Stormbreaker By Anthony Horowitz, Walker Books

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Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, Walker BooksAlex Rider is not your average fourteen-year-old. Raised by his mysterious uncle, an uncle who dies in equally mysteriouscircumstances, Alex finds himself thrown into the murky world of espionage. Trained by MI6 and sent out into the fieldjust weeks later, Alex’s first mission is to infiltrate the base of the reclusive billionaire suspected of killing his uncle.Filmic and fast-paced (the novel was later made into a feature film), Stormbreaker is a riot of an adventure story in thevein of James Bond and offers teachers and children the opportunity to explore the structure of a successful adventurestory in detail.Overall learning aims of this teaching sequence: To explore, in depth, characterisation and settings in an adventure narrative. To explore the motivations and actions of characters. To explore key themes in a longer narrative. To explore similarities and differences between a written and a filmed text.This teaching sequence is designed for a Year 5 or Year 6 class.Overview of this teaching sequence.This teaching sequence is approximately 4 weeks long if spread over 20 sessions.Teaching ApproachesWriting OutcomesReading AloudDiary entries‘Tell Me’ - BooktalkLettersWriting in RoleReflective first person narrativesVisual ApproachesCharacter profilesDebate and ArgumentNotes for class discussion and debateShared WritingText for graphic novel adaptationStory MappingWritten comparisonsDrama and Role PlayRoll on the WallResourcesCopies of the Stormbreaker Notebooks for each child (see the resource at the bottom of the teaching sequence)Stormbreaker film (released 2006).Graphic novel of Stormbreaker.Teaching SessionsSession 1: Reading AloudReading aloud - Reading aloud is one of the most important ways that children are motivated and supported to becomereaders. It is essential that children experience hearing texts read aloud in the classroom as a regular part of each schoolday. Reading aloud slows written language down so that children can hear and absorb the words, tunes and patterns. Itenables children to experience and enjoy stories they might otherwise not meet, enlarging their reading interests andproviding access to texts beyond their level of independence as readers. Read aloud the first sentence: “When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.” (NOTE: Itmight be best if you don’t share the title of the novel with the children beforehand).Discuss in pairs/whole class, how this opening line impacts on the reader/listener. What predictions does it set upfor them about what genre this is e.g. might this be a thriller? Do the students think they will enjoy reading thisbook?Hand out the Stormbreaker Notebooks and ask the children to note down their initial responses on p2 of thenotebook.Continue reading aloud up to bottom of p10 ‘ so sorry’, and ask the children to listen for any indications thismight be a thriller. Collect together on a flip chart or board the indications this story is going to be a thriller on theboard (you may need to reread the chapter to this point again in order for the children to collect the clues theyare looking for). The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.You may use this teaching sequence freely in your school but it cannot be commercially published or reproduced or used for anything other than educational purposeswithout the express permission of CLPE.

