Lesson video

In progress...


Hello, everyone.

My name is Ms Butt and I'm today going to teach you some new vocabulary.

This vocabulary hopefully will be very useful when you come to write the scene from "The Golden Compass" when Lyra is sitting in Mrs. Coulter's house.

That's because today we're going to be learning three different words to describe houses.

I hope you enjoy today's lesson.

Here's what we're going to do today.

First, I'm going to introduce the new vocabulary one word at a time, and we'll be looking at Mrs Wordsmith pictures to help illustrate what each word means.

Then we're going to identify word pairs and synonyms, which will help us have a deeper understanding of what these words mean and how we can use them effectively.

And finally, we'll apply these new words that we've learned in sentences, and we're going to apply these words in sentences that will be helpful for your narrative writing on "The Golden Compass" unit.

Towards the end of the lesson, I'm going to ask you to do some writing, so you will need something to write on and something to write with.

Could you pause the video now to make sure you've got the things that you need and make sure you've cleared away anything that could distract you and make sure you're focused and ready to start your learning.

Okay, great.

Here's some vocabulary we'll be using today.

I'm going to say each word and then I'd like you to repeat it back to me.

Synonym, word pair, adjective, noun.

A synonym is a word that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, like "merry" and "happy", they mean the same thing.

Word pairs are words that often appear together.

So if we took the adjective "bright", it's word pairs might be a "sun", a "moon" or a "light", because they're are things that we would often describe as being bright.

An adjective is a describing word.

And today we're going to be learning three adjectives, different describing words to describe houses.

A noun is a person, a place or a thing.

So anything that was in a house or a room or a piece of furniture would be a noun.

So I'd like you now to imagine your dream home.

Think about what it would look like and what adjectives you might use to describe it.

Pause the video and have a think about that now.

That all kinds of different houses and all therefore we can describe them in so many different ways.

I'm sure that your house probably, did it look like this? Probably not.

I'm sure that your houses look very beautiful and exciting.

I'd love to know what you were picturing.

Well, today we're going to be describing Mrs. Coulter's house.

So have a quick look at this picture here, and perhaps just pause the video to think about how you would describe this house.

What can you see in this house? Is it clean or is it dirty? What's the furniture like? How would you describe it? So pause the video to have a think about that now.

Hopefully the words we're going to learn today will be really useful when you're describing this house.

So let's take a look at our first house word.

Before I show you what the word is, we're going to first of all take a look at this illustration.

What's happening in this picture? How would you describe this room? How do you think this character is feeling? So pause the video and have a think or describe what you can see now.

This house looks very organised and very clean.

I can see that where there is two mirrors, there's almost, it looks like they're glimmering or shcleaming because they're so clean.

And it looks like this character that's actually Mrs Wordsmith herself is on some kind of cleaning device, which is leaving the floor, again, almost it looks like ice, it's got such a sheen to it.

Definitely I have a feeling this word could be to do with something to do with tidiness or cleanliness.

Let's see what the word is.



Have you heard of this word before? This is an adjective and it means perfect or spotless.

Like a house, it is so clean, it shines and glitters.

Immaculate is made up of the root meaning, spotted or stained.

So if the root of this word means spotted or stained, and then it's got the prefix which are the letters at the start of the word, "im-", how does the prefix "im-" change the meaning of the root? Have a little think about this.

It makes it the opposite meaning because if the root was spotted or stained, and this is "im", it's meaning there are no spots or no stains because it's perfect or spotless.

So that can help us with any words, for example, if you're polite or if you're impolite, it's the opposite of being polite.

I'm going to read you some words now, and as I read these words to you, I'd like you to see if you can identify first, the synonyms of the word "immaculate".

Remember synonyms are words that mean more or less the same thing.

And as this word is an adjective, the synonyms will also be adjectives.

Any of the words which aren't synonyms are word pairs.

House, lawn, garden, spotless, appearance, condition, perfect, flawless, makeup.

Here's the word in a sentence lie.

Lyra didn't dare touch anything in Mrs Coulter's immaculate house.

If a word is a synonym, we should be able to take out the word "immaculate" in that sentence and replace it with a synonym, a word that means more or less the same thing.

So pause the video and have a think now about which of these three words you think are synonyms of "immaculate".

The synonyms are "spotless", "perfect" and "flawless", which means the rest of these words are words pairs which I will read to you now.

So you might have an "immaculate house", an "immaculate lawn", "immaculate garden", "immaculate appearance", "immaculate condition", and "immaculate makeup".

