Whatever Next

Age Range: 5 - 11

Baby Bear wants to go to the moon and so searches around the house until he finds a rocket (a cardboard box), a space-helmet (a colander) and space-boots (his wellies). All set, he blasts off out of the chimney and into the night. Joined by an owl, Baby Bear soars high into the night sky until finally they reach the moon. Of course, when he returns to earth for his bath, his mother doesn't believe where he has been.

Book Author: Jill Murphy

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • The story starts with a question. Can you think of other questions? How do we show that a sentence is a question? What words are usually used to start questions?
  • Could you act out the story with some friends? Which characters will you need to have? Will you use any props?
  • Make a list of equipment that you might need if you were going to travel to the moon.
  • There is an open envelope above the Bears' fireplace. Could you write the letter that might have been inside it?
  • Baby Bear goes 'Whoosh!' out into the night. Can you think of other words to describe how something can travel quickly (or slowly)?
  • Write a diary entry from the point of view of Baby Bear. What happened to him? How did he feel about it?
  • Write a letter from Baby Bear to Owl a few days after their trip.
  • Look at the use of punctuation in the story. How many question marks, exclamation marks, commas, speech marks and full stops can you find? Can you explain why the author has used each one?
  • Why are some of the words written in italics?
  • Watch this video which shows preparations for a play version of 'Whatever Next'. Could you put on your own performance of the story?

  • Answer mum's question... 'Whatever Next?' by writing a story that describes a new adventure for Baby Bear.


  • Make a shopping list that includes items you might need for a picnic on the moon. How much would these things cost? How much would they cost altogether?
  • Look at the clocks in the illustrations. What times do they show?
  • How many stars can you count in each picture?
  • Baby Bear and Owl fly past millions of stars. How many is a million? Can you write a million in digits?


  • Look in some Science books and find out about the moon. Could you write a report about it?
  • Look at the stars in all of the pictures. Can you research different stars and constellations?
  • Look at the items of food in Baby Bear's picnic. Can you think of some healthier things to eat?
  • Investigate materials that Baby Bear could use to protect himself from the rain.


  • Use WordArt (or a paint program) to create eye-catching examples of words linked to onomatopoeia (like 'Whoosh' and 'BUMP').

Design Technology

  • Make a rocket out of junk modelling materials.
  • Draw a labelled diagram of a rocket for Baby Bear, showing the different parts and special features.
  • Baby Bear turns an old box into a rocket. Think of other uses for an old box. Could you find an old box and turn it into something new and useful?


  • The book has a picture with the text 'This book belongs to?'. Can you design a book plate to stick into other books that you own?
  • Some of the illustrations in the story are in colour and others are black and white. Can you draw some colour pictures? Can you drawn the same picture using only black and white?
  • Draw a proper astronaut's outfit that Baby Bear could wear during his adventure.
  • Draw a picture from the point of view of one of the passengers on the plane who sees Baby Bear and Owl flying up to the moon.


  • Find out about the history of space flight and the different astronauts who have landed on the moon.

Physical education

  • Baby Bear thinks that the moon is a bit boring. Plan some games and activities that he could do to make his trip a little more exciting.


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