Captain Ahab's Weird Wide World: Wave Rocks

article by Cheryl Bullow , photo by Dreamstime

Learning intentions: 

I am learning to draw connections between texts and my personal experiences so that I can have a group discussion about a text. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can connect my personal experience to a text. 
  • I can create and follow rules for group discussions. 
  • I can persuade others to agree with my opinion about a text using personal experience. 


Before reading Wave Rocks, conduct a class survey with the following questions. This can be done with hands up for yes answers, having students move to different ends of the classroom depending on whether their answer is yes or no or thumbs up/thumbs down. 


Have you ever travelled in a plane? 

Have you been to the United States? 

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? 

Have you seen the Grand Canyon on television or in a movie before? 

Have you seen any other spectacular land features? 

Have you been to the desert? 

Have you ever hiked in the heat? 

Have you walked for four hours straight? 

Have you ever been horribly disappointed? 


Tell students to keep the above experiences in mind when reading the article. Read Wave Rocks with the class. Explain that students will be getting into groups of three or four and discussing whether or not they would like to travel to The Wave. Before they get into groups, have the class suggest some rules for group discussions, such as: 

  1. Let everyone have a turn.
  2. Don’t speak over others.
  3. Inside voices to keep the noise level down.


Once in their groups, students should take turns using their answers from the survey to either persuade or dissuade the others to visit Wave Rocks. Display the survey questions to help remind students what to say. Some example reasons for not visiting Wave Rocks could be: 

  • It’s really long and boring flying to the U.S. 
  • Hiking for hours in the heat is awful. I got heatstroke once when I went for a hike in the bush with my family. 
  • Why would you make that long plane trip if you might not even win the lottery part? 


Some example reasons for visiting Wave Rocks could be: 

  • It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience 
  • You get to travel to a different place, which is fun 
  • You get to take some amazing pictures of a spectacular landmark 
  • A holiday is a great memory to share with your family 

Each group votes whether they would/ wouldn’t visit Wave Rocks. Each group shares their for/against decision with the class. 


Assessment as/of learning:  

Using Exit Ticket strategy ask children to reflect on this question “What persuasive skills did you have to use to convince your audience.”