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Alone on a Wide Wide Sea



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Loneliness, bravery, memories, life and death.

Follow the story of an orphaned boy surviving brutal captivity on a working farm in Australia.

Will he discover who he really is?

What is the strange key for and why does he have it?

Build analytical reading and writing skills through an in-depth novel study by award-winning author Michael Morpurgo. The children will read the novel, discuss, research child migration, role-play, analyse and write.

The themes of identity, family, loneliness, bravery and memory are built into this two-part story.

Learning outcomes

  • Read and examine chapters of the story

  • Learn about the characters and how personalities change and develop

  • Analyse language features and techniques

  • Write a persuasive letter in the style of a social worker obtaining placement for orphaned children

  • Write an objective ‘police-style’ report

  • Write a formal obituary for a character

  • Hot seating – character role play

  • Write a newspaper style article for a boating adventure

  • Examine imagery in The Ancient Marina poem

  • Watch Child Migration documentaries

  • Choose from a range of follow-up writing activities

Students will need their own copy of “Alone on a Wide Wide Sea” by Michael Murpurgo and be prepared to read some chapters at home. A hard-copy is preferable for note-taking on actual pages of the book. They will also need their own laptop.

Warning: the subject matter contains themes for older children


3 hours per week for 8 weeks

Target Age

10-13 year olds