Reading lesson: Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett

Home learning focus

Using the book Cyril and Pat you will learn about answering questions using the text, inferring what characters might say to each other and explaining what words mean.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos of TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson reading extracts from the book

  • three activities


Cyril and Pat

This book is about Cyril, the only squirrel in Lake Park, who is very lonely. One day he meets Pat – Pat is big and grey, and Cyril mistakes him for another squirrel! They become great friends and the two have lots of adventures and fun together - Cyril is so pleased he's made a friend. But everyone else thinks that Cyril and Pat simply cannot be friends, and they soon reveal why: Pat is actually a rat!

Watch TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson read an extract from Cyril and Pat.

Think about the following questions.

  • Who are the two main characters?

  • Where are they?

  • What happens?

Watch Naomi Wilkinson read an extract from 'Cyril and Pat'.

Now watch Naomi read another extract from Cyril and Pat and think about the following questions.

  • Who is talking in this extract?

  • Are you happy with the ending?

Watch Naomi Wilkinson read another extract from 'Cyril and Pat'.


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

Read this short extract from Cyril and Pat and then try the activity below.

Extract 1

Lake Park only had one Squirrel,

All alone and sad (poor Cyril).

Until the morning he met Pat,

His new best friend, a big grey…


Just like ME!

Pat and Cyril spend each day

Thinking up good games to play.

They liked to put on puppet shows,

And test how fast a skateboard goes.

Their favourite games were Hide-and-seek,

And one that they called Pigeon Sneak.


Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and he's very lonely. Until one day he meets Pat, the big, grey other squirrel and they have lots of adventures and fun together. But is Pat a squirrel, or not? Published by Two Hoots.

Activity 1

Answer the following three questions, using language from the text in your answers.

  1. How do Cyril’s feelings change in this extract? Complete the following sentences.

In the beginning .................................

In the end .................................

  1. According to the text, what games do Cyril and Pat play?

  2. How do you know that Cyril and Pat are friends?

Now read this short extract from Cyril and Pat and try the activity below.

Extract 2

Cyril ran, out of the park

Into the city, into the dark.

All alone and scared. Poor Cyril.

'Not quite alone, you stupid squirrel.'

'And not so brave without that rat.'.

'Ahem. Do you mean ME?' said Pat.

Lake Park still only has one squirrel-

But he is not alone. Now Cyril

Lives there with a large grey rat,

His brave and clever best friend, Pat.

Activity 2

There are three main characters in the story – Cyril the squirrel, Pat the rat and Slim the dog.

In the table below are some examples of what the characters might say.

Using what you know from extract 1 and extract 2, write the character’s name next to what they might say.

You must use each character once: Cyril, Pat and Slim.

'Wow, I am so happy that I have a new friend at last! Who would have thought that my new best friend would be a rat?'
'So, what do we have here? It looks like a small squirrel who has lost his pet rat!'
'I'm so helpful and have just saved my friend's life!'

Activity 3

Read both extracts again.

The first extract says Cyril is 'sad'.

We can use a dictionary or a thesaurus to find other words that have a similar meaning. Some of the words have a stronger meaning of sadness. We can put them on a scale to show how sad somebody is.

Look at these words:

  • gutted

  • desolate

  • crestfallen

  • sorrowful

  • upset

  • unhappy

Take a piece of paper and draw a horizontal line across the page. Now write the words above on the line from the weakest word for ‘sad’ to the strongest word for ‘sad.’

You can try the same for 'happy'. Here are some words and expressions to start you off:

  • happy

  • over the moon

  • cheerful

  • ecstatic

  • chuffed

  • content

There's more to learn

Bitesize Daily lessons
Reading and writing
Emily Gravett