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Mr. Gumpy’s Outing is such a fun story! Are you looking for ideas, lessons, and printables to go along with it? Grab our free Mr. Gumpy’s Outing activities and printables and delight your students with a fun adventure.

Thanks to Helen Royston for writing the lessons for this Mr. Gumpy’s Outing unit study.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Book Summary

One fine morning Mr. Gumpy decides it’s a perfect day for an outing in his little boat. Apparently, plenty of others think so, too. First some children ask to join him, then a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a pig, a sheep. Soon, Mr. Gumpy’s boat is precariously full, and there’s nowhere for anyone else to go–but overboard! This mild mariner takes everything in stride, though, and his guests are soon bellying up to a nice tea.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Activities & Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham.

Here are some sample lessons from the Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Unit Study. Remember, you can pick and choose the lessons that apply to your student. You do not need to use all of them.

Art Activities & Lessons

John Burningham uses different media in his illustrations. Have your child create a picture using a combination of paint, pens, pencils and crayons.

Drawing water can be difficult. Have your child look carefully at the picture where the animals fall into the river. Can your student draw a splash?

Science Activities & Lessons

Floating and Sinking

Make a paper punt. Put some small toy animals in it. Get your child to predict how many can it hold before it sinks. Where they right?

Animal Classification

Scientists split animals into different groups or classes. One group is called mammals. Almost all the animals in this story are mammals. What is a mammal?

Mammals are warm blooded. No matter what the temperature is outside (warm, hot, or freezing), mammals’ bodies are built to maintain the same temperature.

All mammals have some fur or hair. Sometimes the hair covers the animals entire body (think of some examples). Other times the animal only has a little hair or hair that is very thin and very hard to see (like the hair on a whale).

Mammals live inside their mothers before they are born and drink their mothers’ milk after they are born.

Mammals breathe air. Some animals, like fish, don’t need air to live, but mammals do. There are mammals that live under the water, but they must come up for air.

After you’ve discussed mammals with your student, think of other mammals that are not in the story.

Geography Activities & Lessons

Learn More About England

Find England on a map or globe. Point out London, the capital city.

What does your student know about England? Does he know any of the famous places he’d find there? Spend some time researching various places in England including any of these: Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Stonehenge, Shambles (in York), Buckingham Palace, Statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Blackpool Tower, Brighton Pier, Norfolk Broads, the Great Oak in Sherwood Forest, etc.

Explore the River Thames

Mr. Gumpy is in a boat called a punt. People go punting on the Thames. Find the Thames on a map.

The Thames is the longest river wholly in England being 215 miles (346 km) in length. (The River Severn is longer at 220miles (354km) but it passes through Wales as well.) The Thames passes through Oxford which is famous for punting. It also passes through London, the capital city. 

Learning About Rivers

Discuss rivers with your student. Discuss various river terms such as tributaries, source, meander and mouth.

Tributary- a stream flowing into a larger stream or a lake
Source- the beginning of a stream of water
Meander- a turn or winding steam of water
Mouth- the place where a stream enters a larger body of water (like an ocean)

Talk about the different stages of a river: a young river, mature river and an old river. Use clay or Play-doh to make a hill with a blue river containing the various features you’ve discussed.

Look at your local river. Would Mr. Gumpy be able to punt on it? What features does a river need to have so a person can punt there? It needs to be shallow with a gentle current.

Language Arts Activities & Lessons

Discussing Humor

There is lots of humor in the story in the responses Mr. Gumpy gives each of the animals, e.g. “Don’t flap” meaning don’t fuss to the chickens
“Don’t muck about” to the pigs refers to the idiom “happy as a pig in muck”. Discuss these with your student. Can he think of additional humorous ways to tell animals to behave?

Looking at Question Marks

The animals all ask to join Mr. Gumpy with a different question. Have your child point out the question marks on some of the pages. Write some questions out for them to punctuate with question marks.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Storytelling Activity

The printables include a set of animals. You can use the animals for story sequencing and story retelling. If desired, use them to make popsicle puppets.

Nouns and Verbs

Discuss nouns and verbs with your student.

A noun is a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. All the characters in the story are nouns. Ask your student to recall all the characters.

A verb is a word that shows action or state of being. Nouns and verbs go together in order to make sentences. Each noun in the story has a particular action that it does. Can your student remember any of the actions?

Use the cards provided for a matching exercise, matching the nouns and verbs together (i.e. children squabbled, boat tipped, etc.). You can also use these cards for a drama game or a game of charades.

You can grab a copy of the entire Mr. Gumpy’s Outing unit study lessons, activities, and lapbook printables in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also includes a Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Lapbook with these mini-books:

  • Sites to See in England Mini-book
  • Map of England Shutterfold
  • River Thames Matchbook
  • Kinds of Boats Hotdog Book (see assembly directions here)
  • River Terms Flap Book
  • A Pocketful of Questions Cards & Pocket
  • Matching Nouns and Verbs
  • What Is a Dozen? Simple Fold
  • How Many Legs? Flap Book
  • Mammals Fan Book
  • Mammals Flap Book
  • Animals for Popsicle Stick Puppets (retell the story, sequence the story, etc.)

How to Get Started with Your Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Activities & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Mr. Gumpy’s Outing unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, or borrow one from your local library. Your student may also enjoy Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar.
  2. Print the Mr. Gumpy’s Outing unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning along with Mr. Gumpy!

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Lapbook Example

This lapbook example was made with one file folder and a piece of cardstock taped to the center section to form an extension flap. If you are new to lapbooking, start here.

Get Your Free Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free Mr. Gumpy’s Outing lessons, activities, and printables.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Unit Study & Lapbook

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Animal Classification Lapbook
England Lapbook
Petunia Unit Study & Lapbook