Extending vocabulary

Learning focus

To extend your vocabulary through reading.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos of TV presenter and racing driver Jodie Kidd reading extracts from The Night Box by Louise Grieg

  • three activities


The Night Box

Max has a key to a very special box - the Night Box. When it is time for the Night to begin, Max opens the box and lets Night out and Day does back inside. Then, in the morning, Night goes back into the box and Day comes out again. This is a magical story where we see the jobs of Night and Day as adventures.

Watch TV presenter and racing driver Jodie Kidd read an extract from The Night Box and listen carefully to what happens.

Think about the following:

  • What is Night doing?

  • How does Night move?

  • How big do you think Night is?

Watch Jodie Kidd read an extract from 'The Night Box' by Louise Greig.

Now watch Jodie read another extract from The Night Box and think about the following:

  • Which animals does Night wake up?

  • What happens in the early morning?

Watch Jodie read a further extract from 'The Night Box'.


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

Read the extract below then complete Activity 1.

Extract 1

Darkness tumbles into the air. It dances and whirls around the room. It goes under the bed, under the chair - everywhere!

'Hello, Night!' laughs Max.

Night is mischievous! It chases blue, white, pink and green away.

Max presses his ear to the darkness. Night turns tiny sounds up LOUD.

Just a plink! That’s all. Just a drip, not a waterfall!

Just a tap on the windowpane. Just a little branch as gentle as rain, nothing more.

Just the tinkle of a bell then a prrrrr- not a lion! It’s a kitten!

Max holds on tight as darkness swirls and spills like ink into the world. Night is huge. It can hold a house. And a pond, and a forest.

A mountain, and a whale, even an ocean too!

Night soars, streams, stretches up to the sky like a kite and suddenly a thousand stars sparkle and fizz, shine and spin. This way, they say to a swan. Where is she going? She beats her strong white wings and honks one word - home.

‘The Night Box’ by Louise Greig, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay. Published by Egmont.

Activity 1

In Extract 1, the writer, Louise Greig, uses many different words to describe how Night moves.

1. Have a look at the words in the table and think about what they mean.

2. Try to move in the way the word suggests.

3. Write a short description about what they mean. The first one has been done for you.

Word that describes how darkness and night moveWhat the word means
tumblesThis sounds like darkness falls out of something.

Read Extract 2 then complete Activity 2.

Extract 2

Night is gentle. It floats down to the ground like a feather. It covers a fawn, asleep with her mother. Night is brave. Leave them in peace, Night warns.

Night shakes itself into the trees. Come badger! Come mole! Come owl! Come fox! Let’s play!

And out of the shadows they snout and snuffle, leap and swoop.

Night gives a moon to a pond. And a mole to a goose! Now a rose has a fox. And a kitten? She has the milk!

Everything has something in the dark. The branch has an owl, and the wall has a tree, and Max has a bear and a soft, warm bed.

Night is kind. Night stays in Max’s room, silent and strong all night long, to hold in its arms a bear and a boy.

But Night gets sleepy too. Goodnight me, it sighs to itself. My job is done. It is time to return.

And when Night falls asleep…

Max opens the box and WHOOSH! Night slips inside as Day sweeps out.

Day breathes into the leaves, quiet flies out of the trees, yellow rises from the rooftops. And a new song begins.

Activity 2

In Extract 2, we find out that Night does lots of jobs and helps many creatures.

Can you make a list of all the things that Night does?

For example:

Night covers a fawn.

Activity 3

1. Read or watch both of the extracts again.

In Activity 2, you made a list of all the things that Night did to help.

2. Choose one of the animals and write a 'thank you' card to Night.

Top tip!

Think about the following points to help you.

  • Think about how you will start your card. You could use To, Dear, Hi or Hello.

  • What are you thanking Night for? Use the extract to help you.

  • What else might you say to Night? Use your imagination.

  • Do you want Night to do anything else for you?

  • How will you end your card? You could use Love, From or See you soon.

Where next?

In the lesson you have extended your vocabulary through reading.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you.

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