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‘Tuesday’ by David Wiesner

Grace Woollard By Grace Woollard

Some books create a buzz in a classroom and ‘Tuesday’, by David Wiesner, is certainly one of them.

A largely wordless picture book, Tuesday conveys the strange happenings one evening, when a fleet of frogs glide in on floating lily pads, alarming the natives of a quiet American suburb. Mysterious and atmospheric, Tuesday asks far more questions than it answers. There are touches of humour that children will appreciate, not least on the final page when we see what flies in the following Tuesday.

Many aspects of this book make it a must for a key stage 2 classroom:

  • stunningly detailed illustrations
  • an exciting and mysterious plot
  • stimulating for discussion, speculation and prediction.

When Tuesday was first published, in 1991, picture books for older children were quite unusual. This is a truly ‘grown up’ picture book. It has a filmic feel with many of the illustrations playing with wide screen and close up views. It merits close looking and would work very well projected on a screen.

Tuesday can stimulate writing in a range of genres. You might try chronological reports on behalf of a journalist, eyewitness or detective. It is also great for exploring viewpoint and character motivation. With no dialogue, children can speculate about the thoughts and words of the characters freely. Children can try explaining or hypothesising why the frogs came or write instructions for keeping frogs out of homes.

The end of Tuesday provides an irresistible hook for predictive discussion and story writing. The final text is ‘NEXT TUESDAY, 7:58pm’ with the illustration showing several playful pigs hovering over the rooftops.

  • Category: A classic text
  • Age: key stage 2 (years 3, 4, 5 or 6)
  • Topics: science fiction and fantasy; mystery and detective stories
  • Teaching areas: recounts; prediction and inference; dialogue writing; story writing

English blocks that use 'Tuesday’

For teaching plans and resources using this book see Hamilton's Year 5 English block, Reports and Journalism. Units 2 and 3 focus on modal verbs, adverbs of possibility and punctuating direct speech, while Unit 4 explores cohesion. Unit 5 pulls everything together with children writing a newspaper report on those flying pigs.

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