Greenling / During Reading / /

What’s in a Title?

Considering the meaning of an unfamiliar title.

Lesson length: 20 minutes

Lesson from Greenling teaching sequence

Required reading: Front cover

A note about page numbers

This book does not have page numbers. For ease of reference, we have numbered the pages from 1 starting after the title page where the text reads 'What is this growing on Barleycorn land.'. You may like to pencil page numbers in a teacher copy for quick reference.

Text potential

  • Vocabulary: Morphology: -ling suffix
  • Vocabulary: Neologisms


  • Vocabulary: Blended Approach


Although greenling is a word (a type of fish), Levi Pinfold is using it in this book as a neologism (new word). This introductory activity carried out before the children see the book, invites them to use their word-building knowledge to conjecture what a greenling might be and what a story featuring a greenling could be about.


  • Write the word ‘duckling’ on the whiteboard.
  • List of words with the -ling suffix.
  • Paper and materials for drawing.


Write the word ‘duck on the whiteboard.

Ask for a definition.

Use the slideshow to look at how other words with the -ling suffix mean a small or young version.

Now reveal the word ‘greenling’. 

  • Imagine what a greenling could be?

Ask the children to draw the image they have in their minds for the word greenling. Remind them to think about the suffix -ling and how that might be significant.

Final reflection

When the children have had enough time, allow them to share their representations.


Key vocabulary

-ling suffix words

Subject-specific and technical vocabulary 
Academic process words 
Advanced vocabulary 
Morphological investigation 
Etymological investigation 


List of words with the -ling suffix

-ling suffix


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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