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Pippa McGeoch

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A Spelling Seed for The Comet


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 1

Literary Theme: Similarities & Differences

Author(s): Joe Todd-Stanton


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton.  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

be, he, me, she, we, friend, house

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Compound words

The sounds /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ and /k/ spelt ff, ll, ss, zz and ck

The /v/ sound at the end of words


-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e 

ar, ee, ea (/i:/), ea (/ɛ/)

Adjacent consonants

Revision of alternative graphemes for /ee/

Words spelled with single vowel graphemes, some representing short vowel sounds and some representing long ones

A Writing Root is available for The Comet.

Writing Root Overview:


Posters, letters of advice, poems, descriptions, writing in role, recipes

Main Outcome:

Own version narrative


3 weeks, 15 sessions

Overview and Outcomes:

In this three-week Writing Root for The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton, the children arrive to find a small, mysterious glowing object has landed. They share Nyla’s story of life with her dad and write lists of the things Nyla loves to do in her home, But then dad has to move them to a city to take a new job: everything feels different and strange. Nyla writes to the children to ask for advice, to which the children respond. When Nyla catches sight of a comet, there is a moment of joy and the children explore movement by writing a poem using verbs. They write in role as Nyla and then explore sayings about the theme of home to write a description. They finish exploring the theme of home through creating noun phrases to weave into commands, written in the form of a recipe. After orally retelling the story of The Comet, the children plan their own version before drafting, editing and publishing The Shooting Star.

Synopsis of Text:

When Nyla is forced to leave her home in the country to start life again in the city, all she can think about is everything she misses from before.

So when a comet comes crashing through the city streets and starts growing into a forest, Nyla can’t resist a chance to head somewhere that feels closer to what she had before ... but what starts as an escape could be just the thing to make her finally feel at home.

Text rationale:

This beautiful picture book won the 2023 Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration and will provide a gateway for children into the world of Joe Todd-Stanton. It tells the story of Nyla who is dealing with the confusion of moving house, an experience many children will be able to relate to, and provides a context for discussing themes of belonging, change and finding comfort. Children will enjoy discovering the magical detail within each of the charming illustrations and will develop empathy as they join Nyla on her journey of acceptance.  

Links and themes:

Belonging, home, comfort, change, acceptance, moving house, family, comets, stars, dreams

Date written: August 2023

View The Comet Writing Root
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