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A Planning Sequence for Weirdo

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Reception

Literary Theme: Strength of Mind

Author(s): Zadie Smith and Nick Laird


Posters, notes, badges, letters, writing in role, leaflets

Main Outcome:

Instructional leaflet on being yourself and accepting others


10+ sessions, 2+ weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

In this ten session sequence, which we suggest will take 3 weeks to cover, the children arrive to class to find that the role-play area has been set up as The Be Yourself Boutique. They think about what it means to be yourself before sharing the story where they meet a character who is perceived as being weird. In fact, the other pets in the house call her, ‘Weirdo’. The children write infer feelings and talk about not just being yourself but also accepting and celebrating others’ individuality. Finally, they explore ways of helping others to be themselves before helping Maud (the name The Surprise is eventually given) to write a guide on being yourself and accepting others. Phonics teaching is embedded throughout and suggestions for Continuous Provision are also made.

Synopsis of Text:

Meet Maud: a guinea pig who inexplicably wears a judo suit - and not everyone understands or approves. When Maud is thrown into a new and confusing situation, it takes brave decisions and serendipitous encounters for her to find her place and embrace her individuality.

The charming characters of Magenta Fox, whose work is evocative of Raymond Briggs and Janet Ahlberg, perfectly offset Zadie and Nick's warm, wry prose.

Weirdo is an endearing story about the quiet power of being different by two veteran writers, and introduces an exciting debut illustrator. Together they have created a picture book that adults and children alike will treasure.
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Individuality, acceptance, guinea pigs, martial arts

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