Two scarecrows, Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay, are planning the perfect wedding. But wicked scarecrow, Reginald Rake, has other ideas and almost ruins their special day. Harry must become a hero before he and Betty can have the wedding of their dreams.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Find all of the rhyming words in the story. Use them to make your own rhyming dictionary.
- Write your own story about the adventures of a scarecrow.
- Write a prequel to the story in which Betty and Harry meet for the first time.
- Create some captions, speech bubbles and thought bubbles for each illustration.
- Create a new page for the story, in which a different group of animals contribute something to the scarecrows’ wedding.
- Create a newspaper report about ‘the wedding that no one will ever forget’.
- Retell the story from Harry’s, Betty’s or Reginald’s point of view.
- Make a list of questions that you could ask the characters in the story. How might they reply?
- Make a list of words / phrases to describe each character in the story.
- Create a set of instructions that teach others how to make a scarecrow.
- This story has been adapted into a theatre production. Could you write your own play script and perform it to an audience?
- When the book was first published, some adults complained that it includes smoking. Discuss whether children’s stories should include references to smoking or not.
- Make a list of things that might be needed for a wedding. Can you find out how much these things might cost? Use this information to make your own word problems.
- Harry thinks that he needs ‘a jug or a vase or a cup or a tin’ to carry the water. Can you think of any other items that can be used to carry water? Estimate or measure how much liquid each can hold.
- Why do farmers put scarecrows in their fields? Find out other ways that farmers help their crops to grow.
- Make a list of all of the animals that you can see in the illustrations. Could you make a food chain using some of them?
- Find out about fire safety. Could you make a poster, advert or website to teach others how to stay safe?
- Use publishing software to create some invitations to the wedding.
- Listen to this audio version of the beginning of the story (performed by Julia and Malcolm Donaldson). Could you record your own version with music and sound effects?
- Create your own video review of this story. Use this example for inspiration:
- Design some wedding clothes for a scarecrow… and other clothes for different occasions (see Resources below).
- Make your own model (or life-size) scarecrows. Could you set up a scarecrow trail around your school?
- Look at photos of different scarecrows and use these as the inspiration for your own illustrations (see Resources below).
- Create a story map that shows the locations on the farm and the events that took place there.
- Plan a honeymoon for the scarecrow couple. Where should they go on holiday? How will they get there? What will they need to take?
- Scarecrow trails take place in lots of places around the UK. Can you find the location of your nearest one?
- Make a list of the ways that the animals helped Betty and Harry. Make a list of ways that you can help others each day.
- Find out how smoking can affect the body.
- Make a poster to teach others how to stay fit and healthy.