Writing Root Back to List

Resource written by

Anthony Legon


See More

Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

See More

Resource Preview

Purchase Book

A Writing Root for Cave Baby

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 1

Literary Theme: Journeys & Exploration

Author(s): Julia Donaldson


Labels and captions, informal letters

Main Outcome:

Narrative re-telling


2+ weeks, 10+ sessions

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a two-week Writing Root for Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson and Emily Gravett. The children begin by sharing experiences of times they have been ‘naughty’ or done ‘naughty’ things. Set up part of the classroom as a role-play area as the setting of ‘Cave Baby’. Have paper on the walls and paint available for children to paint ‘on the walls’. Allow for dressing up opportunities in this area as ‘cave-people’ (these could double-up as overalls!). Children will explore the text, looking at the various animals and joining in as the text is read, e.g. ‘Sabre-Toothed Tiger’. By the end of the first week, children will know the text and be able to retell it using puppets, small world etc. Children then go on to explore the features of single clause sentences and create their own which can be added as caption-sentences to the working wall, eventually retelling the story in sequences of sentences and writing sorry letters in role.

Synopsis of Text:

A hairy mammoth takes a cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape populated by a sabre-toothed tiger, a leaping hare, a laughing hyena and even, just maybe, by a big brown bear...But where are they going? And what has it to do with the baby’s scribblings on the cave wall?

Text Rationale:

The text is a lyrical narrative that is set in the Stone Age and follows a mischievous baby who goes on an outdoor adventure and meets a plethora of animals, some of which are extinct. This book has links to PSHE, exploring behavioural expectations, as well as history, introducing children to the stone age. Julia Donaldson is a prolific author with a distinct style and Emily Gravett is a twice Kate Greenaway award-winning illustrator.

Links and themes:

Cave man, cave people, extinct animals, endangered animals, history, prehistoric, cave paintings, stone-age, stone-age man, behavioural expectations, wildlife

Date written: August 2014

A Spelling Seed is available for Cave Baby.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson.  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

The /l/ or /əl/ sound spelt –al and –el at the end of words

Compound words


ai, oi, ay, oy

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

View Cave Baby Spelling Seed
The Literacy Tree®, Literary Leaves®, Spelling Seeds®, Home Learning Branches® and #TeachThroughaText® are all Registered Trademarks of The Literacy Tree Ltd.
The Literacy Tree CS.301, Clerkenwell Workshops, 27/31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT | Company Registered no: 07951913