Roald Dahl

“Dip in the Pool” – Classroom Activities

These exercises were sent in by Jocelyn Allen, an Australian teaching English in Germany. They have been specially designed for non native English speakers. Thanks Jocelyn!

1. Knowledge

List ten words from the story which describe Mr Botibol’s range of feelings during the course of the cruise.

e.g ‘fear assailed him’

2. Comprehension

How did the passengers know that the weather had suddenly changed?

When Mr Botibol woke up the sea was no longer rough. Why did he want to know if the captain had made an estimate of the distance travelled by the ship?

What had happened when Mr Botibol awoke the next day?

What was the plan he worked out to overcome his problem?

How many people saw Mr Botibol jump into the sea?

3. Application

Draw a picture of the sea for each morning and afternoon of each day of the trip.

4. Analysis

Identify two main themes in ‘Dip in the Pool’ and explain your answer.

5. Synthesis

Imagine you are Mr Botibol and that you write a daily diary entry just before going to sleep each night. Write a diary entry for the day on which he bought his ticket in the auction.

6. Evaluation

What is your reaction to Mr Botibol jumping into the sea?

How convincing is the ending of the story – did the ending surprise you?

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a cruise holiday?