Before reading on, discuss with class what they think might have happened to whom, using the information in thetext (be aware some of the children may already be familiar with the book or the film). Continue reading to the end of the chapter. Ask the children to discuss, in pairs, what questions they have that are unanswered by the first chapter. Ask the children to add their questions to their Stormbreaker Notebooks.Sessions 2 and 3: ‘Tell Me’ – Booktalk, Writing in Role, Drama and Role Play: Hot Seating‘Tell Me’ – Booktalk is an approach to discussing texts that supports all readers and writers and is particularly useful forthose children who find literacy difficult, developed by the author and educationalist Aidan Chambers. In its simplest form,the approach is based around asking children ‘Tell me’ about four key elements of a text, likes and dislikes, puzzles theyhave, and connections they make, both within the text and from other sources.Drama and Role Play - Role play and drama provide immediate routes into the world of a story and allow children toexplore texts actively. Through drama and role play, they are encouraged to experiment with the 'what if?' of the text andmake it their own.Writing in Role - When children have explored a fictional situation through talk or role-play, they may be ready to write inrole as a character in the story. Taking the role of a particular character enables young writers to see events from adifferent viewpoint and involves them writing in a different voice. In role, children can often access feelings and languagethat are not available to them when they write as themselves. Read aloud up to the end of Heaven for Cars.Ask your class to consider the questions Tell me, what do you like about the story so far? What do you dislikeabout the story so far? What puzzles do you have about this chapter? (add to the children’s puzzles and questionsfrom the previous session). What connections can you make with other novels or films? Ask the specific questions:Who do you think the men in the yard are? Who might these people work for and what is their aim? What doesAlex think has happened at this point? What does he suspect? What should he do now? As the children to recap in pairs on the events leading up to Alex’s escape from the wreckage yard. Ask them toformulate questions they would like to ask Alex at this point in the story. Ask one of the children to hot seat the role of Alex and ask the other children to pose the character of Alex theirquestions (you could have several children take the role as Alex, leading to a range of different potentialanswers). In Session 3, ask the children to take the role of Alex and write a short secret journal entry about events up to thispoint, after he has been shot at and escaped from the wreckage yard (there is a page allocated to this in theStormbreaker Notebook). Read aloud the chapter Royal & General before the next session.Sessions 4 and 5: Drama and Role Play – Conscience Alley, Role on the WallConscience Alley - Conscience Alley is a useful technique for exploring any kind of dilemma faced by a character, providingan opportunity to analyse a decisive moment in greater detail.Role on the Wall - Role on the wall is a technique that uses a displayed outline of the character to record feelings (insidethe outline) and outward appearances (outside the outline) at various stopping points across the story. Read aloud to the end of the chapter So What Do You Say? to the line ‘There was a long pause’.Ask the children to discuss in small groups whether or not they think Alex trusts these people and whether theythink he should.Ask them then to consider individually the advice they would give to Alex at this point. Should he? What shouldhe do? What do the methods chosen by Blunt suggest about him as a character and the organisation herepresents?Asking one child to act as Alex, and the others to form two lines down the room, ask the character of Alex to walkdown the centre of the line and for everyone else in turn to whisper their advice for what he should do at thispoint. When Alex gets to the end of the conscience alley, ask him what his decision is going to be and what hasmade his mind up about this.Ask the children to consider what Alex would be thinking, and to write a short reflective piece, in role, on histhoughts on what he has been asked (p4 of the Stormbreaker Notebook). The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.You may use this teaching sequence freely in your school but it cannot be commercially published or reproduced or used for anything other than educational purposeswithout the express permission of CLPE.

Read to the end of the chapter and ask the children how they would feel if they were Alex at this point, pressuredinto making this decision, and what might happen as a result of him deciding to go along with Blunt’s plan. In Session 5, ask the children in small groups to discuss the character of Blunt – What do we know about him sofar? What do we think of him as a character? Reread the sections of the previous two chapters in which we areintroduced to Blunt and we see him acting and speaking. Ask the children to fill in the roll on the wall for Blunt in their notebooks, with comments about both his physicalappearance and his character, backed up by evidence from the text.Sessions 6 and 7: Writing in Role, Debate and Discussion, Reading AloudDebate - debating ideas calls for a more formal and objective response to the story and helps children begin to analysehow the writer has made us feel this way. Teachers can structure debates inviting 'for' and 'against' arguments