Homeschool Share: an online homeschool curriculum cooperative hosting over 500 unit studies, lapbooks, printables, and other resources.

Mr. Gumpy's Outing FREE unit and lapbook

Mr. Gumpy's Outing

  Author: John Burningham

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

Unit study prepared by Helen Royston
Lapbook prepared by Ami Brainerd

Lapbook Templates-- Mr. Gumpy's Outing Lapbook


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.

Complete these mini-books (found in file): Sites to See in England, Map of England

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. 

Check out this site for more information as well as a virtual journey.

Complete these mini-books (found in file): The River Thames, My Little Book of Boats

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.

Complete this mini-book (found in file): River Terms

Language Arts

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?

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.

Complete this mini-book (found in file): A Pocketful of Questions

Nounds 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. Watch this video to learn more about nouns.

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?

Watch this video to learn more about verbs.

Use the cards in the lapbook file 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.


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 you draw a splash?

Applied Math

Story Problem-- Figure out how many legs are in this story!

How many animals and people have 2 legs?
How many legs is that?
How many animals have 4 legs?
How many legs is that?
How many legs altogether?

Complete this mini-book (found in file): How Many Legs?

Dozen-- There are 12 people and animals in the boat. Another name for 12 is a dozen. Talk about things that come in dozens i.e eggs, donuts, flowers, etc.  Explore different ways to make 12. If you have toy animals, they can be useful here.

Complete this mini-book (found in file): What is a Dozen?


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). Animal Classification – divide the animals into groups of mammals and birds.

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.

Complete the mammals mini-books (found in the file). 


Discuss how the animals didn't do what Mr. Gumpy told them and as a consequence they all fell in. Discuss that obedience is often important to keep safe. Discuss some of your family rules that keep your child safe.

Just for Fun!

Finish your week off with a tea party with a cake that can be cut into 12 pieces.

Make popsicle stick puppets for the animals in the story (cut-outs found in lapbook file).