Teacher’s notes for Stone Circle

Before reading the book

This is the second book in the Eden Glassie Mystery quartet. In the back of the first book, Deep Water, you will find reproductions of the proposed covers of the other three titles. The image shown for Stone Circle is very different from the one that appears on the actual book.

Stone Circle (first edition cover)

NB. The first two activities refer to the cover of the 1st edition of Stone Circle. If your copy is a 2nd edition, these will not be relevant. All other suggested activities remain relevant to both 1st edition and 2nd edition paperback copies.

  • If you were given only the original image, where would you think the story was set?
  • Which of the two pictures do you think is the most dramatic?
  • In Deep Water, a flood was central to the plot.

Which of the four elements, wind, water, earth, fire, do you think will be central to the plot of Stone Circle?

Four lines from the song Circle by Harry Chapin are used as an epigraph in the front of the 1st edition of the book. Four lines from the Circle poem are used in the 2nd edition.

In a radio interview on 28th June 2004, Elaine Forrestal talked about the circular format of this quartet. Here is what she said:

‘It is possible, in a circle, to keep on moving forward, expanding and widening your life experiences, growing, maturing and learning new skills. But from time to time, as the circle turns, you can also revisit scenes and recall events from the past. As human beings we do this all the time.
Our progress through life is not linear. We are constantly circling, perhaps in a widening arc, but circling just the same, in order to make sense of the world and to reinforce our sense of who we are and where we belong.’

Discuss this statement.

Do you agree with Elaine Forrestal’s view of the world?

Think about the times when you and your family:

  • Do the same thing (like celebrate Christmas or go to a holiday house) each year
  • Visit the same place (like your grandparent’s house or MacDonalds) each week
  • Play the same game with the same people, more or less (like a team sport) each summer/winter.

Choose one or more of these to base your own story on.

Analysis and application of knowledge

After you have read the novel:

  1. Write a circle poem in such a way that the reader must continually turn the page.
  2. Now try a spiral poem.
  3. Is it possible to write a poem where the circles touch or overlap each time the same word is used?
  4. In the early chapters of Stone Circle, Morgan and Maddie have very different ideas about fairies.
    • Do either of them, at any time in the narrative, change their views?
    • What do Bronte and Tori think about fairies?
    • Prepare a list of questions to be put to a panel which includes each of the four characters, Tori, Bronte, Morgan and Maddie, plus a chairperson.Choose class members to take on the roles of the people on the panel.
    • Put the questions to them.
    • Are their answers satisfactory?
    • Do you need to change the panel?

Research

Yabbies go by at least one other name.
How many different names can you find for this crustacean?
You will need to do some careful research here to make sure your creatures have exactly the same number of legs and claws.
Make a list of the names of similar crustaceans and where they live.

Visit a river, lake or dam and make a record of the animal and bird life you find there.

Go on an excursion to an art gallery near you. In particular, look closely at the portraits.
Has the style of portrait painting changed over the years?
Can you tell, just by looking at them, which ones were painted a long time ago and which are more modern?