Archie is an accident waiting to happen. He can’t help it. In just one week at school, he is accused of murder, gets trapped in the staff cloakroom without any clothes, and somehow manages to turn himself into a dog. Not to mention the poisonous spider and the Health and Safety Inspector who gets a toilet stuck on his head
Thank goodness Archie’s best friend Cyd is always there to sort out the mess.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Good ‘first impressions’ are thought to be important. Think about the first impression that Miss Hurrell has of Archie. Could you write a story about two people whose first impression when they meet isn’t how they might like it to be?
- Write about a new day for Archie when more odd things happen.
- Imagine that Archie has a day when everything goes perfectly. How might he feel about this? Could you add a ‘twist’ at the end when something very unusual does happen?
- On Tuesday, Miss Humber shows Archie how to make a fresh fruit salad. Could you write some instructions to teach others how to do this?
- Archie and Cyd have lots of different teachers in the book. Could you write about your favourite teacher? Why did you like them so much? What did they help you to learn? Could you write a story about a very unusual teacher?
- Mrs Hemp thinks that Archie has turned into a dog. Could you write a story about a person who turns into an animal? Watch this introduction to the TV series, Woof. Could you write a new episode for it?
- Use the Unbelievable Story Generator to create a new adventure about Archie (see Resources below).
- ?On Friday, Archie spends the day in the head teacher’s office. Can you make a list of the jobs that your head teacher might do?
- The health and safety inspector sees lots of ‘Accidents Waiting to Happen’ on his tour around the school. Could you use this as the title for a story of your own?
- Rewrite the events of Mr. Halibut’s accident from his point of view.
- Write a newspaper article about one of the events in Archie’s week.
- Write a diary entry from Archie’s point of view about his incredible week!
- Archie’s father thinks that Archie has odd things happening to him because of the Laws of Chance. Find out about chance and probability. What are the chances of different things happening (e.g. it will be sunny tomorrow, you will play football next week, your teacher will become a famous celebrity next year).
- Plan the healthy menu that Mrs Boyd asks Archie to deliver to school on Monday.
- Archie finds a spider in a bag of bananas. Find out about different types of spiders and write a report about one of them.
- The Brazilian Wandering Spider is venomous. Can you find out how different types of animals are able to defend themselves?
- On Wednesday, Archie and Cyd put out a fire in Miss Henley’s handbag. What is fire? What causes it? Can you design a poster to teach people about fire safety rules?
- Mr Halibut, a health and safety inspector, visits the school on Friday. Can you think of some sensible rules to keep everyone in your class / school safe and make a poster based on these?
- At the start of the book, Archie struggles to communicate because of his dentist’s injection. Think of the different ways that people can communicate. Which of these might have been able to help Archie to tell the teachers about Mrs Boyd?
- Design a contraption that will trap the Brazilian Wandering Spider without harming it.
- Archie, Cyd and Miss Henley write rescue messages on paper planes when they are locked in the stock cupboard. Can you design your own paper planes? Could you have a competition to see whose paper plane will fly the furthest?
- Archie takes Mr. Halibut on a tour of his school. Can you draw a map of your school and add notes to show people the different features?
- Archie gets two lollies from the head teacher on Friday, which he says is a bit like a soldier being awarded the Victoria Cross. Can you find out more about this award? Who receives it? Why are they given it?
- Archie’s teacher on Wednesday (Miss Henley) has ‘deep sadness in her eyes’. Can you think of ways that the children might be able to cheer her up?