Alone on a Wide Wide Sea


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Alone on a Wide Wide Sea

Teacher’s Resource

by Lucy English

William Collins’ dream of knowledge for all began with the publication of his first book in 1819. A self-educated mill worker, he not only enriched millions of lives, but also founded a flourishing publishing house. Today, staying true to this spirit, Collins books are packed with inspiration, innovation and practical expertise. They place you at the centre of a world of possibility and give you exactly what you need to explore it.

Collins. Do more.

Published by Collins

An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

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W6 8JB

Browse the complete Collins catalogue at
Visit the Collins Readers website at

Text  HarperCollins Publishers Limited 2006

Maps  Tim Stevens 2006

Extracts from Alone on a Wide Wide Sea  Michael Morpurgo

Collins Readers Teacher’s Resources can be downloaded and duplicated as required for institutional use. However, this material is copyright and under no circumstances may copies be offered for sale.
Author: Lucy English



ntroduction 5

Introducing the novel

Lesson 1: Questioning the world 6

Map 1

Map 2

OHT 1: Chapter 1 title

OHT 2: Opening paragraph
Lesson 2: Hook that reader! 11

Worksheet 3: Narrative hooks

Worksheet 4: Opening lines
Lesson 3: What’s in a name? 14

OHT 3 What’s in a name?

OHT 4: How to have a perfect start to school

Worksheet 5: Peer-Assessment sheet
Lesson 4: How do you feel? 18

OHT 5: Emotion chart
Lesson 5: Analysing character 20

OHT 6: Aunty Megs

OHT 7: Analysing Aunty Megs

OHT 8: Analysing Aunty Megs
Lesson 6: Leading the reader through 24

Worksheet 6: Connective categories

OHT 9: Connectives

OHT 10: How could connectives be used here?

Worksheet 7: Connectives bingo
Lesson 7: Getting to work 29

OHT 11: Gissa Job
Lesson 8: The Power of Pictures 31

OHT 12: Australian recruitment poster

OHT 13: Kim Phuc (1972)

OHT 14: Kim Phuc today

Worksheet 8: Bloom’s Taxonomy

Worksheet 9: War Photographer

Worksheet 10: What were they like?
Lesson 9: Over to Allie 38

Worksheet 11: Rank the phrases
Lesson 10: All at sea 40

OHT 15: Dear Mum and Grandpa

OHT 16: I want to change your mind…
Lesson 11: Why does it work? 43

OHT 17: Why the novel works for me

Worksheet 12: Why the novel works for me
Lesson 12: Assessment writing 46

Worksheet 13: Assessment sheet


urther teaching suggestions 48

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea



agerly anticipated by his many fans, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea is multi-award winning author Michael Morpurgo’s latest novel for young readers. A lyrical and life-affirming story incorporating a number of challenging themes, it was described by Kate Kellaway in The Observer as ‘his best book in years’.

The novel first tells the story of Arthur Hobhouse, shipped to Australia after WWII. Having lost his sister, his country and everything he knows, Arthur endures mistreatment, neglect and forced labour in the Australian outback before finding a home. Throughout his life, he is saved again and again by his love of the sea, and when he meets and marries a nurse whose father owns a boat building business, all the pieces of his fractured life come together. The second half of the novel tells the story of Arthur’s daughter Allie, whose love of the sea is as strong and vital as her father’s. She embarks on an epic solo voyage across the world’s roughest seas, in search of her father’s long-lost sister. Both moving and original, the novel is interwoven with Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, and tackles a number of challenging and difficult themes with gentleness and humanity.

    The teaching suggestions below are designed for Year 7 students – however, the novel may be suitable for older classes as well. Students do not need to have any specific background knowledge before reading Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, but will need to be made familiar with ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ during their study of the book, as well as the history of child migrants.

The Author

Michael Morpurgo has written over 90 books and has an unparalleled reputation in the world of children's fiction. His works have been adapted for the cinema, TV and theatre and he has won numerous awards including the Blue Peter Book Award, the Whitbread Children's Book Award and the Smarties Prize. In 2003, he was appointed the third Children's Laureate.

Michael Morpurgo is, in his own words, “oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over.” After attending schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury, he went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a job in a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do.
“We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focussed on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realised there was magic in it for me.”

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