As part of our Science Fiction library lessons, our Year 8s were introduced to the picture book The Watertower by Gary Crew and Steve Woolman, along with its sequel Beneath the Surface. The story is set in a small outback Australian town where two boys go swimming in the water tower one scorchingly hot day. But something happens that day which changes both boys forever.
The Year 8s were fascinated by the concept of aliens controlling the town’s population through the water supply, and intrigued by the symbols they realised could be found on every page; suddenly it became a race to see who could find them all! Some boys didn’t want to leave because they kept finding more and more symbols and imagery on each page! Each class expected Beneath the Surface to provide answers to all the questions they had about The Watertower, but instead it raises even more questions, leading to some lively discussions!
This year, to make the whole experience even more engaging and fun, we gave each boy a plastic cup of green cordial as they left, representing the green slime in the water tower – but drawn onto the bottom of each cup was ‘the symbol’, leaving the boys with wry smiles as they realised they had been ‘contaminated’ as well!