The Snail and the Whale

Age Range: 5 - 11

One tiny snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of a whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail who saves the day.


Book Author: Julia Donaldson

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • There are lots of adjectives and other descriptive words in the story which describe different things. Can you find them all? Could you make a poster which shows what they are?
  • Look at pictures of snails and whales and think of words / sentences / paragraphs to describe them?(see Resources below).
  • A rock is described as being 'as black as soot'. This is a simile. Can you find more in the story? Can you make up your own similes, or find others in different books?
  • The snail 'slithered'. Think of other words to describe how different creatures move.
  • There is a lot of rhyming in the story. Can you find the rhyming words? Can you find other words which rhyme with them?
  • Look at one of the pictures, without the accompanying text. Can you write about that part of the creatures' adventure? Could you think of words / phrases to describe what is happening in the illustration?
  • Look at the illustrations and think of speech / thought bubbles for the animals shown.
  • Imagine that you had to write a newspaper report about the people (and the snail) who saved the whale. What would it say?
  • At the end of the story, the snail tells his friends all about his adventure. Can you write what he might have said to them?
  • Give children opportunities to take turns reading the story aloud to others.
  • Write your own story about two different creatures who go on a big adventure together?
  • Use the Thinking Hat resources available below (contributed by Peter Fogarty).

Maths

  • How many creatures can you see on each page? How many creatures are shown in the whole book?

Science

  • Find out about snails, whales and other creatures shown in the book. Where do they live? What do they eat?

Computing

  • Plan and record a video (or audio) report about how the whale was saved.

Art

  • Can you draw your own seaside picture? Can you draw a picture of what lives under the sea?

Music

  • The whale sang a song to the snail. Could you write the words to the song, or make up a tune for it?

Geography

  • The human activity makes the humans swim too close to the shore. Can you find out when this might have happened to real whales in the past? Discuss what we might be able to do to stop it from happening again.

PSHE

  • Even though the snail is small, he helps to save the whale. Think about your abilities. Is there anything that you thought you couldn't do, but you managed to when you tried?

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