Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Mr Gumpy's Outing

Mr Gumpy’s Outing

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by John Burningham

One day, Mr Gumpy decides to take a trip along the river in his boat, but the children, the rabbit, the cat, the pig and lots more friends decide to join him. Everyone’s having a lovely time until the animals start kicking, bleating, hopping and flapping, and the boat starts to rock.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • There are a number of books featuring Mr Gumpy. Can you write a new story about him?
  • Make a character profile for Mr Gumpy. Who is he? Where does he live? What is his personality like?
  • Use the speech to rewrite the story in the form of a playscript. Can you add suitable stage directions?
  • Rewrite the story from Mr Gumpy’s point of view.
  • Think of some questions that you could ask Mr Gumpy in an interview. How did he feel about the events that took place that day?
  • There is one very long sentence in the book that uses ‘and’ lots of times. Why did the author use ‘and’ so many times? Can you rewrite this sentence using commas for the list of animals?
  • Look at the use of punctuation in the story. Can you find any question marks / speech marks / apostrophes? Why have these been used?
  • If you’re planning to make a display board about this book, or about the author, make sure you download our ‘John Burningham’ banner below.


  • Can you estimate the weight of the different people and animals who got into the boat? What is the total?
  • Make a timetable showing the different events that took place in the story. What time might each event have happened? Can you make up some questions based on your timetable?


  • Think about the forces that are taking place when Mr Gumpy is using his boat. Why do boats float? Can you plan an investigation to see how much cargo a boat can carry before sinking?
  • Plan a healthy tea for the people and animals at the end of their boat ride.


  • Use painting software to design a new boat for Mr Gumpy.

Design Technology

  • Make a model of Mr Gumpy’s boat.


  • Look at the different styles of illustration in the book. Can you try to create your own pictures using similar techniques?
  • Draw a picture showing all of the people and animals in the boat.


  • Mr Gumpy lives in a house by a river. Can you look on a map and find some houses by a river? Which one might Mr Gumpy live in?


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