Happy April Fools Day Year 5!
Here are your tasks for today:
This is an extract from Kensuke’s Kingdom where the main character, Michael, is stranded at sea with his dog Stella. Answer the questions below the text.
Eventually, I fell silent and my legs just would not kick any more. I clung to my football, my head drifting into sleep. I knew I mustn’t, but I couldn’t help myself. My hands kept slipping off the ball. I was fast losing my strength. I would go down, down to the bottom of the sea and lie in my grave amongst the seaweed and the sailors’ bones and the shipwrecks.
Then, suddenly, like a song of hope and celebration, I heard barking across the water…
However, though my mind twinkled with joy, I still felt tired. My legs were numb. I leaned on my football for a moment – just a moment, just to rest my head and my legs. I felt my mind drifting. I floated way into sleep, into my dreams. And in my dream I saw a boat gliding towards me. The Peggy-Sue! They had come back for me! I knew they would. Strong arms grabbed me. I was hauled upwards and out of the water. I lay there on the deck, gasping for air like a landed fish.
Someone was bending over me, shaking me, talking to me. I couldn’t understand a word that was being said. But it didn’t matter. I felt Stella’s hot breath on my face, her tongue licking my ear. She was safe. I was safe. All was well.
I was woken by a howling, like the howling of a gale through the masts. I looked about me. There were no masts above me, there were no sails. No movement under me either, no breath of wind. Stella Artois was barking but some way off. I was not on a boat at all but lying stretched out on sand. The howling became a screaming, a fearful crescendo of screeching that died away in its own echoes.
I sat up. I was on a beach, a broad white sweep of sand, with trees growing thick and lush behind me right down to the beach. Then I saw Stella prancing about in the shallows. I called her and she came bounding up out of the sea to greet me, her tail circling wildly. I struggled to my feet.
I was weak all over. I looked about me. The wide blue sea was as empty as the cloudless sky above. No boat. Nothing. No one. I called again and again for my mother and father. I called until tears came and I could call no more, until I knew there was no point. I stood there for some time trying to work out how I had got here, how it was that I’d survived.
Stella, of course, was unconcerned about all the whys and wherefores. She kept bringing me sticks to throw. Then the howling came again from the trees and the hackles went up on Stella’s neck. I had heard the howling before on a visit to London Zoo – gibbons.
“Don’t worry, Stella,” I told her, stroking her ears gently. “It’s only gibbons. They won’t hurt us.” But I couldn’t be at all sure that I was right.
- Look at the paragraph beginning ‘I was weak all over…’ How can you tell that Michael is distressed?
- What does the phrase ‘a fearful crescendo’ tell you about the howling?
- How does Stella’s behaviour change when she hears the gibbons?
- What impression do you get of the beach where Michael wakes up?
- ‘But I couldn’t be at all sure that I was right.’ This tells us that Michael felt…
- ‘Someone was bending over me, shaking me, talking to me. I couldn’t understand a word that was being said. But it didn’t matter.’
Why do you think it didn’t matter that Michael couldn’t understand?
What is a reversible change and an irreversible change?
Give examples of both. What are the differences between them?
Draw a poster explaining/showing the differences and put it into your home learning pack.
The following links will help:
Mrs Millard XX