Storm-Boy lived between the Coorong and the sea. His home was the long, long snout of hill and scrub that curves away south-eastwards from the Murray Mouth. A wild strip it is, windswept and tussocky, with the flat shallow water of the South Australian Coorong on one side and the endless slam of the Southern Ocean on the other. They call it Ninety Mile Beach.
From thousands of miles around the cold, wet underbelly of the world the waves come sweeping in towards the shore and pitch down in a terrible ruin of white water and spray.
All-day and all night they tumble and thunder.
And when the wind rises, it whips the sand up the beach, and the white spray darts and writhes in the air like snakes of salt.
Storm Boy Story
Setting the Scene
- Find the Coorong in your atlas and describe its location as though you were writing an
entry for an encyclopedia.
- Now find your own location and describe that in the same way.
- Read Thiele's description and discuss how he has managed to portray the loneliness
of the Coorong, its endlessness and continual buffeting by the waves and the wind. Use his style to write a description of your place.
- Compare the writing styles and discuss the differences in terms of audience and purpose.
- Email your descriptions of your place to the other classes taking part. Find the locations on a map so you know where everyone is.
- Go to Walkabout and read about The Coorong. Compare the style to that at
Wayward Bus Touring Company. How and why are they different?
Create a Character
- Listen to a copy of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and discuss why he chose the particular instrument for each character.
- If you were creating a similar piece of work based on Storm Boy, which instruments would you choose for
- Use Energy In The Air : Sounds from the Orchestra to listen to the various instruments and make your selections.
- Explain why you made those choices and then share your final decisions with the other classes participating.
- Which choices were the same? Which choices were different? Were you persuaded to make any changes? Why?
- Investigate why the Coorong has been declared a wildlife sanctuary by looking at the sites
that are retrieved by doing a search of Google using the search terms coorong + wildlife + sanctuary
- Now investigate why tourism is important to the area by searching for coorong + wildlife + tourism
- Contact another school and debate the issue – “Tourist should be banned from the Coorong.”
- When each group has put its point of view, explore the possibility of tourists and wildlife existing in harmony. Can you negotiate a compromise?
The Coorong is part of a vast wetlands area known as the Murray-Darling Basin. To view this area view the above images and to learn more about the area take the Wetlands Challenge at Wetlands Challenge Main Menu.