Greedy squirrels Cyril and Bruce both have their sights on a very special prize: THE VERY LAST NUT OF THE SEASON! As the nut bounces crazily through the forest, the squirrels race after it, between the trees, over boulders, down the river and – ARGH! – right to the edge of a waterfall! Working together might be the only way to save themselves now …
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- The title of this story features alliteration (squirrels, squabbled). Can you think of other examples of alliteration? Can you make up your own story titles that use it too?
- Choose one of the illustrations in the book and think of some words and phrases that describe the setting. How does the author describe the setting?
- Retell the story in the form of diary entries from Cyril and Bruce.
- Make a list of the rhyming words in the book. Can you use these to start your own rhyming dictionary?
- Look at the use of speech marks in the story. Can you choose a page and rewrite it using reported speech?
- Think of some speech and thought bubbles to accompany the illustrations.
- Write a review of this book that could be used on the bookshelf in a shop or in an online store.
- Make a plan for Cyril to help him save food for the winter. If he needs to eat 5 nuts every day, how many nuts will he need to save for November? How many nuts will he need for the whole of winter?
- Find out more about squirrels and write a report about them.
- Do squirrels live in your local area? Find out about wild animals that have homes where you live.
- Why do we have seasons? Can you explain this to a friend?
- Design a game in which a squirrel has to catch the last pine-nut.
- Design a web page to promote this book to an audience.
- Watch this trailer to promote the book. Could you make your own?
- Record your own ‘read-aloud’ video that retells this story. Watch this example for inspiration:
- Can you make a model of a squirrel or a forest?
- Look at the facial expressions of the characters in the illustrations. How are they feeling? Can you draw a number of self-portraits that portray different emotions?
- Look at the pages that show four illustrations in columns/rows. Can you use this technique to show a sequence of actions? Use our templates below to help.
- Use natural materials (e.g. leaves, pinecones, sticks) to create some artwork. Look at examples by Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration.
- Look at photos of forests in different seasons. Can you use these as inspiration for your own illustrations and paintings?
- Create a comic strip about Spontaneous Cyril. What adventures might he have?
- What does it mean to be ‘spontaneous’? Do you prefer to be spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
- What is the moral of this story? Can you think of other stories that try to share a moral with the reader?