The Beach Ball Bandit

play by Stephanie Ryan , illustrated by Sarah Davis

Learning intention 

I am learning to compose an imaginative text that presents more than one point of view so that I can consider the reasons behind characters’ actions.  

Success criteria: 

  • I can identify different points of view in a text.  
  • I can take part in a role-play to consider a character’s point of view. 
  • I can compose dialogue that features more than one point of view.  


Essential knowledge 

View the video Point of View from The School Magazine. Ensure students identify that the point of view a text is told from refers to the ideas and opinions presented. 


Read The Beach Ball Bandit. As it is a play, allocate roles to students for them to read aloud. Discuss distinctive features of plays, ensuring students identify that they are composed of dialogue and stage directions. Inform students that unlike stories that might only show one character’s point of view, plays allow writers to present multiple points of view through the dialogue.  


Identify examples in the play where differing points of view are revealed, for example,  

BUDDY BEACHGOER: And when they didn’t want to buy your ice cream you stole their ball as revenge! 

VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS: (gasping) How could you, Vinny? 

VINNY: No! It’s not true! 

NARRATOR: Poor Vinny looked like he might melt under the pressure until… 



Discuss the differing points of view in this extract, for example the beachgoer believes Vinny stole the ball whereas the Narrator feels pity towards him, revealed in the line, Poor Vinny… and Onya Trail doesn’t believe Vinny was the one responsible.  


Inform students that they will be composing their own examples of dialogue, where characters express differing opinions. Discuss examples of times when students have blamed someone mistakenly for something or perhaps, they have been blamed for something they didn’t do. Provide examples; for example they lost their favourite book and blamed it on their sibling, or they were blamed for eating all the chocolate at home. Select one student to conduct a role-play with you and act out an example of a conversation where someone is accused for something mistakenly, for example:  


Student: Where’s all the chocolate? Don’t tell me, you’ve eaten it all again! 

Teacher: Me, as if! I haven’t seen any chocolate! 

Student: Oh, likely story. Of course, it was you. I’m telling mum! 

Teacher: It wasn’t me! Why don’t you believe me? 


Use the ideas from the role-play to collaboratively compose an example of dialogue that could form part of a play script, to show the differing points of view. Refer back to The Beach Ball Bandit to emphasise that each character provides reasons for their opinion. Display the following questions and instruct students to reflect on them to assist them with identifying each of the character’s unique point of view: 


  • How have they acted? (Student: They have accused the teacher of stealing the chocolate, Teacher: They are defensive) 
  • What reasons might they have for acting in this way? (Student: The chocolate was special to them, the other person has stolen from them before, Teacher: They are frustrated for being wrongly accused) 
  • How are they feeling? (Student and teacher: Hurt and angry) 


Discuss responses and use these to assist with adding additional information to the dialogue to outline each person’s point of view. For example:  

Sister: Where’s all the chocolate? Don’t tell me, you’ve eaten it all again! (Shaking head) It was the last piece of the special chocolate I was given for my birthday.  

Brother: (exasperated) Me, as if! I haven’t seen any chocolate! 

Sister: Oh, it's a likely story. Of course, it was you. I’m telling mum! 

Brother: (Panicked) It wasn’t me! Why don’t you believe me? It’s so unfair, no one ever trusts me.  


Place students in pairs and instruct them to complete the following:  

  • identify a time when you have blamed someone for something or when you have been blamed mistakenly (tell students that they can make something up if they prefer) 
  • role-play the situation 
  • compose dialogue to express the conversation 


Assessment as/of learning:  

Once complete, allow time for students to present their scripts to another group. Use peer assessment to help students to develop their scripts.  

Discuss a criteria students might use when assessing their peers’ work, for example:  

  • Includes more than one point of view 
  • Provides reasons for each of the characters’ points of view 
  • Includes dialogue 

Effective Feedback from the NSW Department of Education has more information on different types of feedback.