Camel Chaos

story by Katie Aaron , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning Intention:

I am learning about the way language can be used to compose a more interesting and engaging story, so that I can incorporate these techniques in my writing.


Success Criteria:

  • I can identify the way language is used to develop character’s personalities
  • I can discuss the effectiveness of figurative language in creating imagery in a story.


1st reading:

What do you think the word ‘chaos’ means? Based on the illustrations and your own predictions, what kind of chaos do you think the camel will cause?


What is the setting of this story? How is this setting unusual for some of the story’s characters?


What are the two main complications of the story? How are they each resolved?


2nd reading:


What problem does the camel present Riley with when it first arrives?


How are Riley and Anna’s reactions to the camel different?

What does this tell us about their personalities? Who do you think you would most react like in this situation?


Why do you think the story contains a dinkus (* * *) when Riley saw why the camel stopped, and when he realises there is a genie coming towards them? How does this this shift the readers?


Reread the following lines from the story:


  • ‘Make it stop!’

‘YOU make it stop!’

  • ‘If you didn’t steal my camel, why was SHE sitting on it?’


Why has the author capitalised the words YOU and SHE in these lines? How does this affect the way you read the lines?


3rd reading:


Reread the line in the first column of the story:


‘Hey!’ cried Riley. ‘You can’t do that!’ But he could have been talking to the door because the camel didn’t take any notice.


What does the idiom ‘could have been talking to the door’ mean? How does this foreshadow the difficulty Riley and Anna will face in trying to keep the camel under control?


When the camel knocks the vase off the table, the author writes that ‘it smashed into a hundred pieces’. Do you think that it was exactly one hundred pieces? If not, why do you think the author would write it this way?


When Anna decides that she wants to ride the camel, the author writes that she ‘heaved herself’ on. What does this help the audience envision? What does it tell us about the difficulty level of climbing onto a camel?


When the genie appears, his feelings are quickly made apparent to readers. Rather than saying ‘he was angry’, the author writes ‘He wore a furious expression on his face’. How does this language and description make it more interesting for readers? Can you think of another way that you could describe a character’s anger?