Top 5 Literacy Shed films for Year 1 and Early Years (ages 4 – 5)

The last of my ‘Top 5 films for..’ blogs. Again, I will reiterate that because I have chosen a film here for Y1 it does not mean that it shouldn’t be used with older children. There are many films that I have used with Y1 and then again further up the school with a different focus.

You can access the other Top 5 blogs here: Year 2Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6

Once in a Lifetime

We first meet our hero on the deck of his ship as it sails through the air. Sadly, the ship is in an antiquated shape and the rudder falls off as he tries to fix it. A strange noise signals some unlikely help. A family of giant turtles fly over the ship and the ‘sailor’ manages to lasso one of the creatures. Unfortunately, the rope breaks and the turtles fly away…Luckily, one of the stragglers is flying below the ship and our sailor friend jumps aboard. Where will they go? That is a question that I like to ask the children. 

Watch the film on Literacy Shed here or on Vimeo here.


A young girl finds a bottle of bubbles on the beach. She blows a large bubble which transports her up into the sky and further into space where she can experience the stars. The bubble drops and her adventure continues underwater. This is a short film and allows young children to describe a number of settings as well as discussing how the girl will be feeling on her fantasy adventure.

Watch the film here on Literacy Shed

For the Birds

One from the master animators at Pixar. This short film sees a flock of birds settled on telephone wires ready to rest for the night. Their rest is shattered by a bird who looks very different. The small birds laugh at the newcomer to their roost, they treat him unkindly but the last laugh is on them. This short film introduces the theme of acceptance and bullying.

Watch this film on Literacy Shed here or on YouTube here.


This is quite a simple idea, the bridge is too narrow for the animals to pass. If they work together then they can get past. The bear and the elk are too stubborn and mean to help each other and they disappear into the abyss. The rabbit and the raccoon work together and they go on their way. A story with a moral that the children can relate to.

Watch the film on Literacy Shed here or on Vimeo here.

A Cloudy Lesson

A master cloud maker and his grandson are up in the sky making clouds. Unfortunately, everything does not go right for the young cloud making apprentice. The two of them soon see though that good ideas can come from happy accidents.

Watch the film on Literacy Shed here or on Vimeo here.

These films can be used as part of English lessons to inspire writing, but with young students they can be used to evoke discussion which is imperative.