John Lewis Christmas advert 2014

The John Lewis Christmas advert is becoming as much as a Christmas tradition as mince pies and mistletoe! These fantastic short videos are usually accompanied with a great soundtrack and lovely story. This year's effort doesn't disappoint! It is all about Monty the Penguin!

I have previously blogged about the use of John Lewis Christmas adverts which feature on the Literacy Shed here.

Here is the advert -

Straight away what immediately jumps out to me is the direct link to the story 'Lost and Found,' by Oliver Jeffers.

Although in the book, the penguin seems to be more attached to the boy and it is the other way round in the advert, there are definite links that can be made and discussions about the advert and book.

Here is a short trailer to the film based on the book -

Discussion about the video -

  • Before starting the video pause at one second, ask the children about the setting? 
  • Where is it? What clues tell us it the bedroom of a young boy? What hobbies interests may the young boy have? What is the evidence?
  • What is the relationship between the boy and penguin? How do you know? What do they do together?
  • What is the penguin's favourite food?
  • Pause at 56 seconds, what happens to get the boy excited? How does the penguin react? Why does this confuse the boy? What is the penguin interested in? 
  • Pause at 1:03 what word describes the Penguins feelings towards what he sees on the TV? How do we know from his reaction? Eyes widen etc
  • At 1:15 how does the boy react to the Penguin's peculiar behaviour? How does he feel? How do we know? Why is he confused?
  • At 1:27 what does the boy realise? What do you think he will do?
  • At 1:40 how is the penguin feeling? How do you know?
  • Has the boy done the right thing? 
  • How does the mother react at 1:46?
Writing activities -
  • Write a diary recount as the boy and the year with his penguin friend.
  • Write a contrasting diary as the penguin.
  • Write a letter to Father Christmas from the penguin/boy
  • Write a set of instructions for how to keep a penguin as a pet.
  • Research and create a information text on Penguins
  • Look into the way climate change is affecting the habitats of penguins.
  • Ask the children what animal they would like as a pet and write a story about keeping that wild animal.
  • Write shape poems about Penguins.

Of course, if you have any other ideas please let me know by commenting below! Please share any examples of writing you do by tweeting or emailing me and I will share them in the post.


  1. Wow! Speedy ideas there! I thought he would take the penguin to the zoo to find a friend...

    Perhaps older children could write a "problem page" style letter from the penguin/boy to an agony aunt and then write a reply? "My penguin is lonely and stares longingly at anyone with a friend. What can I do to help him?" etc?


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