Lucy Dungston has woken up to find all the grown-ups in her town have disappeared. Lucy’s friends are thrilled there are no more grown-ups. They’re running wild! They’re building roads of trampolines, and eating cereal for every meal. But Lucy wants her mum back, and nothing is going to stop her. Even if it means having to venture into the strange, upside-down world of the mysterious monsters under her bed! And the upside-down world isn’t the most hygienic of places . . .
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Before starting the story, talk about who or what ‘Creakers’ are. Where do they live? What do they look like? What do they do?
- Make an acrostic poem based on the word ‘CREAKERS’.
- Read the poem on the first page. Could you make up your own rhyming poem about some unusual creatures?
- CREAK is an example of onomatopoeia. Can you think of other examples? Make a poster to show them all.
- Make character profiles for Lucy, Norman and Ella. How would you describe them?
- Make up your own story about a time when all of the parents in the world disappeared. How might the children respond?
- The children tried to watch the news on ‘the day it all began’, but the news presenter was missing. Imagine they decided to create the report themselves. Could you write their script? Could you record the report?
- Choose a part of the story and retell it from Lucy’s point of view.
- Write a set of instructions to help the children manage their household jobs without their parents.
- At different points in the story, the author talks directly to the reader. Can you use this technique in your own writing?
- Write a diary entry from the point of view of one of the Creakers.
- Can you proofread the Creaker’s letter to the children? What mistakes did they make? Could you write a new letter from the Creakers?
- Ella believes that, as her dad has gone, she has become the new mayor of Whiffington. Write a story about a child who becomes mayor, prime minister or president.
- Write some dialogue between two Creakers. What might they say to each other? What unusual words and phrases do they use?
- Write a new story about a child who sinks into the ground beneath their bed.
- Write a news report about the naughty things the children did while their parents were away. Chapter 9 describes lots of these.
- The author uses lots of different words instead of said (e.g. growled, burbled, shrieked, squealed). Can you make a collection of them to use in your own writing?
- Make up a glossary of the unusual words that the Creakers use (e.g. Woleb, kidderling, dozy dust, noggin).
- Write a letter to the King of the Creakers, asking him to give your parents back.
- Make some adverts for the places in the Woleb, e.g. Creakerland, the swimming pool filled with live rats and cockroaches, or the restaurant serving leftover Brussels sprouts (see Chapter 17).
- When they are in the Woleb, the grown-ups behave like children. Can you use this idea for a story of your own?
- Could you write a sequel to this story?
- In the following video, the author talks about the inspiration behind the book. Can you think of some questions that you would like to ask him?
- Try recording a ‘read-along’ video based on this book. Here is one example:
- Make a timetable showing the activities that you would try if you woke up and there were no grown-ups for a day. Use this to make up some word problems to challenge others.
- Use illustration software to design a new cover for the book.
- Make a game in which a Creaker tries to steal some rubbish from a child’s bedroom.
- Lucy’s dad becomes the King of the Creakers. Could you edit your own photo to turn yourself into a Creaker?
- Could you record a trailer for this book? Here are some examples that you could use for inspiration:
- Design your own trap that could be used to catch a Creaker. Look at Norman’s plan in Chapter 10 for some ideas.
- Make a model or sculpture of a Creaker.
- Make a model of a new ride for Creakerland.
- Before reading the story, draw what you think a Creaker looks like.
- Create your own illustrations of the Creakers, based on the descriptions of them in the book, e.g. beady black eyes, long pointy claws (see Chapter 11).
- Norman Quirk collected achievement badges on his Scout uniform. Could you design some new badges for him?
- Some of the illustrations show silhouettes of the Creamers. Can you draw your own silhouette pictures?
- Make your own life-size pictures of the Creakers.
- Make a comic strip about the Creakers.
- Compose a melody for Lucy’s Lullaby, the song that her dad used to play to her every night.
- Make a map showing Whiffington, the Woleb and all of the places mentioned in the story.
- The Creakers love to use human rubbish for their underground world. Make a poster to encourage people to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle things they don’t need any more.
- Draw a map to help people find their way around Creakerland.
- Lucy’s dad said that “Sometimes people who are different get laughed at, but it’s always the different ones who make a difference.” What does it mean to be different? How are you similar / different to others? How should we treat people who are different from ourselves? How can you make a difference?
- Lucy is responsible and all of the children look to her for support when the grown-ups disappear. What does it mean to be responsible? What are you responsible for? How do our responsibilities change as we get older?
- Lucy’s dad says that crying is when all the sad stuff inside your mind builds up so much that it starts to leak out of your eyes. Can you think of a time when you have felt like crying?
- Lucy’s mum says ‘Impossible isn’t real. It’s just in your mind.’ Think of something that people sometimes think is impossible. How could you achieve / overcome it?