Grandma Bird / After Reading / /

Contrasting Illustrations

Comparing and contrasting two illustrations.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Required reading: Whole book


  • English
  • Reading

Strategies used

  • Compare and Contrast Thinking


In Grandma Bird,  much about the character is conveyed through the illustration, particularly the changing relationship between Noi and Grandma. This session focuses on two contrasting illustrations to make the idea of character development accessible to the children.


  • Copies of the Grandma Bird, at least one between two. The children will be looking at two illustrations:
    1. Grandma preparing seaweed soup for Noi
    2. Grandma and Noi feeding the birds
  • Print copies of the Scene Word Cards to support the discussion.


Share the two illustrations. Give out the contrasting Scene Word cards and ask the children to sort them into two groups. One set for each illustration.

  • How has Benji Davies created a contrast between the two pictures?

Use the following prompts:

  • What differences do you notice between these two pictures?
  • What colours are used?
  • How do the colours make you feel? Do you have different feelings for each of the pictures?
  • Are colours used to draw your attention to important parts of the picture?

Final reflection

Some prompts for a summary discussion:

  • What contrasts have we noticed between the two pictures? 
  • How do you think Noi will sleep tonight?
  • Will the picture of him in bed tonight be different from last night?
  • What makes you think that?
  • Do you think Noi and Grandma Bird’s relationship has changed? Why? In what ways?

Key vocabulary

contrast, difference, change


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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