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Katie Barrett

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Alex Francis


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A Writing Root for Toys in Space

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Literary Theme: Fictional Worlds & Fantasy

Author(s): Mini Grey


Found posters, diary entries, speech bubbles, notes of advice, space logs, invitations, fantasy setting descriptions

Main Outcome:

Own version fantasy world narrative


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root for the story Toys in Space by Mini Grey.  The sequence of learning begins by children discovering a box of lost toys which has mysteriously landed in the classroom.  Children hypothesise about where the toys could have come from and how they could help find their owners before creating ‘found’ posters to try to reunite them with their owners.  This wonderful book contains varied story-telling devices and children will enjoy exploring the ‘story-within-a-story’ as WonderDoll takes us on a journey to space to meet the Hoctopize.  Children are given a variety of meaningful writing opportunities throughout the sequence of learning, including giving advice to the Hoctopize who has lost their favourite toy and creating a space log to document the adventure into unknown territory.  Gradually children build up the skills to create a cast of their own characters to write an extended fantasy story of their own.

Synopsis of Text:

A very silly (not-too-scary) story about losing a beloved toy. That summer night, the toys were left outside. . . . For the very first time, the Wonderdoll, the helpful wind-up robot, the thoughtful green dinosaur, and the rest of their plucky gang lie in the grass, gazing up at the stars. But one star seems brighter than the rest. As it grows bigger and bigger, the toys realize it may not be a star at all! Soon they're venturing into the unknown, traveling by spaceship, where they meet a lonely alien in need of help, and some friends. 

From ever-inventive, award-winning author-illustrator Mini Grey comes a hilarious and heartfelt new adventure: a motley group of toys left outside in the garden become true friends and brave heroes - in space!

Text Rationale:

Mini Grey is a significant illustrator and author who has won the Kate Greenaway Award and written an array of well-known, much-loved children’s stories. Toys in Space is a fun story that can open up discussion about space, the possibility of alien life and space exploration. It could also link with learning about the history of toys and looking after and sharing toys.

Links and themes:

Toys, space, robots, dinosaurs, looking after property, sharing

Date written: January 2022

A Spelling Seed is available for Toys in Space.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Toys in Space by Mini Grey.  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

water, great, everybody, wild, beautiful, path, kind, last, pass, eye, gold

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Adding the endings -ing, -ed, -er, -est and -y to words

View Toys in Space Spelling Seed

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

The Literacy Tree®, Literary Leaves®, Spelling Seeds®, Home Learning Branches® and #TeachThroughaText® are all Registered Trademarks of The Literacy Tree Ltd.
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