Observing and describing in Storm Boy 5: Describing the weather

Describing the weather

Introduction

In the very first Observing and Describing lesson, we looked at how important the environment was to the story of Storm Boy

The passage we look at in this lesson is a great example of this - Storm Boy’s home is plagued by a series of storms, finishing with a huge weather event that tests all of the main characters.

Before that happens (sorry... you’ll have to read the book to find out what that event is) Colin Thiele describes the weather leading up to the event.

It was the year of the great storms. They began in May, even before the winter had started. Shrieking and raging out of the south, the Antarctic winds seemed to have lost themselves and come up howling in a frenzy to find the way.
In June they flattened the sedge, rooted out some of the bushes that had crouched on top of the sand-hills for years, and blew out one of the iron sheets from the humpy. Hide-Away tied wires to the walls and weighed down the roof with driftwood and stones.
In July the winds lost their senses. Three great storms swept out of the south, the third one so terrible that it gathered up the sea in mountains, mashed it into foam, and hurled it against the shore. The waves came in like rolling railway embankments right up to the sandhills where Hide-Away and Storm Boy lived. They lashed and tore at them as if they wanted to carry them away. The boobyalla bushes bent and broke. The humpy shivered and shook. Even Mr Percival had to go right inside or risk being blown away.

Storm BoyColin ThieleSource

The structure of the passage goes a bit like this:

There was a weather event. 
It started at this time… 
It developed at this time…
It hit its peak at this time…
We tried to deal with it...

The writer uses time to advance the action, building up to a peak, then showing how the characters dealt with it.

A guide to some of the terms and characters in this passage

In this lesson, you’ll be describing your own weather event using the same structure and techniques as this passage.

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