With an action outfit for every occasion, Traction Man patrols the house. Whether he is saving toys (in latex space suit and Perspex helmet, teamed with Rocket Boots); searching the sink for the lost wreck of the sieve (in sub-aqua suit, fluorescent flippers and infra-red mask) or rescuing damsels in distress (in jungle pants, camouflage vest and a bandanna), Traction Man is never less than stylishly turned out and expertly accessorised. He is the last word in heroic fashion flair – until, that is, the day that he is presented with an all-in-one knitted green romper suit and matching bonnet by his owner’s granny.
Can Traction Man overcome the humiliation of his desperately dowdy new look and rediscover the action hero within or will the burden of the knitted green monstrosity be too great?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- The inside cover shows a letter from Traction Man’s owner to Santa, explaining that his old Traction Man had a ‘Terrible Parachute Accident’. Can you write a story about this to explain what happened?
- Write a letter from the boy to Santa to say ‘Thank you’ for the new Traction Man toy.
- Retell the story from Traction Man’s point of view.
- Create a written, radio or video advert to persuade children to buy a new Traction Man toy.
- Traction Man uses everyday household objects to carry out his adventures. Think of other objects and make a list of ways that Traction Man could use them… or ways that they could cause problems for him!
- Choose one of the pictures and think of a caption to describe what is happening.
- Traction Man’s Warfare Shirt is covered in examples of onomatopoeia. Can you think of any more?
- Write a story about a new Traction Man adventure, e.g. Traction Man repairs the Giant Intergalactic People Mover.
- Create character profiles for all of the characters in the story, including the boy and his family.
- Find the descriptive language used in the story (e.g. foamy waters, supersonic, hoist) and use this to create a collection of vocabulary that you can use in your own writing.
- Make a set of instructions to teach people how to look after a pet scrubbing brush.
- Carry out some drama activities based on the story. Could you perform part of it… or try some hot-seating to ask ‘Traction Man’ some questions?
- At the end of the story, an evil pair of scissors is approaching Traction Man and Scrubbing Brush. Can you write about what happens next?
- Research different action figures that are available for sale in local shops / online. Make a table to show the features and prices. Use sorting diagrams to compare them. Carry out a survey to find out which one(s) people prefer.
- Make a video trailer to promote the Traction Man series of books.
- Make a website to advertise the books.
- Create your own video retelling of the story. Watch these examples:
- Find an action figure and use it to create a Traction Man stop motion animation or video. Watch this example for inspiration:
- Make your own model of Traction Man and / or Scrubbing Brush.
- Design (and make) a set of new costumes for Traction Man. Use the Character outlines below to plan your designs.
- Design and build a box for a new Traction Man action figure or accessory.
- Find out about the materials that are used to make different kinds of toys.
- Explore Mini’s Sketching Weakly blog. Can you challenge yourself to complete a weekly sketching challenge? Could your work be shared with others on a blog or other space?
- Create a storyboard to outline the plot of a new Traction Man movie.
- Design a sidekick (or a family) for Traction Man.
- Traction Man’s enemies are everyday objects (e.g. a poisonous dishcloth, the Wicked Professor Spade). Can you design a new enemy for him?
- Compose the theme tune to a new TV series about Traction man.
- Create a map of the house and label it to show the different adventures that Traction Man has in each part.
- Find out about the history of action figures and other kinds of toys.
- Create a set of speech / thought bubbles for Traction Man at different points in the story to explain how he is feeling. Can you tell by his facial expressions and body language?