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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 Tadpole's Promise


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Author(s): Jeanne Willis

This is a Home Learning Branch for Tadpole's Promise.  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 Tadpole's Promise.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Simple explanations, speech bubbles, setting descriptions, thought bubbles, extended explanations

Main Outcome:

Own version narrative


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week planning sequence for Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross. To begin with, children write their own promises on lily pads to float in their class pond and record a simple explanation of a process of change they are familiar with.  Children go on to re-enact sections of the story and consider the thoughts of the characters at certain points.  This is in preparation for them to plan and write their own version of the narrative using characters of their choice (who also meet a grizzly ending!).  Using information from the text children also create an explanation text in leaflet form to outline the stages in the lifecycle of a frog.  It may be useful to ensure other books about changes are available, e.g. Changes by Anthony Browne and, if possible, have tadpoles in or near the classroom to observe their changes.

Synopsis of Text:

Tadpole loves his rainbow friend, the caterpillar, and she tells him she loves everything about him. "Promise that you will never change," she says. But as the seasons pass and he matures, his legs grow, and then his arms - and what happens to his beautiful rainbow friend? As he sits on his lily pad, digesting a butterfly, Tadpole little realises that now he will never know! Follow the predictable changes of a tadpole and a caterpillar to their natural conclusion in this award winning picture book.


Life-cycles, habitats, species, animals, explanations

View Tadpole's Promise Planning Sequence

A Spelling Seed is available for Tadpole's Promise.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Tadpoles Promise by Jeanne Willis.  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.


Common Exception Words

beautiful, both, break, mind, old, only, prove, sure, told, wild

Spelling Rules and Patterns

The /aɪ/ sound spelt –y at the end of words

The suffixes –ment, –ness, –ful , –less and –ly

View Tadpole's Promise Spelling Seed

A Learning Log is available for Tadpole's Promise.

View Tadpole's Promise Learning Log
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