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Westonzoyland Primary School ‘Achieving, Learning and Growing Together’

Buzzard English

The Snail and the Whale- Chosen by Ella!

Teaching Ideas and Resources:

Introducing the story to the children:

  • Introduce the story, main characters and any key vocabulary that they might find challenging.
  • Read or listen to the story.
  • Ask the children questions about the content of the story… (What was the snail sitting on? Why was he sad? Where did he want to go? Who helped him?)
  • Get them to think about the words they could use to describe the snail and the whale (e.g. big, blue, huge, slow, small, friendly etc.)
  • Identify any words that rhyme (snail, whale and tail, crashed and splashed, waves and caves).
  • Encourage them to share whether they liked the story, what was their favourite part?



  • 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 to display these different adjectives? Can you think of some synonyms?
  • Look at pictures of snails and whales and think of words / sentences / paragraphs to describe them.
  • A rock is described as '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?
  • Read the story of part of the story aloud and record it, use expression for different characters. Think about how each character might talk, look at punctuation to help you change your voice (Is there an exclamation mark? How would you respond to this, will your voice get louder or quieter?)
  • Write your own story about two different creatures who go on a big adventure together.
  • Writ an acrostic poem using the word “whale” or “snail” example:




  • Design one-box comic strips where a whale is talking to a snail. Draw speech bubbles next to each character and think of (and write) what they may be saying. 
  • Can you draw your own seaside picture? Can you draw a picture of what lives under the sea?
  • More details on art page.



  • Learn about whales, for example: What type of animals are they? What do they eat? Where do they live? (Use your ICT time to research about whales or snails and create your own fact file or PowerPoint).



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



  • 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?



Story read aloud


BBC production