Now, Mrs. Coulter is immaculate in every respect, perhaps not with her personality, but she's certainly got an immaculate house.

I imagine her garden is immaculate, and she's definitely got an immaculate appearance and immaculate makeup.

She's wearing a dress and she looks like she's had her hair done, so this is a really useful word, not only to describe her house, but also her.

Can you pause the video now and read these word pairs out loud, 'cause that's really important way of when we process, when we learn new vocabulary, we have to say it as much as possible.

So can you pause the video and read his word pairs just as I did.

Well done.

Before we move on very quickly, what does "immaculate" mean? Well done, it means "perfect" or "spotless".

Let's look at our second illustration.

What's happening in this picture? How would you describe this room? What story do you think this is telling? Can you pause the video and have a think about it now? I have a feeling these characters just moved into this house or this flat, because I can see they've got a bag and they've got a box that says "LIVING ROOM" on it, which I imagine it's got all that bits and pieces that would go in the living room.

But at the moment, because they haven't unpacked, it looks very empty and not particularly cosy.

Let's find out what this word is.

Sparse, sparse.

Sparse is an adjective and it means scarce or few, like a big empty room with hardly any furniture, a bit like we can see in this picture.

Sparse comes from the root to scatter.

So how does this link to the idea of there being few or scarce objects? If you scatter, have a think about that, you might want to pause the video.

We'll just take a second to think about it.

When things are scattered, they are usually dispersed widely and lightly.

If you were going to scatter something, for example, on a cake, or scatter some seeds in a vegetable patch.

It usually means that they're wide and light, and that therefore links the idea of there being few or not very many of them.

Let's read some words and as I read these, can you see if you can spot the synonyms of "sparse"? Few, furniture, vegetation, scarce, clumps, woodland, population, evidence, meagre, and information.

If you have a meagre portion of food, it's a very tiny portion of food.

Here's the word in a sentence.

Lyra looked around the cold, sparse room and fidgeted uncomfortably on the hard sofa.

So can you pause the video and see if you can tell me which of these words are synonyms of "sparse"? So the synonyms are "few", "scarce", and "meagre", which means the rest of these words are word pairs, which I'll read to you now.

Sparse furniture, sparse vegetation, sparse clumps, sparse crowds, sparse woodland, a sparse population, sparse evidence and sparse information.

You might want to pause the video now and read these word pairs out loud, but it's important as you read them as well that you imagine them.

Make sure you've got an image in your head.

So for example, "sparse evidence", how might we use that in as what kind of idea does that make us think of.

Perhaps if you were a detective and you were trying to solve a crime, but there was sparse evidence, it means there's not very much evidence, and therefore it was very hard to find who had committed the crime.

Or for example, if there was a sparse population, what would that look like? So it's important that we don't just read them without thinking about the meaning of these word pairs.

So can you pause the video now, read the word pairs that picture as you read what you're reading about.


So before we look at our final image, what does "sparse" mean? Well done, it means "scarce" or "few".

Our final picture is this one.

I saved the best to last.

What's happening here? How would you describe this house? Pause the video and have a think.

Wow, well, this looks like a pretty special house.

It looks enormous.

There's a swimming pool or some kind of lovely pond.

Looks like this character is lying, got that drink, they've got statues, water features, looks very luxurious.

This word is "palatial".


Palatial is an adjective meaning vast, which means really big or splendid like a mansion where you live in the lap of luxury.

"Palatial" comes from the word "palace", which you might have spotted that already.

How does this link the idea of being spacious and impressive? The idea of a palace.

Palaces are usually very big with lots of rooms. Therefore, they're vast and usually they will be splendid as well.

So as I read these words, see if you can spot the synonyms of "palatial".

Mansion, residence, vast, splendid, home, grandeur, structure, villa, stately, surroundings, and hotel.

Grandeur means splendour or impressiveness.

Here's the word in a sentence.

Mrs Coulter appeared at the doorway of her palatial home and confidently swaggered across her immaculate lounge.

Pause the video and see if you can tell me now which three words are synonyms of "palatial".

Let's see how you got on.

The synonyms are "vast", "splendid" and "stately".

Which means the rest of these word pairs.

A palatial mansion, palatial residence, palatial home, palatial villa, palatial surroundings, palatial hotel, a palatial structure, and palatial grandeur.

Could you pause the video? And as I said before, whilst you're reading these words out loud, also try to picture what you're reading about.


