Chatterbooks
Activity Pack
Lauren St John
White Giraffe Stories
Laura Marlin Mysteries
The One Dollar Horse
Race the Wind
2
Contents
 About this pack p2
 About Lauren St John p2
 About the books p3
 White Giraffe Stories – activities p4
 L...
3
About the Books
White Giraffe Stories
Martine is eleven when she goes to live on a game reserve in South Africa. One nig...
4
White Giraffe Stories
Warm Up and Discussion
In 3 minutes make a list of all the wild animals you know.
In 3 minutes wri...
5
White Giraffe Stories
Book Review
Who is your favourite character in these stories?
Give three things you like about thi...
6
White Giraffe Stories
Book Review
Lauren St John writes brilliant descriptions of South Africa. Look through
the books a...
7
White Giraffe Stories
Island Castaways
Image you are an island castaway like Martine and Ben. How would
you cope?
What s...
8
White Giraffe Stories
Island Castaways
Draw a picture of your island
9
Laura Marlin Mysteries
Warm Up
In 3 minutes write down all the skills you can think of to make a good detective
In 3 min...
10
Laura Marlin Mysteries
Book Review - Characters
Who is your favourite character in these stories?
Write three things yo...
11
Laura Marlin Mysteries
Book Review - Stories
Which mystery or part of a mystery do you like best?
Write three reasons w...
12
Laura Marlin Mysteries
Write a Newspaper Article
Choose your favourite Laura Marlin Mystery and write it up as an item
...
13
Laura Marlin Mysteries
Newspaper Article
(Headline)
Draw picture
14
The One Dollar Horse
Warm Up
Get your group to think of ten words to describe each of the following characters –
Casey ...
15
The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind
Book Review - Characters
Who are your favourite characters and why?
The One Doll...
16
The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind
Book Review - Story
Which part of each book did you like most and why?
The One D...
17
The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind
Book Review - Feelings
Which parts of each book made you feel happy and why ?
Th...
18
The One Dollar Horse
Turn the Book into a Film
Which actress would you choose to play Casey Blue?
Which actor would you...
19
The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind
Story Writing - Discuss and Debate
Lauren St John’s storytelling encourages disc...
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Lauren St John activity pack

  1. 1. Chatterbooks Activity Pack Lauren St John White Giraffe Stories Laura Marlin Mysteries The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind
  2. 2. 2 Contents  About this pack p2  About Lauren St John p2  About the books p3  White Giraffe Stories – activities p4  Laura Marlin Mysteries – activities p9  The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind – activities p14 About this Pack This pack contains activities themed on books by award winning author Lauren St John - Dead Man’s Cove won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards. The books are for older Chatterbooks members and are for a range of ages. The White Giraffe and the Laura Marlin Mysteries will suit Chatterbooks members aged 8 years and over. One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind are suitable for Chatterbooks members aged 12+ There are activities relating to each book. You can choose from a mixture of activities – short warm-ups and longer more detailed ones. The books are full of real-life characters and the stories explore serious issues giving your Chatterbooks group lots to discuss and think about. Top Tips  Choose material that suits the members of your group – think about age and reading ability  Visit Lauren’s website www.laurenstjohn.com  Be flexible and have fun  Be positive and encouraging  Organise activities as individuals, in pairs, or as a whole group.  Talk to parents about the books. About the Author Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. At 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir*, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt-country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling 'White Giraffe' series. 'Dead Man's Cove', the first in her mystery series about 11- year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards. For more information about Lauren and her books visit her website www.laurenstjohn.com *Rainbow’s End Orion: 9780753829233/ paperback/ £8.99 Lauren has also written The Obituary Writer – 9781409127185/ Hardback/ £12.99
