Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers

Lost and Found is such a brilliant book with absolutely beautiful illustrations. It could be used with upper KS1 or lower Ks2. It is a really sweet story about the friendship between a little boy and a lost penguin, who in fact turns out not to be lost at all, just lonely. The book explores themes of friendship and bravery as the little boy sets out on a mission to find a home for a penguin who has mysteriously turned up on his doorstep. They travel through ‘good weather and bad’ and over waves which are ‘as big as mountains’. Eventually they reach the South Pole and the little boy helps the penguin out of his boat. As he turns his boat around and sets off on his lonely journey home with no one to tell stories to, he suddenly realises that he is making a huge mistake. The penguin is not lost, just lonely. So quickly he sails back to the South Pole only to find the penguin is not there anymore. But what’s that in the distance? Heading towards the boy, behind an iceberg, is the penguin floating towards the boy in his stripy umbrella ready to for the two to be reunited.

I used this book with my Year 3 class at the start of the year as a 2 week initial writing assessment. The story and language is really accessible for the children and they absolutely loved reading it. They produced some brilliant pieces of writing across a range of genres which enabled me to see their strengths and gaps in order to inform future planning.

Creative ways to use Lost and Found within the classroom:

Tiny-text: Children to have little extracts from the book and isolated images which they then use to predict what the book might be about – helps with prediction skills and requires the children to justify their ideas. Also used as a good hook as the children want to read the book to find out if their predictions were correct!

Missing Poster: Children to create a missing poster to help the little boy find the penguin. Use of descriptive language (adjectives and adverbs) to describe the penguin. Use of modal verbs – ‘You might find him’ ‘he could be holding’ ‘He will be looking’.

Story board: Children to re-tell the story, adding extra detail and description. Use of adjective, adverbs, similes, interesting sentence starters, conjunctions. Also good to assess comprehension – have they understood the story? Can they recall main events?

Letter Writing: Children empathise with main character and write a letter pretending to be the boy who is looking for his penguin in the South Pole. How might he be feeling in the South Pole? Which key features do we need to include in a letter? What might his parents want to know?

Prequel Adventure Story: Hook – Oliver Jeffers wants to write a prequel to ‘Lost and Found’ and needs our help. Children to write an adventure story about how the penguin got to the little boy’s door step. What sort of adventure did he go on to get there? Key features of an adventure story – planning with story mountain – character, setting, problem, solution, ending.

Shape Poem: Looking at different styles of poetry. Children to create a shape poem all about penguins.

Penguin Fact File: Children to write a non-fiction information text all about penguins.

Isolde Lewis



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