A very naughty thief has stolen the Queen’s handbag! There’s only one thing to do: chase the thief all over the landmarks of Great Britain! Hold on to your hats and join the Queen in this epic wild goose chase after one sneaky swan by car, motorbike, plane, boat, and more to get her handbag back!
Young children will love the search-and-find fun of the story, the hysterical mayhem that breaks loose, and Steve Antony’s winning art style. The Queen’s Handbag celebrates some of Great Britain’s most famous sites, like Stonehenge and Edinburgh Castle.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Collect all the different verbs of movement (e.g. drove, rode) in the text then add your own to the list.
- Write your own version where one or more elements of the story is changed: a different item is stolen, from a different person, by a different thief.
- Make a list of prepositions used in the text, and draw a picture to illustrate each one. .
- A sneaky swan swooped is a good example of alliteration. Can you invent some more alliterative phrases using this pattern?
- Make a storyboard of the book.
- Video yourself or a friend reading the book. Can you add actions to make it more exciting?
- Write a newspaper report of the incident.
- Rewrite the story from the point of view of one of the police officers.
- Watch this animated version of the myth of Finn McCool and write a narration for how the Giant’s Causeway was formed (according to the legend!).
- Try our ideas for The Queen’s Hat, another super book in this series.
- There are lots of counting opportunities in this book. Choose a page and count how many police officers, or vehicles are on it.
- Research the speeds of the different modes of transport the Queen uses. Can you put them in order from fastest to slowest?
- For older children, work out how many miles the Queen travelled, using a mapping tool to work out the distances between the landmarks.
- Generate some multiplication questions based on the pictures; for example, If there are four police officers, each riding a bicycle, how many bicycle wheels are there? Outside Windsor Castle, there are seven police cars, each with four black stripes. How many black stripes are there altogether?
- Look at the illustrations. How many shapes can you find? Where can you see a rectangle or a circle? Can you find horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, or parallel lines?
- Create some word problems based on visiting the landmarks. For example, if it costs £20 for an adult and £10 for a child to visit Stonehenge, or £50 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), which is the best way to pay for a family of two adults and two children)? If a return train ticket to Dover is £5 for an adult and £3 for a child, how much will it cost for one adult and three children to take the train to visit the White Cliffs?
- Investigate flight with these great hands-on science ideas from the Science Museum.
- Make your own parachute.
- Investigate which materials make the best boat.
- The White Cliffs of Dover are made from chalk. Experiment with a piece of chalk. Why is it good for writing with? Is it hard? Is it permeable?
- Use Google Slides or PowerPoint to make a presentation about the landmarks in the book.
- Take a virtual tour of one of the landmarks (e.g. Windsor Castle).
- Design a game where the queen chases the swan to try and get her handbag back.
- Design a new police uniform.
- Design a new mode of transport for a monarch. What features would you include?
- Visit the Red Arrows page and click View 3D model for a close look at a Red Arrow jet.
- Have a look at some more of Antony Gormley’s work on the Royal Academy website.
- If a monarch visited your area, what public art would they see? Go out and photograph or sketch it.
- Look at some foggy pictures of London, like this one: The Thames above Waterloo Bridge by JMW Turner. Try using pastels or watercolours to create your own.
- Try producing your own versions of lines of police officers in different poses, like the ones on the cover and endpapers.
- Visit Steve Antony’s website to take a close-up look at some of the artwork. What is the effect of only using red, white, blue and black? Try making your own red, white, blue and black pictures.
- Compose a piece of music to soundtrack the book. Listen to some up-tempo classical music for inspiration, for example, the Russlan and Ludmilla Overture by Glinka or the Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.
- Map the Queen’s journey on a paper or online map.
- Make a list of the different modes of transport the Queen uses. Which ones have you used? Which would be best for long journeys? Which ones are better suited to short journeys?
- Choose one of the landmarks and research it. Find it on Google Maps. Is it natural (physical) or manmade (human)?
- Research the flags of the four countries of the United Kingdom and how the Union flag is made up. This is a good site to use.
- Find out more about Snowdonia on this Kiddle page.
- Take a closer look at the Giant’s Causeway and find out how it was formed.
- Test your knowledge of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.
- Create a tourist guide for one of the landmarks in the story.
- Put the landmarks on a timeline from oldest to newest.
- Create a fact file about the history of the White Cliffs of Dover. This page has useful information to get you started.
- Find out how people rode a Penny Farthing with this video. Would you have liked to ride one?
- Learn about the development of modes of transport with this video.
- Try one of our ideas from our Castles theme.
- Try running a mini-marathon (or perhaps a mile).
- Create a “map” of equipment and choose a different way to travel between each activity.
- The police help the Queen in the story. In what other ways do the police help us? What other jobs are done to help us?