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Anthony Legon


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Katie Barrett

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A Writing Root for Leon and the Place Between

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Magic & Wonder

Author(s): Angela McAllister


Persuasive poster, setting description, thought bubbles / diary entry, dialogue

Main Outcome:

Own version fantasy narrative


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root for the story Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister. Throughout the sequence of learning children will explore the author’s language and use it as the basis for their own descriptive writing.  They will explore the characters’ thoughts and emotions and take part in drama activities, leading to writing in role and the creation of dialogue. Using the structure of the original story, children will plan their own version of the story where their own character enters a magical world.  This Writing Root would work most effectively in a LKS2 class, with links to other fantasy stories. It will be beneficial to have at least five or six copies of the text so that each group of learners can interact with and explore the text. 

Synopsis of Text:

Wanting to prove to his brothers and sister that magic really exists, Leon volunteers to be in Abdul Kazam's magic show and gets transported to a mysterious world. Filled with rabbits, doves, playing cards and magician's assistants - among other things - if a magician can make it disappear, it will end up in the Place Between! When Leon returns, not only do his brothers and sister believe, but we do too... 

Text Rationale:

This extraordinary book by significant author-illustrator duo Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith was shortlisted for the 2010 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.  The quality of the language alongside captivating illustrations, cut-out sections, fonts and fold-out pages will immerse children in a magical space to explore the power of imagination and curiosity.  Children will recognise the enchanting styles of the famous names through their other titles such as Winter’s Child and FArTHER.  

Links and themes:

Circus, Victorian entertainment, magic, wonder, imagination, curiosity

Date written: January 2013          Updated: September 2020

A Spelling Seed is available for Leon and the Place Between.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister.  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

appear, believe, disappear, experience, famous, heard

Spelling Rules and Patterns

More prefixes: dis–, mis–and their effect on a word

Endings whichsound like /ʃən/, spelt –tion, –sion, –ssion, –cian

View Leon and the Place Between Spelling Seed

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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