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Jen Sutherland


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A Writing Root for Ning and the Night Spirits

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Reception

Literary Theme: Knowing Yourself

Author(s): Adriena Fong


Posters, letters of advice, party invitations

Main Outcome:

Information text about night spirits


2 weeks, 10+ sessions

Overview and Outcomes:

In this ten-session Writing Root, which we suggest will take 2 weeks to cover, children will arrive in the classroom to discover a set of lanterns or fairy lights that have been hung up and switched on to scare away the mysterious night spirits. The text, Ning and the Night Spirits is shared and children will discover that the night spirits are in fact kind and gentle creatures. They will write letters of encouragement to help Ning and create information posters for the townspeople before holding a class parade to mirror that within the story. They will make decorations and write invitations, then create their own night spirit using Art & DT resources and contribute to a class information text on night spirits by writing about the spirit they have created. Phonics teaching is embedded throughout and suggestions for Continuous Provision are also made.

Synopsis of text:

Ning has always heard tales of the night spirits that used to terrorise the little village where he lives. So, each night, he helps his parents light bright orange lanterns to frighten them away. Secretly, he wonders if they're really as bad as everyone says - but is much too shy to ask anyone. But when Ning finds himself in the forest by night, he meets a creature who introduces him to the spirits' secret world and he discovers that all is not as it seems...A beautiful and magical story about confronting fears, confidence and a little boy who finds his voice.

Text rationale:

This magical tale by author-illustrator Adriena Fong will help children to find their voices and face their fears.  Children will empathise with the main character Ning as he navigates the path to confronting the things that frighten him most and there is a strong message about taking action, no matter how small you feel.  Beautifully detailed illustrations help to tell the story and provide links to the expressive arts and design curriculum, as well as understanding aspects of other cultures around the world.  

Links and themes:

Facing your fears, finding your voice, bravery, community, spirits, night time, parades

Date written: August 2023

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