Walking Mountain

Teachers' Notes

Some topics for individual work, class discussion or cross-curricular activities:

1. Rose, Pema and Singay are three very different characters, yet their experiences in Walking Mountain bring them together as fast friends. What other books have you read that feature unlikely friendships? Do friends have to be exactly the same as each other for a friendship to work?

2. The animals in Walking Mountain are a bit like the ones we know, but with some differences. Invent some animals yourself - you can do it by putting parts of two different animals together, like a bat-frog, or a buffalo-mouse - or you could make something completely new and amazing. Sometimes I used the noises animals make to name them, like grunts. Sometimes I just tweaked a name we already had, like ferreck. See what kinds of names you can come up with. Draw your inventions.

3. I love looking at maps in books I'm reading. They're also a great way to get clear in your mind what's happening when you're writing a book. Have a go at drawing a map for your favourite book - or for an adventure you'd like to write yourself.

4. Most of the names in Walking Mountain are from a language spoken in Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas (go to the back of the book to see how that happened!) Do you know any words in a language other than English that you could use to name characters?

5. In what ways - good and bad - are our world and the world of Walking Mountain similar? Choose one way, discuss it in a group, and then present your conclusions to your class.

6. If you could visit any one place in the Walking Mountain world, where would it be? Why? And would there be any downsides? Write a letter home about your imaginary visit.