Understanding what you have read

Learning focus

To read a text and show understanding by giving a personal opinion about it.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos of TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson reading extracts from Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles by Jeanne Willis

  • three activities


Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles

Spike the hedgehog wakes up one morning without his prickles – he is completely bare! He tries lots of different ways to cover himself up as he is so embarrassed - a frilly paper lampshade, a plate and even a sock. In the end, the balloons save the day. Will he get his prickles back?

Watch TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson read an extract from Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles.

Think about the following:

  • What happens to the sock?

  • Do you think that Weasel is kind to Spike?

  • What does Spike find attached to Mole’s door?

  • What do you think will happen next?

Watch Naomi Wilkinson read an extract from 'Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles' by Jeanne Willis.

Now watch Naomi read another extract from Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles and think about the following:

  • Did you expect the balloons to carry Spike into the air?

  • How do you think Spike felt?

  • What do you think he saw when he travelled twice around the world?

  • What did you think of the ending?

Watch Naomi read a further extract from 'Spike: The Hedgehog Who Lost His Prickles' by Jeanne Willis.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Read the two extracts below, then have a go at the activities that follow.

Extract 1

But to his great dismay…

…the sock unravelled on a thorn.

‘You’re all bare,’ teased Weasel

‘as the day that you were born!’

‘Oh, please don’t tease me Weasel!’

little Spike said with a sigh.

‘I don’t know why I have no prickles

and it makes me shy.’

But Weasel said, ‘You’ll freeze!

A chilly breeze is in the air.

You’ll catch a cold and sneeze,

So please put on some underwear!’

Spike went red and off he fled. He had no pants or vest.

He really missed his prickles and felt badly underdressed.

And just when he believed he couldn’t bear it any more…

…he saw balloons! A great big bunch!

Attached to Mole’s front door,

Spike grabbed the string.

‘They’re just the thing to cover me,’ he said.

And he wound balloons around himself

from tiny toe to head.

‘The height of fashion!’ Squirrel said.

‘So colourful and round!’

Spike, a little hedgehog, has always had impressive prickles. But one morning, after a particularly scary dream, he wakes up completely bare! Illustrated by Jarvis. Published by Nosy Crow.

Extract 2

As everyone admired him, Spike lifted off the ground!

He drifted, shifted by the wind, and floated out of sight…

The sun went down. Away he blew into the moonlit night.

Over snowy mountains where the wild grey wolves all howl…

…Over steamy jungles where the roaring tigers prowl.

Twice around the world he went. He thought he’d never stop.

Then he saw his home!

He waved.

And his balloons went …


He dropped down to the mossy ground and landed

… with a thud.

The burst balloons, in tatters, Scattered round him in the mud.

‘Spike’s not bare!’ his friends declared. ‘He’s sharper than a tack!’

‘I popped all my balloons!’ whooped Spike. ‘My prickles have grown back!’

So Badger threw a party for him - everybody came! Prickly Spike no longer had to hang his head in shame.

And even when he turned to leave, His friends were very kind, pretending not to see the…

… cupcake stuck to his behind!

Activity 1

Lots of different things happen in these extracts. Spike must have felt different feelings at these different times.

  1. Have a look at some of the events from the story and talk about how Spike might have felt when each event happened. You can look at the table below for ideas.

  2. Try to write two examples of how Spike felt for each event.

When this happened…I think Spike felt…
When the sock unravelled…
When Weasel teased Spike and he ran off…
When Spike saw the balloons…
When Spike was floating across the world…
When Spike realised that his prickles were back…

Activity 2

  1. Read or watch the second extract again.

  2. Number these events 1-5 in the order that they happened in the story. Number 1 has been done for you.

Badger threw a party for everyone
Nobody told Spike that he had a cupcake stuck to him
Spike travelled around the world twice1
The balloons popped
Spike realised that his prickles had grown back
  1. Which was your favourite part of the story? Can you explain why?

Activity 3

  1. Read or watch both extracts again and think about what has happened.

Spike wakes up one morning and his prickles are gone. He tries lots of different things like a frilly paper lampshade, a plate and even a sock to cover himself up. In the end, the balloons save the day.

Put yourself in Spike's shoes - what will he do if it happened again?

  1. Design something for Spike to have to wear or use just in case he loses his prickles again.

You can draw it and then label it. You might even be able to write some sentences to describe your design.

Have fun and be creative!

Where next?

In this lesson you have practised reading and giving an option on a text.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you.

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