  3. 3. 3 About the Books White Giraffe Stories Martine is eleven when she goes to live on a game reserve in South Africa. One night she looks out of her window and sees a giraffe - silver, tinged with cinnamon, in the moonlight. In that instant she knows that she is prepared to risk everything for him, and her thrilling adventures as the child who can ride the white giraffe begin. Join Martine in these heart-warming stories, as she discovers her special gift of healing, rescues beached dolphins in the islands of Mozambique, saves the world's rarest leopard in Zimbabwe, and learns the secrets of Namibian elephants. These are books full of charm and atmosphere and stunning African landscapes, which will enchant animal lovers everywhere. Book Titles in the Series (pbk ISBNs) The White Giraffe 978-1842555637 Dolphin Song 978-1842556115 The Last Leopard 978-1842556672 The Elephant’s Tale 978-1842557853 Laura Marlin Mysteries – Blue Peter Book Award 2011 These are mystery and adventure stories about Laura Marlin, a feisty independent 11 year old ace detective. Orphaned Laura is sent to live with her uncle in Cornwall. She is a big fan of detective stories and has a pet three-legged husky called Skye. The books are full of danger, suspense and excitement - the series has been described as a modern day ‘Famous Five’. Book Titles in the Series Dead Man’s Cove 978-1444001488 Kidnap in the Caribbean 978-1444003277 Kentucky Thriller 978-1444001488 The latest title in this series is Rendezvous in Russia: From Cornwall to Russia. Laura, her faithful husky Skye and Tariq are whirled into a breath-taking adventure when they join the film crew on the set of THE ARISTOCRATIC THIEF – a film about an art heist that could never be pulled off in real life. Or could it? Adventure and drama just seem to find Laura even when she's not looking for it. 978-1444000238 Hardback The One Dollar Horse (pbk 978-1444006360) and Race the Wind (pbk 978-1444007978) These are the first two titles in a thrilling trilogy set in the equestrian world - about reaching the top on a one dollar horse. Fifteen year old Casey Blue lives in East London's grimmest tower block and volunteers at a local riding school; her dream is to win the world's greatest Three Day Event: the Badminton Horse Trials. When she rescues a starving, half-wild horse, she's convinced that the impossible can be made possible. But she has reckoned without the consequences of her father's criminal record, or the distraction of a boy with melting, dark eyes, with whom she refuses to fall in love. Casey learns the hard way that no matter how high you jump, or how fast you gallop, you can never outrun the past. In Race the Wind Casey and Storm, are invited to take part in the prestigious Kentucky Three Day Event. But Casey finds herself the victim of a vicious blackmailer – and to make matters worse Storm is behaving like the wild horse he once was. Casey needs the help of her farrier boyfriend Peter – but is he for her or against her? Look out for Fire Storm - the third book in this trilogy – coming out in March 2014!
  4. 4. 4 White Giraffe Stories Warm Up and Discussion In 3 minutes make a list of all the wild animals you know. In 3 minutes write down all the words and phrases you can think of, to describe the South African wilderness. In 3 minutes make a list of all the things you might need in a Survival Kit. Get all the books about endangered animals off the library shelves; have a look through them and make a list of: A. The endangered animals in South Africa B. The endangered animals in UK. What can we do to help these animals stay alive? Martine was nervous about starting her new school – ‘Martine woke feeling as if she were going to the dentist.’ Write down some more words and phrases which describe feeling nervous. What situations make you nervous? What physical feelings do you have when you’re nervous? Eg. your breathing; your stomach; your heartbeat. As a group write down and then talk about all the different types of dreams you have dreamt. Have any of your dreams come true?
  5. 5. 5 White Giraffe Stories Book Review Who is your favourite character in these stories? Give three things you like about this character    Which is your favourite book of the series and why? Give three things you would say to recommend this series to a friend   
  6. 6. 6 White Giraffe Stories Book Review Lauren St John writes brilliant descriptions of South Africa. Look through the books and find descriptions that you really like. Share them with the group. Is South Africa how you imagined it to be? How do the descriptions make you feel? Would you like to go there ? Say why – or why not! Write about where you live
  7. 7. 7 White Giraffe Stories Island Castaways Image you are an island castaway like Martine and Ben. How would you cope? What skills do you need to survive? Name three things you would like to take with you and say why?    Describe your shelter What might you eat? What might you drink?
