Unit 4 An X-Ray for the Story In this unit, we will be working again with stories, with short stories but this time we will do it in order to perfect our knowledge of literary elements and techniques. Knowing more on them will allow teachers to choose stories and work better with them. (The time you’ll need for this unit is about three hours a week) Lesson I
Showing versus telling:
Showing and telling are two elements that are used to narrate stories. When an author shows, we, readers, can see the event happening in the story. A detailed description of actions also serves the purpose of showing. Telling is just the opposite. The author tells us what the characters do. Writers explain what the characters do and they can also explain what characters think and feel.
Implications for teaching: Differences between showing and telling: Why is it so important to know when the writer “shows” or when he “tells”? Because when the writer shows, we readers have to infer behaviour and relationships among characters while when the writer tells inferring is not that necessary and the story may be simpler to understand. Showing is much more objective than telling, when telling the writer gives his opinion and lets us know, readers, the characters feelings and thoughts. This question of showing and telling has been changing throughout the years, we can say that as the twentieth century progressed, the narrators became more and more objective, but in post- modern fiction, there has been a revival of both techniques.
It is important that teachers should be aware of these differences when choosing a story for their students, stories that tell are easier to understand so they work well with pre- intermediate students while stories that show are recommended for intermediate and upper-intermediate students.
You can read on the author by clicking on the words in blue
(From October 20th to October 23rd )
On your own, spend some minutes jotting down what you consider to be the most important/ interesting, most/least enjoyable aspects of the story you have just read. Then, with two or three partners, share your ideas and see if you agree on the most important components and then, again work on your own and see if the items that the other persons have picked out tell you anything about them as individuals (their likes/dislikes/ thoughts/ideas), then, post your findings in the forum. (You don´t have to provide the names of the partners you have worked with) This kind of activity is one we can use in order to know our students better that is why we should practice it among ourselves first. Tip: we are not discussing if the story can be used with our students, we have already mentioned that it is only for us.
Plot has become more and more an issue of discussion in the late times. Plot is the series of events that are put together to make a story. It is very common nowadays that some people feel disappointed while watching a film because there is practically no plot in it. The same happens with short stories; psychology and situations seem to be far more relevant than plot. Many nineteenth century stories were plotted because they were written to be read aloud to an audience, as narrators had to keep listener’s attention, the order of events and a conclusion were necessary for a better understanding. On the other hand, short stories were written to be read and re-read, that means that the reader should have the necessary time to interpret them. A story in which there is a series of events for which the order is relevant and ends with a conclusion that seems to be the end of the event is known as a “plotted” story. A story that revolves around series of minor events or one major event and the end seems to be inconclusive is called a “plotless” or “deplotted” story.
Framing device: (A story within a story) Many early short stories were delivered by a story teller in front of an audience; early writers of short stories reproduced them and pretended to captivate the reader’s attention by writing the stories in the same way as they were told. An example of a story within a story is the one used in the short story “Luck” (1875) by Mark Twain (American writer, 1835-1910). This example illustrates the classical form derived from oral tradition, which is the “framing device”. It sets off the dramatic action (Scoresby) within the context of a broader situation (a banquet in London). The “frame” opens and closes or frames the main action, in the short story “ “Note—This is not a fancy sketch. I got it from a clergyman who was an instructor at Woolwich forty years ago, and who vouched for its truth.—M.T.]
It was at a banquet in London in honour of one of the two or three conspicuously illustrious English military names of this generation. For reasons which will presently appear, I will withhold his real name and titles, and call him Lieutenant General Lord Arthur Scoresby, V.C., K.C.B., etc., etc., etc. What a fascination there is in a renowned name! There sat the man, in actual flesh, whom I had heard of so many thousands of times since that day, thirty years before, when his name shot suddenly to the zenith from a Crimean battlefield, to remain forever celebrated. It was food and drink to me to look, and look, and look at that demigod; scanning, searching, noting: the quietness, the reserve, the noble gravity of his countenance; the simple honesty that expressed itself all over him; the sweet unconsciousness of his greatness—unconsciousness of the hundreds of admiring eyes fastened upon him, unconsciousness of the deep, loving, sincere worship welling out of the breasts of those people and flowing toward him.”
Mark Twain addresses the reader at the very beginning of the story, making him aware that he is going to narrate a story that he has been told. When the first paragraph finishes readers are ready to learn about Scoresby, that is to say they are ready to read the “real” story. (The structure of the story is as if there is a story within another one)
The story finishes with the sentence: “I say again, as I said at the banquet, Scoresby's an absolute fool”. There is a return to the frame as the writer again uses first person narrator and addresses his audience.
You can read the complete story if you like.
Implications for teaching: The use of the frame may be very effective at the time of telling a story to students as it adds certainty to the narrative and makes it more enjoyable.
Mandatory assignment to be sent to your tutor via campus (From October 23rd to October 28th ) Oral activity After revising some elements on stories, prepare an oral commentary in which you discuss the main elements a story for children should have. (These questions can guide you: Is setting more important than theme? Are characters the main elements? Is framing device necessary?)
Activities to be used with plays, poems and newspapers
In this part of the unit we will work with some activities that can be used with plays, poems and newspapers. Plays: Most of the activities discussed in the previous units can be adapted for plays as well as for other genres. With groups that respond well to drama activities, putting on one scene or a short play can be both enjoyable and rewarding.
