Engine Trouble Chapter 3

Category: Engine Trouble

The outboardoutboard motor had been behavebehaving badlybadly before, and as they were havehaving tea, Mr Gale said, “TomorrowTomorrow we willwe’ll    take her up the river to MatakanaMatakana and leave her at the garage.” 

“Then we can have an all-day picnic!”picnic!” suggested Tim.

Next morning,morning, quite early, they all got intointo the boat, and Mr Gale said, “Now, I amI’m    goinggoing to try this outboard motor six times, and if it does notdoesn’t    go by then, we’ll forgetforget about it and row all the way.” On the fifth try, as Mr Gale pulledpulled the startingstarting rope, “prrrt” went the engine, and awayaway up the river went the little boat. But not for long! After they had roundeded two bends, the engine stoppedstopped againagain and would not start at all.

I willI’ll    row!” shouted Mia and Ricki and Tim, all at once, but their father shook his head.  

“This is a long trip,” he said, “and I haveI’ve    brought extraextra oars and rowlocksrowlocks so that we can all help. We’ll have three people on the oars, one person steeringing and a lookoutlookout in the bow.”  

“How can we have three oarsmen?oarsmen? The boat would be uneven,”uneven,” said Ricki.

Flaoting debris in Bay“I’m going to take one pair of oars, and you and Tim will sit together behind me with one oar each. Mia will sit right in the bow and watch for shallowsshallows or mud banks or floatinging logs. Mum will steer us from the stern with the spare oar. That way we’ll be up the riverriver in time for lunch; and perhapsperhaps we’ll change places now and then, so that you can all learn to steer.”


Summarise what has happened so far in this narrative.

Clarify these words: behaving, garage, picnic, bends, oars, rowlocks, steering, lookout, oarsmen, uneven, shallows, mud banks, stern, spare.

Retell what has happened in this chapter.

Make inferences and give opinions about:

  • Whether the problems with the outboard motor were new.
  • Why they might leave the outboard motor at the garage. 
  • What more you find out about Tim.
  • Why Mr Gale might have given the outboard motor six chances.
  • Why Mr Gale might have shook his head when the children all said they'd row.
  • What the rowlocks are for.
  • Why you need someone to steer and as lookout.
  • Why three oarsmen would be uneven.
  • Whether there are problems with the word oarsmen.
  • How the children felt about changing places and learning to steer.

What prediction can you make about what might happen next?

What question could you ask about this chapter?

Visualise these uses of descriptive language: rounded two bends; I'm going to take one pair of oars, and you and Tim will sit together behind me with one oar each; Mia will sit in the bow and watch for shallows or mud banks and floating logs; Mum will steer.

Make a connection with this chapter.

Word Study

Verb endings: What happens when we add sed or ing to: behave, have, take, leave, get, go, try, do, stop, bring, take, sit, watch, change, 

Other affixes: What happens when we add other prefixes and suffixes like unly  to these words: even, bad.

What two words make up these compound words: outboard, into, away, rowlocks, lookout, oarsmen.

What two words are contracted here: we'll, I'm, I'll, I've, 

What can you say about the words bow and stern?