Laundry - an excerpt from 'June and Anne's Great War' by Lynda Nunweek

Category: Slice of Life

Screen Shot 2016 02 06 at 2.44.57 PMDrawing by Diana Curtis

June's mother was just startingstarting to mix the starch granulesgranules with cold water and then would add boilinging water. Starch ensuredensured the linenlinen drydried to an appropriateappropriate stiffness.stiffness.   

"It isIt's    just like makemaking custard,custard, Ma. If the water iswater's    not hot enough it willnotwon't  thickenthicken and if you donotdon't   stir it enough it gets lumpy!"lumpy!"  

"Hmm. Rather like the custard you make, dear," Mrs Brown joked.joked. "Did you have a lovelylovely time at the park?"

"Great, until those RodgerRodger boys from around the cornercorner turnedturned up!" A shadow like a cloud crossedcrossed June’s face and then she askedasked hesitantly,hesitantly, “What do you think of conchies?conchies? They said that Anne’s older brother William is one!”

“I don’t know, June. I haveI’ve     got enough to worry about keepinging things going here and wonderingwondering what iswhat’s happeninghappening with Tom.” She pickedpicked up the cake of SunlightSunlight soap and gratedd some intointo the water. “FriendshipsFriendships are like preciousprecious jewels.jewels. You should think carefullycarefully about what you do and say next,” she added,added, catchingcatching her daughter’s eye, thoughtfully.fully.  



Clarify these words: starch, granules, ensured, linen, appropriate, stiffness, hesitantly, conchies.

Retell what has happened in this Slice of Life.

What prediction can you made about what might have happened next?

Make inferences or give opinions about:

  • Why people might starch clothes.
  • How mixing up starch is like making custard.
  • What the Rodgers brothers might have done at the park that annoyed June.
  • When and where this story might be set.
  • Why Mrs Brown might be worrying about Tom.
  • What she's doing with the Sunlight soap.
  • Whose friendship she might be talking about. 
  • Why the friendship might be at risk.
  • Why she caught her daughter's eye thoughtfully . 

What question could you ask about this Slice of Life?

Visualise these uses of descriptive language: if the water's not hot enough it won't thicken and if you don't stir it enough it gets lumpy; a shadow like a cloud; friendships are like precious jewels.

Make a connection with this narrative so far.

Word Study

Verb endings: What happens when we add sed or ing to: ensure, dry, make, grate, think.

Other affixes: What happens when we add other prefixes and suffixes like ness, eny, ly, ship, ful to these words: stiff, thicklump, love, hesitant, careful, thoughtful, friend, care, thought. 

What two words make up these compound wordsSunlight, into.

What two words make up these contractionsit's, water's, won't, don't, I've, what's.

What do the apostrophes mean here: Anne's, daughter's.