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Anthony Legon


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A Writing Root for The Tempest

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Literary Theme: Power vs. Principles

Author(s): William Shakespeare


Setting description, character descriptions /comparisons, diary entry, dialogue

Main Outcome:



17+ sessions, 3+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 3+ week Writing Root using an abridged version of The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Although you may wish to expose children to a variety of different retellings of the story, it is also important that children have an opportunity to explore a playscript version of the text, and that that have an opportunity to see it being performed, either on film or, ideally, on stage. During this sequence of learning, children have the chance to explore the themes, ideas and characters in the play, as well as writing opportunities, such as character descriptions and comparisons, scene/setting descriptions and diary entries. They also explore the conventions of writing playscripts, including (characterisation through) dialogue, stage directions and how to convey action, as well as some Shakespearean conventions, such as the iambic pentameter. The Writing Root culminates in children having the opportunity to write their own ‘tempest’ story to be read or performed.

Synopsis of Text:

A violent storm shipwrecks the King of Naples and his noblemen on what appears to be an uninhabited island. What the king doesn’t know is that they have been brought here by powerful magic.

Prospero, the mysterious ruler of the island, has a plan, but will he use his magic for good or bad against the castaways? His daughter, Miranda, has never seen another man except her father. What will she think of the stranger who stumbles into her life? Prospero’s monstrous servant, Caliban, sees a chance to overthrow his master. Will he succeed?

Enchantment and treachery are everywhere on the island – which will prove the stronger?

Text rationale:

This is a playscript version of one of Shakespeare’s most classic stories, including some original language and meter which will inspire children to go on and read further of the bard’s plays on their own. A vibrant and enchanting story with strong themes of betrayal and desire, this will provide a good starting point for children to share their thoughts on power and the right ways to use it.  

Links and themes:

Shakespeare, playscripts, classic literature, magic, deception, power

Date written: February 2016

A Spelling Seed is available for The Tempest.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a four-session spelling seed for the book The Tempest by William Shakespeare.  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.


Word List Words

correspond, interfere, mischievous, sincere(ly), signature, twelfth, yacht

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Endings which sound like /ʃəl/ (–cial or –tial)

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words ending in –fer

Words with ‘silent’ letters (i.e. letters whose presence cannot be predicted from the pronunciation of the word)

View The Tempest Spelling Seed

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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