Scottish Friendly Children S Book Tour

Scottish Friendly Children S Book Tour

Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Philip Ardagh Learning Resources (Level 2)

The Eddie Dickens Trilogy: Awful End

Become Doctor Muffin’s apprentice Lit 2-28a

Doctor Muffin tends to come up with weird and wonderful treatments for his patients’ complaints! Victorian doctors were generally faced with a lot of illnesses which they knew little about, and some of their cures were unorthodox to say the least.

Ask your pupils to imagine that they have become Doctor Muffin’s apprentice, and they have been asked by the doctor to come up with treatments for various illnesses. Ask them to write up their suggested treatment as an informative text, with a list of items needed and step by step instructions.

To follow up, you could hold a class vote on who has come up with the most unusual treatment, or ask your pupils to compile their suggestions into a book of remedies!

To differentiate the activity, you could ask less confident pupils to write their text based on Doctor Muffin’s treatment of Eddie’s parents in Episode 1 of Awful End.

Research Victorian medicineLit 2-14a

If you and your pupils aren’t too squeamish, you could research Victorian medical practices! The following websites should get your started:

BBC Victorians site:

Victorian Dentistry -

Write about a stay at The Coaching InnEng 2-27a, Lit 2-29a

Mrs. Loaf tries everything she can to stop people staying at The Coaching Inn. Ask your pupils to imagine that they have been to stay at The Coaching Inn and that they are now writing a review of their stay. Their aim is to persuade other people not to stay at the inn! Get them to talk about:

  • The awful food (see page 32 of Awful End for the part where Mrs. Loaf snatches some nice food away from Eddie!);
  • The terrible service;
  • What the rooms were like;
  • Any strange encounters (they could pretend they were staying at the same time as Eddie and his mad uncle and aunt).

The Grunts in Trouble

Create a booktrailerLit 2-16a, Eng 2-19a, Exa 2-03a, Exa 2-05a, Tch 2-03a, Tch 2-04a

Ask your pupils to make a booktrailer for The Grunts in Trouble. Have a look at our Booktrailer Masterclass videos for tutorials on booktrailer creation:

You could get your pupils to draw pictures of the characters and use these images to make your booktrailer. Pupils could give voices to each character and record themselves.

Play “Guess the Character”Eng 2-19a,Exa 2-14a

There are a whole host of characters in the book, each with their own memorable personalities and quirks. You could get some pupils to pick a character each and then perform a few lines as that character, while the rest of the class has to decide which character they are being.

Build the Grunts a house!Exa 2-03a, Exa 2-06a, Soc 2-08a,

Mr. Grunt and his dad are fond of building things made out of other things (have a look at the picture of the Grunts’ caravan on p.22).

Ask your pupils to imagine that they are Mr. Grunt, and that they have been faced with the task of designing a permanent home for the family. You could get them to draw pictures and have the class decide who has made the cleverest use of second hand materials!

Grubtown Tales: Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky

Create a twin town!HWB 2-14a, Eng 2-19a, Eng 2-31a (other outcomes will vary depending on activities)

Philip Ardagh’s characters are vividly described, and you can get your pupils thinking about what makes a memorable character by asking them to create their own version of Grubtown.

They can look at the list of characters at the back for inspiration, and the description of Manual Org on pages 9-13 will really get them thinking about how much depth they can go into when describing a character.

You can give different jobs to different pupils: some pupils could be in charge of creating a map of their twin town, others could produce an information leaflet, and others could write short stories featuring the characters in the town.

Create a board gameHWB 2-14a, Exa 2-06a, Tch 2-12a, Tch 2-14a

Creating a Grubtown board game is an ideal opportunity to bring in lots of different curricular areas! Pupils could:

  • Work out and write down the rules of the game, as well as lists of any equipment and scoring systems;
  • Design a board and pieces;
  • Design a box;
  • Put together a campaign to advertise the game;
  • Get the help of some ‘game testers’ (they could bring in younger pupils for this).

There are lots of different characters and locations in Grubtown: your pupils might want to create different questions to answer about the various characters and locations which players will need to answer to advance in the game.