English A Muddle Of Mistakes

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The book is primarily about focusing discussion around the importance of making mistakes when we are learning new things. However, there are a lot of activities that could be explored in class that deepen children’s connection with the ideas and extend their creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started:



Here are some ideas that could be used with the book to focus on writing:

  • Write a book review of ‘A Muddle of Mistakes’. (Report Writing)
  • How to trap a mistake (imaginative instruction writing)
  • Write a diary entry as if you are Fortitude at the end of the day of his adventure. (Diary Writing)
  • Write a character description of Fortitude. (Character description writing)
  • Imagine you are one of the mistakes and that in the story, Fortitude didn’t listen to the mistakes and just kept ignoring them. Write a letter to Fortitude to persuade him that he should listen to what they have to say. (Persuasive writing)
  • Write a letter to the author to tell them what you think of the book with reasons. (Letter writing)
  • Complete a piece of writing explaining the plot of the story. What happens and how does it end? What has Fortitude learnt along the way?
  • Write a Haiku to explore the essence of the story. (3 lines following a 5,7,5 syllable pattern) e.g

Mistakes bring bad thoughts
But we should fight that feeling
Mistakes help us learn (Poetry writing)


  • Hot-seat Fortitude /Biggest Mistake of them All/ The RIDDLE with legs/ One of the mistakes of your choice/ Banoffee Bee. What questions would you ask these characters? Compose open questions and then hot-seat the characters. (Drama/Role-play)
  • Create a conscience alley for Fortitude to walk down. The alley is made up of children representing the mistakes. They should think of a sentence to repeat to persuade him that he should listen to their feedback.
  • Use the story to create your own play-script. (Play-script writing)
  • Write a kenning inspired by the story
  • eg,
    Mistake maker
    Feedback ignorer
    Sky explorer
    Bubble floater
    Yet considerer
    Future changer
    Error facer
    Blunder reflector
    Personal attacker
    Mistake advisor
    Criticism listener
    Muddle maker


  • Use a cereal box and decorate it to look like the book (ie, the front shows the front cover, blurb on the back, sides decorated to show the spine and pages etc.) Reading Extension: Inside the box, insert slips of card that ask questions that someone who had read the book would be able to answer. Also put objects in the box that relate to the story somehow.

(Reading Comprehension Practical Activity)



This activity is inspired by Pie Corbett. It could be used as a warm-up to further English work with the book. It would be used to encourage understanding of different word types and different ways of structuring a sentence.

  • Ask the children to write down a sentence with ‘Muddle of Mistakes’ as the inspiration.
    Fortitude floated through the air. (Simple sentence)
  • Now take out the verb (floated) -how does it sound?
    Fortitude through the air.
  • Now put the verb back in and add some adjectives or an adverb,
    Fortitude floated thoughtfully through the crisp, fresh air.
  • Now take out the nouns,
    Floated thoughtfully through the crisp, fresh.
  • Now extend the sentence using the word ‘because’,
    Floated thoughtfully through the crisp, fresh because he was in the mood to think. (compound sentence)
  • Shift the end to the beginning,
    Because he was in the mood to think, floated thoughtfully through the crisp, fresh. (Complex sentence without nouns)
  • Move the adverb,
    Thoughtfully, because he was in the mood to think, floated through the crisp. (A different complex sentence without nouns)
  • Now add back in the nouns, so the sentence makes sense,
    Thoughtfully, because he was in the mood to think, Fortitude floated through the fresh, crisp air. (Complex sentence with nouns that makes complete sense.)