Top 5 Literacy Shed Films for Year 4 (Ages 8-9)

This is the third blog in a series of six. I was asked recently by a number of teachers in my zoom training to recommend films for their year groups. There isn’t a right answer as to which films suit which year groups so I have just plumped for those which I have enjoyed using with this age group over the years.

You can find the Year 6 list here and the Year 5 list here.

The Lighthouse

This is one of the first films I used in class and blogged about pre-Literacy Shed days. It is actually an advert for an American insurance company. The film’s main protagonist is a curmudgeonly lighthouse keeper who doesn’t really get on with his neighbours. One night, the lighthouse lamp is broken and disaster strikes as a liner heads for the rocks. The keeper is desperate but his prayers are answered in a surprising way. The villagers, whom the lighthouse keeper dislikes, come to his aid. A lesson for us all, maybe, that you shouldn’t judge people without getting to know them. 

 Watch the film on Literacy Shed here and Vimeo here.

The Legend of The Crabe Phare

The Crabe Phare is a colossal crustacean who lives at the bottom of the ocean. When this mammoth creature rises from the deep, he doesn’t have destruction on his mind. Instead, he wasn’t to collect and preserve ships to add to his underwater collection. 

This huge creature is not the monster of the story: it is the humans. Humans see the crab surface and immediately colonise him which brings lots of negatives. The message of this story is one about the effect that humans have on the natural world. A powerful message told stylishly with a touch of humour. 

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


All is peaceful on the Southern Ocean as the penguins relax on their icebergs. That is until Dr. Hammer and his sardines decide to test their weapons of mass destruction. 

Once the weapon is unleashed there is only one ‘person’ to save the world from disaster and that is Fox, Spy Fox. He embarks on a mission to save the world but ends up fighting for the life of the lovely Lily. When he has freed Lily, they save the world from the evil Dr. Hammer and his evil, fishy minions. Keep an ear open for the puns – this film is pretty punderful! (Sorry!) 

Watch the film on Literacy Shed here and Vimeo here.

Home Sweet Home

This is the story of a house which escapes from its suburban foundations and sets off on an epic journey. Tackling themes of friendship, travelling and death in its 10-minute duration, Home Sweet Home combines elements of road-trip, apocalyptic and friendship narratives in its story of a couple houses travelling across America.

The story is set in a universe where humans no longer exist (or perhaps just aren’t seen), the Home Sweet Home team do a great job of attaching emotion and personality to their 4-walled characters. It is quite light hearted considering the themes in the narrative of friendship and at the end of the film, death.

The film’s makers were inspired by photographs of the derelict Detroit housing projects, pictures of this can be found at the bottom of the page.

Watch the film here on Literacy Shed or here on Vimeo

Pigeon Impossible

Secret Agent Walter Beckett has a pigeon sized problem. Whilst in Washington D.C., the hero of the story is given a high-tech briefcase.  When Walter stops for a snack, a curious pigeon ends up inside the suitcase with some hilarious effects. A pigeon should definitely not be in charge of a modern weapons system. Walter manages to subdue the pigeon but not before he manages to hit the big red button and initiates a nuclear missile launch. 

This film inspired the new animated feature film ‘Spies in Disguise’ staring Will Smith and Tom Holland. 

 Watch this film on Literacy Shed here and Vimeo here.

Top 5 films for ages 4-7 coming soon! 

Thank you for reading.