Lesson video

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Welcome back.

It's Ms. Henman.

In today's lesson, we are going to focus on the author's use of language whilst we read the next part of the story, and also the main character's personality.

First of all, can you remember the name of the author? Anthony Horowitz.

Well done.

And I'm going to teach you a new word.

You might have heard this word before.


My turn, your turn.



Let's try once more.


That is a synonym for main character.

And the protagonist in this story is Kevin.

So we're going to be looking at his character today.

Let's go.

Let's go through our agenda for today.

First, we're going to read the next part of the story, focusing on the author's use of language.

Then we're going to consider Kevin's character a bit further.

And finally, you're going to have a chance to do some independent reading.

For today's lesson, you're going to need something to write with, for example, a pencil or a pen, and something to write on, for example, an exercise book or some paper.

You also need to make sure that your working space is quiet so that you're able to focus, because that helps your brain.

Okay, I'm going to ask you to read this first.

So can you pause the video, and read out loud the text on the screen, please? Off you go.

Fantastic reading.

So this passage is telling us how Kevin spends some of his free times.

So it starts with, "On Saturdays, Kevin would take the bus into London and lose himself in the arcade." So we're going to focus a little bit about the author's use of language.

My first question for you is, do you think Kevin really gets lost in the arcades? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Show me.

I think thumbs down.

He doesn't really get lost, but maybe he loses himself in that he wanders around slightly aimlessly, or he forgets and he loses some of his problems and some of his worries and thoughts.

So you might say you lost yourself in a book, for example.

For Kevin, his way of relaxing, or maybe getting rid of some of those worries, seems to be to go to the arcades to play games.

My next question is this.

What does "in the heart of Piccadilly" mean? Have a little think.

Hmm, does it mean the centre, or a small part of? So here your strategy is to read around the phrase.

So, "There was one right at or in the centre of Piccadilly, that was three floors high." So I've put the phrase that could be an alternative into the sentence.

Now I'm going to do that with the other phrase, a small part.

"There was one right in a small part of Piccadilly that was three floors high." Now, I think either of those could make sense there.

So I'm going to tell you a little bit about Piccadilly.

It's a place in London, and it's in the centre of London, and it's very busy.

So in this instance, the centre is the correct use of this phrase.

And that's a really good phrase to use when you're describing city centres or the important part or the core part of something or someone.

So you might want to use that in your writing at some point too.

The next question is, does Kevin spent his free time with his friends or family? Thumbs up or thumbs down? I think thumbs down.

Because often when you spend time with your friends and family, it's on the weekend, isn't it? So let's think about what we already know about Kevin.

In our last lesson, we said he doesn't have any friends in real life, and perhaps he is lonely.

I think this passage backs up that inference that perhaps he is a bit lonely, because if he had friends in real life or was close to his family members, then he'd probably spend part of his weekends or his Saturday with them, but he doesn't.

So that makes me think that he's looking for something to do and looking for ways to spend his free time.

The next sentence is, "Kevin would go up the escalator with his pockets bulging with one pound coins." There's a tricky word there that I'm not sure you'll know the meaning of.



My turn, your turn.


Have you heard it before? Does it sound familiar? I thought this picture from Mrs Wordsmith might help you.

The animal's eyes are bulging at the sight of the price tag.

The animal's eyes are bulging at the value of the diamond.

So bulging means when something is protruding or sticking out and overflowing perhaps as well.

So why does Anthony Horowitz, the author, use the word bulging to describe Kevin's pocket? What does this mean? Pause the video and say your answer out loud.

Okay, now it's my turn.

So I think the word bulging suggests that Kevin's pocket are full of one pound coins.

So there are lots of them, and that his pockets are bulging or protruding or poking out because they're so full.

That's what I think.

And why are they so full of one pound coins? Ah, because he's going to the arcades, and he wants those coins to put in the machines so he can play his games.

That backs up my understanding of the word bulging.

Now it's my turn to read to you.

"To him, there was no sound in the world sweeter than a brand new coin rolling into a slot.

By the end of the day, he would stagger home with empty pockets, an empty head, and a dazed smile on his face." Dazed means confused or unable to think clearly.

I might feel dazed if I just woke up from a nap.

