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By Elaine Forrestal
Published by: Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Melbourne, 2002
Before reading the book
1. Compare the different versions of the same image on the front and back
Which do you like best?
Which one best conveys the impression of speed?
The illustrator, Gregory Rogers, first suggested the image above as the cover. Do you think this would have worked on the bookshop shelf?
If you were deciding which picture to have framed to put on the wall in your room, which of the three would you choose?
2. Look closely at the face in the bottom left hand corner of the cover illustration. What dominant emotion is this person feeling?
3. Read the blurb on the back of the book. Do you know someone who might fit that description of Pearce?
Do you think Pearce and Yosef will still be friends at the end of the book?
Analysis and application of knowledge
Read and discuss the novel.
4. In the front of Winning you will find a quote from the fable
'The Hare and the Tortoise' by Aesop.
Read the fable.
Here are two newspaper reports of events in which the race was not won by the
Read both reports. Do you think that either or both races should have been re-run?
Discuss the tactics used by Stephen Bradbury during the semi-finals and the final of the speed skating event at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Did he expect to win?
Did he deserve to win?
Imagine that you were in the lead and fell, bringing down three other skaters. How would you feel?
5. Write a short story describing the race from the point of view of the skater who was in second place when the person ahead of him fell, bringing them both down.
In most stories the main climax comes towards the end. Is this the case with Winning?
Which part of the book do you think is the most exciting?
How did Yosef feel when he beat Pearce for the first time?
Which character in the story did you like best?
Which one did you like least?
If you could be one of the kids in Pearce's gang, which one would you choose to be?
Little Athletics clubs everywhere are concerned about what has become known as 'the ugly parent syndrome'.
Does Pearce's Dad suffer from this?
Form two teams and debate the topic:
'The parent's role is to stand quietly on the sidelines at sporting events in which their children are competing.'
5. Choose two people to act as policemen,one to interview Yosef about the school gardener's shed robberies, one to interview Frankie and Denton.
How do the two versions of the same event differ?
6. Draw an imaginary map of the suburban area where the two schools are situated.
Show the route that the three boys took to reach Woodvale School.
Show the route that they took to get back to Denton's house.
7. Write a report for a local newspaper describing the incident at Woodvale school in the middle of the night.
Select one or two students from amongst the spectators at your next Interschool Sports Carnival to act as reporters.
Publish their articles in the school newsletter.
Go on an excursion to the nearest newspaper office or printing press.Design and make the ideal sporting trophy.
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