Key Stages(s): KS1

Author(s): Julia Donaldson & Emily Gravett 

A Literacy Tree Teaching Sequence for Cave Baby

£8.00 (inc. VAT)

Main Outcomes:

Labels and Captions, Informal Letters, Narratives (Own Versions), Retellings

Overview and outcomes:

Ideally, aim to take children on a trip to the zoo prior to, or early on in this teaching sequence, taking photos of and concentrating on labels and captions used to describe the animals. Back in the classroom, the children begin by sharing experiences of times they have been ‘naughty’ or done ‘naughty’ things. Set up part of the classroom as a role-play area as the setting of ‘Cave Baby’. Have paper on the walls and paint available for children to paint ‘on the walls’. Allow for dressing up opportunities in this area as ‘cave-people’ (these could double-up as overalls!). Children will explore the text, looking at the various animals and joining in as the text is read, e.g. ‘Sabre-Toothed Tiger’. By the end of stage 1, children will know the text and be able to retell it using puppets, small world etc. It will be useful to have the text displayed on the IWB (e.g. using a visualizer). Children then go on to explore the features of simple sentences and create their own which can be added as caption-sentences to working wall, eventually retelling the story in sequences of sentences and writing sorry letters in role.


A hairy mammoth takes a cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape populated by a sabre-toothed tiger, a leaping hare, a laughing hyena and even, just maybe, by a big brown bear...But where are they going? And what has it to do with the baby’s scribblings on the cave wall?