Urgl the Ogre

story by Katie Furze , illustrated by Christopher Nielsen

Learning Intention:

I am learning to use my personal experiences when considering character actions so that I can contribute to the analysis of different perspectives of complex situations.


Success Criteria:

  • I can consider opposing viewpoints of a complex situation
  • I can draw upon my own relevant experiences to explain my viewpoints
  • I can use critical thinking skills to approach complex issues.


Essential knowledge:

For an example and template of the Tug-of-War activity, visit the NSW Department of Education’s page on Perspective and download the Jamboard Tug-of-War resource.


For more information about viewpoints, see The School Magazine’s video on Perspective.


Oral language and communication:

Ask students to think of a time where they have been wronged by another person. Ask whether they forgave the person or not. If they feel comfortable, ask them to share their experience with a partner. Invite willing students to share their experience with the class.


Understanding text:

As a class, read through the text or listen to the audio recording if you have a digital subscription. Afterwards, ask students:

- How do you think Urgl feels about his new family?

- How do you think Urgl felt about his original family?

- Do you think Urgl misses his original family?

- Do you think Urgl loves his original family, despite who they are?

- What if Urgl’s original family apologised for their actions and asked him to come back to live with them?


Creating text:

Explain that the class is going to participate in an activity called Tug-of-War. They will be looking at this last question (Should Urgl go back to his family if they apologised for their actions?) from both viewpoints. They need to come up with reasons why Urgl would and would not return to his original family and rank the reasons in terms of strength of the argument.


Draw a horizontal line on the board (the tug-of-war rope). Write Yes on the left, No on the right, and Should Urgl go back to his family if they apologised for their actions? above it. Give students sticky notes or index cards with Blu Tack. Have them think of arguments to support one side or the other. Encourage them to use their own experiences when forming arguments. Once students have given an argument, they can write it on their sticky note or index card and come up to the board. The class can decide how strong the supporting argument is, justifying their answers. If the argument is very strong, it should be stuck at the furthest end of the viewpoint (yes or no). If it’s weak, it should be stuck closer to the middle.


Some example arguments for the “yes” argument:

- Forgiving people is good for your mental health

- Family is important

- Urgl can teach them how to protect animals

- Everyone deserves a second chance


Some example arguments for the “no” argument:

- Urgl’s new family will be sad

- The original family could be lying

- Urgl was happier with his new family

- Family doesn’t have to mean blood relatives


When everyone has come up with supporting arguments, ask students if there are any other points that might affect Urgl’s decision. As a class, come up with some “What if…?/What about…?” questions that might need to be explored further before a decision can be made. Sample answers include:

What if some of Urgl’s brothers and sisters were better than others?

How might Urgl’s family be able to prove they were sorry?

What would happen with Urgl’s new family?


Assessment for/as learning:

Now that they’ve examined both viewpoints, students write a note to Urgl with their personal opinion and justifications. They can use arguments from the board as their justifications. A template for the note is below.


Dear Urgl,

I think you should ______________ because ____________________ and _____________________.