Meerkat Mail

Age Range: 5 - 11

Sunny the meerkat lives with his enormous family in the Kalahari desert. They are all very close . . . so close, in fact, that one day Sunny decides it's just too crowded and packs his bags. He's off to visit his mongoose cousins. But from the watery world of the Marsh Mongoose to the nocturnal lifestyle of the Malagasy Mongoose, Sunny just doesn't fit in. And who's that shadowy figure who seems to be following him around?


Book Author: Emily Gravett

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • The title of the book uses alliteration. Can you make up other potential book titles that also use alliteration?
  • There are many different types of texts in this book. How many can you find?
  • How would you describe Sunny’s personality?
  • Retell the story from Sunny’s point of view.
  • Carry out some role play activities with ‘Sunny’ in which he explores how he is feeling at different points in the story.
  • Look at the settings shown in the illustrations. How would you describe them?
  • Write a letter to Sunny from his family while he is travelling.
  • Create an invitation for a ‘Welcome Home’ party.

Maths

  • Sunny thinks that his home is too hot. Can you find out the current temperature where you live? How would you describe this?
  • What are the highest and lowest temperatures of your local area at different times of the year?
  • Create a timeline that shows the main events of the story.

Science

  • What does this book teach you about meerkats? Use this information (along with your own research) to create a report about them.

Computing

  • Use publishing software to create a ‘Missing’ poster for Sunny.
  • Make a postcard from Sunny to his family.
  • Create a game in which Sunny has to travel from one place to another.
  • Create a vlog, a podcast or a travel blog in which Sunny documents his travels.
  • Record your own video retelling of this story. Here are some examples:

Design Technology

  • Create a model of a meerkat.
  • Design a new enclosure for a family of meerkats at a zoo.

Art

  • Use photos of meerkats as inspiration for your own drawings or paintings.
  • Could you create a realistic illustration of a meerkat and a comic portrait of the animal? How are they portrayed in cartoons and movies (e.g. Timon from the Lion King)?

Geography

  • The story begins in the Kalahari Desert. Can you find out where this is? How far is it from where you live?
  • Create a report about the Kalahari Desert.

PSHE

  • The meerkats are told to stay together. What are the benefits of working together? Do you prefer to work independently or with others? Why?

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