Teaching LKS2 reading objectives through Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty

Guest blogger Maddy Barnes demonstrates how to teach many of the LKS2 reading objectives through Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty by Chris Colfer. 

This book has been described as ‘a wonderful fairy-tale novella from Chris Colfer. The young queen gives us her take on politics, government, health, love and of course, what it means to be royalty.’ The book is perfect for years 3 and 4 and can be used to teach many of the LKS2 reading objectives.

You can purchase your copy of Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty here


reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes 

At the beginning of the book, there are some very clever reviews about the book. These quotes are written by characters that we know and love. For example: ‘Red never ceases to amaze me,’ Jack, ‘By far the first book Red has ever written,’ Red’s granny and ‘Red uses her unique voice to share clever political insight in a style no one else but the queen can get away with,’ Prince Charlie ‘Foggy’ Charming. 

Teachers could display these quotations and ask pupils what they tell us about Red and what it tells us about Red’s relationship with the person who has written it. Pupils should be encouraged to use the answer stem I think__________ because and this makes me think that..

Example: I think that Red’s granny is being a bit sarcastic as she says it is by far the first book instead of the usual by far the best book. This makes me think that Granny doesn’t think this is a very good book.

asking questions to improve their understanding of a text 

predicting what might happen from details stated and implied 


Before reading the book, teachers could prepare some cards with the chapter titles on for pupils to discuss.  Some of the chapter titles are: The Prince and Me, Beneath the Hood, Image is Everything, Be Cautious of Compliments, Appointing Royal Subjects, Peasants are like Pets, Making a Scandal Work for You, Avoiding Hatred and Villainy, Pebbles in your Shoe and A Few Final Words.

Pupils could work in groups to discuss what the chapter heading implies about the contents of that chapter. What do we think might be included? What are we expecting that chapter to be like? Will it be a serious chapter or humorous? Do you think you will enjoy this chapter? Which chapter are you most looking forward to reading? These questions give pupils the opportunities to predict and ask questions. It also creates some excitement when that specific chapter is read aloud, as pupils will be waiting to hear what the chapter is about.

drawing inferences such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence 

This guide is the perfect book to read aloud to pupils. As it is mainly written in the first person, teachers can very easily take on the role and pupils will delight in the sarcasm and fun factor. The opening paragraph to the introduction begins: Fellow Hoodians, admirers, royal subjects and royal rejects. Thank you for choosing my first book, Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to Royalty, as your reading selection. I can’t imagine the anticipation, enthusiasm and admiration coursing through your feeble bodies as you hold your very own copy. Before you excite yourself to the point of needing medical attention, I must thank you for the hours and/or days I assume you waited in line to purchase it. 

Teachers could spend the first session reading the introduction and then establishing the character of Queen Red. Pupils should refer to the text in the introduction to support their answers as they bild a character. How would we describe her attitude? Why do we think she is behaving like this? Are you surprised with her character? Were you expecting her to behave in a different way? Would you like to be her friend? Would you like her on your side?


using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read 

There is lots of challenging vocabulary in this text that pupils may need to look up in the dictionary or ask each other for definitions. Teachers could select words from the chapter that they anticipate could prove difficult for pupils or pupils could make jottings of any unfamiliar words as they are reading the chapter.

Here are some examples from chapter 1: economy, engraved, modest, exquisite, reign, impeccable, reminiscing, humble, revolution, curfews, sanity, exceptional, serendipitous, salvation, jurisdiction, reiterate, itinerary, logical.

identifying main ideas drawn from more than one 
paragraph and summarising these 

In Chapter 4, Queen Red explains how she chose her ‘Royal Subjects.’  There is a brief introductory paragraph and then each ‘subject’ is introduced with a sub heading and a paragraph justifying her reasons for choosing them. This is a very good example of how we summarise characters and can be used to share with pupils. Pose the question, How does Queen Red structure her thoughts in these paragraphs? What does she tell us about each royal subject? This will encourage pupils to recognise the importance of summarising and provides a model that they could use in their own writing.


You can also use these comprehension question STEMS based on Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty.

With thanks to our guest blogger Maddy Barnes, author of Rising Stars Skills Builders, the whole school resource to help teach grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary in your school. 

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