Educational Activities for the Great Pet Sale by Mick Inkpen

The Great Pet Sale, by Mick Inkpen is an entertaining story for young children. The topic lends itself most of all to maths but it also has opportunities across the curriculum. The activities are related to the key stage 1 curriculum (5-7) but can be adapted for a younger or older age group.


After reading the story or watching it online, the children can answer questions as a group activity about the book. They can retell the story and try and sequence the events. Children who need extra help with their initial sounds can say what the letters of the animals begin with. They can also play a memory game trying to recall the animals mentioned in the story.  Word bingo can be played based on the words in the story. Animals can be drawn and labelled. Speech bubbles can be devised to show what the animals are thinking.

These worksheets have animal borders based on the story. They can be used for writing up any work about the story. It may be in the form of a non-fiction book report, facts about the animals or a retelling of the story. The borders will help the children to have a sense of pride in their work and relate to the task they are doing.


The book centres on the animals for sale in a pet shop. Set up a shop in the classroom so that the children can have a money activity with the prices of the animals for sale. This can be a focused activity and later an extra activity for fast finishers.  Money problems based on the story can be solved and differentiated according to the abilities in the class. There are various sizes mentioned in the book and the children can order the sizes of the animals, smallest to largest. They can think about the cost and look at ascending and descending order. Counting the number of animals in the shop is also another way of bringing to life the story.

The class can use the data in the story to create their own graphs to show their favourite animals and another graph or tally chart can be made to show the different pets they have at home.


Animals and their habitats is an ideal way of linking this story to the topic. This website has pictures of the animals that the children can find and colour for part of their topic book on animals.


Computers can be used to create labels, stories and pictures based on the book. The internet can be used to research animals, the author and other books Nick Inkpen has written.


If a shop is being set up in the classroom, then the children can make items the shop need, for examples posters, a label for the shop and a poster advertising the sale. Price tickets can be made. The children can recreate parts of the story through use of different kinds of art. Some children may paint the creatures, others may want to draw or make collages. All of these will help to bring the story to life. If the children have made books then they can decide how they want to illustrate them. Animal masks can be made so that children can re-enact the story to check understanding. 


This book can be used for a starting point to a PSHE or circle time lesson. The story focuses on being different. The animals in the story are different colours and have different skills such as being able to fly. It also looks at the idea of being wanted. The rat is desperate to be chosen and tries to persuade other people to have him. These themes are ones that can be used if there are issues in the playground with a child who feels left out or different.  

In conclusion The Great Pet Sale is a story that has links to various subjects. Mick Inkpen is an award winning author and illustrator whose books will capture your imagination.