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Pippa McGeoch

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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 The First Drawing


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Magic & Wonder

Author(s): Mordicai Gerstein


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book The First Drawing by Mordicai Gerstein.  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

describe, early, earth, imagine, suppose, surprise, thought

Spelling Rules and Patterns

The suffix -ous

A Writing Root is available for The First Drawing.

Writing Root Overview:


Character description, diary entry, recount

Main Outcome:

Own historical narrative


10 sessions, 2 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a two-week Writing Root for The First Drawing by Mordicai Gerstein in which children explore the text, including exploration of the Stone Age and cave paintings. They write diary entries, explore the conventions of speech, create character descriptions and finish by writing their own historical narratives.

Synopsis of Text:

In 1994, the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc was discovered, filled with the oldest known drawings in existence at that time, made 30,000 years ago. In that same cave, prehistoric footprints were discovered: those of an 8-year-old child and a wolf. From these astonishing facts, THE FIRST DRAWING was born.

In this beautiful picture book, Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein imagines one possible way drawing was invented. The young boy that stars in this story has such a vivid imagination that he sees images everywhere - clouds, stones and smoke look like animals to him. His parents, however, don't share his enthusiasm and wish he would be more down to earth. However the boy cannot contain his enthusiasm and one night grabs a smoky stick and "traces" the image he sees on a cave wall. Lo and behold: the world's first drawing.

Text Rationale:

This book is set in the Stone Age with a narrative which expresses the power of art through focussing on cave paintings. The story makes strong historical links, as well as exploring the awe and wonder – and sometimes fear and apprehension – around first-time discoveries. The First Drawing will inspire children to become artists themselves and provides a wonderful context for discussing dreams and desires to do something new and different.

Links and themes:

Cave paintings, cave man, cave people, stone-age, prehistory, prehistoric, creativity, discovery

Date written: August 2017

View The First Drawing Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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