Sign In
Sign In
Register for Free

The Viewer – six weeks of free teaching resources

What's included?

PDF worksheets and PowerPoint presentation

Key Stage



Years 5-6


What is The Viewer?

The Viewer is a fantastic picture book by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan aimed at Upper Key Stage 2.

The story is short enough to read in 10 minutes, but has always, in my experience, gripped the children’s attention and produced some brilliant pieces of writing.

Use the six-week unit plan and accompanying teaching pack to help your pupils emulate the story of The Viewer to write their own narrative, by imitating the grammatical techniques used and analysing how the story has been constructed, right down to sentence level.

This download contains:

  • Medium term plan
  • Free worksheets
  • PowerPoint

What children will learn

  • Sequence events in a narrative
  • Annotate grammatical features of a character description
  • Write a character description using multi-clause sentences
  • Pen a multi-clause sentence including metaphors/dashes
  • Write a setting description using multi-clause sentences
  • Draft the next section of the story using previously learned grammatical techniques

Start here

Introduce the book The Viewer by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan (make sure to choose the edition published in 2012 as it contains detail pertinent to these lessons).

Can the children predict what the story might be about from the title and the cover? Read the book and give pupils time to look carefully at the pictures – there’s a lot to be discussed. Ask their predictions after each page.

Once finished, give the children a blank copy of the generic story structure (included in this download) and ask them to sequence the key events from The Viewer. Pupils can then use this grid throughout the unit to help them innovate and create their own stories.

Re-read and analyse the character description on page one. Ask children to annotate any hyphenated adjectives, adverbials of time or place and ambitious vocabulary (see slide 1 in the included PowerPoint). Children who finish early could annotate these words with their definition, using a dictionary for support.

Now draw attention to the use of dashes in this character description (slide 2). There are three examples where dashes are used in pairs as parentheses – what effect does it have when this extra information is added?

Try reading the sentences aloud without the added words in the middle. The class will use similar grammatical features in the next lesson when they write their own character description.

Sophie Bartlett is a Y5/6 teacher, and English and curriculum lead. Follow her on Twitter @_MissieBee and see more of her work at

The Viewer teaching resources
The Viewer – six weeks of free teaching resources

You'll also receive regular updates from Teachwire with free lesson plans, great new teaching ideas, offers and more. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Which sectors are you interested in?

By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions and privacy policy

Explore teaching packs

Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Fire up KS2 pupils' imagination with this collection of 20+ fictional stories, written by literacy expert Pie Corbett. Each ... more
20 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Non-Fiction Collection
Use Pie Corbett’s non-fiction texts to inspire your KS2 pupils to get writing. Each resource contains an original text in ... more
6 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Poetry Collection
Inspire KS2 pupils to be creative and express themselves with this pack of Pie Corbett poetry. Each of these Pie Corbett Tal... more
7 x resources
WAGOLL classroom resources
WAGOLL Packs from Real Authors
Peer inside the mind of award-winning children's authors and help pupils understand how to create engaging characters, capti... more
7 x resources
Art KS2 inspiring medium term plans
Art KS2 Inspiring Medium Term Plans
Get pupils' creative juices flowing with these expert medium-term art plans for KS2. Each resource consists of a full half-t... more
6 x resources
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Spark pupils' imaginations with these inventive and exciting teaching ideas, all themed around the wonderful world of Harry ... more
11 x resources