I might feel a bit confused.

I might think, "Oh, I can't quite think clearly.

I'm not quite awake yet." So I might feel dazed in that instance.

Can you show me what a dazed smile might look like? Mm, maybe someone daydreaming a little bit? Lost in their thoughts, thinking about something they really like? They might be a bit of a dazed smile.

Why do you think, then, Kevin has a dazed smile? Pause the video, and say your answer out loud.

Ah, because he's smiling, he's happy because he's spent time in the arcades, and that's what he likes.

But maybe he spent so much time in the arcades, and he's been so focused on playing games, he's a bit confused, just like I would be if I woke up from a nap.

Suddenly, I go into the world, and I'm a bit confused.

That might be the same as if you're playing lots of games, and then suddenly you have to go out onto the street.

You'd be a bit confused because it's a different situation.

Why does Kevin have empty pockets? What does this mean? Right, think back, before his pockets were described as bulging.

What does it mean that they're now empty? Pause the video and say your answer out loud.

Ah, so it means his pockets, which were full of one pound coins, are now empty because, because what? Say it out loud.

Oh, he spent all of his money.

He's lost all of his money by playing games in the arcade.


Why does Kevin have an empty head? What does this mean? Pause the video and have a think.

So I don't think we can have an empty head, because we've always got our brain in there.

But are we always using our brain? No.

So I think by using the word empty, the author is suggesting that he's almost turned his brain off, and that he's used all of his brain power that day, and he stopped using it now.

So I think that's what it means.

Why do you think the author repeats the word empty? And does this have an effect on you, the reader? If I were you, I'd reread that sentence once you've paused the video, and have a think about that repetition.

Off you go.

So I think it emphasises Anthony Horowitz's point.

So that repetition draws our attention to the fact that he's lost his money and he's no longer using his brain.

That he's almost consumed or spent too much time playing games.

So I think it's to emphasise that.

My turn, your turn.


Stagger means to walk or move unsteadily.

Have you ever seen anyone stagger? I might stagger out of my chair if I had eaten too much.

So I might walk unsteadily as I pull myself out of my chair if I had eaten too much food.

I also might stagger, so run or move unsteadily, across the finish line after completing a marathon.

Have you ever seen someone stagger whilst they're doing lots and lots of exercise and they're really tired? In this instance, I'd be staggering because I would have run so much.

So my first example is because I've eaten too much.

My second example is because I've run so much.

Why do you think the author has used the word stagger here? Pause the video, and say your answer out loud.

So I think it's because Kevin has had too much time playing games.

So in my examples, I'd eaten too much, I'd run too much.

Here, what's he had too much of? Time in the arcades.

So I think the word stagger informs us that Kevin is moving in a way that's unpredictable and slightly out of control, and perhaps also implying that he has spent too much time playing games, or has spent too much time in the arcades.

Okay, now it's your turn to read out loud.

Can you pause the video and make sure you say all the words out loud as you read? Off you go.

Fantastic reading.

So we're still focusing on the author's use of language.

And the word I want to look at is ignorant.

My turn, your turn.


Hmm, let's think about what that means.


So there are a number of strategies for helping us understand what words in context mean if we're not sure.

I'd like to draw your attention to two.

So we might look for a word within a word, or a root word.

Or we might cover the word up, and read around it, and see if we can make sense of what the word means.

We're going to start by looking for a word within the word.

So if you look at ignorant, and you divide it up into different parts, do you see any other words? So I can kind of see the ant or the rant.

And then I can also see the ignore.

And I actually know that word.

To ignore something.

So I'm assuming that is the root word.

And what does to ignore me? Ignore means to not take notice of something or someone, or to disregard something.

Hmm, ignorant means to be uneducated or uninformed.

What did Kevin ignore? What do we know he ignored? Oh yeah, he ignored his schoolwork and studying.


And that is why he has become ignorant.

He has ignored school.

And so therefore, he is ignorant because he is uneducated or uninformed.

So that strategy of looking for the root word, or a word within a word, helped me understand the word ignorant.

We can also just read around it.

I'm going to reread the sentence, and I'm going to say the word mm instead of ignorant.

