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Donny Morrison

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A Spelling Seed for The Last Garden


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Hope & Healing

Author(s): Rachel Ip


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Last Garden by Rachel Ip.  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

address, busy, arrive, potatoes, fruit, build, pressure, though, appear, experience

Spelling Rules and Patterns

The suffix -ation

Homophones and near-homophones

A Writing Root is available for The Last Garden.

Writing Root Overview:


Own version extended narrative

Main Outcomes:

Setting descriptions, advertisement/poster, retelling, instructional flyer, social media updates, dialogue


15 session, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root for The Last Garden by Rachel Ip in which children will find a range of seed packets left in class with an invitation from the main character to plant a garden in their classroom. In the packets, children will find abstract nouns which they can use to build abstract noun phrases e.g. “primroses of peace”. Children will go on to write in a range of genres, building toward writing their own version of this narrative about a community overcoming adversity.

Synopsis of Text:

In a war-torn city, a little girl tends to the last garden. But everyone is leaving and soon the girl has to leave too. The garden is all alone now but soon the seeds scatter throughout the city and the roots take hold.  Inspired by true events in Syria and war gardens around the world and throughout history, The Last Garden is a thoughtful, tender story of hope, touching on issues of conflict and migration, from a talented debut picture book pairing.

Text Rationale:

Inspired by true events in Syria, this touching story will open up conversations around the impact of war and migration.  Mirroring themes in the book, the story opens up a safe space to explore how people deal with conflict and what happens when people are forced to leave. This is ultimately a story of hope and healing which could pair well with aspects of the science and art curriculums as children explore the cyclical nature of life and the appreciation of beauty, even in times of hardship.

Links and themes:

Migration, refugees, gardens, overcoming adversity, war, conflict, hope, healing, safety

Date written: December 2021

View The Last Garden Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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