Monday, April 15, 2024
The Lost Thing

The Lost Thing

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Shaun Tan

A man finds a lost thing on the beach. Where did it come from? Where does it belong? What will he do with it?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Use the title ‘The Lost Thing’ as the starting point for your own story.
  • The story is written in the first person. Can you rewrite part of it in the third person?
  • Write a character profile for Shaun.
  • Think of some questions that you would like to ask Shaun. How might he respond?
  • Think of some speech / thought bubbles to add to the illustrations.
  • Write a prequel to this story that explains where the Lost Thing came from.
  • Write a sequel in which Shaun meets the Lost Thing again.
  • Watch the short film that is based on this story. How are they similar / different? Which do you prefer?
  • Imagine the Lost Thing could talk. What would it say? Write a conversation between it and Shaun.
  • Write a newspaper article about the appearance of the Lost Thing.
  • The audio talks about the book in this video. Think of some questions that you would like to ask him:

  • Watch the animated version of the story. How does it compare to the book? Which do you prefer? Why?


  • Use art software to design your own ‘Lost Thing’.
  • Use publishing software to design a ‘Missing’ poster for the Lost Thing.
  • Create a video report about a sighting of a ‘Lost Thing’ on the beach.
  • In the following videos, the author talks about the development of the movie. Could you create some digital illustrations, animations or 3D models based on this book (or another of your favourite books)?

Design Technology

  • Make a model of the Lost Thing.
  • Create a labelled diagram of the Lost Thing. What different parts / features does it have? What materials might they be made from?
  • Design some puppets to use in a stage version of this story.


  • Design a bottle top to add to Shaun’s collection.
  • Create your own illustrations of the place where Shaun takes the Lost Thing to.
  • Design a new ‘Thing’ that might live in the place where the Lost Thing ended up.
  • Try drawing the Lost Thing by following the tips in this video:


  • Think of a time when you lost something. How did it make you feel?
  • Shaun had a dilemma when he worries that he can’t keep the Lost Thing in the shed forever.

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