Sunday, May 26, 2024
Barbara Throws a Wobbler

Barbara Throws a Wobbler

by Mark Warner
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  • Retell the story in the first person, from Barbara’s point of view.
  • You could also retell the story from the point of view of one of Barbara’s friends. How did they feel when they saw that Barbara was upset?
  • Write Barbara’s diary entry about her day, from the sock problem in the morning to the time in the park frolicking with her friends.
  • Write a recount about a time when you have had a ‘wobbler’.
  • Write your own story about a character who feels upset and manages their emotions.
  • Make a collection of synonyms for different emotions.
  • Research some phrases / idioms to describe emotions (e.g. on top of the world, hopping mad, feeling blue).
  • Rewrite the story (or part of it) in the form or a play script. Could you perform this to an audience?
  • Why does the story end with a question? What does it make you think? Could you use this technique in your own stories?


  • Use graphics software to draw images of people showing different emotions.
  • Create an animation showing a person changing emotions.
  • Design a game in which a person has to catch a ‘wobbler’ and un-make it, like Barbara does in the story.

Design Technology

  • Make a model to show what you think a wobbler, a tizzy, a grump or a sulk looks like.


  • Draw some illustrations of the same character showing different emotions. How does their face change? How does their body language change?
  • The author / illustration has drawn their own interpretation of what a ‘wobbler’ might look like. Can you create pictures of what you think it looks like?
  • Barbara’s wobbler is red. If you could draw emotions, what colours would they be?
  • There are two large illustrations of the park in the book. In one of them Barbara is sad and in the other she is happy. Can you create two pictures of the same location showing a character’s different emotions and how it affects what they are doing?


  • Music can sometimes change our emotions. Make playlists of songs that could help to make you feel happy, excited or calm.


  • Barbara’s day is upset when she has a sock problem, a strange pea and a dropped ice cream. What types of incidents can upset you?
  • Have you ever had a ‘wobbler’? How did you deal with it?
  • Barbara’s wobbler grows and grows and grows, until it is the only thing that she can see or feel. Think of strategies that you can use to calm down when you are feeling upset.
  • How can you help others who are feeling upset? Make a poster to share some ideas.

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