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Pippa McGeoch

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A Writing Root for Cloud Tea Monkeys

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Overcoming Adversity

Author(s): Mal Peet


Descriptive passage, writing in role, ‘how to’ guide (instructions), letter, discussion

Main Outcome:

Non-chronological report


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This three-week Writing Root begins with the arrival of a Royal Tea –Taster in class seeking apprentice tea-tasters. The children experience an immersive session where they smell and taste a range of different teas before creating descriptive statements to describe a tea. A basket is then delivered and inside is a magical and moving story about Cloud Tea and how monkeys save a young girl and her mother. As the text is read, the children are exposed to range of language activities to stimulate grammatical development and reading comprehension skills. The children then write letters of thanks to the monkeys. Using the authors’ note as further stimulus, children research, plan and then write a non-chronological report on tea, the tea-trade and traditions relating to tea.

Synopsis of Text:

Tashi lives in a tiny village below the tea plantations where her mother earns a living. One day her mother falls ill, and Tashi must pick tea to earn the money for a doctor. But she is too small to reach the tender shoots and the cruel Overseer sends her away empty-handed. Tashi needs a miracle. Then, on the mountains high above the plantation where only monkeys live, something extraordinary happens that will change her life for ever…

Text Rationale:

This is a legend set in another culture in the centuries-old past but with close links to fair-trade and the food industry. The strong female protagonist fights to overcome traditional ideals in the name of family and eventual triumph.  Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the text has clever use of language and a powerful narrative which carry important messages about loyalty and respect.  

Links and themes:

Tea, fair-trade, plantations, monkeys, power

Date written: December 2016

A Spelling Seed is available for Cloud Tea Monkeys.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet.  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.


Word List Words

calendar, circle, enough, fruit, medicine, regular, strength, woman/women

Spelling Rules and Patterns

The /i/sound spelt y elsewhere than at the end of a word

Homophones and other words that are often confused

View Cloud Tea Monkeys Spelling Seed

A Home Learning Branch is available for Cloud Tea Monkeys.

Home Learning Branch Overview:

This is a Home Learning Branch for Cloud Tea Monkeys.  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.

View Cloud Tea Monkeys Home Learning Branch

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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