Voices In The Park – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

Are you seeking an engaging story to captivate your students’ attention and inspire creative thought? Look no further! Anthony Browne’s Voices In The Park is a comic-strip-style journey filled with symbolic characters, mysterious settings, and fantastic scenery that will stimulate young minds to explore the primary themes of the narrative.

It is a great teaching resource and can be used in various classroom activities covering literacy, art and play. Read on to discover how this exciting book can become part of your lesson plan in fresh ways.

Voices In The Park Storyline

Voices in the Park is an illustrated story by Anthony Browne. It tells the tale of four people, each from a different background, walking through the same park. They come across the same park bench, and all sit down separately to think or reflect on their lives. Each character experiences feelings and emotions throughout the day, expressed through their thoughts.

The main characters are a wealthy businessman sitting on a bench, a homeless man under it, a poor mother and her child, and a young couple. The businessman is stressed from work and feels alone even though other people are around him. The homeless man is sad since he has nowhere to go for shelter or food.

The mother is concerned about her financial situation as she struggles to provide for her family in poverty. Lastly, the young couple experiences joy as they enjoy their time together in the park.

All these characters interact with each other without ever meeting or speaking to one another, showing that everyone has their own life story that can be seen and heard when we take the time to listen carefully. Ultimately, they all feel comfortable knowing they shared this moment, even if only silently inside themselves.

Main Themes in Voices In The Park

Wealth & Poverty

The story focuses on the stark differences between people from different economic backgrounds. The wealthy businessman experiences feelings of loneliness even though people surround him. Meanwhile, the homeless man and the mother living in poverty struggle to provide for their families. This shows that wealth does not always bring ultimate happiness or contentment.

Courage & Resilience

The poor mother has to summon courage and strength to deal with her financial situation and provide for her child. Despite their lack of resources, the homeless man and mother demonstrate resilience as they strive to do what is best for themselves and those around them.

Connection & Companionship

The story highlights how even brief moments of companionship can provide comfort and connection. Though none of the characters meets or speak with one another, they feel an understanding between each other when they share a moment at the park bench.

Main Characters in Voices In The Park

Wealthy Businessman

The wealthy businessman sits on the park bench, feeling stressed and alone. He has been successful in his career but still feels a sense of emptiness.

Homeless Man

The homeless man is desperate for a place to go for shelter and food. He feels hopeless as he faces the harsh realities of poverty.

Poor Mother

The poor mother struggles to provide for her family in poverty. Despite her difficult circumstances, she still displays courage and resilience as she strives to care for her child.

Young Couple

The young couple experiences joy during their time together in the park. They don’t interact with or even see any of the other characters, but they, too, share the moment that all four people experience simultaneously.

Teaching Opportunities from Voices In The Park

  • Please encourage students to discuss the differences between wealth and poverty and how they impact individuals.
  • Discuss how courage and resilience can be found in any situation, regardless of the difficulty.
  • Have students explore how small moments of companionship can provide a sense of connection.
  • Challenge students to think about how people with diverse backgrounds can come together suddenly.

Lesson Plans for Teaching Voices In The Park

Lesson Plan 1


  • Increase student understanding of wealth and poverty and how they impact individuals
  • Discuss themes of courage, resilience, and companionship
  • Explore how people with diverse backgrounds can come together in unexpected ways


Introduce the students to the text Voices In The Park by giving them an overview of the book and its setting. Discuss some of the characters found in the text, such as the wealthy businessman, homeless man, poor mother and young couple. Explain that these characters come from diverse backgrounds and will be used to explore differences between wealth/poverty and courage/resilience.

Main Teaching Point:

  • Focus on discussing how each character’s background has impacted their lives. Ask questions such as ‘How does wealth affect the businessman?’ or ‘How does poverty affect the poor mother?” Allow for open discussion about these topics to help increase student understanding.
  • Encourage students to think about how small moments of companionship can provide a sense of connection even in challenging situations. Also, discuss how courage and resilience can be found regardless of difficulty.


Have students reflect on what they have learned from exploring this text. Ask questions like ‘Are there any similarities between all four characters?’ or ‘What is one thing you took away from this lesson?’. End with a discussion about how people with different backgrounds can come together unexpectedly.

Key Questions:

  • How does wealth affect individuals?
  • How does poverty affect individuals?
  • What are some examples of resilience displayed by different characters?
  • How did small moments of connection bring hope to each character’s situation?

Lesson Plan 2


  • Compare different experiences between wealth/poverty and courage/resilience.
  • Analyze how small moments of companionship create a sense of connection among those with vastly different life experiences.
  • Discover ways people with diverse backgrounds can form meaningful relationships despite economic disparities.


Introduce students to Voices In The Park by giving them an overview of the book and its setting. Explain that it highlights stories from different walks of life, including a wealthy businessman, a homeless man, a poor mother, and a young couple who all experience something extraordinary when they are in the park at the same time. Ask students if they think these disparate lives could ever intersect or form significant connections due to their differences in socioeconomic status.

Main Teaching Point:

Discuss how each character’s background affects their life differently yet still commonly shares threads such as feelings related to stress, loneliness or helplessness.

Invite open discussions so students can express ideas in response to questions such as ‘What do you think it feels like for someone being so wealthy yet feeling empty inside?’ Direct conversations towards analyzing key themes within Voices In The Park, such as courage, resilience and companionship, while comparing experiences between those living within and without disparity.

Have students explore if there are universal truths amongst any population, no matter their socioeconomic status, then guide them towards discovering ways where diverse groups can connect through similar emotions despite living distinctive realities (such as finding solace in shared spaces).


Have students reflect on what they learned by creating Venn diagrams that compare similarities/differences between various social constructs mentioned during class based on Voices In The Park (i.e. economically disadvantaged children vs privileged children). Use this reflection activity to promote creativity through art expression while deepening your understanding of related topics discussed within the class.

Key Questions:

  • What emotions do wealthy vs poor populations usually experience similarly or differently?
  • Do socioeconomic disparities impact the types of feelings someone may express more than another?
  • Do people from two drastically distinct worlds share anything universal aside from being human beings?
  • Which approaches promoted empathy amongst members from very different walks of life?

Books with Similar Themes

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Website Resources

Teaching Ideas – Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

Voices in the Park  is a stunningly illustrated story from master storyteller and illustrator Anthony Browne that explores four different worlds, which meet in a park and follows four main characters with very different lives. Through this book, children can explore themes such as class, poverty and diversity while learning about the power of storytelling.

Tes – Guided Reading Planning Resources: Voices in the Park – Anthony Browne

Guided Reading Planning Resources: Voices in the Park – Anthony Browne provides a comprehensive set of recommended reading planning resources for teachers to use with their pupils to engage them and deepen their understanding of Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne. This resource includes activities before, during and after reading, questions for pupil reflection, and group discussions.

Teach Primary – KS2 Book Topic: Voices in the Park

[KS2 Book Topic: Voices in the Park](https://www.teachprimary.com/learning_resources/view/ks2-book-topic-voices-in-the

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

1 thought on “Voices In The Park – Planning Overview”

  1. I ցot this weƅsite from my friend who informed me concerning this website
    and at the moment this tіme I am viѕiting this web site and
    reading very informative content ɑt this time.

Comments are closed.






Join our email list to receive the latest updates.

Add your form here