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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 The Lost Thing


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Author(s): Shaun Tan

This is a Home Learning Branch for The Lost Thing.  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 The Lost Thing.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Diary entries, formal letters,adverts,character and setting descriptions, non-chronological reports

Main Outcome:

Own version fantasy narrative


16 sessions, 3+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

Using the film and text of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing, children initially engage with the themes of the story and make predictions about its content. They then engage with the story in order to retell the main events to one another. This then leads to a series of innovations upon the story structure and children create their own ‘lost things’, creating a story plan. In the final part, children write their own lost thing narratives, based upon their story plan.

Synopsis of Text:

The Lost Thing is a humorous story about a boy who discovers a bizarre-looking creature whilst out collecting bottle-tops at the beach. Having guessed that it is lost, he tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs, but the problem is met with indifference by everyone else, who barely notice it's presence. Each is unhelpful in their own way; strangers, friends, parents all unwilling to entertain this uninvited interruption to day-to-day life. In spite of his better judgement, the boy feels sorry for this hapless creature, and attempts to find out where it belongs.


Film, utopia, dystopia, belonging, unusual friendship

View The Lost Thing Planning Sequence

A Spelling Seed is available for The Lost Thing.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan.  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

according, curiosity, familiar, identity, immediate(ly), leisure, recommend, suggest

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words ending in –able and –ible, –ably and –ibly

Words ending in –ent, –ence/–ency

View The Lost Thing Spelling Seed

A Learning Log is available for The Lost Thing.

View The Lost Thing Learning Log
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