  8. 8. 8 White Giraffe Stories Island Castaways Draw a picture of your island
  9. 9. 9 Laura Marlin Mysteries Warm Up In 3 minutes write down all the skills you can think of to make a good detective In 3 minutes write down all the equipment that would be useful to a detective In 3 minutes write down all the pets you can think of! Think of 10 words to describe Laura Think of 10 words to describe Tariq Think of 10 words to describe Calvin Redfern Think of 10 words to describe Mrs Webb The criminal gang in this story is called the Straight As gang. If you were writing a book what name would you call a criminal gang? Monk and Rumblefish are the names of villains in the Straight As gang. If you were writing a story what would you call the villains in your gang? Mr Gilbert asked Laura’s class to come up with their ‘dream’ job and stressed he wanted the class to come up with a realistic job. What is your dream job ? – the more unrealistic the better! In Rendezvous in Russia Laura is given a choice: ‘Would you like to go to Russia or not? Do you want to spend ten days working as a background artiste in one of the world’s most fascinating cities...or would you prefer to spend your whole summer on the beach in beautiful St Ives?’ Find out about St Petersburg and St Ives – list the special things about each place – and in your Chatterbooks group have a debate about what choice you would make, and why.
  10. 10. 10 Laura Marlin Mysteries Book Review - Characters Who is your favourite character in these stories? Write three things you like about him/her    Give three things you would say to recommend this series to a friend   
  11. 11. 11 Laura Marlin Mysteries Book Review - Stories Which mystery or part of a mystery do you like best? Write three reasons why    Did any story or part of a story make you feel sad and if so why? Did any story or part of a story make you feel hopeful and if so why?
  12. 12. 12 Laura Marlin Mysteries Write a Newspaper Article Choose your favourite Laura Marlin Mystery and write it up as an item for the local newspaper. Work in pairs. One person can be the reporter and one person can be Laura. Think of some questions and answers. Think of a headline and draw a picture. Happy writing! Question Answer Question Answer Question Answer
  13. 13. 13 Laura Marlin Mysteries Newspaper Article (Headline) Draw picture
  14. 14. 14 The One Dollar Horse Warm Up Get your group to think of ten words to describe each of the following characters – Casey Blue Roland Blue – Casey’s Father Mrs Smith Anna Sparks Peter Rhys As a group think of  five ways in which you might deal with bullies  five things you would not like about being poor and having no money  five things that would be good about being rich  five things that you like, that don’t cost anything Casey Blue is passionate about horses and riding. Talk about the things your group is passionate about. Game: ‘Is anything missing?’ Casey’s dad loves recipe books and cooking meals for Casey. He can’t always afford all the ingredients so Casey will ask him ‘Is anything missing?’ Have some fun and play a memory game. Get together some small items and put them on a tray. Give everyone about 2 minutes to look at the items. Get everyone to cover their eyes. Take something away - or don’t. Who can see ‘Is anything missing?’ and, if there is, what is it? Find out…. …….What your group thinks about The One Dollar Horse. Get everyone to say, write it all up to share on a flip chart: Favourite Character? Worst Character? Funniest moment? Saddest moment? Below are some activities, exploring in more detail the stories of The One Dollar Horse, and Race the Wind, and your group’s responses and feelings about the books:
  15. 15. 15 The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind Book Review - Characters Who are your favourite characters and why? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind Which character is most like you and why? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind
  16. 16. 16 The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind Book Review - Story Which part of each book did you like most and why? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind If you could change any part of each book what would it be and how would you do it? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind
  17. 17. 17 The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind Book Review - Feelings Which parts of each book made you feel happy and why ? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind Which parts of each book made you feel sad and why? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind Which part of each book made you feel hopeful and why? The One Dollar Horse Race the Wind
  18. 18. 18 The One Dollar Horse Turn the Book into a Film Which actress would you choose to play Casey Blue? Which actor would you choose to play Peter Rhys? Which actress would play Anna Spark? Which actress would play Mrs Smith? Which actor would play Roland Blue? What costumes would your characters wear? Design the DVD cover
  19. 19. 19 The One Dollar Horse and Race the Wind Story Writing - Discuss and Debate Lauren St John’s storytelling encourages discussion about real life and its challenging issues, making her stories really interesting. For example, her character Mrs Smith has strong opinions about the way ‘White collar’ criminals and ‘Blue collar’ criminals are treated. Lauren St John looks at both sides of an issue, making her readers think about the topic in detail. This technique can help your story writing. Try it out. Discuss a current issue at your Chatterbooks group. Think of all the pros and cons of a topic. Then, write a dialogue between two characters discussing your topic. Here are some topics to get you started:  Should animals be kept in zoos? *  Should animals be used to test beauty products?  Should we wear school uniforms?  Should footballers earn £50,000 for each game they play? *Lauren St John is a patron of the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. See http://www.bornfree.org.uk/

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