Grandma Bird / After Reading / /

Making Soup

Following and writing instructions.

Lesson length: 2 sessions

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Required reading: Whole book

Text potential

  • Writing opportunities: Procedural writing


  • English
  • Writing

Strategies used

  • Writing: Direct Experience


Grandma enjoys making her seaweed soup, and it certainly helps the birds get back on their feet. This lesson introduces children to recipes, food preparation, and writing their own recipes.


Choose a soup recipe to create together. You may want to choose something simple like chicken soup or vegetable soup, which many believe have health benefits. You can also find recipes for seaweed soup online, which explain the health benefits of seaweed.

Teacher’s note. Check for any allergies before choosing a recipe


Part one of the process is to experience cooking soup.

Follow the instructions for your chosen soup recipe.

Record the process by filming or taking a series of photographs. The photographic record will be used to support the writing.

Look at some children’s recipe books to establish how recipes are written. Consider why they are written in this way.

  • Are there any differences in the way the books look?
  • Do some use photographs, and others use drawings? Which do you prefer?
  • Do they all have lists of ingredients?
  • Do they all have step-by-step instructions?
  • Are safety points highlighted?
  • Which would you find most straightforward to follow?

Depending on the experience of the children, you can model the writing process or ask them to write independently.

Final reflection

Invite the children to take their recipe home and have a go at following the instructions with an adult to make soup.

Key vocabulary

first, next, then, after that, finally, chop, stir, simmer, fry, boil, add


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.

Read more

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

Read more