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A Home Learning Branch for The Bear and the Piano


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Author(s): David Litchfield

This is a Home Learning Branch for The Bear and the Piano.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from Writing Roots.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

A Writing Root is available for The Bear and the Piano.

Writing Root Overview:


Letters of advice, short news-reports, writing in role, retellings, information poster

Main Outcome:

Own version narrative about bravery


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

In this three-week Writing Root for The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield, children arrive to class to discover an advert and, after being given tickets, attend a ‘concert’ of piano music. They then write statements as predictions before going on to use contracted verbs to write letters of advice. After drawing on the author’s use of language to create noun phrases, they write a short news report before briefly bouncing out into a non-fiction piece where they research their chosen member of an ‘Animal Orchestra’. This new character becomes the main protagonist in an own version narrative.

Synopsis of Text:

One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind. A moving tale of exploration and belonging from an exciting debut author-illustrator.

Text Rationale:

A magical tale of a talented bear who discovers fame and fortune through his piano playing skills. This text explores themes such as belonging, exploration and overcoming fears. It can encourage healthy discussions with children around what is important in life. This text is also part of a fun trilogy which follows the ups and downs of Bear’s life. Award-winning David Litchfield is a significant author-illustrator. 

Links and themes:

Music, orchestras, instruments, piano, bears, New York, wildlife, belong, exploration, friendship and family

Date written: April 2017

View The Bear and the Piano Writing Root

A Spelling Seed is available for The Bear and the Piano.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Common Exception Words

again, even, everybody, kind, last, mind, pass, who, whole, would

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Homophones and other words that are often confused

Adding –ed, –ing, –er and –est to a root word ending in –y with a consonant before it

View The Bear and the Piano Spelling Seed
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