TrullChurch of England VA Primary School

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10

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Sita Brahmachari - author of 'River Whale'

This unit of work is all based around a beautiful book, called 'The River Whale'. 


First, imagine that your classroom or the room you’re standing in is a river, and everything is flowing around you. What can you see? Sway in and out of the chairs and tables and other objects around the room. Relax and allow anything to come into your mind. When you sit down, write down your ideas.


Then, click here to read an extract from the book, before answering these questions.

  1. How does the author make you feel as though you’re on a boat or a ship, on pages 1–2?

  2. What does Immy wish? What does Usha have that Immy doesn’t?

  3. Why do you think the layout of the text changes on page 3? What is the effect of this change?


Now it is time to hear from the author, so click here to watch a video about how sharing ideas and stories can help give us inspiration. 


In the extract for ‘The River Whale’, Immy describes a ‘dreaming room’ – a room designed by Usha’s granddad to help the troubles of the day to be washed away.

  • What ‘troubles’ might you have during a day? Think of a typical day or create a diary template to note down your thoughts throughout the week. Fill in the different troubles that you have each day – from small troubles to bigger troubles. How do these troubles make you feel?

  • Imagine that you can design your own Dreaming Room to help you wash your daily troubles away. You might even want to design different rooms for different troubles. Use the extract as inspiration for designing your room. Why do you think it is important to have a ‘safe space’ like this in your life?


In the video, Sita describes how she gets inspiration from sharing stories, gathering around a ‘creative hearth’ and finding ‘treasures’ to help write a story together.

  • Create your own ‘creative hearth’ as a class or with family members and friends. You might want to choose a special place in your school building or at home, where you feel free to share your ideas.
  • Draw an empty treasure chest and bring it to the ‘Creative Hearth’. Share ideas and stories with your friends and note down any ideas that spring to mind. Your treasures could be anything – objects, people, words, sounds or places. Add them to your treasure chest using doodles or words.
  • Using your treasure chest, create a doodle page full of ideas and inspiration to help you write a story.




Share the treasure from your treasure haul and write a story about a dream coming true. Write in any way you want to – with doodles, illustrations, big words or small words. Read your story aloud and try to feel the words. Most importantly, have fun writing it!