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Anthony Legon


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A Writing Root for The Dragon Machine

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Literary Theme: Fictional Worlds & Fantasy

Author(s): Helen Ward


Dragon guide and encyclopaedia, letters of advice, dragon machine explanation, shopping list, description, letters in role

Main Outcome:

Own version dragon story


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root using the text The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward, in which children are initially engaged by noticing a dragon tail and then going on a dragon hunt across the school. Children then create a guide, exploring descriptive and positional language. They engage with the main character in the story’s thoughts and emotions through letter writing. Throughout the sequence, children explore a number of spelling patterns and rules from the Y2 Programme of Study and these are specifically edited for in their final outcome of an extended ‘dragon machine’ story.

Synopsis of Text:

The perfect introduction to the legendary world of dragons, The Dragon Machine uses a clever mix of text and illustrations to describe how George, a young, overlooked boy, becomes aware of dragons hiding all around him.

But when it becomes apparent that they don't belong in George's ordinary world, he endeavours to do the best for his new friends and find them the home they deserve.

Text Rationale:

This enchanting story deals with issues around self-acceptance and feeling left out. After George has led the dragons out of the city, he realises that he is loved and missed by the world he left behind. This text could lead to further investigations of dragons, using the book Dragonology which also uses the talents of Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson amongst others – both are multi-award-winning. An exciting narrative that will have children wanting to learn all they can about mythical creatures.

Links and themes:

Dragons, machines, inventions, mythical creatures, fantasy, self-acceptance, belonging, family

Date written: June 2017

A Spelling Seed is available for The Dragon Machine.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Common Exception Words

behind, busy, climb, could, doors, floor, many, parents, people, wild

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words ending –il

The /ɔ:/ sound spelt ar after w

The /ɜ:/ sound spelt or after w

View The Dragon Machine Spelling Seed

A Home Learning Branch is available for The Dragon Machine.

Home Learning Branch Overview:

This is a Home Learning Branch for The Dragon Machine.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from Writing Roots.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

View The Dragon Machine Home Learning Branch

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

The Literacy Tree®, Literary Leaves®, Spelling Seeds®, Home Learning Branches® and #TeachThroughaText® are all Registered Trademarks of The Literacy Tree Ltd.
The Literacy Tree CS.301, Clerkenwell Workshops, 27/31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT | Company Registered no: 07951913