Going Up in the World

story by Simon Cooke , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Collaborate with peers to design and present a survival plan, based on the events in the narrative.

Read the story up until the line on page 7:

He was never seen again.

Divide students into pairs and explain their task. They are to imagine that they are the narrator and Uncle Max trapped in the old quarry. They need to decide on their survival and escape plan and present it to the class.

First, instruct students to reread an extract on page 5 and 6 carefully:

The coordinates on the scrap paper … ‘I should have told someone where I was going.

Ask students to locate and list the reasons why the narrator and Uncle Max are stuck in the quarry. Some answers include: the bridge has disintegrated, the quarry is surrounded by three cliffs and a gorge and Uncle Max has already made a distressed message out of rocks but no plane has seen it in a month.

Second, draw students’ attention to the quotation:

An old track sloped steeply down into the quarry, and levelled out over an area littered with broken machinery.

Provide students with images of a range of objects that could be found in an abandoned mine. Instruct students to choose three of these objects to use as part of their escape plan. These objects could include:




Miner’s hat






If you have a digital subscription, students can complete this step as an interactive by visiting

When choosing their objects, students should be as creative as possible. The object does not need to be used for its intended purpose, for example a rope and pickaxe could become an armoured lasso for rock climbing. Remind students that they can also utilise the flying rock as part of their escape plan.

Finally, working together, the students need to write a short presentation on their escape plan. It should be written in the format of a procedure, with an equipment list and then a series of steps.

After students designed their escape plans, they should present to their peers / the whole class. After a range of escape plans have been discussed, read the story’s conclusion (the narrator uses an old cart like a skateboard). Allow students to vote for their favourite escape plan from the range presented, including the original plan in the story. Reveal the winner of the best plan to escape the quarry.