Saturday, July 20, 2024
Sharing a Shell

Sharing A Shell

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Julia Donaldson

The tiny hermit crab loves his new shell. He doesn’t want to share it — not with a blobby purple anenome and a tickly bristleworm. But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks, and soon he finds he needs his new housemates in this rollicking story of sea, shells and friendship.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Retell the story from the point of view of the crab.
  • Make a list of the rhyming words in the story.
  • Investigate the rhyming patterns on each page of the book.
  • Make a list of the words that describe movements in the story, e.g. roaming, romping, rollicking. Can you think of any more?
  • Look at the use of punctuation in the story. When have full stops, commas, questions marks, exclamation marks (etc.) been used and why?
  • Retell the story in the form of a playscript, adding speech and stage directions where appropriate.


  • Make a list of animals / plants that you might find in seaside habitats. How many different types of habitats can you find there (beach / rock pools / ocean)?
  • Make some food chains showing animals and plants mentioned in the story.
  • Choose one of the animals in the story and find out about it. Can you write a report about where it lives, what it eats, how it might defend itself etc.?


  • Make an animation that shows a sea creature moving.
  • Make a video to retell the story. Can you include pictures, narration, music and sound effects? Watch this example for inspiration:

Design Technology

  • Design (and build) a new home for the three creatures to share.
  • Create some puppets of the crab, anemone and bristle worm. Could you use these to perform the story to an audience?


  • Create your own illustrations of the creatures / places mentioned in the story.
  • How is glitter used in the illustrations? Think about the different materials that artists can use and try to use them in different ways.


  • Can you compose a tune to accompany some of the verses in the story?


  • Look on a map and find the location of your nearest beach. How would you get there? How long would the journey take?


  • Is there a ‘moral’ to this story? Does it teach us anything?
  • Think about people who help you. What do they do? What can you do to help them?

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