It's a Dog's Life

Age Range: 5 - 11

Lula always likes me to go with her to the end of the lane. She loves a bit of a cuddle and a lick or two before the school bus comes. 'Oh Russ', she whispers. 'A horse. It's all I want for my birthday.' And I'm thinking - 'Scuse me, but what's so great about a horse? Isn't a dog good enough.'

Michael's story is an energetic romp through a dog's busy day on a farm. Russ, the sheepdog, herds sheep and cows and plots against Tigger, the farm cat. He covers Lula, his master's daughter, with lots of slobbery licks but when she gets a special birthday present, he worries that she might love it more than him-


Book Author: Michael Morpurgo

See More Books from this author

Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • 'It's a Dog's Life' is a popular idiom. Do you know what it means? Can you find any other idioms?
  • Can you write a new story with the title 'It's a Dog's Life'? Use the writing template to present your new story?(see Resources below).
  • Look at the use of punctuation within the story. How many speech marks / full stops / commas can you find?
  • The story is written from Russ' point of view. Could you rewrite a sentence / section in the third person?
  • Write a story from the point of view of another animal in the story, e.g. Tigger the cat or Russ' friend Smarty.
  • Write a story from the point of view of another working animal.
  • Make a set of instructions to help somebody look after a pet dog (or another animal).
  • Russ uses the word 'Lovely' a lot in the story. Can you find any synonyms for this word?
  • Russ is a 'champion chomper'. Can you think of any other examples of alliteration?
  • Plan and hot-seat an interview with the author. Watch this video to find out more about how he became an author:

Maths

  • Make a timetable showing all of the activities in Russ' day.

Science

  • Russ has to work hard on the farm. Can you find out about other working animals? How do they help us?
  • Find out about the different types of animals in the story. How are they similar / different?

Computing

  • Make a storyboard to show the events of Russ' day.

Design Technology

  • Design a birthday card for Lula. Could you make a pop-up card?

Art

  • Use the illustrations as the starting point for creating your own animal and farm pictures / paintings.

Geography

  • Can you find the locations of farms near to where you live? What do the farms produce?

PSHE

  • How does Russ feel when Lula first meets the horse?
  • Write what Russ might say to the horse when they first meet. How would he feel?

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