Birt and Etho are best friends, they play on Sudden Hill, making marvellous contraptions out of cardboard boxes. But then a new boy, Shu, wants to join in too. Birt isn’t sure that he wants Shu to join them. Eaten up with jealousy, he goes home and refuses to come out to play. Until Etho and Shu come to his house with the most marvellous cardboard contraption so far…
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Look at the front cover. What do you think happens in this story? Where is Sudden Hill? What happens on it?
- Make a list of things that you could use a cardboard box for.
- Write a story that describes one of the adventures that Birt and Etho have at the top of Sudden Hill.
- Make a list of the verbs that the author has used in the story (e.g. sailing, running, leaping).
- Think of some speech / thought bubbles to accompany the illustrations in the book.
- Retell the story from each child’s point of view. How might the points of view differ?
- Write an acrostic poem based on the name ‘Sudden Hill’.
- Write about an adventure that the boys have with ‘Mr ClimbFierce’.
- Make a list of words that you would use to describe each of the boys. How do their characters change throughout the story?
- Make nets of cubes and cuboids to create boxes that Birt and Etho might play with.
- Use nets to make your own small cardboard boxes.
- Can you make your own model of ‘Mr ClimbFierce’?
- Draw the view from the top of Sudden Hill.
- Birt loves the ‘two-by-two rhythm’ that he has with his friend. What is a rhythm in music?
- Draw a map that shows Sudden Hill and the surrounding area.
- How are hills shown on a map? Discuss the use of contour lines to show the height of places on a map.
- At first, Birt isn’t very happy when Shu arrives. Why is this? How could he have dealt with the situation differently?
- Has a new person ever joined your group of friends? How did this make you feel? What could you do to welcome a new person to your class or friendship group?
- Look at the illustrations in the book. How are the characters feeling? How can you tell?
- At the end of the story, Birt has adapted to the change in his friendship group. Can you think of a time when something has changed in your life? How did it affect you?