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Book status: The book for this planning sequence is currently reprinting or out of print and therefore not in stock at most booksellers. If you do not already own the book, we would recommend this planning sequence as an alternative:

Alternative sequence

A Home Learning Branch for Flotsam


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Author(s): David Wiesner

This is a Home Learning Branch for Flotsam.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from the Literary Curriculum.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

A Planning Sequence is available for Flotsam.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Setting descriptions, narrative retelling, non- chronological reports, letters (informal)

Main Outcome:

Sequel (mystery narrative)


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week planning sequence for Flotsam by David Wiesner in which children dicsover a range of ‘Flotsam’ items (either after a visit to the seaside, or that have appeared in the classroom). One item is a camera that contains mysterious photographs that the children must investigate. These photos come from the book Flotsam by David Wiesner. Children go on to read and reflect on the book, making predictions and retelling orally and in writing. Later in the sequence, the children have the oppportunity to create their own sequel to the story, called Jetsam, where they write the story of the child who next finds the camera. As an optional additional study, this could also link to a study of the history of cameras and report writing about this and could include a historical link about the way cameras have changed the way history is recorded.

Synopsis of Text:

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam-anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there's no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.


Wordless, seasides, adventures, mystery, cameras, oceans, under the sea

View Flotsam Planning Sequence

A Spelling Seed is available for Flotsam.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Flotsam by David Wiesner.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement the Literary Curriculum by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

Spelling Seeds work alongside the texts within the Literary Curriculum and, as such, will also reflect the suggested number of weeks spent on a text, as well.


Word List Words

bicycle, material, occasion(ally), recent, separate, strange, various

Spelling Rules and Patterns

More prefixes: sub–, auto– and re– and their effect on a word

Words with endings sounding like /ʒə/ or /tʃə/

View Flotsam Spelling Seed

A Learning Log is available for Flotsam.

View Flotsam Learning Log
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