"And, as he was already discovering, job opportunities for people as mm as him were few and far between." That didn't really help me, but if I read the sentence above, I think it might.

"University was obviously out of the question.

He couldn't even have spelled it.

Ah people as mm as him are people who can't spell." I'm going to read the sentence above that.

"He had failed all of his exams." Ah so people who are as ignorant as him have failed exams. "The ones he'd even bother to show up for." Ignorant might mean lazy, potentially.

So you can see how reading around a word also helps us understand a word's meaning.

This is my mind map from our previous lesson.

Have a look, you might have yours in front of you.

And if you do, that's fantastic.

If it's to hand, you could pause the video and go get it.

Don't worry if you don't have it, though, because I will show you mine.

Do you think you could read this out loud, please? Fantastic reading.

I wonder why he had never been short of money.

Short of money would mean to not have it.

So he's always had money.

And I also remember in our previous lesson, when his pocket computer got confiscated, he was able to buy a new one straight away.

I'm inferring that maybe his parents are rich.

That's an inference that I'm making here.

Maybe they became rich when he was, what age? 13.

So something changed at 13.

I wonder what it was.

Okay, I'll read this one to you.

"His father, a quiet, sad-looking man, did the night shift in a bakery and slept for most of the day, so the two of them never met.

His mother worked in a shop.

He had a brother in the army, a married sister, and another brother training to be a taxi driver." Does his family sound rich? I think they just sound like a normal family.

They don't sound like they're super rich, but they don't sound as if they're struggling for money.

They all work hard and have good jobs.

So why does he have so much money? Can you read the sentence out loud please? Oh.

He was a thief.

He steals things.

"Kevin had never been caught.

And the way he saw it, provided he was careful, he never would be." What information could we now add to our mind map? Can you pause the video and say to the screen what information I could add to my mind map about Kevin's character and personality.

Off you go.

I reckon you may have come up with some interesting points and some adjectives.

I'm wondering which of these adjectives could we use to describe Kevin? I'll say them out loud: narrow minded, considerate, sympathetic, or selfish.

Are any of these appropriate adjectives to describe his character now you know this new information about him? What do you think? I thought these two were appropriate.

Narrow minded means that his mind and what he thinks about is quite specific, and he doesn't have a broad worldly view.

So I know he's interested in gaming, very interested in gaming, and potentially just interested in himself and his ability to play games.

I also think he's selfish because he's just thinking about himself.

He isn't thinking that his parents work really hard to provide him with food and a nice house.

And he isn't thinking about all the victims who he is stealing from.

So that made me think that he might be selfish.

Considerate and sympathetic are adjectives that you would use to describe someone who is thinking about other people, or is able to think about their perspective.

So he's not sympathetic, and he's not considerate.

So I've added these to my mind map.

Narrow minded and selfish.

I've also added that he doesn't seem close with his family.

I think if he was close, the author would have written more about their relationship.

And the only thing that Anthony Horowitz did write is that he didn't ever really see his father, because his father worked during the night.

So it didn't suggest to me that they were very close.

Okay, now it's your opportunity to do some independent reading.

This is for the rest of the lesson.

And I'd like you to read these passages so that you're ready for our next lesson.

So can you pause the video and read this passage out loud? Off you go.

Ah, so this passage is all about that job advert that we read in our first lesson.

He's interested in the high salary and bonus.

Do you remember, I was interested in that bit too.

He also knows that he's fit.

Because, what's his evidence that he's fit? "He's sprinted away from enough smashed car windows and broken backdoors to know that." Gosh.

And he was enthusiastic, at least when it came to computer games.

Well, we certainly know he's not enthusiastic about his schoolwork.

Could you read this one? Pause the video as you do that.

Okay, now I'm going to read it to you.

"Of course, he might be wasting his time.

If they wanted someone to do programming or anything like that.

But why not? Why the hell not? And that is how, three days later, he found himself outside an office in Rupert Street, in the middle of Soho." The next question for you, and I'd like you to write down your answer for this, is, why do you think Kevin wants the job? Pause the video and write down your answer.

Well done.

You have completed this lesson.

I really look forward to teaching you next time, where we will be reading about Kevin entering the office and having his interview for this job.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Good luck with the rest of your lessons, and I'll see you next time.