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Anthony Legon


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Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

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A Writing Root for Stanley's Stick


£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 1

Literary Theme: Nature & Environment

Author(s): John Hegley


Alternative ending, captions retelling, description

Main outcome:

Own version narrative


11 sessions, 2+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a two-week Writing Root for the book Stanley’s Stick by John Hegley and Neal Layton, where children begin by finding their own sticks, turning them into their own imaginary objects.  Reading part of the text, they then predict what Stanley is going to do with his stick.  After reading the story as a class and writing their own alternative ending, children work in groups to sequence key events in the story and retell key scenes by creating picture captions.  Finally, children go on to plan and write their own version of Stanley’s Stick in past tense using their own object.

Synopsis of Text:

Stanley's stick is not just a stick. With a stick in hand, Stanley's options are endless - he flies to the moon, writes in the sand, goes fishing, plays a whistle and rides a dinosaur - and his imagination takes over and the magic begins.

Hegley's lyrical prose captures the free-wheeling expressiveness of childhood, and Layton's deceptively simple illustrations are full of wit and character. Sweet, magical and thoroughly entertaining, this is Hegley and Layton's first collaboration.

Text Rationale:

This charming, lyrical tale follows Stanley and his family as they go on vacation. Lead by Stanley and his stick, the story shows children the power of imagination and what can be done with a little creativity and invention. John Hegley is a wonderful poet who has written many books (including many for adults) and uses lyrical prose to bring this story to life and demonstrate the freedom of childhood. Neal Layton is an award-winning illustrator who perfectly complements the narrative with his simple but characterful illustrations.

Links and themes:

Imagination, seaside, friendship, family, creativity, invention

Date written: August 2016

A Spelling Seed is available for Stanley's Stick.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book Stanleys Stick by John Hegley.  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

is, his, friend, school

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Division of words into syllables


Revision of split vowel digraphs


View Stanley's Stick Spelling Seed

A Home Learning Branch is available for Stanley's Stick.

Home Learning Branch Overview:

This is a Home Learning Branch for Stanley's Stick.  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 Stanley's Stick Home Learning Branch
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