use brackets for extra information
• Include opinion
• Let the reader have an idea of your brother’s character
My Collection of War Souvenirs:
German Incendiary Bomb – Live (found in Chirton Woods)
British Bullet (from my Uncle Colin – First Kent Rifles)
Nose cone from a German shell (swap from Boddser)
My brother’s stupid collection of dangerous rubbish
My brother is obsessed with war souvenirs.
He has hundreds of boring bits of shrapnel and various bits of shell
casing. It scares me stiff because he also has ….
My Collection of War Souvenirs
I am extremely proud of my collection of war souvenirs – it is by far
the best in Hale.
My favourite item is a genuine British Mills bomb - it is completely in
tact with the pin still in and everything. My stupid sister says I should
hand it in to the police and that it is dangerous but I’d loose it if I did
that. Anyway it’s great for scaring people with! Last week I …
Further plans include:
• Chapter 10 Rudi’s embarrassment and Chas’
dilemma – Balanced argument
• Chapter 12 – how does the author develp
tension and what is the effect of switching
between events happening at the same time?
• Drama opportunity – Nicky’s boat
• Chapter 16 – Mr McGill though tracking
• Should children be allowed to play out alone?
Continuum statement
• Revisit – What makes a hero?