‘Chemistry’ by Graham Swift
• To summarise the main events in the story ‘Chemistry’
• To demonstrate an understanding of the story by answering the questions posed. Dictionary race, in pairs, get ready to find the meaning of the word ‘Chemistry’. After you have found the word put your hand up, first 3 get SIM points
On your mark…
Extension: Why might the name of a text be important to know? What clue might this give us about the content of the story?
In your books create a mind map of your predictions of the story.
It might discuss the interactions people have. Chemistry means ‘the way a substance changes and reacts with other substances’ It could talk about the changes which happen in life. Extension: how is a family like a chemistry experiment? Filling in the gaps…
In pairs, using the mini white-boards, write down 3 questions that you would like to know the answers to .
What person is the story written in and why? How does the story end? Why is the story called
If you have the following cards, get ready to select an answer a question from the box.
Get ready to summarise the main events which happened in the story in your groups of 4
What are the rules of summarising?
Summarise: To retell information in a shortened way
‘Wheel of doom’: 3 people will be chosen at random to read their summary. An i-behave will be awarded for the best example.
‘Chemistry’-Examining the opening of the story.
• To begin to consider the structure and importance of the opening of the story. to explore how language structure and form contribute to the meaning of texts. • To consider alternative interpretations.
Draw an image based on your memory of what you read last lesson. Remember to state how it relates to what you read [4 lines minimum]
I have chosen to draw a rope as the ideas of connection and loss are strong themes in the story. Also, the idea of connection/ a link between the family members is depicted throughout this story and I believe the writer may have included it because he wishes to show us how difficult it is to maintain this connection. The pond in our park was circular, exposed, perhaps fifty yards across. When the wind blew, little waves travelled across it and slapped the paved edges, like a miniature sea. We would go there, Mother, Grandfather and I, to sail the motor-launch Grandfather and l made out of plywood, balsawood and varnished paper. We would go even in the winter - especially in the winter, because then we would have the pond to ourselves - when the leaves on the two willows turned yellow and dropped and the water hands. How froze is theyour reader likely to
Mother would sit on a wooden bench set back from the perimeter; l would have reacted to this?
prepare the boat for launching. Grandfather, in his black coat and grey scarf,
Could there be a hidden would walk to the far side to receive it. For some reason it message? was always
Grandfather, never I, who went to the far to side. When he reached his station I would hear his 'Ready!' across the water. A puff of vapour would rise from his lips like the smoke from a muffled pistol. And I would release the launch. It worked by aisbattery.
technique this? Its progress was laboured but its course steady. I would it head out to the middle while Mother watched
Why iswatch it used? behind me. As it moved it seemed that it followed an actual existing line between Grandfather, myself and Mother, as if Grandfather were pulling us toward him on some invisible cord, and that he had to do this to prove we were not beyond his reach. When the boat drew near him he would crouch on his haunches. His hands- which I knew were knotted, veiny and mottled from an accident in one of his chemical experiments - would reach out, grasp
How would you describe it and set it on its return. this behaviour?
How is the themes of loss and