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'The Wreck of the Zanzibar'
By Michael Morpurgo

Karen has sent in some topic style questions about the book that could be used as individual tasks or whole class activities.

  • Discuss author, title, front cover & blurb - What questions do they make you want to ask? What do you think the story will be about? Do you think you are going to like the story - why/why not?
  • Write 5 questions you would like to ask the author Michael Morpurgo about the book.
  • Write 5 questions you would like to ask Laura/ Billy/ Dad etc.
  • Make a glossary of all the words you do not know eg gig, schooner, gannet....
  • Find the Scily Isles on a map of Britain.
  • Find and collect pictures of saling boats.
  • Write a letter from Laura to Billy after he has left.
  • Write a postcard from Billy in America to Laura.
  • Act out Billy and/or Dad saying whose fault all the arguments are.
  • Pretend to be Joseph Hannibal telling his stories from around the world.
  • Be Laura trying to give good reasons to persuade them to let her row in the gig.
  • Make a 3-masted schooner like the General Lee.
  • Imagine 5 photographs taken during the book - draw them.
  • Find out about Leatherback Turtles.
  • Write/tell the turtles story of how he got to Rushy Bay.
  • Interview the turtle about how he feels being stranded on the beach.
  • Think of as many reasons to stay on Bryher and reasons to leave.
  • Interview Billy about how he feels as the ship becomes wrecked on the rocks.
  • Write a newspaper report or do a 'live' news report on the rescue.
  • Draw a photograph to go with the newspaper report.
  • Write a song or poem about the dying island, the storm, the rescue, the sinking.
  • Make your own figurehead of Zanzibar the turtle.


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