Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Tunnel

The Tunnel

by Mark Warner
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Once upon a time, there lived a brother and sister who were complete opposites and constantly fought and argued. One day they discovered the tunnel. The boy goes through it at once, dismissing his sister’s fears. When he doesn’t return, his sister has to pluck up the courage to go through the tunnel too. She finds her brother in a mysterious forest where he has been turned to stone…

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write a new story with the title ‘The Tunnel’. Who are the characters? Where does the tunnel lead to?
  • Look at the photos of different tunnels (see Resources below). Choose one and write about it… what does it look like? Where does it lead? Could you write an adventure story about it?
  • Imagine that a tunnel has been found on your school grounds. Where does it lead? What / who is hidden inside it?
  • Read the blurb on the back of the book and predict what might happen to the sister and brother.
  • Write a character profile about the brother and the sister. What do they look like? What do they like doing?
  • The sister lies awake at night, ‘listening to the noises of the night’. Can you describe what these noises might sound like?
  • Could you act out the story, adding speech and actions where appropriate?
  • Could you rewrite the story in the form of a play using narration, speech and stage directions?
  • Try to write the story in the girl’s book.
  • Look at the objects on the waste ground. Could you write a story which explains how they got there?
  • The girl struggles to decide whether to go into the tunnel or not. Can you think of reasons for / against entering it?
  • Read the story up to the point where the girl first enters the tunnel. Write what might happen next.
  • Read the words used to describe the inside of the tunnel. Can you think of any more words that might be suitable?
  • Think about how the boy and girl have changed throughout the story. How did they feel towards each other at the beginning? How did they feel at the end?


  • The sister lies awake at night ‘listening to the noises of the night’. Think about how different noises sound. How are they made? How could we muffle sounds to make them quieter and help the girl to sleep?

Design Technology

  • Look at examples of tunnels. How have they been constructed? What techniques do people use to make sure that they are strong and safe?


  • Look at the different patterns in the illustrations (in the wallpaper, brickwork, fabric etc). Could you try to create your own patterns using different art materials?
  • Look carefully at the illustrations. Can you spot any hidden objects? where are they? Could you draw your own picture with lots of interesting objects to find?
  • Look at the graffiti in the picture of the waste ground. Find out about graffiti and talk about the arguments for and against it. Could you design your own on paper using different Art materials?
  • Look at the strange textures and images on the illustrations of the tree trunks. What can you see on them?
  • The brother gets turned into stone at one point in the story. Could you sculpt a model (of a person or another object) using clay / plasticine?
  • Look at how the colours in the illustrations change as the sister cuddles her brother. Can you try to make different shades of each colour by mixing paint?


  • Find the locations of different tunnels on a map. What are they used for? Where do they go to?


  • The brother and sister are different ‘in every way’. Think about how you are similar / different to your friends and family.
  • The brother and sister argue a lot. Think about why arguments are caused. How can we help to resolve problems with our friends and family when they occur?
  • Look at the body language of the children in the illustrations. What does it tell us about how they are feeling? Can you ‘act’ different emotions by changing your body language / facial expressions?
  • Think about the emotions of the boy and girl at each point in the story. How are they feeling? Why are they feeling like that?



Tunnel Pictures

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