Hole1:The Wild West / Hole2:Relationships / Hole3:Family /Hole 4:Racism and Prejudice / Hole 5: Juvenile Justice


I am the Warden around here, Warden Mitchell.

When you enter my camp, you follow my rules. This is not a Girl Scout Camp. There will be no canoeing or swimming (and no chocolate frogs). In fact, there isn't even any water at Camp Green Lake, except what Counsellor Wilson and I allow you to have. There is also no escaping Camp Green Lake.
Its true that we have no fences or bars, but we don't need any - we have miles and miles of sun and desert to keep you here.


   ................Oh yes, I almost forgot to tell you about our pet yellow-spotted lizards - one bite and you're dead. Watch your step!



This will be like nothing you have ever experienced before. It will be challenging - extremely challenging!
You will be digging 5 holes five feet deep and five feet wide to "build your character". We will teach you perseverance here, and we will take you on an adventure you won't forget. When you leave us, if you survive, you will be wiser and braver.

Your holes will not require the normal tool for digging though - you won't use a spade - you'll use your brain. You will be given dates - deadlines - by which you have to complete each hole (p.s. they don't call it deadline for nothing).


Caution: If you don't complete your holes you may have to face my venomous red nail polish. Trust me, you don't want that to happen! 



Start digging!






You are headed west, to the Wild West, for an adventure. Look through the web sites below. You will not find Kissin' Kate Barlow, but you will find other real-life outlaws from the time-period.

Choose a character from the pages below. Also, create a character who is trying to capture your outlaw, then answer the questions that follow:

      Kansas Gunfighters
   The Wild Wild West   Bandit Queen: Belle Starr


1. What is the setting of your story?
Examples: Tombstone, Alamo, Camp Green Lake, etc.

2. What is the time-period of your story?
Examples: the 1850s, the early 1900s, etc.

3. Who is your outlaw?  Describe his/her physical appearance, but not what he/she is wearing.
Examples: tall, thin, scruffy black beard, etc.

4. Now, do the same for the character trying to capture your outlaw. And, if you have any other characters you'd like to add to your story, describe them, too.

5. Describe the costumes your characters are wearing.
Examples: brown dungarees, red scarf, gun holster, etc.

6. What crime is your outlaw famous for (or guilty of)?
Examples: bank robbing, train hold-ups, etc.

7. Why is your outlaw being chased by your other character?
Examples: he/she is a law enforcer and it's his duty, or maybe your outlaw robbed this character's bank, etc.

Take your answers and create a Wild West Adventure story.  Your story should be no more than 3 pages long.


Be careful not to include too much violence - this assignment is supposed to be productive, not destructive!


Keep digging!

    ...........I've got my eye on you!!

What part of what I've said don't you understand?









Within the novel, Holes, Stanley and Zero forge a kind of friendship, while the relationship between Stanley and X-Ray is quite different. Even the relationship between Sam the Onion Man and Kissin' Kate Barlow is different.

Create one or several diagram/s of the different relationships / friendships within this novel. You are to use 'Inspiration' to do this task.

Then provide short answers to the following questions:

How and why do these friendships / relationships work?

What are the essential elements of a good, strong relationship in your view?

What creates animosity or enemies?

You may find some of the information on the sites below of some use:

Peer realtionships in Adolescence

CYH - Kids Site : Peer groups

Adolescence and Peer Pressure



No one will dig these holes for you!






Stanley and Zero come from very different family situations.

Compare and contrast Stanley and Zeros family relationships using evidence from the novel. You may choose to do this by presenting the information in a Similarities / Differences table.

Choose ONE of the other members of Group D (Armpit, X-Ray, Squid, Magnet and Zig Zag). Describe the kind of family life you imagine he might have had. No more than half a page!


Not deep enough yet!








Sam, the onion man was murdered in Holes because he loved Miss Kate Barlow.  Racism such as this has been a tragic part of the history of the USA and many other countries (including Australia) for centuries.


  Martin Luther KingMartin Luther King
Here is a picture of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a black pastor who became the leader of the Civil Rights movement in America after WW2.

Click on King's photo - you will be taken to the Martin Luther King Jr Papers Project. This site explains his importance in the fight for racial equality in the USA.

Explore these two sites that provide time lines of key events in the struggle for equal rights for black Americans in the 1950's and 60's:

The Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Timeline

Look at these sites that deal with specific events referred to in the time lines. :

The Civil Rights Movement 1955-65

The Montgomery Bus Boycotts

Little Rock

Choose one of the following events (or one not listed here from the time lines) involving racism and write a newspaper report on it.

Montgomery Bus Boycotts 1955 Alabama (Rosa Parks)
Desegregation at Little Rock 1957
The Freedom Rides
Birmingham 1963
The March on Washington, 1963
Selma, 1965, Bloody Sunday

Set your work out in the form of the front page of a daily newspaper. You should use WORD for this task. Headlines and photos should be included.
Key questions to answer in writing your report:

Who was involved? Where did it happen? What was the reaction of most African Americans?
What was the reaction of most of the other people?
Was the conflict resolved? If so, how?
What recommendations would you make to ensure that this doesn't happen again in the future?



I said dig, not rest!






Stanley and the other boys are in an alternative kind of detention centre. The motto there is "digging builds character". Is this kind of detention useful? Should we be working to help and rehabilitate children or to punish them?

Research the issue of detention through the following links:

"Soft Option": working with young offenders study

Launch of Young Offender Pilot Program

Juvenile Justice: an online forum

International Juvenile Justice Resources

Juvenile Justice: punishment or rehabilitation

Your task is to write a 2-3 minute speech on the topic:
How should we deal with young people under 16 years of age who commit crimes?
You will be asked to deliver this speech in class.


 Okay, you're done.......... for the moment anyway.
But we'll be keeping our eyes on you.
It won't take much for you to be sent back you know!







Created by Julie Mitchell and Di Wilson July 2001

Adpated by Michelle Walthers April 2004
This webquest was developed after searching the web for creative ideas in particular Ms Kubik's
Holes Webquest