aroundparticular statements arising from a book. Read Double O Nothing aloud.Hold a short class debate about the issue of asking children to do the work of an adult. Is it ever acceptable to puta child in danger? Split the class into two groups and ask one group to prepare arguments. Ask the children toprepare their notes on p6 of their notebooks. In Session 7, ask the children to take the role of Alex, writing a secret letter to Jack, as his closest friend,explaining to her what has happened since he started his training. Recap on what we know about Alex so far – what evidence do we have about his character – create a whole classrole on the wall for Alex to use when writing in role as him, to give authenticity and refer to when deciding howAlex would write and what he would choose to write about. Read aloud to the end of Toys Aren’t Us and ask the class to consider Blunt’s point of view. What do they thinkBlunt should do? Send him in or let him go? Ask the children to add more details to their role on the wall for Blunt in their Notebooks, based on this newinformation about him.Session 8: Reading and Rereading, Debate and Discussion. Re-read Toys Aren’t Us from the line “I have something that might cheer you up”.Ask the children to make notes on the different gadgets Alex is given.Ask the children to complete the gadget grid on p8 of the Notebook, and to create a further two gadgets thatcould help Alex with his mission. Hold a brief whole class discussion about MI6’s decision not to give Alex a gun. What do the children think of thisdecision, and why do they think they decided this would be the case? What reasons would they give for Alex notbeing allowed to take a gun with him, even though they are sending him into a dangerous situation?Sessions 9 and 10: Story Mapping, Reading Aloud and RereadingStoryboards - A storyboard is another way of helping to map out key scenes in the story through drawing and annotation.Originally used to plot scenes in film or moving picture work, it is particularly useful for marking out the key scenes in astory within a given number of frames (usually six or eight), or for focussing in on the next few moments in a sequence. Read the chapter Physalia Physalis aloud.Explain to the children they are going to be storyboarding this section of the story for a film, splitting the action inthis chapter into a maximum of eight key scenes. Reread the chapter and ask the children to note down in pairs, what they consider to be the key scenes in thechapter. Ask each of the pairs then to compare their eight chosen scenes with another pair. Ask the children, individually, to create their own storyboard on p9 of their notebooks. In Session 9, you will start to put more detail onto the sections of the storyboard. Give the children a range of extracts from the text about Alex, from the earlier chapters, through to PhysaliaPhysalis to use as reference. Ask the children, in pairs, to fill in the grid on p10 in their notebooks, to create a character study of Alex, whichwould be useful for an actor playing the character in a film version (you are going to be comparing the book tothe film, so this exercise will be useful later on). For a homework task, ask the children to research the jellyfish Physalia Physali s (p11 in their notebook). Remindthe students not to simply copy the text, but select and organise the information, for example in an information The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.You may use this teaching sequence freely in your school but it cannot be commercially published or reproduced or used for anything other than educational purposeswithout the express permission of CLPE.

web format, as a mindmap, or as an information leaflet or briefing note that could be given to Alex .Session 11: Reading and Rereading, Comparison GridsComparison Grids - A comparison grid is a visual way of recording similarities or differences in style, language or content. Before this session, ensure you have read aloud the chapters Looking for Trouble, Night Visitors and Death in theLong Grass. Discuss with the children how the near misses and Alex’s eventual capture and escape serve to keep the reader insuspense. Reread the chapters (this could take a couple of sessions, depending on time available) and ask the children tocomplete the suspense grid on p12 of their notebooks, stopping after each chapter to compare notes with eachother. Add further detail to the children’s role on the wall for Alex and discuss how he is developing as a character –what have we learned about him that we did not know from the earlier chapters?Session 12: Shared writing, Reading Aloud.Shared Writing - Shared writing is one of the most important ways a teacher can show children how writing works andwhat it’s like to be a writer. Acting as scribe, the teacher works with a small or large group of children to create a texttogether, enabling them to concentrate on their ideas and composition. Reread Looking for Trouble.Discuss the secret note as a whole class – ask the children what they think this note represents?Explain that we often see spies in books and on films filing reports to their superiors.Share writing the opening lines of a secret note which Alex is going to send back to Blunt about his observationsso far. What does Alex think of Sayle? What does he suspect is going on at this point in the text? Ask the children to complete the secret note to Blunt on p13 of their notebooks.Session 13: Text marking Reread the section in Night Visitors from Growing ever more curious to Why would the Stormbreaker project needa man like that? Ask the children