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Anthony Legon


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A Spelling Seed for The Arrival


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Migration & Movement

Author(s): Shaun Tan


This is a spelling seed for the book The Arrival by Shaun Tan.  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

accommodate, bargain, communicate, foreign, identity, individual, language, pronunciation, queue

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Homophones and other words that are often confused

Words with ‘silent’ letters (i.e. letters whose presence cannot be predicted from the pronunciation of the word)

A Writing Root is available for The Arrival.

Writing Root Overview:


Letters, character descriptions, diaries, short playscripts, guides

Main Outcome:

Extended own version narrative


17 sessions, 3+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root using The Arrival by Shaun Tan. It explores the issue of immigration and the reasons why people have to flee countries and seek asylum. Children will explore characters, emotions, different points of view and the challenges faced by the main character and some of the other characters that have made their way to the new land. Through the sequence of learning, children will write a diary of the little girl as well as short scripts for scenes and narrative passages to describe what is happening at certain points in the book. It includes exemplified grammar activities throughout, and drama techniques, such as thought tapping.

Synopsis of Text:

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey.

The Arrival has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place.

Text Rationale:

This wordless picture book is a silent tribute to every displaced person, migrant or refugee who has made a journey. Children will develop empathy for those facing difficult, life-changing circumstances an explore themes such as migration, relationships, community and belonging. Shaun Tan is a beloved, award-winning children’s author-illustrator who brings difficult concepts into sharp focus; children will recognise his distinctive style if they have previously studied The Lost Thing or many of his other well-known titles.

Links and Themes:

Refugees, immigration, migration, movement, displacement, journeys, community, connection, belonging, wordless, film

Date written: January 2013

Updated: December 2021

View The Arrival Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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