The Railway Children Activity Sheet
Chatterbooks in Lockdown
I hope you enjoyed the book.
But how well did you read it? See if you answer these questions:
Not read it yet? Read The Railway Children now.
- What is the house in the country called?
- What do the children describe as "dragons in disguise"?
- How does Mother earn money?
- Who is the oldest of the 3 children?
- What nationality was the writer that Mother nursed back to health?
- How did the children prevent the train from crashing into the mound?
- How old was Perks on his birthday?
- What problem does Phyllis have that she fears might cause a problem at her wedding?
- What did Peter steal?
- What happened to Jim?
- Who was Jim’s grandfather?
- Why was Father wrongly sent to jail?
This story is known as a "Classic" children’s novel because it meets 3 requirements:
- It is considered to be well written
- It has been popular for a long time
- Its popularity has survived the age in which it was written.
"The Railway Children" was written in 1906. When reading it, how can you tell the book is over 100 years old? (Think language, description, lifestyle, technology, attitudes).
A classic is often considered to be quite a challenging read, but, because they are such good stories that have stood the test of time, well worth trying. What other books that you have read would you consider to be "classics"? Did you enjoy them?
Here are some other children's classics - but in anagram from. See if you can unravel them. (To help you I have indicated how many words are in the title and the name of the author)
- Jolt bug no hek (3 words. R.Kipling)
- Lucky abba te (2 words. A.Sewell)
- Drag stench tree (3 words. F.Hodgson Burnett)
- Wine mottell (2 words. L.M. Alcott)
- Repent ap (2 words. J.M.Barrie)
- Nap de kid (1 word. R.L.Stevenson)
- Ovenhai (1 word. Sir W Scott)
- Rouse or in snob c (2 words. D.Defoe)
- Eidhi (1 word. J.Spyri)
- Liver so twit (2 words. C.Dickens)
Town and Country
Perhaps when you were younger you read the story called "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse". Likewise, when they moved from their town house in London to the countryside,
life for Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter changed a great deal. What differences did they find? Which do you think they preferred? Which lifestyle would you prefer?
Try to list the advantages and disadvantages of country life and town life.
Moving house can be quite an emotional time, particularly if you move to a new area of the country. In the story, Peter was quite excited about it, Mother less so.
Have you ever moved house? If so, were you sad to leave your old house (and maybe friends and school) or excited about the new life ahead?
Based on experience, or using your imagination, have a go at writing a diary entry for the day before you move house from one area to another, describing your feelings and emotions. Then write the following day's diary entry describing how the move went and how you felt about it.
Film Remake - Choose your own cast
The most famous film version of "The Railway Children" was made in 1971. If you were to remake it now, who would you choose to play the main characters?
Think about their ages, looks, personalities. The 3 children in particular have very strong and quite different personalities. But all 3 do come across as mature, independent, responsible and somewhat older than their years. Indeed the 2 actresses who played Bobbie and Phyllis in 1971 were 19 and 21 respectively, so you could go for slightly older actors to play the roles of the 3 children if you chose to.
|Character||Character's Personality||Modern Actor|
|The Old Gentleman|
Where in the country would you set your film remake? E. Nesbitt does not make any specific references to location, but judging from the local accents, the book is set in West Yorkshire
in the north of England. Bearing in mind the book was written over 100 years ago, do the following:
Look at a map of England and see whether the geography of West Yorkshire fits in with the descriptions of the countryside in the book.
- What is the house in the country called? The Three chimneys
- What do the children describe as "dragons in disguise"? Trains
- How does Mother earn money? She writes stories for children
- Who is the oldest of the 3 children? Bobbie
- What nationality was the writer that Mother nursed back to health? Russian
- How did the children prevent the train from crashing into the mound? They use their red petticoats as flags to alert the train driver
- How old was Perks on his birthday? 32
- What problem does Phyllis have that she fears might cause a problem at her wedding? Her boot laces are always coming undone
- What did Peter steal? Coal
- What happened to Jim? He broke his leg playing Hare and Hounds
- Who was Jim’s grandfather? The old gentleman
- Why was Father wrongly sent to jail? He was wrongly convicted of selling secrets to the Russians.
- The Jungle Book
- Black Beauty
- The Secret Garden
- Little Women
- Peter Pan
- Robinson Crusoe
- Oliver Twist
Page last updated: 8th June 2020