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A Spelling Seed for The Lost Happy Endings



KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Literary Theme: Legends & Folklore

Author(s): Carol Ann Duffy


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy  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

achieve, desperate, disastrous, interfere, mischievous

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Endings which sound like /ʃəs/ spelt –cious or –tious

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words ending in –fer

A Writing Root is available for The Lost Happy Endings.

Writing Root Overview:


Letter, poetry, passage of direct speech, diary entry, story ending 

Main Outcome:

Prequel- alternative perspective


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root for The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy, in which children will investigate the mystery of the stolen happy endings, linking clues identified with known fairy tales and characters. Children will write a letter with their predictions to the main character Jub before exploring figurative language to write a poem.  Children will look at the author’s use of language to portray the character of the witch, as well as write a diary entry in role as Jub. There will be opportunities for children to take part in role play to generate ideas for recording a section of dialogue not included in the original story and there will be plenty of chances throughout for children to ‘instant publish’ their work to contribute to an ongoing display in the classroom.  The sequence of learning finishes with children delving into the character of the witch using their inference skills to write a prequel to explain her backstory and the reasons she committed the terrible crime of stealing the happy endings.

Synopsis of Text:

What would happen if we lost the happy endings to stories - imagine the tears at bedtime! A fantastic and magical tale about what happens when, one night, a wicked witch steals the happy endings to bedtime stories. It is up to Jub, the keeper of the happy endings, to save the day and ensure sweet dreams everywhere in this lyrical story about storytelling. In the tradition of classic fairy tales for children, Carol Ann Duffy and Jane Ray have created a truly compelling, surprising and beautiful story for children of all ages.

Text rationale:

This lyrical picture book by one-time poet laureate Carol-Ann Duffy is rich with literary language and, although a modern-day fairy tale, is sophisticated enough for children in UKS2. The use of literary language is stunning and accessible for children due to the clear story-arc and the fact that this is a picture book where much of the story is expressed through illustration. 

Links and themes:

Dreams, fantasy, fairytales, fairy tales, traditional tales, good vs evil

Date written: November 2015

Date updated: November 2023

View The Lost Happy Endings Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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