Friday, 5 June 2015

The Egyptian Echo written by Paul Dowsell and designed by Karen Tomlins

The Egyptian Echo provides an excellent and fun introduction to all aspects of Ancient Egyptian life. Readers will learn about the Egyptian gods; the pyramids; hieroglyphics; papyrus; different types of boats, houses and jewelery; fashion; health and medicine; art and Egyptian professions amongst other things.Each of the topics is presented in a lively, newspaper article format which is both engaging and informative. This will appeal to readers of all abilities both boys and girls. The layout, that of a newspaper, provides an accessible text, particularly for those pupils who experience difficulties in reading as each of the items is short and therefore not overwhelming for pupils who perhaps don't normally enjoy reading.

The vocabulary, being subject specific, may at times be at a level beyond which some Key Stage 2 readers can read independently. However, through guided and shared reading and the teaching of specific vocabulary this can be overcome. Presented as a newspaper, this is a good text to introduce to children, in order to develop reading for pleasure.

The book contains all the features you would expect to find in a newspaper: from news stories 'of the day' to job adverts; a problem page; adverts for a whole range of Egyptian things to buy; articles about works of art; competitions and quizzes and sports pages.This in itself provides a model text to study newspapers and journalistic writing. Pupils can compare the range of text types within the book with those in contemporary newspapers, local and national.

The news stories are also model examples. They follow the correct format and structure with an introductory paragraph of approximately 30 words, followed by subsequent paragraphs which in turn provide more detailed information. They are written in the past tense, include 'quotes' from individuals and include a summarizing statement.

Likewise, the adverts are written in the present tense, include emotive vocabulary, rhetorical questions and superlatives.

The photographs throughout the book have been sourced from the Werner Forman Archive; a highly valued resource of images valued by publishers around the world. Werner Forman was an acclaimed photographer, who began his career at the age of 14 and would be an interesting person for pupils to research before writng a biography.

Overall, the book provides a valuable resource for both the history and English curriculum at Key Stage 2.

Publisher: Usborne Books
Date of Publication: 1996
ISBN: 978074602751

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