Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Up and Down

Up And Down

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Oliver Jeffers

The boy and the penguin still enjoy spending all their time together… That is, until the penguin starts to dream of flying, ignoring the boy’s advice that it is impossible.

Running away, the penguin visits place after place, searching for a chance to get his feet off the ground. But will flying be everything he had hoped? And is the boy missing him, as much as he is missing the boy?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Can you write a new adventure for the boy and the penguin to take part in?
  • Think of some speech bubbles for each of the illustrations. Could you turn this speech into a playscript with stage directions?
  • Write an information page for the boy’s book “Penguins Can’t Fly”.
  • Design a persuasive poster to encourage people to come and see the penguin perform in the circus.
  • Rewrite the story from the point of view of the boy and / or the penguin.
  • The cannon explodes with a ‘BAM’ sound. Can you think of other examples of onomatopoeia?
  • The penguin takes off ‘like a bullet’. Can you think of other similes to compare a fast / slow movement (or another action)?
  • The boy ‘rushed’ to find his friend. Try to find synonyms for ‘rushed’ to show different ways that people can move.
  • The boy and the penguin like to play backgammon. Try playing this game yourself. Could you write some instructions to teach others how to play it?
  • Write a story about a different animal who tries to achieve something unusual.
  • Watch this advert for the book. Could you make your own advertisement to persuade others to read it?

  • Watch this video by the author and try to use some of these writing tips in your own work:


  • Find out about penguins. Where do they normally live? What do they eat? How are they adapted to live in particular habitats?
  • Try making some food chains which include penguins.
  • The penguin wants to be able to fly. Find out about gravity and how he might be able to overcome it and fly.


  • Make a stop-motion animation showing a penguin (or another animal / object) trying to fly.
  • Listen to the CD version of the story. Could you record your own reading with narration, music and sound effects?

Design Technology

  • Design some machines / gadgets that might help the penguin to be able to fly.
  • Investigate and make different paper aeroplanes. What makes them fly? Could you have a paper aeroplane competition? which one will fly the furthest / longest? Which one is the best design?
  • Can you design a new board game for the boy and the penguin to play together?
  • Create a machine to catch the penguin safely when he is shot out of the cannon.


  • Draw / paint a new matching jumper and hat for the boy to wear.
  • Design the ticket for the circus that the penguin performs in.
  • Look at the picture of the penguin flying high in the circus. Can you draw a similar picture which shows large objects in the foreground and smaller objects in the background?


  • Draw a map of the zoo and show the places that the boy searched for the penguin.


  • Find out about the history of flight. Who were the first people to fly? How did they achieve this? How have aircraft changed over the years?

Physical education

  • Practise some circus skills, e.g. juggling, stilt-walking, plate spinning.


  • The boy and the penguin are good friends who always do everything together. Think about the things that you like to do with your friends.
  • The boy and the penguin both get worried when they are separated. What does ‘worrying’ feel like? Can you think of other types of emotions?

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