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The many uses of ‘You Choose’ by Nick Sharratt

 ‘You Choose’ has always been a firm favourite for pre-school children. Many teachers have read it (and loved it!) as a bedtime read to their own children. Young babies delight at the colourful pictures, spotting something new every time a page is turned.

You Choose’ can be used as a resource in every EYFS, KS1 and KS2 classroom. This resource outlines some of the ways this text can be used to deliver the objectives from the national curriculum.

Acquiring vocabulary and developing reading skills with ‘You Choose’

  • Acquisition of vocabulary: Both the 2016 KS1 and KS2 reading tests included a larger proportion of vocabulary questions (content domains 1a and 2a) than previous tests. There is a greater demand on pupils to acquire and use vocabulary in context. ‘You Choose’ can be used to submerge younger pupils in vocabulary. Each visual double spread is organised in topics for example food, animals, transport, food & drink, clothes, homes and beds! Young readers will delight in discovering new knowledge on each page. Of course basic vocabulary can be built upon, for example on the clothes page children may say ‘cardi’ for cardigan and adults can repeat ‘cardigan’. Other more traditional names for items of clothing may also be taught – slacks, sweater, frock, blouse etc…pic-1
  • Developing reading skills: with the increased difficulty with ‘find and copy’ questions in the reading tests, for example,


When presented with a ‘find and copy’ question, pupils need to follow a fairly regimented process in order to be credited with the mark. I have identified the number of possible stages within this:

Pupils need to:

  • listen to/ read the instruction
  • understand the instruction
  • locate the correct section of text
  • match the instruction to the text
  • identify the correct word/ words
  • write the word/words on the answer paper

In order to prepare pupils for this, we can use ‘You Chose’ as a resource for younger readers to ‘find and point to.’ I have developed a resource – you-choose-resource – where there are a series of ‘find and point’ questions. Here is the example resource related to the food image above. The questions gradually increase in difficulty where initially the children are asked to find and point to pizza/rice/apples/. Then the question is more open, where there is more than one correct response. Later questions require the child to explain their choice and perhaps use the conjunction ‘because’ in their answer, ‘I think Nana would like the peach and pear because she loves fruit.’ This resource could be used with EYFS children, EAL children, KS1 readers and intervention groups. Why not buy the book for parents at your school and download the resource sheet for them?

Different types of food and drink in the pictureQuestions you could ask
Fruit: pineapple, lemon, grapes, peach, cherry, banana, pear, apple, orange

Desserts: cake, biscuits, yoghurt, milkshake, chocolate, Victoria sponge cake, swiss roll, Christmas pudding, jelly, gingerbread man, trifle

Drinks: orange juice, milkshake, lemonade, milk, tea

Vegetables: peas, carrots, cauliflower, sweetcorn, aubergine, mushroom, potatoes, garlic, avocado, spring onions, turnip, tomato, peppers,

pizza, burger, noodles, sandwiches, fish, pie, eggs, bacon, chips, bread, lobster, octopus, ham, cheese, beans, cereal, jam, prawns, tomato sauce, witch’s broth, soup, crab, rice, salad, chilli, beans,
• Find and point to the ________
• Find and point to something that you eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner/ dessert
• Find and point to something that is healthy
• Find and point to something that grows in the ground or on a tree
• Find and point to the food that you would like to eat now
• Find and point to something that _____ would like to eat
• Find and point to something that is expensive
• Find and point to something that takes a long time to cook
• Find and point to something you can eat cold

Developing Spelling patterns with KS1 and KS2 children

  • The increased demand of spelling: Spelling now features as part of the KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment interim framework for writing, within the GPS text (for tenses, contractions, plurals and prefixes & suffixes) and the spelling test. As the status of spelling has increased, it has become most important to have a spelling programme in school where spelling strings are reviewed, taught, practised and applied. Playing games where children generate their ideas – spelling in a context – can be both fun and insightful for teachers to identify misconceptions. Teachers can use a double spread from ‘You Choose’ and challenge children to complete a list of food and drink where the last letter of the word becomes the first letter of the next word (to make the activity more accessible, teachers may allow children to use an adjective if they are struggling). Here is an example from a group of year 4 children:

peassandwichhammashhamburgerrice – Easter egg – grapes – Swiss roll – lobster – roulade – eggs – strawberries – spaghetti – icecream- melon – noodles – sausages – soup – popcorn – éclair – roast chicken – naan bread – disgusting stew – wobbly jelly – yoghurt – tea -apple

When collecting children’s ideas, teachers may gain an insight into any gaps in subject knowledge for their class. Children may misspell word endings and this can be addressed in a class context.

I am sure once you invest in Nick Sharrett’s classic You Choose, you will create endless activities and games for your pupils. And the fun doesn’t end there… Just Imagine (the sequel) does not disappoint either!

Please click on the link for ‘You Choose’ resources you-choose-resource

You can order both books from the Book Centre or online at






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