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Anthony Legon


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Book status: The book for this planning sequence is currently reprinting or out of print and therefore not in stock at most booksellers. If you do not already own the book, we would recommend this planning sequence as an alternative:

Alternative sequence

A Spelling Seed for House Held Up by Trees


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Literary Theme: Creation & Conservation

Author(s): Ted Kooser


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser.  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

break, behind, Christmas, floor, grass, great, path, plant, pretty, wild

Spelling Rules and Patterns

The possessive apostrophe (singular nouns)

The suffix -ly

A Writing Root is available for House Held Up by Trees.

Writing Root Overview:


Factual descriptions, advertisements, explanations, poetry 

Main Outcome:

Factual report


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root based around the book House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Another text to use in tandem is the The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green for which we have written a Literary Leaf. The sequence of learning begins with a trip to the local park where children can take photos of all the different trees they spot. Depending on the time of year, they can also collect different seeds and leaves to take back to the classroom. This trip will give them inspiration to write descriptions about all the natural wonders they spotted. Children can also have fun pressing the leaves and sketching the trees. While reading the text, children will be encouraged to write an estate agent advertisement as well as use conjunctions to explain the life cycle of trees. Children will discuss the characters in the text, including what the deeper message of the book could be, and will finish with an extended factual report about the trees at their local park aimed at attracting potential visitors. 

Synopsis of Text:

When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighbouring lots, where thick bushes offered secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees – until one day he, too, moved away. Then, as the empty house began its decline, the trees began to take over. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time – and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.

Text Rationale:

This book is a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and award-winning illustrator Jon Klassen. The story subtly portrays the relationship between a father and his two children who become more estranged as they grow older. It also explores change in nature and the power of nature to reclaim spaces ­– a great opportunity to learn about trees and gardens. There is a cautionary note in amongst the sparse narrative about the consequences of trying to resist change and not being present for those people who need you.

Links and themes:

The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green (Literary Leaf for Year 2) would be ideal to study alongside this Planning Sequence.

Seeds, trees, environment, family, nature, cautionary tale, change and growth 

Date written: November 2016

Updated: November 2022

View House Held Up by Trees Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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