to read this passage of text to each other in pairs, and then to mark up the text for the shortsentences using a highlighter. Ask them to consider what the effect of the short sentences is and how it affectsthe pace of the text. Ask the children to practise reading the text aloud, paying attention to the pacing. Ask the children to create their own passage of text, about an encounter with a wild animal, using shorter andlonger sentences to affect the pace of the piece, using short sentences to ramp up the speed of the reading at akey point in their passage.Sessions 14 and 15: Comparison charts, Visual Approaches – Visualisation and IllustrationVisualisation - Asking children to picture or visualise a character or a place from a story is a powerful way of encouragingthem to move into a fictional world. Children can be asked to picture the scene in their mind's eye or walk round it in theirimaginations. Finally they can bring it to life by describing it in words or recreating it in drawing or painting. At this point in the sequence, we’ll leave the novel momentarily, and concentrate on the film, noting thesimilarities and differences between the two forms and the choices made by the producers and directors of theStormbreaker film that makes it different from Anthony Horowitz’s novel.Reread the extract in which we are introduced to Blunt (p.15-18) and remind the children of the character sketchthey created in their Notebooks.Watch the corresponding scene in the film three times through. The first time, ask the children just to watch theclip. The second, ask them to discuss with a partner the differences and similarities between the film scene andthe scene in the novel. On the third time through, ask them to make notes on the similarities and differencesbetween the two on p15 of their Notebooks.Discuss the main similarities and differences as a whole class. Ask the children whether the actor playing Bluntlives up to their expectations, and ask them to give reasons for the opinions they offer.In Session 15, ask the children to do a similar activity, though this time with an action scene. Reread them thesection of the novel in which Alex has to escape the wrecking yard. Ask them to visualise this scene in their heads ,to discuss what they know about the setting from the text with a partner, and then to create an illustration for The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.You may use this teaching sequence freely in your school but it cannot be commercially published or reproduced or used for anything other than educational purposeswithout the express permission of CLPE.

the wrecking yard, using charcoal on white paper. Watch the same scene in the film and ask the children to compare their visions of the wrecking yard with that inthe film, and to discuss as a whole class how the two differ.Session 16: Discussion and Debate, ‘Tell Me’ – Booktalk Watch the film up to the point at which Alex sees the submarine emerge from the water.Ask the children: Is watching a film the same experience as reading a book? Is their emotional response thesame? Ask the children who is telling the story? Is it the same in the book and the film? What can the film do thatthe novel can’t (for example, using music as a device)? Explain to the children that in his preface to the 2006 edition of Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz writes:‘Imagining something when you read is even better than seeing it when it’s been filmed forget the film for amoment. As you turn these pages Alex Rider belongs to you.’ Ask the children to discuss this statement in pairs and to make notes for and against it. You could hold a minidebate on this topic. Ask the children to formulate their own personal response to Horowitz’s statement and to write it up in theirNotebooks on p16.Sessions 17 - 20: Visual Approaches, Illustration, Reading Aloud and Rereading Finish reading the novel and after you have finished reading the novel, watch the rest of the Stormbreaker film.Discuss as a whole class the similarities and differences between the two, and in particular, draw out in discussionwhat makes this story an effective thriller.Introduce the children to the graphic novel version. Display the first chapter of the graphic novel with the childrenand hold a whole class discussion on how the graphic novel differs from both the film and the novel versions ofthe text.Reread The School Bully and explain to the children they are going to be recreating this chapter as a graphic novel.Give the children copies of the text for The School Bully (or one of the other chapters further on in the text) andask them, in pairs, to mark up the text to make into a graphic novel version.Over the next two sessions, give the children time to create their graphic novel chapters, encouraging them tofocus on the moments of most action, and ensuring the images work alongside one another, with one imageleading on to the next.Once they have finished, share the different approaches to creating the graphic novel, and also compare thechildren’s choices for the chapter with those of Kanako Damerum, who illustrated the graphic novel. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.You may use this teaching sequence freel

Alex Rider is not your average fourteen-year-old. Raised by his mysterious uncle, an uncle who dies in equally mysterious circumstances, Alex finds himself thrown into the murky world of espionage. Trained by MI6 and sent out into the field just weeks later, Alex [s first mission is to infiltrate the base of the reclusive billionaire suspected of killing his uncle. Filmic and fast-paced (the .