Why the Whales Came – English

In our Shared Reading and English lessons we have been looking at a book by Micheal Morpurgo, Why the Whales Came. It is set in the 1914 on the Isles of Silly. The main characters are Gracie, Daniel and the Birdman. The story is full of suspense and tension and we have been trying to add this to our own writing.

Firstly we sequenced the events of Charlie Webber’s visit to Soloman. Then as a group we composed a short paragraph or sentences about some of the images. In our work we tried to use short sentences, ellipses, description and similes to add tension.

The next task was to work independently, selecting one of the images from the story and describing the events in it. Do you think we have managed to add tension and suspense?


Suddenly, a huge lick of burning red fire caught the thatched roof of the cottage. Flames spread. The fie crackled in the cold breeze. Speedily, the family evacuated the house, luckily unharmed. The windows were black with ask, the walls were now just lumps of wood. Could it be rebuilt… Would it be a home again…


Suddenly, the Birdman appeared. Waving wildly at Charlie. Charlie’s heard was pounding like a hammer. Would he make it back…?


The dark ship got tossed like a cricket ball in the ravenous sea. The sea opened its greedy jaws and started to eat the ship. Suddenly, the ghostly boat was nowhere to be seen. The water really had eaten it…


Slowly the ship emerged from the thick mist. Rocking slowly the silent ship started creaking louder and louder as the ocean threw it around. Then it was gone…


Suddenly, the screams of the children were like ten ghost men speaking and breathing with an evil laugh. It sound came from the ship. A room on the ghost ship. Who’s was the evil laugh…


The creaky ship got gathered up by the waves. Soon it glugged down to the bottom, there were no survivors left to scream. It sank to the bottom. It shattered.


Suddenly, the Birdman appeared waving like mad at Charlie. Charlie kept tumbling over in the waves. Trying to escape the Birdman. Will he make it to safety…?


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