Reading lesson: Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Home learning focus

To be able to order events in the story and explain your opinion of the the book Funnybones.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos of professional dancer Dianne Buswell reading extracts from the book Funnybones

  • three activities to do at home

Learn

Watch professional dancer Dianne Buswell read this extract from Funnybones.

Whilst playing, try and think about whether the big and little skeletons find a solution to the problem.

Extract one - Putting the skeleton back together

Now watch this second extract from Funnybones.

Try and think about the following things whilst it's playing.

  • Do they manage to scare anyone at the zoo?
  • Were you surprised by what happened?
Extract 2 - The big skeleton and the little skeleton go to the zoo

Practise

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

Activity 1: Match characters to what they said

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

The big skeleton and the little skeleton played on the swings.

They threw a stick for the dog.

Suddenly something happened.

The dog skeleton chased the stick, tripped over a park bench, bumped into a tree- "WOOF" – and ended up as a little pile of bones.

“Look at that!” the big skeleton said.

“He’s all come to pieces. What shall we do now?”

“Let’s put him back together again,” the little skeleton said.

So the big skeleton and the little skeleton put the dog skeleton together again.

They sang a song while they did it.

"THE TOE BONE’S CONNECTED TO THE – FOOT BONE!

THE FOOT BONE’S CONNECTED TO THE -LEG BONE!

THE LEG BONE’S CONNECTED TO THE – HIP BONE!

THE HIP BONE’S CONNECTED TO THE – BACK BONE!

WOFO!

OOFW!"

Then they got mixed up.

“Is that a toe bone?” the little skeleton said.

“Where does this one go?” said the big skeleton.

OWOF!

The frightfully funny Halloween classic from the sensational Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Who will Big Skeleton, Little Skeleton and Dog Skeleton scare tonight? Published by Puffin.

Number the events in the order that they happened in the extract.

Number 1 has been done for you (highlighted below).

  • The big skeleton and the little skeleton sang a song.
  • The dog tripped over a park bench.
  • The big skeleton and the little skeleton played on the swings.
  • The dog bumped into a tree.
  • The dog chased the stick.

Activity 2: Explain your opinion

Read this second extract from Funnybones and then try the activity below.

So the big skeleton, the little skeleton and the dog skeleton left the dark dark swings, went out into the dark dark town – and tried to frighten somebody.

The trouble was, there wasn’t anybody. Everybody was in bed. Even the policemen in the police station were in bed. Even the animals in the zoo!

Of course, the skeleton animals were awake.

SQUEAK

SNORT

OINK

GEE UP NELLIE

GOOD EVENING ALL… WHO’S A CHEEKY BOY THEN… HAVE A CUP OF TEA… PRETTY POLLY… PUT THE KETTLE ON MOTHER…

Let’s have a ride on the elephant skeleton,” the little skeleton said.

“Let’s have a word with the parrot skeleton.”

The big skeleton scratched his skull.

“Let’s … keep out of the way of the crocodile skeleton,” he said.

When they were back in the street, and when they still could not find anybody to frighten, the big skeleton said, “What shall we do now?”

The little skeleton scratched his skull. “Let’s frighten each other,” he said.

“That’s better than nothing!”

“Good idea!” the big skeleton said.

Try and answer the following questions and then write four sentences explaining what your opinion of Funnybones is.

  • What type of book is Funnybones?
  • How do you feel as the reader when you are reading it?
  • Does it make you laugh?
  • Is it scary?
  • Is it a sad story?
  • What do you think of the characters?

Here are some sentence starters to help you.

I think the booked is called Funnybones because _ _ _ _ _ _

I think the story is about _ _ _ _ _ because _ _ _ _ _

I liked/didn't like the part where _ _ _ _ _ because _ _ _ _ _

I think the characters are _ _ _ _ _ because _ _ _ _ _

Activity 3: Creating new ways to scare skeletons

Have a look back at both extracts from the activities above. At the end of the story they decide to scare each other.

Using the beginnings of the sentences below, write three sentences to show how they could scare each other

  • The big skeleton will _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  • The little skeleton will _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  • The dog skeleton will _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There's more to learn

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