Birds, Birds and Birds!

Hello Year 3 and 4. I so wish that you have had a weekend that was both exciting and restful in equal measure. Our theme for this week’s learning is ‘Birds’.

This week will follow the same format as last with a focus on reading, vocabulary, times tables and maths games. However, I am going to upload the weeks activities in two parts (Part 1. Monday and Tuesday and Part 2. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).



There is a beautiful story called the ‘King of the Birds’. This traditional story is about a race to become the bird king. Which bird will become king? It is retold by an author called Michael Scott in a book called ‘Beyond the Stars’ by Sarah Webb.

This is actually an old Irish folk story that my Grandmother told me as a very young child. It fostered within me a love for the ‘underdog’ which I still hold to this day. It taught me that even though the odds might be stacked against you, if you try hard enough and think clever enough you can achieve your dreams.

For today’s activity, I want you to read the story with an adult or by yourself. It would be lovely for the adult to read the story so your child can take it all in.

Beyond the Stars Sarah Webb [1]

To help to understand the general theme of the story, please see the video of the story which has been narrated by Melvyn Hayes.

Top Tips for home reading:

Make books a part of family life – Always have books around at home. That way you and your children are ready to get reading, even if it’s only for ten minutes.

Get comfortable! – Snuggle up together somewhere warm and cosy, whether it’s in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa. And make sure your child has somewhere comfy to read on their own too.

Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read. Start with ‘Where did we get to last time?’, ‘Can you remember what’s happened so far?’ and ‘What do you think will happen next?’

Enjoy bedtime stories – Read with your kids at bedtime as often as you can. It’s a great way to end the day and to spend valuable time with them.


Vocabulary and Story Mapping


Are there any words or phrases from the story that you are unsure of that you would like to investigate further in order to clarify what they mean?

You can do so using the word investigation sheet by writing the word in the middle, then drawing and writing the meaning or definition either side of the word or phrase,

Understanding Vocabulary Template

Story Mapping

When we study texts in school we ask the children to story map the text so they can see that the story is made up of different parts. Whether it be setting the scene where the story takes place, the part in the story where something ‘bad’ happens or the part in the story where the ‘bad thing’ gets resolved. By breaking down the story into these parts allows you to better understand the story and the way stories are generally written. For children to see this helps them be better writers when it comes to writing their own version of story.

The story map is created by drawing pictures or sketches along with words to represent that part of the story.

There are story mapping resources below. There is no right or wrong. Just chunk the story up into major events as you see them. The main thing is to have fun and be creative.

Storyboards How to instructions

Story Planner with visual prompts

King of the Birds template storyboard


Some Other Fun Activities