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Everest - Friday


English - Reading


Tell Me No Lies - Malorie Blackman


Read the text below from the above book, keeping the following questions in mind:
  • What is your first impression of Gemma?

  • How do you know that she cares about these newspaper clippings.

Extract 1



Gemma turned the page. Here, a mum with smiling eyes and untidy hair like a halo hugged her daughter tight, whilst the headline below the photograph yelled out, MOTHER SAVES CHILD FROM OVERTURNED CAR. And on the opposite page, a mum standing next to a boy, her arm around his shoulders. The headline that went this photograph declared, MUM FLIES OFF WITH SON FOR NEW HEART. Gemma only ever kept the headlines that went with her mums – never the full newspaper article – but she could remember the story that went with this one. The mum’s son needed a heart and liver transplant and the doctors in Britain had all but written him off. But not his mum. His mum was determined to do whatever it took to keep her son alive, so she’d taken him to America. And it had had a happy ending. The boy received his transplant and lived.

Gemma sighed. She liked happy endings.

Now read the second extract, and as above keep the following questions in your head as you go through it.

  • What are your thoughts on the dynamics between Mike, Nan and Gramps?

  • Have you heard the phrase ‘all bark and no bite’ before? What do you think it means?

Extract 2



Mike glared at his grandad. All the long drive down, Mike hadn’t said a single, solitary word. He’d nodded, shaken his head or shrugged as appropriate whenever Nan or Gramps asked him a question, but that was it. Mike remembered how months before Gramps and Nan sat together in the courtroom never saying a word to him or each other. And how much he’d hated them for it.

‘I know what you’re thinking and you needn’t worry.’ Mike glared at his grandparents. ‘I’m not going to disappoint you.’

Let them take that any way they wanted!

‘I see that whatever else your mother did, she certainly didn’t teach you any manners,’ Gramps told him. ‘Or respect for your elders.’

‘My mum taught me that families are supposed to stick together,’ Mike said pointedly.

‘Meaning?’ Gramps prompted with a frown.

‘The meaning can wait until Mike has settled in,’ Nan said briskly. ‘We’re all getting off on the wrong foot here. Come on, Mikey. I’ll show you up to your room.’

Nan took hold of one of Mike’s smaller bags and led the way up the stairs. Reluctantly, Mike picked up his larger suitcase and followed her. Nan waited until they were on the landing before she spoke again.

‘You mustn’t mind your grandad,’ she said smiling. ‘He’s all bark and no bite.’

His bark is so bad that he doesn’t need to bite, Mike couldn’t help thinking.


Activity 1



Read extract 1 again.

Extract 1 focuses primarily on the character of Gemma.

Look in the text and find this section: ‘Gemma sighed.’

Using the text, write a detailed summary paragraph that explains why Gemma sighed.

You will need to refer to the extract in your explanation.


Activity 2



Read extract 2 again.

Revisit the text and focus on the character of Mike. He appears to be very angry in this extract.

What does the writer tell us about him through description? What do we find out about his mood through what he says and how he reacts to Nan and Gramps?

Write a short paragraph to explain how we know that Mike is angry in this extract.

You could use the following answer stems:

  • Mike is angry because it says .............................................

  • ............................................. shows that Mike is angry because .............................................

  • The writer shows us that Mike is angry when she says .............................................

Activity 3



Read extract 2 again and focus on the last two paragraphs.

As readers, we are anticipating what may happen next.

  • Will Mike and Nan have another conversation?

  • Will Gramps come upstairs and join in the conversation?

  • Will Mike go back downstairs to talk to Gramps?

  • Will Nan leave Mike in his bedroom?

Thinking about what you have read so far, write the next paragraph.

Imagine you are the writer, Malorie Blackman, and try to mimic her style.

Look back at extract 1 and see how she manages description and at extract 2, to see her use of dialogue.

Then decide if your paragraph will include description and/or dialogue.


Using adjectives for more descriptive writing

Look at the clip below to remind you what an adjective is:



An adjective is a word that describes a noun (the name of a thing or a place).

For example, 'It was a terrible book.'

  • The word 'terrible' is an adjective. It tells us what the book (the noun) was like.

'The book she read on holiday was terrible' or 'She read a terrible book on holiday'.

  • Adjectives can come before or after a noun.

‘Excited and enthusiastic, the girl strolled into her dance class.’

  • You can put adjectives in different places in your sentences to make your writing more interesting. In the sentence above, the adjectives are at the start.

  • If you want to describe a noun in detail, you can use more than one adjective.

  • When you have a list of adjectives like this, separate them with commas.

'She had a mouldy, smelly, overpriced sandwich.'

Activity 1


Adjective Pyramids

Can you write sentences about something in your house using a writing technique called ‘Adjective Pyramids’?

  • Choose a powerful adjective that describes it.
  • Use this as a powerful, single word sentence.
  • Repeat your powerful adjective and add another word (a noun or another adjective) to build a two-word sentence.
  • Expand fully to create your third sentence.
  • Can you swap your adjective for a synonym?

For example:


Delectable delights.

Delectable delightful Easter eggs sat in the bowl, waiting for people to buy and consume them.

Extra Challenge:

Can you write a sentence about an Easter egg that includes a pair of antonyms?


Ryan thought the chocolate eggs looked delicious; however, Lauren thought they looked disgusting (she doesn’t like chocolate).

Top tip!

Adjectives are great for helping people to develop a better picture of the things we are writing about by giving them more detail.

Using synonyms will stop you from repeatedly using the same adjectives as lots of repetition can make our writing dull and boring.

Activity 2



Please complete the worksheet here. You should be able to type your answers onto the sheet.

Activity 3



Please complete the two online quizzes to finish off what you have covered in this section of the lesson.

Quiz 1

Quiz 2 

Before the break I was busy completing the paper work for your transfer to secondary school but there were some questions I could not answer because they are questions about you guys personally. Obviously, had we been in school I could have just asked you directly but circumstances being what they are that just isn't possible at the moment. I would like you to please open the file here and answer the questions on the sheet. There are only four questions and it shouldn't take you yoo long, but it would be a massive help to me in completing your paper work. 


Have a fantastic weekend everyone, and I'll talk to you next week.

Mr Flood