Billy doesn’t believe his Grandad when he tells him there’s a giant living in his town, doing good deeds for everyone. He knows that a giant is too big to keep himself hidden. And why would he WANT to keep himself a secret? But as time goes on, Billy learns that some secrets are too BIG to stay secret for long…
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Write your own story based on the title ‘Grandad’s Secret ______’ or ‘Grandma’s Secret ______’.
- Retell the story (or part of it) from the point of view of Billy, Grandad or the giant.
- Write a diary entry from Billy’s point of view for the day when he first saw the giant.
- Think of a ‘backstory’ for the giant. Where did he come from?
- Write a sequel to this book about an adventure that Billy, Grandad and the giant might have together.
- Rewrite sections of the story using direct and reported speech.
- Find the similes that Grandad uses to describe the giant. Can you think of any more? Make a simile notebook to collect examples that you find in other books.
- Write a newspaper article about the discovery of a giant who helps people in secret.
- The author uses many different words instead of ‘said’. Can you find them all? Could you change some of them and describe how this might change the meaning of the text? (e.g. ‘“Yes, Grandad,” mumbled / screamed / cried Grandad)
- Think of some questions that you would like to ask the giant. How might he respond?
- Think of synonyms for ‘giant’. How many have already been used in the story?
- Can you think of other books that include giants? How are they similar / different? Could you write your own story about a giant (or a group of them)?
- Measure the heights of the children in your class. Estimate the height of the giant.
- Billy says that it was ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ for a giant to rescue their boat. Think of things that are certain, likely, unlikely and impossible. Use this as the starting point for other work about probability.
- In the illustrations, the giant appears to blend into the background. Find out how animals use camouflage to achieve the same effect.
- Make a stop-motion animation that retells this story or tells a similar story about somebody who is ‘different’.
- Watch this retelling of the story. Could you make your own version?
- Watch this animated trailer for the book. Could you create something similar?
- Can you design some new clothes for the giant? Could you stitch some new patchwork dungarees for him?
- Look at the illustrations on the inside front and back covers. How are they similar / different? Could you create two different pictures of the same place at different times of the day? How might this affect your choice of colours?
- The people living in the town couldn’t finish the mural, so the giant completed it for them. Could you start a picture or painting and ask a friend to complete it?
- Find a place with a blank wall. Could you design and (with permission) paint a mural there?
- Look at the illustrations in which the giant is hiding. Could you create your own pictures that include hidden objects (or people) that others have to find?
- Imagine that Billy and the giant are looking at the same place. Can you draw their different views (from different heights)?
- Think of some thought bubbles for the characters in the illustrations. What are they thinking / feeling? How can you tell?
- ‘People are scared of things that are different’. What does this mean? Can you think of examples of this? When is it good to be different?
- Grandad says ‘We all make mistakes sometimes’. Can you think of times when you have made mistakes? How did you deal with them?
- The giant wants a friend when he is upset. What does it mean to be a good friend? Look at our ‘Instructions to make a good friend‘ resources for ideas.