We have now learned our three new words to describe homes or rooms. Can you pause the video and see if you can remember each word? The first word was "immaculate", the second word was "sparse", and the third word was "palatial".

I'd now like you to come up with your own definition for each word, because it's important that we explain things ourselves.

That way we will remember what these words mean.

Imagine you're talking to somebody who's never heard about what these words mean, "immaculate", "sparse" or "palatial".

We've got no idea.

How would you describe them? So to see how you got on, let's take a look at the definitions.

So immaculate means perfect or spotless.

Somewhere very, very tidy and clean.

Sparse means stares or few and palatial means vast or splendid.

We're now going to try to apply these words in sentences.

Have a look at this sentence, and as I read it, see if you can pick an adjective that you think would fit well in this sentence.

Mrs Coulter looked very at home in her _______ surroundings as she swaggered across her opulent lounge.

If something is opulent, it means it's very costly and luxurious.

So pause the video and have a think about which of these words do you think would fit best in the sentence? I'm not sure what you would say here.

Mrs. Coulter looked for very at home in her sparse surroundings as she swaggered across her opulent lounge, because sparse and opulent, perhaps don't really connect very well.

I think that you could say immaculate surroundings or palatial surroundings.

I went for "palatial", but both of these could work.

If you swagger, it's a way of describing how you might walk with real confidence.

Let's look at the second sentence.

Lyra sat up rigidly, terrified she would disturb the ______ appearance of Mrs. Coulter's home.

Which adjective do you think fits here? I've gone for "terrified she would disturb the immaculate appearance", because if it's so clean and tidy, you would always want to sit up.

You wouldn't want to even make this potency sort of like make the sofas or squish on the sofa.

So you might be really tense and not be able to relax if you were at a really immaculate house.

You'll notice that I've got an apostrophe for "Mrs. Coulter's home".

That's because there's not lots of Mrs. Coulters.

Thank goodness, there's just one that the home belongs to her.

So that apostrophe shows the possession.

And finally, Lyra looked around the ______ room, which was just as cold, empty and harsh as Mrs. Coulter's heart.

Which word would fit in here.

And there's a bit of a clue because if it's cold and empty, then it's going to be sparse.

Lyra looked around the sparse room because even though the room is which we looked at earlier, it is very grand and palatial and definitely immaculate.

It looks very gleaming and clean, but it is also quite sparse.

It hasn't got lots of cosy furniture in it.

So this word still could be fitting.

So now it's your turn to write a sentence using one of these words we've learned.

Immaculate, sparse or palatial.

If you wanted to really push yourself today, you could even write three sentences and try and include these words in each different sentence.

It could be difficult just thinking of a sentence on the spot, so try to think about the scene that you're describing with Mrs. Coulter and Lyra.

Here's some extra help if you'd like it.

Here's some sentence starters you could use.

The first one is, "Gazing around the room, _________ ." This is a non-finite clause because it's got an unfinished or incomplete verb "gazing".

It's got a comma to separate it from the main clause, which you would have to add in.

So "Gazing around the room", we could even say, "Gazing around the immaculate room, Lyra," what might she do as she was gazing around the room? Here's another idea.

Mrs. Coulter, who _______, and then you could finish that sentence.

So if you, for example, if the main clause was something like, "Mrs. Coulter looked very at home in her opulent lounge." we would then embed into that main clause or add in some more information about her.

Perhaps, "Mrs. Coulter, who was dressed immaculately, looked very at home in her opulent lounge." So it's a way of adding relative information about Mrs. Coulter, but because it's parentheses, we need to put a comma either side of it.

And finally, "Nervously fidgeting, _________.

So again, this is a non-finite clause 'cause it's got one of our "-ing" verbs, "fidgeting".

"Nervously" is an adverb.

Nervously fidgeting, ______.

What might you describe Lyra was doing? And remember if you are going to use that sentence starter, how are you going to fit one of these words in it? So good luck.

Pause the video now and have a go at writing your own sentence using one of these words.

Brilliant, well done.

I really hope that these words are useful when you come to your narrative writing, but also that you've enjoyed expanding your vocabulary today, and these are words now that you'll see and recognise and be able to use confidently.

If you want to share any of your work, then you can ask a parent or carer to take a photo of the sentences that you've written and upload them on Twitter, because we always love to see the work that you're doing.

Thank you so much for watching.

Well done for working so hard, and I'll see you soon.

Bye, everyone.