A Street Dog Named Pup – Cross-curricular KS2 activities

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Three-page PDF of cross-curricular activities

Key Stage



Years 5-6


Every so often, teachers are fortunate enough to read a book with their class that leaves a lasting impression on everyone, children and adults alike. I’ve always been a fan of Gill Lewis’ writing, but with A Street Dog Named Pup, she has created something truly special, a book that will be enjoyed for years to come. 

It was the final novel I read with my most recent class when they were in Year 5. When they returned to me in Year 6, it was a unanimous decision that it would be the first book we would read together.

The children enjoyed it even more the second time round, because they were already so emotionally invested in the characters. It really is that good. If you haven’t yet read it, please consider doing so at the earliest opportunity! 

What is A Street Dog Named Pup about?

At its simplest level, it is a story about a young dog, Pup, trying to survive as a stray.

However, beneath the surface, there is so much more going on. It is a book about friendship, loyalty and love. It also delivers an extremely powerful message about the unequal relationship that exists between people and animals. 

Pup desperately wants to find his way home to ‘his boy’ but has no idea about how to find him. He is taken in and accepted by the Street Dogs.

Each of the dogs in the pack has their own tragic story about how they ended up living on the streets. Pup soon forms strong friendships with the other dogs. Friendships and loyalties that the entire pack need to rely on when their home is threatened by the terrifying Fang.


A Street Dog Named Pup is definitely a book that needs reading before sharing it with a class.

There are so many character voices to think about. The last time I read it, Frenchi, the loyal bulldog, was a combination of Ray Winstone and Danny Dyer.

Clown, the impetuous boxer, was based on Boris Johnson. Merle, the anxious border collie, shared some similarities with Jodie Whittaker’s recent incarnation of Dr Who. 

More importantly, it contains scenes of animal cruelty, which some children may find distressing, so it is important for adults to know what is coming.

Jon Biddle is an experienced primary school teacher and English lead. Winner of the 2018 Reading for Pleasure Experienced Teacher of the Year award, he coordinates the national Patron of Reading initiative. 

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A Street Dog Named Pup – Cross-curricular KS2 activities

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