Reading lesson: The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Home learning focus
Using the novel The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd you will learn about selecting key pieces of information from a text and evaluating the text while giving a personal opinion.
This lesson includes:
two videos of Oti Mabuse reading extracts from the book
Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim steps into a pod on the London Eye, and disappears. Now Ted and Kat must follow a trail of clues across London, racing against time.
Watch Oti Mabuse read the first extract of The London Eye Mystery written by Siobhan Dowd and think about the following:
- How well do Kat and Ted get on as siblings?
- What does Dad think about Aunt Glo?
- Why does Ted laugh along even though he is not sure what is funny?
Now watch Oti read a second clip from The London Eye Mystery.
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
‘Kat?’ I said.
‘What does it mean when something is up your street?’
‘Salim said The Tempest would be right up my street. He acted in it at school last term.’
Kat laughed. ‘We’ve been reading it at school too. Mr Moynihan keeps making me read Miranda’s part and she’s such a ... dishrag.’
I considered this. ‘So it’s not up your street?’
The pod was nearing one o’clock. ‘What d’you think of Auntie Glo?’ Kat asked.
I remembered what Dad said about her leaving a trail of devastation in her wake. Then I remembered how she’d said I was like Andy Warhol, a cultural icon. ‘I don’t know.’
‘Me neither. I heard Dad say to Mum that Auntie Glo drives him bananas. And I found two empty bottles of wine on top of the fridge.’
In my mind’s eye, Aunt Gloria turned into a motorist with driving goggles and a huge consignment of bananas in the back seat.
‘You mean, she drives him bananas the same way I drive you nuts?’ I said.
‘Bananas. Nuts. Round the bend. Off your trolley. Whatever.’
She laughed and I joined in because it showed I knew what she meant even if I wasn’t sure what was funny about Aunt Gloria making Dad feel insane.
Read Extract 1 again and answer the following questions.
- What does Salim say is up Ted’s street?
- Which part has Kat been reading in school? Do you think she enjoys it?
- What position is the pod at in this extract?
- Why did Ted laugh?
- Why is Ted unsure on his opinion on Aunt Glo?
- How does Aunt Glo make Dad feel? Use evidence from the text to back up your answer.
- In my mind’s eye, Aunt Gloria turned into a motorist with driving goggles and a huge consignment of bananas in the back seat. Why did Ted get this image in his mind? Use evidence from the text to help explain your answer.
We walked over to where Mum and Aunt Gloria were having coffee. ‘Let’s lie,’ hissed Kat.
‘About taking that ticket from a stranger.’
She grabbed me by the wrist so hard it hurt.
‘Lie,’ I repeated. ‘Hrumm. Lie.’
‘We could say that Salim got lost in the crowds, that he—’ She let my wrist go. ‘Oh, forget it,’ she said. ‘I know telling a lie with you is useless. And stop doing that duck-that’s-forgotten-how-to-quack look!’
We reached the table where Aunt Gloria and Mum sat talking up another storm. We stood by them in silence. A pounding started up in my ears, as if my blood pressure had shot up above normal, which is what Mum says happens to her when Kat drives her distracted.
‘There you are,’ Aunt Gloria said. ‘Have you got the tickets?’
Kat waited for me to say something.
I waited for Kat to say something.
‘Where’s Salim?’ asked Mum. ‘Not still in the queue?’
‘Hrumm,’ I said. ‘No.’
Mum looked as if Salim might be behind us. ‘Where then?’
Read Extract 2 again and think about the events that unfold.
Return to the beginning of the extract and summarise the key points from the extract.
What do you think about the extract? Do you like it? Give reasons for your answer.
Predict what may happen next. What could of happened to Salim?
Ted struggles to understand what idioms are in Extract 1. Idioms are expressions that can’t be understood just by looking at the words in them.
The following idioms are included in this extract - something is up your street, drives him bananas, round the bend and off your trolley.
Have a go at this quiz to see if you can explain what they really mean.
Extension: Can you think of any more idioms? Try to think of at least four and write them down for your writer's toolkit.