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Resource written by

Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

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A Writing Root for The Extraordinary Gardener

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Reception

Literary Theme: Sowing A Seed

Author(s): Sam Boughton


Labels, letters of advice, instructions, narratives

Main Outcome:

Narrative inspired by the original text


10+ sessions, 2+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

In this ten-session Writing Root, the children go on a nature walk, gathering objects from nature if possible/appropriate. Upon return to class, they are invited to use their imaginations by imagining being back outside. A copy of The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton appears and the story is shared in stages. The children have opportunities to create labels; create an imaginary plant or creature; plant seeds; give a character advice in the form of a letter and write instructions before going on to write a narrative with a similar theme (that of doing something extraordinary and spreading joy) to the shared text.

Synopsis of Text:

Joe is a boy just like any other, but Joe loves to imagine. Joe lives in a pretty ordinary tower block, in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather grey. However, he spends his time imagining a wonderful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals. Once day Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony, he waits and waits but nothing happens! Joe gives up and goes back to his daily life, but one day when he least expects it he spots that the seed has turned into the most beautiful tree. Joe begins caring for the tree and growing lots of other plants on his balcony and soon everyone in the neighbourhood is getting involved. A charming story about the important of nature, teaching us that if we work hard enough our dreams really can come true!

Text Rationale:

This book by the award-winning author and illustrator Sam Broughton is a fantastic way to get children excited about gardening. This text has strong links to science as young children learn about important concepts such as seed dispersal, ecosystems, and the life cycle of a flower. This text also explores the importance of community. It could be read alongside the Sam Broughton lift-the-flap Hello, Mr/Mrs…series which are great early non-fictions texts about animals. 

Links and Themes:

Conservationism, seeds, seed dispersal, plants, nature, habitats, life-cycles, science

Date written: February 2021

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