Thursday, May 23, 2024
Grandad's Island

Grandad’s Island

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Benji Davies

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:

Design Technology

  • 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?

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