Skip to content ↓

Dunkirk Primary School

Dunkirk Primary School

English - Writing, Lesson 8, Biographies, 15/7/20

Summer 2: English - Writing, Biographies, Lesson 8 on 15/7/20

Instructions for Lesson 8, 15/7/20

Part 1: Let's Read

You are invited to read through this example of an explorer's biography - you may have heard of her!


The Life of Sarah Stray: World Famous Explorer
Sarah Stray was a world-famous explorer, who is known for discovering the only place on earth where magic truly exists – Magic Island. She is remembered for her bravery, ambition and incredible leadership skills.

Early life
Born in May 1854 in the small town of Snottingham, Sarah Stray was the youngest of eight children. In her early life, Sarah was known for being a daydreamer and this was often remarked upon in her school reports.


Always dreaming, Sarah longed to travel away from Snottingham. Bored by her strict and rigid education, Sarah began using her imagination to dream of wonderful places in the world; this is credited to giving her a fantastic lust for adventure. As soon as Sarah could, she started exploring the world and would save up all of her money to travel abroad.

Early career
At eighteen years old, Sarah joined the Explorers Airforce (EA). Her parents, who had always wanted Sarah to become a teacher, were extremely disappointed. However, nothing could stop Sarah from following her dreams of exploring every corner of the planet and her relentless drive meant she ignored her parent’s
advice to follow her own path in life. Unsurprisingly, after only one year in the Explorers Airforce Sarah become the lead explorer which meant to was responsible for planning and leading all of the expeditions.

This was a prestigious role and Sarah thrived under the pressure of this position.

Early expeditions
Sarah’s first major expedition was in 1874 (when Sarah was just twenty years old) and was to the unexplored
Coolio Islands. Impressively, Sarah was the first person to work out a route to these islands, which lie in the
middle of the Indian Ocean. Whilst Sarah was on the islands, she spent her time making notes about the
unusual wildlife and testing the different uses for the plants that she found. During this expedition, Sarah
discovered a wonderful plant which can cure any headache: it was the biggest medical discovery of the
twentieth century and Sarah was knighted by the Queen for this amazing discovery.

The discovery of Magical Island
Determined to create a legacy, Sarah was determined to unearth even more undiscovered islands and in
October 1878 she set off on a voyage to cover all of the oceans of the world. The aim of this journey was to
fly over the world oceans in search of unknown islands and Sarah only took five of her best crew with her.
On the 65th day of the expedition, Sarah’s plane became caught in a terrible storm, which caused it to
plummet towards the sea. Fortunately, Sarah managed to safely land the plane and therefore none of her
crew members were harmed. Amazingly, as they got off the plane, they realised they were on an island
beyond even Sarah’s imagination – they had landed on Magical Island. For years, Sarah has written about
her discoveries on the island. It was here, that she discovered the four humped squirrel and the popping candy
waterfall. The incredible photos that Sarah took during her time on the island alongside her now
world-renowned dairy from her time spent there, have given Sarah fame all over the world. Unfortunately,
no-one knows the co-ordinates of this mysterious and magical Island and it has never been discovered again.


Part 2: Let's Answer Some Questions

1) What three qualities is Sarah remembered for?

2) Write down three facts about Sarah’s childhood.

3) What two words are used to describe Sarah’s education?

4) What advice do you think her parents gave to her?

5) What do you think the word ‘thrived’ means?

6) Why is it impressive that Sarah went to Coolio Islands?

7) Why was Sarah knighted?

8) How did Sarah discover Magical Island?

9) What two things gave Sarah world-wide fame?

10) Do you think Sarah’s parents were proud of her or not?