The Glassmaker’s Daughter

Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd. Authored by Dianne Hofmeyr. Illustrated by Jane Ray.

Recommended for: Year 2.

Suggested length of study: 3 - 4 weeks.

Download the full scheme of work

Why the book was selected

Diane Hofmeyr’s lyrical text reads aloud well and is at a challenging level for year 2. However, repeated rereadings to develop familiarity with the text will increase the children’s fluency. They will be introduced to literary language and to challenging vocabulary, which they can explore at a deeper level. Although this is an original story, the traditional structure and tropes allow children to make connections with other stories that they know. World knowledge is built through the Venetian setting and introduction to glassmaking/blowing. Jane Ray’s sublime illustrations support and extend the text providing greater contextual knowledge for the children to explore. The expressiveness provides a great starting point for the exploration of character using a range of drama strategies. There are also opportunities to teach visual language and to explore technique, particularly with regard to the painting of the glass palace.

Links to National Curriculum in England

This sequence focuses on reading comprehension, and does not explicitly teach phonics, although children may well be using phonological knowledge, decoding skills and recognising common exception words during the reading sessions. Children will be encouraged to read with fluency, especially as the text becomes familiar through rereading. At KS1, Take One Book will complement the approach you use for teaching phonics, ensuring your pupils are developing greater depth and understanding of the books they are reading


Pupils will be taught to: 

  •  develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding
  •  listen to, discuss and express views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently 
  • discuss the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related  
  • become increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales  
  • be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways 
  • recognise simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry 
  • discuss and clarify the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary  
  • discuss their favourite words and phrases
  • read with appropriate intonation and fluency to make the meaning clear 
  • understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to 
  • draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher  
  • check that the text makes sense to them as they read, with the teacher correcting inaccurate reading  
  • make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
  •  answer and ask questions  
  • predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves
  • take turns and listen to what others say  
  • explain and discuss their understanding

Curriculum connections

  • PSHE
  • Science

About the author

Dianne Hofmeyr lives in London but grew up grew up between the sea and mountains on the southernmost tip of Africa.Wherever she travels she is forever snapping images, drawing maps, sketching, collecting scraps of paper… hoping somewhere to find the thread of a story.

About the illustrator

Jane Ray who has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award by IBBY is well known for her distinctive children’s book illustrations. She lives in North London with her husband and three children and works in a studio at the end of the garden. 

A note about lessons

Our lessons are organised as meaningful chunks of learning. Most of them will fit a standard 45 minute to 60 minute session. However, some of them are shorter and others will run for a series of linked sessions. It is anticipated that you will not teach all the lessons. Select those that suit the needs of your class and add them to your personalised plans.

A note about page numbers

This book does not have page numbers. For ease of reference we have numbered the pages starting with ‘One by One…’ as page 1. You may want to lightly pencil page numbers in a teacher copy.
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Text potential

Lessons for this book

Before Reading


What Makes You Smile?

Making connections between personal experience and the experience of the main character.


Building background knowledge with an introduction to the properties of glass (materials)

Page 1

Revealing the Cover

Using a picture reveal strategy to draw attention to detail and prompt prediction.

A Beautiful City

Making explicit the process of creating mental images from reading.

During Reading

First Encounters

Meeting Daniela

Using the I know, I can infer, I would like to know to model inference and questioning.

Pages 3-4


Investigating vocabulary using a Zone of Relevance template.

Pages 3-4

‘How will such a miserable girl ever find happiness?’

An opportunity to read the story and build understanding.

Pages 1-14

Fluent Reading

Developing fluency with selected passages using the Echo Reading strategy.

Pages 16-18

Let’s Think About It

Building understanding using Book Talk

Required reading: Whole book

Digging Deeper

Getting to Know Angelo

Using hotseating to explore a character

Page 16

Looking at Language

Identifying and responding to figurative language.

Pages 18-19

What is Daniela Thinking?

Using freeze frame and thought tracking to make explicit the inferences made about Daniela.

Required reading: Whole book

Summarising The Glassmaker’s Daughter

Summarising the story using a Flow Map to support thinking.

Required reading: Whole book

An Illustration Walk

Exploring visual language using an illustration walk with prompts.

Required reading: Whole book

Soundtracking Daniela

Using a Soundtrack strategy to convey contrasting moods in the story.

Required reading: Whole book

After Reading

Review and Reflect

Alternative Titles

Reflecting on the message of the story by creating a new title.

Required reading: Whole book

All Change

Looking at how characters change and develop in stories and what they learn.

Required reading: Whole book


Exploring a theme through discussion provoked by statements.

Required reading: Whole book

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall …

A simple introduction to the concept of symbolism by comparing mirrors in two stories.

Required reading: Whole book

Writing Opportunities

What Happened Next?

Writing an epilogue based on what we have learnt about Daniela and Angelo.

Instant Verb Poem

Studying the verb choice at a critical moment and writing a verb poem.

Pages 21-24

Through Daniela’s Eyes

Writing in role as Daniela.

A Recipe for Happiness

Responding to a theme by writing a list poem.

Wider Learning Opportunities

Mask Making

Designing and making a simple Venetian mask to delight Daniela.

Pages 9-10

Beautiful Venice

Making a group collage inspired by the shapes of Venetian buildings and Jane Ray's illustrations.

A Palace for Angelo

Designing and building a palace for Angelo using recyclable materials.


Zeraffa Giraffa

Published by Frances Lincoln. Authored by Dianne Hofmeyr. Illustrated by Jane Ray.

Another book by Dianne Hormeyr and Jane Ray

This is the astonishing true story of Zeraffa, a giraffe who was sent as a gift from Egypt to France in 1826. A young boy, Atir, takes care of Zeraffa on her epic journey and the sailors sing songs as she gazes down at them. In France, Atir leads her through the countryside, and thousands of people marvel at Zeraffa.
Paris falls in love with Zeraffa. The King builds her a special house in the Jardin des Plantes. On warm nights, the young princess visits, while Atir whispers stories to Zeraffa of a hot land far away.

Augustus and His Smile

Published by Little Tiger Press. Authored by Catherine Rayner. Illustrated by Catherine Rayner.

Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. So he did a huge tigery stretch, and set off to find it. In this book, the author and illustrator Catherine Rayner celebrates the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it brings us when we open our eyes to it.

The Golden Goose

Published by Child's Play. Authored by Brother's Grimm. Illustrated by Roberta Angeletti.

A traditional story about a princess who cannot laugh. This version has added lift the flap novelty.

First Palette: Masquerade Mask

Simple instructions for making a masquerade mask.

Visit resource

Lonely Planet: Make a Venetian Mask

Simple instructions for making a Venetian mask.

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BBC Bitesize: Glass Blowing

An information film about glassblowing linked to changing materials in Science. It includes further ideas for teaching.

How does heat change materials? Includes footage of a glass blower working with glass. Glass starts as sand, and when it is heated to a high temperature it melts to form liquid glass. When it is hot it can be formed into different shapes then cooled to become solid again.

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Travel with Kids TV: Venice

A film made by an American family who travel the world and make films to inroduce the places to children.

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Dale Chihuly : Glass Artist

A short film showing the beautiful glass sculptures made by glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly is an American artist but he is greatly inspired by the Venetian glass blowers from whom he learnt many secret techniques.

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The Four Seasons by Vivaldi

Venetian composer Vivaldi’s Four Seasons provides an excellent back drop for caturing the flavour of Venice. Other music that you could use to help build atmosphere includes Luciano Pavarotti’s rendition of O Sole Mio.