A colorful graphic with the text "lost & found literacy activities," featuring illustrated penguins in the background.

Finding Friendship in the Unlikeliest Places: Lost and Found Activities

The Lost and Found activities explore the themes of loneliness and finding a friend in the most unexpected places by analysing characters and engaging in thoughtful inferences while celebrating the bonds that tie us together.

A children's book titled "lost and found" by oliver jeffers displayed on a stand, with a promotional banner saying "finding friendship in the unlikeliest places: activities" from children's library lady.

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Lost and Found Summary

The Lost and Found book begins with a boy surprised to find a penguin at his front door.

Deciding the penguin was lost, the boy sets out to help the sad-looking bird find its way home. 

After some research, he discovers penguins are from Antarctica, and they set sail on a rowboat.

When they arrive at the South Pole, the boy drops the penguin on the ice and starts his journey home.

As the boy rows home, he feels strange to be alone. The more he thinks about it, the more he realizes he made a big mistake. The penguin isn’t lost; it is lonely!

The boy turns around to search for the penguin.

Lost and Found Activities

These Lost and Found activities focus on deepening comprehension through character analysis, inference, and problem and solution. They are all centered around the story’s key themes of loneliness and friendship.

Lost and Found Read-Aloud Questions

These read-aloud questions prompt students to engage with the story to further their understanding of the Lost and Found book. They will discuss the motivations behind the boy’s actions and the penguin’s feelings, delving into character development.

  1. Why do you think the penguin left its home in the first place?
  2. Why did the boy want to help the penguin find his way home?
  3. Why did the boy try so hard to help the penguin get home?
  4. Why do you think the penguin went home with the boy?
  5. What was your first impression of the boy? How did your perception change as the story progressed?
  6. How does the boy understand the penguin’s needs change throughout the story?
  7. How would you describe the relationship between the boy and the penguin?
  8. How does the boy feel when he realizes the penguin is not lost but lonely?
  9. What would it say to the boy if the penguin could talk?
  10. Why do you think the penguin chose to look for the boy after being left at Antarctica?
  11. How did the boy and the penguin’s friendship evolve throughout the story?


I have over 90 questions to use before, during, and after reading Lost and Found in this activity pack.

Engage and discover: interactive read-aloud questions alongside a 'lost and found' book cover.
Click on the images for Lost and Found read-aloud questions

Lost and Found Character Analysis Activities

The characters of the boy and the penguin present opportunities for students to analyze character traits, motivations, and changes throughout the Lost and Found book. 

Character Traits In Lost and Found, the boy and the penguin display different characteristics that can be explored. 
Activity: Create a character trait T-chart, listing the observed traits of the boy on one side and the penguin on the other, inferring traits from the characters’ actions and words.

Character Motivations: Understanding why characters act in certain ways is crucial to character analysis. The boy’s decision to help the penguin reveals much about his motivations. 
Activity: Write a paragraph explaining why they think the boy decided to help the penguin.

Character Changes: Characters often change throughout a story. The boy’s understanding of the penguin’s needs evolves significantly in Lost and Found. 
Activity: Create a timeline of the boys’ changing perceptions of the penguins’ needs and track character development over time.

Character Interactions: How characters interact with each other provides insights into their personalities and relationships. The boy and the penguin’s interactions are central to Lost and Found. 
Activity: Write a dialogue between the boy and the penguin to explore the character’s voice and perspective if they could speak the same language.

Educational worksheets for character analysis in a reading lesson.
Click on the images to explore character analysis activities for Lost and Found.

Lost and Found Inference Activities

These Lost and Found activities include inferring the penguin’s feelings and the boy’s realizations, which are not directly stated in the text. This helps develop empathy and perspective-taking. 

Understanding Emotions: The characters’ emotions are not always explicitly stated in the text and must be inferred from their actions or expressions. 
Activity: Ask students to identify times when they had to infer the characters’ emotions. Have them write down these instances and the clues that led them to their conclusions.

Determining Motivations: Understanding why characters act in certain ways is another crucial aspect of inference. The motivations of the boy and the penguin can be inferred from their actions. 
Activity: Create a two-column chart listing the boy’s and penguin’s actions on one side and their inferred motivations on the other.

Predicting Outcomes: Making predictions based on available information is vital to inference. The story provides several opportunities for students to predict what will happen next. 
Activity: Have students stop at various points and write their predictions for the next part of the story, using clues from the text to make educated guesses about future events.

Interpreting Themes: Inferring the underlying themes of a story is a more advanced inference skill. The themes of friendship, loneliness, and misunderstanding in Lost and Found can be inferred from the narrative. 
Activity: Ask students to write about what they believe is the story’s main theme, using text evidence to support their conclusions.

Click the image or the box below to get FREE Lost and Found inference activities in your inbox.
Click the image or the box below to get FREE Lost and Found inference activities in your inbox.

Lost and Found Problem-Solution Activities

The Lost and Found book presents a clear problem (the boy believing the penguin is lost) and solution (realizing the penguin is lonely), helping students understand this narrative structure.

Identifying Problems: The first step in problem-solving is identifying the problem. In Lost and Found, the problem seems clear at first – the penguin is lost – but then evolves into a deeper issue – the penguin is lonely. 
Activity: Write a paragraph defining the problem as they initially understood it and then another paragraph about how their understanding of it changed by the end of the story.

Exploring Possible Solutions: Once a problem is identified, potential solutions can be explored. The boy in the story tries various solutions to help the penguin. 
Activity: List all the potential solutions the boy considered and discuss why he chose the one he did, using text evidence to support their reasoning.

Evaluating Solutions: It is important to evaluate a solution’s effectiveness after it is implemented. In the story, the boy’s solution doesn’t solve the problem as he expected. 
Activity: Write an evaluation of the boy’s solution and suggest alternative solutions that could have been more effective, analyzing the outcome and considering other possibilities.

Understanding Consequences: Understanding the consequences of a solution is also part of problem-solving. The boy’s action leads to unexpected consequences, teaching him a valuable lesson. 
Activity: Write about the consequences of the boy’s action and the lesson he learned.

Educational worksheets focused on problem and solution concepts with a winter theme.
Click on the images to explore problem-solving activities for Lost and Found.

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