When Y6 started writing mysteries in October, I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity for me to read The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd to the children in their story time session with me.
Instantly, the children were gripped by the story line and the strong characters. I was amazed at how good they were at being detectives over the weeks and they soon started looking for clues in the book. They dealt with the themes maturely and synthesized the information read to them.
At the very end of the book, when all the loose ends had been tied up, I asked the children about the characters. This is what they said:
“At first she appeared to be unkind to Ted or at least to have very little patience for him. ”
“I felt that she was constantly breaking rules. She was sneaking cigarettes and sometimes not going to school. She even tried to avoid showing her mum her school report. She encouraged Ted to lie.”
“She was energetic! She showed enthusiasm at the motor cycle show and could run up 24 flights of stairs in the tower block. I think that in public spaces like school, she’d be very popular and confident.”
“I loved seeing how she worked well with Ted to solve the mystery. It was clear that she loved him and understood him.”
“I noticed how she had highs and lows. One minute she was happy then snappy. Is that because she’s a teenage girl?”
About Aunt Gloria:
“She was emotional!”
“She was frantic at times. She worried constantly.”
“I felt that she was selfish. She wanted to go to New York and gave very little thought about what Salim wanted. She cared about herself and how she looked.”
“In the end I felt that she had learnt her lesson.”
“Ted was smart. He was a thinker. He used his skills to his advantage. He understood his strengths.”
“Sometimes Ted could be clueless. He often jumped to conclusions. It was clear that he couldn’t read people’s body language or understand turns of phrase or sayings. He tried so hard to improve this.”
“He tried to fit in with his autism…”
So then, to conclude I asked the children this:
“We are all different. We love being different. Should we try to change ourselves to fit in? Or should we be who we are without feeling the need to change or fit in?”
And the children’s response was unanimous….. Of course we should be who we are and never change to fit in.