Syd loves Grandad. Grandad loves Syd. And that will never change. This beautiful book shows how those who are dear to us remain near to us – however far away they may seem.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Retell the story from Syd’s (or Grandad’s) point of view.
- How would you describe Grandad’s house? Could you write a sentence / paragraph to describe it? How would you describe the island?
- Make a list of similarities and differences between Grandad’s house and the island. Where would you prefer to live (and why)?
- Write a new story about a secret that is hidden in the attic of a house.
- What objects can you see in Grandad’s attic? Discuss what each object might be and where Grandad got it from.
- Can you find any examples of onomatopoeia in the story (e.g. CLUNK)?
- When Syd looked out from the deck of the ship, ‘there was an ocean of rooftops all around’. Is this a simile or a metaphor? Why?
- Imagine that a member of your family has a secret ship (or a different type of vehicle). Where would you go to?
- When they’re travelling on the ship, all Syd saw was ‘sea and sky, sky and sea’. Why has the author repeated this phrase (and in a different order)?
- Write a letter that might be inside the envelope that Syd receives at the end of the story.
- Imagine that you had your own island. What would you do there? How would you survive?
- Write a review of this book in ten words.
- Design a new ship for Grandad using different materials and test to see if it will float. Could you have a competition with your friends to see which ship will hold the most cargo without sinking?
- Find out about jungle habitats. What kinds of animals and plants live there? How are they adapted to live in those conditions?
- Could you create a food chain / web for a jungle habitat?
- Make a stop-motion animation of a ship sailing the seas. Where might it travel to and what will happen when it gets there?
- Could you make an animated trailer to promote this book? Watch this example for inspiration:
- Could you create a model of Grandad’s ship (or his island)?
- Create a set of labelled plans that show the different parts of a ship.
- Design a new shelter for Grandad and Syd to use on the island.
- Look at photos of the jungle (or tropical islands) and use these as the starting point for your own pictures and paintings.
- Syd and Grandad explore the island and paint the things that they see. Could you try to produce some of their paintings?
- Draw Syd’s view as he is waving goodbye to Grandad at the end of the story.
- Create some jungle-themed music.
- Could you create some musical instruments using natural materials that you might find outdoors?
- Imagine that you could travel on Grandad’s ship. Use a map to plan the journey that you would take around the world.
- If you could travel to Grandad’s island, what things would you need to take with you? Explain why you will need each item.
- Find out about the history of exploration. Can you learn about people who have discovered new lands?
- Syd will never see his Grandad again. How might this make him feel? How do we feel when we have to say goodbye to somebody that we love?