Grandma Bird / Before Reading / /

A Trip to the Beach

A trip to a beach to inspire and inform.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Text potential

  • Background knowledge: Seashore

Strategies used

  • Immersive Hook


Immersing children in a real experience is both motivating and supportive of their learning. Some children may have limited experience of the islands, seascapes, rock pooling if you are fortunate to be able to take the children to a beach in advance of reading Grandma Bird, this lesson offers a rich experience.


Prepare a scroll that is battered and torn and tied with a piece of old string. You could rub with fish oil to make it smell of the sea. Write Noi’s name on the scroll to show that it belongs to him. The scroll has images called ‘Things to take to Grandma’s’. You can draw them or download the photographic images.

  • a bucket and spade
  • a fishing net
  • a seashell
  • a balaclava hat
  • a crab
  • a bottle of sand
  • a photograph of a shipwreck.

Prepare a postcard from Grandma to Noi asking him to come and visit. The postcard shows her address and lists things for Noi to bring with him.


Discover the scroll and the postcard with the children. Prompts include:

  • Where has it come from?.
  • Who is Noi?.
  • What clues can we find? (including smell).

Final reflection

For homework, encourage the children to find out about islands. Follow-up with a discussion about what they have discovered and then add anything else they think Noi will need to his drawings.

Key vocabulary

bucket, spade, shipwreck

Additional vocabulary



Sacha Hancock

I am an infant teacher currently teaching in year one. I am a passionate reading teacher and encourage the children I teach to become readers too. I have now been teaching for ten years and during that time I have developed an ethos of high expectations, independence and engagement.