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Borough Green Primary School

Learning Together with Kind Hearts and Determined Minds

Learning Together with Kind Hearts and Determined Minds

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The Black Dog - w/c 01 June 2020

Welcome to Term 6!

This week we have chosen the picture book Black Dog by Levi Pinfold as our inspiration. Buried deep in the snowy forest, a large beast is prowling around the house giving the Hope family the scare of their lives. But all is not as it seems in this spooky tale. Is it really a giant beast or is it just their imaginations?  The author Levi himself says, ‘This is a book about being scared. It is also a book about not being scared. It all depends on how you see things.’

You can hear and see the book here:


Word thermometer

The story of Black Dog explores the idea of fear and how it can grow or shrink in response to how we approach it.  The author uses a variety of subtly different words and descriptions for fear to help increase and decrease the tension in the story.  Listen to the story and use a thesaurus to see how any synonyms you can find for fear and feeling scared – think very carefully about each word and order them from least to most fearful to create a word thermometer or ‘scale of scary’.



Now let’s get dramatic

Use your scale of scary and act out the different words that you have found. How would being jittery look? How is it different to looking anxious? Do you want to reorder any of your words having done this exercise?


Super Sentence Stacking – Take Me Home

In our Super Sentence Stacking lesson this week we met a very different sort of dog – one who is facing his own fears (of rejection). As in previous weeks, you need to watch the You Tube lesson with Mrs C then choose one (and only one!) part of the story to tell and write nine sentences about that plot point.  Your sentences should be the very best that you can do and must address three key challenges:

  • Using the sense of sight to create your description
  • Passive voice
  • Simile

Listen very carefully to the lesson as it will really help you to produce your best work; do what you are asked – no more, no less.

Send your nine sentences to us at remembering to include your name, your class and the plot point you have written about. We can then weave all your work together and share our combined story. 




Who is The Black Dog?

In Levi Pinfold’s story the Black Dog can be seen as a magical monster but it is also a metaphor for fear, especially the fear of the unknown.  Small shows us that when you face your fears, they become smaller and more manageable. When Small and her family share the fear it reduces for all of them – think about the lines “He doesn’t seem fierce at all now I really look at him,” and “You’ve got a lot of courage, facing up to a big, fearsome thing like that.” Life can often introduce us to things that we are scared of or that make us feel nervous (visiting the dentist, joining a new group or class, putting your hand up to answer a question when you’re not 100% sure of the answer.) Can you think of a time when you were scared but you confronted your fear and found out that it wasn’t so scary after all? Can you think of anything that you are scared of at the moment? What could you do to make yourself feel better about it?

  • Talk to your family or a trusted friend.
  • Draw or write down what is worrying you to help get it out of your head. You could even screw it up and throw it away to get rid of it.
  • Sit quietly for a few moments and breathe slowly and deeply. Make a big ‘bubble’ with your arms and imagine putting your worry into it.  Gently breathe out and blow your worry away into the sky.
  • Have a look at the Worry Waterfall poster below.



Listen to the story and pay careful attention to the way the author describes the details of the dog to build the tension - the saliva dripping from his jaws, the noxious clouds of breath exploding from his nostrils. Draw your own version of the black dog and describe him, how much detail can you include? Experiment and try drawing the fur using a range of mark making methods or different sketching pencils. This can look great drawn with very scratchy lines to create a sense of movement and power. You could also try focusing on one part of the dog as seen through a tight gap: a keyhole, a window or a crack in the curtains etc – you will need to think carefully about the close-up detail.


PE – Human Agility Course

The agility course is a popular event at dog shows all over the world. Well-trained dogs weave in and out of poles, run through tunnels, leap over obstacles and even navigate wobbly see-saws. It helps to keep them fit, healthy and well stimulated, but above all it’s great fun! We know what you’re thinking, what would it be like to be an expert agility dog? Your mission is to design an agility course for humans, using objects from around the house to make your obstacles (with permission, of course!). Make it fun but pleeeease avoid danger at all costs! Which member of your household is the most agile?  See the instruction card below for more information.


DT – Hot Dogs

We’re all familiar with the traditional hot dog toppings of fried onions, mustard and ketchup – YAWN. That’s yesterday’s news. We need you to reinvent this scrummy morsel with your own healthy, nutritious and balanced version. Your brief is to write a recipe card for a brand new hot dog recipe.  See the instruction card below for more information and ideas.