Thiel's Storm Boy Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Colin Thiele's novel, ~'Storm Boy~', provides an opportunity to talk about themes like loneliness, loss, and connections to the natural world. This lesson offers some activities that will help your students get as much as possible out of the book.

Teaching Storm Boy With Activities

Are you reading Storm Boy, by Colin Thiele, with your students? This book tells the story about a relationship a young boy develops with his pelican in Australia. Over the course of the story, the boy also reflects on and builds his relationships with his own father, an Aboriginal man named Fingerbone, and many other animals.

To help your students benefit from their reading of Storm Boy, you might want to incorporate some activities into your instruction. Teaching literature through activities appeals to different learning styles and helps children take an active role in their own learning. The activities in this lesson will ensure that your students develop a deep understanding of Storm Boy.

Before Reading Activities

You can use these activities to activate and enhance students' prior knowledge before they begin reading the book.

Paint Your Relationship to Nature

Much of the plot of Storm Boy has to do with the close relationship the boy develops to various natural settings as well as animals, and children will benefit from thinking about their own relationships to nature. Ask your students to paint pictures representing a place or thing in nature that they have felt close to at some point in their life. Then, give them a chance to share their paintings and talk about the feelings that they evoked.

What Do You Know About Australia?

For many readers, Storm Boy will be their first time reading a novel that was written in Australia. Ask your students to share some of the facts they know about Australia, and keep a chart of their responses. Then, ask them to list their questions about Australia; document these as well. Finally, break students into small groups and have each group research one of the questions, leaving time for them to share their findings with the rest of the class.

During Reading Activities

Here, you will find activities that you can use to help students keep track of their comprehension as they read.

Act Out a Scene

Storm Boy is filled with dramatic scenes that will draw students in and help them feel the plot deeply. As they read, give them opportunities to stop and talk about which scenes are most meaningful to them. About halfway through the book, break students into small groups and have each group take responsibility for dramatizing a particular scene. Then, let them act out their Storm Boy skits for classmates to enjoy!

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