Spelling Seed Back to List

Resource written by

Pippa McGeoch

Senior Consultant

See More

Resource Preview

Purchase Book

A Spelling Seed for The Island


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Literary Theme: Belonging & Equality

Author(s): Armin Greder


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Island by Armin Greder.  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

accompany, desperate, necessary, persuade, prejudice, privilege, sufficient

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words containing the suffix –ate, –ify, – en

Endings which sound like /ʃəl/

A Writing Root is available for The Island.

Writing Root Overview:


Welcome guide, description, letter of advice, analysis, comparison, diary entry in role, imagined conversation

Main Outcome:

Narrative sequel from a different character’s perspective


3 weeks, 15 sessions

Overview and Outcomes:

In this three-week Writing Root, children begin by being given a range of scenario cards that they are asked to rank from ‘least’ to ‘most’ welcoming. They will then explore the nuances in the language used by Armin Greder as they share the text, The Island. Themes of prejudice and hostility are explored as well as delving into the mindset of the island’s inhabitants. Children will infer different character’s feelings, exploring the character of the fisherman in particular through the technique of teacher in role, before receiving a letter asking for advice and writing a reply that uses the subjunctive mood. Children write a short news bulletin using the perfect tense before making an analysis of the text and comparing two groups of people. Finally, the children will be sent a letter from the man, outlining his experiences and explaining that although he has been mistreated, he is not bitter. He explains what happened once he was pushed away from the island on his raft. A section of unpublished text is discovered and, using this as a stimulus, the children write a narrative sequel from the man’s perspective, focusing in particular on using dialogue to convey the character and advance the action as well as the device of question tags in order to include imagined conversations between the fisherman and the outsider.

Synopsis of Text:

When the people of the Island discover a man and a tattered raft on their beach, they are reluctant to take him in. He doesn't look like them. But they cannot send him back to the sea where he will surely perish. Instead, they put him aside but even that doesn't solve their problem.

The Island is an astonishing and powerful picture book about refugees, xenophobia, multiculturalism, social politics and human rights. It tackles big themes in subtle ways with a fable-like text and stunning artwork that will provoke discussion for upper primary and secondary school levels about issues that remain so much a part of our national discourse.

Text rationale:

This gritty text is a social commentary on issues such as ‘closed’-communities, racism, refugees and ‘othering’.  Told through powerfully stark imagery, the story provides an important opportunity for children to discuss difficult social themes and to think critically in order to understand the experiences of others. 

Links and themes:

Migration, refugees, asylum, prejudice, acceptance, human rights, integration

Date written: August 2021

View The Island Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

The Literacy Tree®, Literary Leaves®, Spelling Seeds®, Home Learning Branches® and #TeachThroughaText® are all Registered Trademarks of The Literacy Tree Ltd.
The Literacy Tree CS.301, Clerkenwell Workshops, 27/31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT | Company Registered no: 07951913