Mokie and Bik

Monday, August 07, 2006

Teaching Notes for Mokie and Bik

Teaching Notes


Wendy Orr based this story on her father and his twin sister's childhood. Do you think it's EXACTLY true? Why or why not? Which parts do you think might be true, and which ones might be exaggerated?

Do your parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles have stories about when they were little? Do you?
Write a story using a story or stories from your family. How could you change it to make it a better story? Do their real names suit the characters in the story or could you think of better names? (In real life, people's names don't always suit their personalities, but they should in a story.)

When do you think this story happened? What are some of the clues that it's not right now? How has life changed since then?


Make a list of all the ‘twin language’ words in the story. What real words do they replace?

When you were younger did you have your own special words for things? What were they? Does your family still use some of them now?


Saying ‘botormike’ instead of motorbike is a spoonerism. Spoonerisms were named after Reverend William Archibald Spooner, an English minister who often got his words mixed up and said things like, ‘a blushing crow’ when he meant to say, ‘a crushing blow.’

Tongue twisters are groups of words that are tricky to say together , like ‘she sells sea shells by the sea shore.’ Sometimes if you say tongue twisters quickly you end up with spoonerisms!’

Can you make up some tongue twisters or spoonerisms? Here are a couple to get you started:

Pinny gig (guinea pig)
Rubble bab ((bubble wrap)


Are there any twins at your school or in your family? Did they have a special language that just they knew about? What are the good things about being a twin? What are the bad?

Develop a list of interview questions in class, divide up the questions among the students and get each child to interview twins and write up their answers.

From Romulus and Remus, the mythical twins who founded Rome, to Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, there have been lots of famous twins throughout history. What other famous twins can you discover?


Laddie is a sheepdog. What work do sheepdogs do, and why would that make him a good dog to look after Mokie and Bik?

Waggles is a Newfoundland dog. What work do they do? Can you find any interesting facts about them?

The real Mokie and Bik's dog who came home with their father was a French cart dog - a big strong dog who was used to pull carts. What other kinds of working dogs can you find out about.

Slow is a 'tortle.' Do you think he's a turtle or tortoise? Find out what the differences are.

GEOGRAPHY - houses/boats

What would you like about living on a boat? What wouldn't you like?

Where in the world do people live in boats? Eg in Hue, Vietnam; barges on the Rhine and other rivers in Europe, houseboats in many cities – like Victoria in Canada.

Where in the world do people live right on the water but perhaps live on houses on stilts?
eg Myanmar (Burma) on Inle Lake

Find the places in an atlas.

Find out about the life styles of these people. do they spend a lot of time fishing and boating like Mokie and Bik? What foods do they eat?

Fnd out different types of house boats. What are they made of? Draw pictures of them. Design your own house boat.


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