Friday, July 19, 2024
Esio Trot

Esio Trot

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Roald Dahl

The wonderful, warm-hearted story of Mr Hoppy, Mrs Silver and the tortoise who brings them together.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • ‘Esio Trot’ is ‘Tortoise’ spelt backwards. Try spelling other words backwards. Do they make a funny word? Do they make a real word?
  • Find out about Palindromes… words that can be read the same way in either direction (e.g. dad, level, noon). Can you think of any more?
  • Find out about?Semordnilap… words that make a different word when you read them backwards (e.g. star = rats, stop = pots, stressed = desserts). Can you find other examples?
  • Write a letter from Mr. Hoppy to Mrs. Silver (at the beginning of the book) inviting her to a cup of tea and a biscuit.
  • Write a story about a ‘great feat’ that Mr. Hoppy might perform to make him a hero in Mrs. Silver’s eyes.
  • Create a report to teach others how to look after a tortoise, or another pet of your choice.
  • Write a new story about an adventure that a tortoise might have.
  • Write your own rhyme that might make Alfie grow (using forwards or backwards words).
  • Find some examples of speech between Mr. Hoppy and Mrs. Silver. Can you use these to write a play script for part of the story?
  • Look at the ‘Introducing…’ page at the start of the book. Can you write a sentence / paragraph to describe each character in the story?
  • Write a letter to an animal charity asking them about their work.
  • Listen to the audiobook version of the story. Could you record your own retelling?
  • Retell the story from Alfie’s point of view.


  • Mr. Hoppy weighs the tortoises in ounces. Can you convert the measurements into metric measurements?
  • Tortoises can live for a hundred years. Can you find out the life expectancy of other animals? Could you put these into a chart / graph?
  • Create a graph that shows how the changes in the weights of each tortoise.
  • Imagine that each tortoise needs to eat 30% of its own body weight in lettuce each day. How much would this be for Alfie? How much would it be for the heavier tortoises?
  • Draw a selection of tortoises of different weights. Can you put them in order from lightest to heaviest?
  • Mr. Hoppy imagines that the distance between his balcony and Mrs. Silver’s is a million miles. How far is this? If you would travel a million miles, where might you end up?


  • Find out about hibernation. Why do tortoises do this? What other animals hibernate in the winter?
  • Create a report about tortoises. Where do they live? What do they eat?
  • The ‘Author’s Note’ at the start of the book explains why it became illegal to bring tortoises into the country. Can you find out about animal welfare and charities who help to look after animals?


  • Use painting software to paint a tortoise shell pattern.
  • Use desktop publishing software to design an invitation to Mr. Hoppy and Mrs. Silver’s wedding.

Design Technology

  • Design a new house for the largest tortoise to fit into.
  • Can you design and make a ‘grabber’ to pick up something that is far away?


  • Paint a picture which shows all of the beautiful flowers on Mr. Hoppy’s balcony.
  • Make your own tortoise mask.
  • Colour the tortoise colouring pages?(see Resources below).


  • Compose a tune that Mrs Silver can sing when she is reciting the ‘Esio Trot’ magic words.


  • Mr. Hoppy is jealous of Alfie the tortoise. What does it mean to feel jealous? Have you ever felt jealous of somebody?
  • Mr. Hoppy tricks Mrs. Silver to make her feel a little happier. How do you think she would feel if she found out about the trick?
  • Could you organise and carry out a fundraising activity to support an animal charity?


  Tortoise Colouring Page

Tortoise Colouring Page 1

Download File

Tortoise Colouring Page

Tortoise Colouring Page 2

Download File

Tortoise Colouring Page

Tortoise Colouring Page 3

Download File

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