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Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

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Alex Francis


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A Writing Root for Astro Girl

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 1

Literary Theme: Journeys & Exploration

Author(s): Ken Wilson-Max


Writing in rolecommands,‘how to’ guides

Main outcome:

Fact file about being an astronaut


11 sessions, 2+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 2+ week Writing Root using Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max. Children arrive to class to discover a backpack that contains several items and deduce that the owner might be an astronaut. They share part of the text before writing in role as Astrid. Then, reading for retrieval, the children read on in the text before ‘book-marking’ and using the nouns found to create commands in the format of a ‘how to’ guide. They collaborate to pose questions and write predictions as responses before reading to the end of the text. Then they are asked to write a leaflet about training to be an astronaut, space-travel and other facts and research layout and language features of this type of writing.  There is also a session on glossaries and the suggestion that the leaflets be ‘instantly published’.

Synopsis of Text:

Astrid has always loved the stars and space. "I want to be an astronaut!" she says. While Mama is away, Papa and Astrid have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission - eating food from a tube, doing science experiments, living and sleeping in near-zero gravity. Astrid can do it all! Then it's time to meet Mama at the airbase. But where has Mama been?

Text Rationale:

This book has a strong narrative and a message about following your dreams. The main character is a girl with an accomplished working mother and father who is the main caregiver at home. Facts on inclusive astronaut history are included, offering a vision for all children – particularly girls – who dream of pursuing careers in STEM and space travel.

Links and themes:

Space, space travel, astronauts, dreaming big, being ambitious no matter your size

Date written: May 2021

A Spelling Seed is available for Astro Girl.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max.  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

the, a, do, to, today

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Compound words


ai, oi, ay, oy

a-e, e-e, i-e. o-e, u-e

View Astro Girl Spelling Seed
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