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Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

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A Writing Root for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Reception

Literary Theme: Family & Friends

Author(s): Lynley Dodd


Character description, writing in role, letters, leaflet

Main Outcome:

Alternative version narrative


Two+ weeks, 10+ sessions

Recommended Term:

Summer term 2

Overview and Outcomes:

In this ten-session Writing Root, which we suggest will take 3 weeks to cover, the children set up and create labels for an Animal Shelter. Some cats and dogs arrive and the children help settle them before reading Hairy Maclary. They play Match the Mutt, create a Character Splat, research and write some facts about cats and then devise a story not dissimilar to Hairy Maclary but this time about a group of cats who are frightened away by Riptail Paw – a dog version of Scarface Claw, the menace of a cat who appears in Hairy Maclary. 

Updated for the September 2021 Statutory EYFS Framework

Synopsis of Text:

Hairy Maclary goes off for a walk in town, followed by a few friends. All is uneventful until they meet Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town, and run for home. The story is told by a brilliant, cumulative rhyming text and terrific pictures.

Text Rationale:

This book is a wonderful start to a series of books by the multi award-winning author and illustrator Lynley Dodd. These books, which are full of adventure, encourage children to enjoy poetic rhyme and rhythm in language. Children can also begin to love and learn about the different dogs they see in the story and in their community as well as talk about pets. 

Links and Themes:

Dogs, pets, animals, cats, friendship, adventure

Date written: June 2017

A Home Learning Branch is available for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.

Home Learning Branch Overview:

This is a Home Learning Branch for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.  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 Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy Home Learning Branch
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