Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Who Sank the Boat?

Allen, Pamela (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 1996. 32 pages
First published: 1982
ISBN: 9780698113732 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

On a fine summer’s morning, a group of animal friends go out boating. One of them will end up sinking the boat, but who will it be? “Was it the cow/who almost fell in,/ when she tilted the boat/and made such a din?” Or the rather plump pig with her yellow parasol? Maybe the sheep, knitting a sweater?

This simple tale of animal friendship uses repetition and rhyme to recount a light and cheerful story. As anticipation builds, the reader is repeatedly asked: “Do you know who sank the boat?” One robust animal after another gets aboard, and from the sway of the boat and the alarmed look on the passengers’ faces, we are sure the boat cannot possibly hold their weight. Certainly no one expects a very tiny mouse to cause the vessel to capsize.

Ink and watercolour illustrations in bright colours animate the outing with humour. We can almost hear the splash of water and feel the boat de-stabilizing. Exaggerated depictions of the wide-eyed friends and their impossible attempts at balance as they lower their round, plump bodies into the craft are particularly hilarious.

A wonderful read-aloud with a surprising lesson about weight and balance.

  •  Compare the very first illustration and the last. Make predictions about the story based on these images and the title. Reflect on, revise and add to these predictions as you read.
  •  

    As the story is read aloud, join in to repeat the recurrent passages.

  •  What advice would you give the animals in order to have a more successful boating trip? Write and draw to show your thinking.
  •  

    Learn and practise unfamiliar vocabulary to help you understand and enjoy the story.

  •  

    Learn to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, join in to repeat the recurrent passages.

  •  

    Discuss boating safety tips. Check out teacher-selected boating safety sites. Is the mouse really responsible for sinking the boat? What are the other issues?

  •  Create a new classroom story where the boat will not sink and everyone will be safe.
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Science and Technology