The Giants & the Joneses by Julia Donaldson

Every giant knows beanstalks and little people don’t exist. Almost every giant, anyway . . . When Jumbeelia’s curiosity leads her to a real-live bimplestonk at the edgeland of Groil and down, down, down into Colette, Stephen and Poppy’s lives, the children find themselves in BIG trouble! They’re desperate to get home – but it’s not easy when even the wasps are giant sized!

Embark on a colossal adventure with this whimsical tale tailor-made for budding Key Stage 1 readers.

Genre: family, adventure, fairytale

Themes: adventures, communication, moral, funny

Age: 6+

The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson book cover


1. When Jumbeelia climbs down to the world of iggly plops she finds many things that are strange and exciting to her. Ask pupils to write a postcard to a giant from another world to describe what our world is like. What are the best things to tell them? What about these items makes them great? Can they include lots of descriptive words to help the giant’s imagination?

2. Pupils can grow their very own mini bean stalk. Using clear plastic cups, cotton wool or compost, paper straws, twist ties and beans (seed packet), pupils can plant their own beanstalk and watch them grow! How often will they water them? Where should they place the bean to grow and why? How will they check if the bean is growing? (CC: STEM, Biology)

3. The giants have their own language which can be decoded using the dictionary in the back. Can pupils use the Groilish dictionary to write a note to the giants? Can they use this language to send a message to a friend in the class for them to decode? Can pupils create their very own class language?

4. Storyboard activity. In the first column ask pupils to recall the main parts of the story into 5 main parts. Then as a class use the second column to think of a class adaptation of the story – what will they change and why? The third column can be used for a pair or individual adaptation of the story. How can they use their imagination to create their own similar story? (Use ‘Storyboard activity’ resource)

5. Jumbeelia and Zab don’t always take the best care of Colette, Steven and baby Poppy. Can pupils in groups create a mind map to think about what people need in their life to be well taken care of? What physical things can they think of? Can pupils think of non-physical things we need to feel cared for? (CC: PSHE)

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