Educational Activities for the Kings Shopping by June Crebbin

June Crebbin writes an entertaining story, The King’s Shopping, inspired by the verse, Sing a Song of Sixpence. The characters mentioned in the song feature in this story, the king, the queen, the blackbird and the maid. It is ideal for linking in with a topic on nursery rhymes and fairy stories or money and counting. How can this book be implemented in the primary classroom?


This topic can be connected to themes about old texts the children are familiar with, such as fairy tales, songs and nursery rhymes. Simple question and answer sessions about the book could take place. Adjectives can be used to describe the characters. More able or older children can make up their own story based on a popular rhyme or song.


The king counts his silver coins into groups of one hundred and this could be linked to any topic on money or problem solving. Simple money problems can be made up using either the national currency or silver coins for children who need something more basic. This also relate to counting, multiplication and division.


In this book the royal gardener grows plants and vegetables. For any school studying plants,  this is ideal. The class can research the origins of certain fruit and vegetables and how they grow. The queen has an unhealthy breakfast full of sugar and has to exercise to burn off the calories. The issue of a healthy breakfast or lifestyle could be discussed in further detail.


Inspired by the song, Sing a Song of Sixpence the children can practice singing this and other related music. Different genres of music could also be researched.

Art/Design and Technology

The king is saving up for a bicycle and the class could design a bike they would like or one fit for a king. Groups of children could focus on one character or scene from the book to create a display. Nursery rhyme characters could be painted for the reading corner to encourage readers.


 Helping others is a key theme. The king shows kindness when he takes time to listen to his staff even though he is in a rush to buy a bike. The queen fixes a hammock for some children and she also gives her horse away to a young man who needs to take his vegetables to the market. The king offers the queen a lift on his tandem. All these are examples of generosity and kindness and the children could think of acts of kindness they have experienced from other people.

In conclusion, The King’s Shopping has plenty of opportunity for use in a primary classroom and can be used to link to either one major class theme such as healthy eating, nursery rhymes or traditional tales. It can simply be enjoyed for the fun of reading a good book.

Walker books
ISBN 1-84428-090-X