Book Detectives (1)


Reading a book is just like being a detective in a TV series. You have to look for clues to make the story work.

This was our first book detective story:

First, we are going to read a story together – I will read it, and you will listen carefully for clues. Then we will read it again – very slowly – and talk about the clues in the story.

Then you will each write the next bit of the story for yourselves.


It was dark, very dark.

Themba picked up his spear. It felt very heavy in his hand.

He could hear the men talking softly.

They were getting ready.

Themba was very frightened.

It was his first time to go out with the men.

Would he be brave?

Would he be brave enough?

The drums began to beat … slowly, slowly.

They were like the beating of Themba’s heart.

The sun began to creep out from behind the mountains.

The drums beat faster.

So did Theba’s heart!

(This Story written by Lesley Beake)


This is the story a group of 8 children wrote during activities:

The men stood up. They had paddles in their hands. They got into their canoes. They paddled up the river noisily. They were talking loudly to each other and laughing. They were going fishing together.

Suddenly, a storm came. The boat hit a rock and sank. None of the men could swim!

Themba felt brave. He could swim, but he knew the men could not.

He held out his paddle and pulled the men in. They grabbed his spear and held on. Themba swam out to save one man.
Soon they were safe.

They walked home together. Themba was a hero!

Image: Drawing the story. Credit Nick Mohr

Facilitators and volkunteers:
Vuyokasi Size, Phumela Asande, Jacques le Roux, Nick Mohr and Lesley Beake
Our thanks to our funders who so generously enable these workshops and to Butterfly Centre for their ongoing support.

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