Alfie the deerhound is a large grey puppy. He loves his boy Charlie, and cheese, and he’s very good at digging holes. But poor Alfie has got lost and he’s scared – of thunderstorms and being hungry and never seeing Charlie again…
Meanwhile, Charlie doesn’t know what to do – but one thing is for sure: he’ll never stop looking for his dear hound. Can Alfie ever find his way back to Charlie – and his great big squashy beanbag in the kitchen?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- The book begins with 11 facts about deerhounds. Could you create a fact file about a pet that you own, or about another animal?
- Deerhounds ‘have the most expressive ears in the dog world’. What does ‘expressive’ mean?
- Write a story about a different breed of dog. What are the special features of that breed and how could you include them in the story?
- Chapter One begins, ‘It was the start of a perfect autumn day… the sort of day when only good things should happen’. Write another story using this beginning.
- Lots of the animals talk to each other in the story. Use this to investigate the use of speech and speech marks.
- Different words are used to describe the ways that the animals speak (e.g. barking himself hoarse, yowled, said sternly, mumbled). Can you make a list of these? Can you write some sentences using each of them?
- Alfie meets lots of other dogs at Jenny’s house. Create a character profile for one of them, explaining what their life is like in their real home.
- Make a ‘Lost’ poster using the template (see Resources below).
- Think of some captions and / or speech bubbles for each of the illustrations in the story.
- Find out about the animals in the story (Alfie – Deerhound, Sunset and Fixit – Foxes, Florence and Humbug – Cats). How are they similar / different? What do they need to survive? How do they live in their different environments?
- Design a meal for Alfie and the foxes so that they don’t have to hunt through bins. What food might they like to eat?
- Use a paint program or publishing software to create a ‘Lost Dog’ poster, which Charlie can put up around the local area.
- Use audio recording equipment to interview each of the characters in the story about their adventure.
- Design a machine that could help Charlie track Alfie if he were to get lost again.
- Look at the ‘Deerhound Earstyles’ pictures at the front of the book. Could you draw pictures of yourself with different expressions which show how you are feeling?
- Look at photos of some of the animals in the story. Could you paint / draw your own pictures of these?
- Make a map which shows the locations shown in the story. Where does Alfie find himself at different points in the story?
- Alfie and the other characters experience a range of emotions throughout the story. Can you describe how they are feeling at different points? Can you find words / phrases which describe this (e.g. heartrending howls… he laughed through his tears)?
- Alfie and the foxes become a good team in the story. How do they help each other? How do different teams work together?