The Life of Pi

I was recently given a copy of the book ‘The Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel to read for my book group and having not seen the film I was eager to get started. I was thrilled to discover that this book is full of beautifully written descriptive passages that celebrate the wonders of the natural world as well as human and animal behaviours. My Year 1 children loved the description of sea turtles and the following passage could be used with pictures in Geography lessons when teaching about different cloud formations.

The Life of Pi, Chapter 78, page 215:
There were many skies. The sky was invaded by great white clouds, flat on the bottom but round and billowy on top. The sky was completely cloudless, of a blue quite shattering to the senses. The sky was a heavy, suffocating blanket of grey cloud, but without the promise of rain. The sky was thinly overcast. The sky was dappled with small, white, fleecy clouds. The sky was streaked with high, thin clouds that looked like a cotton ball stretched apart. The sky was a featureless milky haze. The sky was a density of dark and blustery rain clouds that passed without delivering rain. The sky was painted with a small number of flat clouds that looked like sandbars. The sky was a mere block to allow a visual effect on the horizon: sunlight flooding the ocean, the vertical edges between light and shadow perfectly distinct. The sky was a black curtain of falling rain. The sky was many clouds at many levels, some thick and opaque, others looking like smoke.

We often use children’s picture books to enhance learning about our wonderful world but why not use adult literature such as this?


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