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Pippa McGeoch

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A Spelling Seed for The Sea Saw


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 1

Literary Theme: Nature & Environment

Author(s): Tom Percival


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Sea Saw 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

so, of, by, go

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Adding -er and -est to adjectives

Adding s and es to words


m using -mb

ou,  ow (/aʊ/) ow,(/əʊ/), ue, ew

ar,ee,  ea (/i:/), ea (/ɛ/)

A Writing Root is available for The Sea Saw.

Writing Root Overview:


Writing in role, notes of advice, missing posters, diary entries, letters of thanks

Main Outcome:

Own version narrative


15 session, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

In this three-week Writing Root, the children discover a bear having a picnic. They talk about their own special toy and create labels. But then the bear is left behind and the story, The Sea Saw by Tom Percival is shared. The children give advice in the form of commands to the sea (who plans to help the bear to return to Sofia) before helping Sofia make wanted posters that use statements, questions and commands. To support sequencing of events, the children learn to spell the days of the week and include these in a diary entry. Words prefixed with un- are investigated and the use of ‘and’ is explored so that the children can write a letter in role as Sofia thanking the sea for returning her bear. Then, to plan their extended piece of writing – an own version narrative – the children create titles in the style of Tom Percival’s, make maps as plans and then write their stories in three stages, mainly focusing on the objective, 'To sequence sentences to form short narratives' before editing, publishing and sharing.

Synopsis of Text:

When Sofia loses her beloved teddy after a day at the beach, she is heartbroken. But the sea saw it all, and maybe, just maybe, it can bring Sofia and her teddy back together. However long it may take... A beautiful, emotionally satisfying look at how nothing is ever truly lost if you keep it in your heart... 

Text Rationale:

This text has strong PSHE links, exploring themes around how people grow and cope with change and loss. Award-winning author and illustrator Tom Percival has created a plethora of gorgeous books that help children navigate various emotions and challenges in life which they can enjoy on their own after studying this text as a class. Wonderful collage artwork is paired with moving text to create this very special picture book.

Links and themes:

Seaside, sea, beaches, teddy-bears, PSHE, loss and change

Date written: June 2021

View The Sea Saw Writing Root
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