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2.5 A Heroine of the Sea class 8

2.5 A Heroine of the Sea - warming up, chit chat, workshop


Warming up
Chit chat

(1) Do you like courageous or cowardly people?
(2) Why do you like courageous people?
(3) How can we boost our confidence and courage?
(4) According to you who are more courageous, men or women?
(5) What situations / background provide us courage?

(1) Read the names of the parts of a ship and their description and label 
the diagram of the ship below.
(a) anchor - an inverted T shaped structure of iron to hold a ship on 
 the spot
(b) beam - broadest part of a ship side to side
(c) bow - front part of a ship
(d) bilge/keel - bottom of a ship
(e) bridge/cockpit/wheel house - control cabin of a ship
(f) crow’s nest - top most part / post of a ship from where a sailor can 
 look out
(g) hull - portion of the ship seen above sea-water level
(h) part holes - small windows on the side of a ship



A Heroine of the Sea

Around the rocky coast of England stand many 
lonely lighthouses. Their lights, shining across the sea, 
warn sailors at night of dangerous rocks. When they 
see the lights sailors take their ships far out to sea. But 
sometimes fierce storms drive ships on to the rocks. 
This is the story of a brave girl and of a shipwreck 
on the rocks one night in 1838.
Grace Darling was the daughter of a lighthouse 
keeper. She had lived all her life in lonely lighthouses, 
far away from towns and cities. There was not even 
a village near their home. Their nearest neighbours were 
many miles away. But Grace’s father was a wise and 
educated man who brought up his children very carefully. 
Grace and her brothers and sisters were all taught to 
read and write. Their father also taught them to be 
honest and brave and unselfish.
When Grace was ten years old the family went to 
live in the Longstone lighthouse. Their new home was 
on some wild islands, near the east coast of England. 
The Darling children grew up here. When they were 
older they left their lonely home, one by one, and found 
work in the cities. At last, all of them had left the 
lighthouse, except Grace, who stayed at home to help 
her mother and father. She had not grown very tall. 
She was only a little woman, not at all like her father, 
who was more than six feet tall. 
On the night of September 6th 1838, a terrible storm 
was blowing. Grace was used to storms. She herself 
was warm and safe in the big lighthouse. But she was 
always unhappy about the poor sailors who were at sea 
in the storm.
She did not know that a terrible thing was happening 
that night. That night a ship was wrecked upon the 
rocks. Grace and her parents did not hear the sound of 
the crash. The noise of the wind and the waves was 
too loud. They could not hear anything else. But a ship 
called the Forfarshire had hit the rocks a mile away 
from the lighthouse. Most of the passengers were 
drowned, but nine men and women were able to climb 
on to a rock. The wind nearly blew them into the sea 


as they clung to the bare rock. In the distance they saw
the warm light of the lighthouse. But of course their
shouts and screams were not heard. All night they clung
there in the storm.
Next morning at six o’clock Grace was dressing.
She looked out of her window and saw the storm was
still blowing. Suddenly she stopped! Wasn’t there
something on the distant rocks? Calling her father, she
looked again. Yes, there were certainly people clinging
on to the rocks. But they were half under the sea!
‘We must rescue them before they are drowned!’
cried Grace. We must do something! Will you ever
sleep again, Father, if they die?
William Darling was a brave old man, but he shook
his head. ‘It is hopeless,’ he said. ‘‘We can do nothing.
How can I row a boat by myself through these waves?
If only I had another man here to help me!’’
‘I can help you, Father,’ cried Grace. ‘I can row
a boat as well as any man, can’t I? I am small but
I am strong. You and I have often rowed together. We
can reach those unfortunate people!’
Mrs Darling was with her husband and daughter
at the window. ‘No, no!’ she exclaimed. ‘How will it
help those poor people if you are drowned? You cannot
row in this storm. Do not try! A girl like you, Grace,
cannot do a man’s job. Let us pray for them, husband.
God will help them, perhaps, but we cannot!’
Grace was determined, however. She argued until
at last her father agreed. Poor Mrs Darling, with a
heavy heart, helped them to get the boat out. She
watched and prayed as they set off.
Anyone who has seen a storm at sea can imagine
that journey. The boat went up and down over waves
as high as hills. Sometimes it stood on one end,
sometimes on the other end. It went up, up to the top
of a wave and then down, down into a great valley
between the waves. Every time they went down the
boat nearly went under the water.
But little by little, pulling with all their strength on
the oars, they came nearer the rocks. The wind and
the rain were so strong that Grace could not see the men and women clinging to the rocks. She only
heard their cries for help. She needed all her
strength to hold on to the oar, which was bigger
than herself.
At last they came close to the rocks. William
Darling was able to jump on to the rocks while
Grace, all alone, held the two men into the boat.
The two sailors from the wrecked ship were able
to row. They helped the Darlings during the long
journey back to the lighthouse. Then Grace and
the three women got out. Old William Darling and
the two sailors rowed back across the dangerous
sea to rescue the four men still on the rock.
Grace did not have any time to rest now. All
that day she was busy helping her mother to warm
and feed the rescued passengers. After several days
these passengers were able to return to their homes
in England. They told the story of the brave girl
and her father to their families and friends.
Suddenly Grace Darling and her father were famous.
The story of their heroism was told in the
newspapers. Money was raised to help all the
lighthouse keepers in their dangerous, lonely lives.
Grace and her father were given a special reward
for their heroism. Poor Grace did not live long
after the rescue. She died at the age of twenty
seven. But she is still remembered for her unselfish
courage. She risked her own life for others.

2.5 A Heroine of the Sea - workshop


1. Find from the story the antonyms of :
coward Î rare Î
carelessly Î disagreed Î
selfish Î enemies Î
happy Î forgot Î
2. Pick out words from the story, make a list of 8 words related to sea-travel.
For example : lighthouse
(1) (5) 
(2) (6) 
(3) (7) 
(4) (8) 
3. Write any two dialogues from the story which prove the following :
Grace Darling was 
selfless and brave :
 (1) 
 (2)
Mrs Darling 
discouraged them 
from trying to rescue 
 (1) 
 (2)
William Darling was 
unwilling to take a 
risk:
 (1) 
 (2)
4. Answer in short in your own words.
(a) She stayed back home, with her parents WHO?
(b) A ship was wrecked that night. WHY? 
(c) Nine men and women did not drown. WHY NOT?
(d) Grace said she would help her father to rescue. HOW?
(e) Using all their strength to row, they came there. WHERE?
5. How can you, as a young student, help people in a terrible road accident. 
Write 5 types of action you can take. 
(1) 
(2) 
(3) 
(4) 
(5)

How will you help the 
people who meet with an 
accident?



6. Things to do :
(i) Describe the life of family who lives in lighthouses.
(ii) Rewrite the story in your medium of instructions.
7. Discuss in groups and write about the life of Grace using following 
guide lines.
Her unselfishness
Grace’s Life
Place of living
Her education
Support from parents
The challenges, she had 
in the lighthouse
Her helping nature
Her bravery act
How she finally 
rewarded
How will you help the 
people who meet with an 
accident?
8. Imagine you have read in the News about how Grace Darling’s courage saved 
some ships-wrecked people. Write a letter of congratulations to her and her 
family for the brave, humane act.

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