The language of…love
We can have some activities designed to sensitise students in the language of the play. Let us assume that the theme of the play is love and so we may focus on the language of love. Students are asked to scan the play and find vocabulary or expressions in this case connected with love. Vocabulary and /or expressions are discussed, examples are provided by the teacher. The play is then read, questions are asked to check students´ understanding and then… the moment for dramatization comes! It is not necessary students recite the lines, they can read them! What is important is that they understand the play and repeat lines with different purposes (first to read the play, then to answer some questions and later when they dramatize). No doubt students will acquire plenty of vocabulary!
Plotting movements (Stage directions)
This is a very simple activity but it is very useful to have discussion in the class and to participate more actively in the play. When a play is read, an imaginary stage is created in the mind of the reader, so we can give different plans of stages to the students and they have to decide which of the plans correspond to the play being discussed. Students plot on paper the different movements of the actors, students have to decide in which part of the stage every actor should be placed.
Discussion based on prioritising
This is an activity designed to stimulate oral expression and to help students think about the inevitability of the outcome of the play. Before finishing reading the play students are asked to discuss characters´ behaviour. Some commentaries can be written on the board as students talk on characters. Then, the different opinions are read and comparisons and differences are discussed. Once some agreements on characters´ behaviour are reached, students may be asked to work in small groups providing some opinion on what the characters will do at the end of the play. Once students are ready, the different groups read their conclusions, of course at this stage no commentaries are necessary (if not the ending may be anticipated). Students are asked to finish reading the play and compare their previous conclusions with the real ending of the play.
As we have said before all the steps followed to work with a story can be used to work with a play, that is to say we can divide the lesson into three moments: before reading the play, while reading and after reading, that is to say that there will be activities for predicting about the play (taking into account its name or a picture that illustrates the play). Then, some activities for while reading should also be given; maybe some questions, sentences to complete or a short commentary on feelings. At this point a good discussion about the end of the play should be promoted so that different endings may be predicted (remember asking students to justify their predictions with what they have already read).For the after reading step, comparing predictions with the real ending will allow a good discussion.
Of course it is interesting that students perform the play, it is not necessary they learn the lines by heart, they just can read them! Performing the play will allow them to improve pronunciation, intonation and will also help them to feel more confident with the language being learnt.
You can carry on reading on the use of drama in the English lessons And you can get very good plays for your students at: http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/eslplays.htm http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/youththeatre/index.htm http://artdramascripts.com/plays_for_kids/
Mandatory assignment to be sent to your tutor via campus (From November 6th to November 9th ) In the article: Classroom or Large Space Activities there are many activities that may help to sensitise students that may perform in a play. From all the activities discussed, which are the ones that can actually be done in class? Think of real students and real school to write your commentary.
How to work with poems
Reflecting: Do you like poetry? Are you a poetry reader? Do you have any favourite poem? Do you think poems are important in the English class? Why/Why not?
Why use poetry with the language learner?
- In order to make sense of what is a new, original use of language (new vocabulary/invented words, mixed registers, metaphors, rhythm and rhyme).
- To show students that language may not be quite as rigidly governed by rules as we think.
- Poems often enhance students to make confident interpretations, as their personal opinion is vital.
- We can also encourage students to make use of certain interpretative strategies while reading, for example speculating about the symbolic meaning of certain words rather than focusing on their literal meaning. You can read a bit more on poems at the following link: http://www.spicynodes.org/a/22748ee0299ccaadf3237765c 806d139
Reading the poem
From a very early stage children are encouraged to play with poems and rhymes. Parents teach their children dancing rhymes and nursery rhymes as soon as the child can speak. Poetry is effective for a number of reasons. At a more formal level, poetry is written and read in chunks in groups. It focuses on pronunciation in a way which encourages
rhythm and oral fluency. But poetry is much more than rhyme; when planning a lesson, we need to provide activities for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. According to Clive Samson, who wrote a book on the topic called Speech Rhythm (1980), considers that rhythmic verse, when accompanied by movement helps coordination of speech and movement. Kinaesthetic poetry helps children to appreciate rhythm by proving it upon their pulses. Samson also said that rhythmic poetry helps unify the child’s personality, counteracting the division between thought and feeling that is a tendency in education. It can also have a stabilising influence on the emotional unstable.
Limericks, songs and chants can be included within the field of poetry.
A limerick is a five-line poem written with one couplet (two lines) and one triplet (three lines). Some people say that the limerick was invented by soldiers returning from France to the Irish town of Limerick in the 1700's. Limericks are meant to be funny. As teachers work with limericks, they should better remember to have pun, that is to say FUN! Students can say the following limerick out loud and clap to the rhythm:
A flea and a fly in a flue Were caught, so what could they do? Said the fly, "Let us flee." "Let us fly," said the flea. So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
A chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, so it provides a good opportunity to learn words and improve pronunciation. Rain, Rain, Go Away is an easy chant to work in class.
Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day.
Rain, rain, go away! Little [insert student's name] wants to play. The teacher may use this chant on a rainy day, pictures can be used to illustrate the chant.
You can get more limericks
Some of these forms of poetry are more convenient for oral lessons while others are more suitable for reading and writing. Teachers have to be careful when choosing the poem; some considerations have to be taken into account:
Items that should be taken into account At the following link http://www.spicynodes.org/a/c5c7062cbe28d28808a0c057e 5ebeaf9 you can read some tips one should take into account when using poems, if you are working offline and cannot see them, you can do so at the end of the unit.
Poems can be very useful for the acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, stress and also for the development of skills. Students know that they are working with real language and that is most encouraging.
Most poems are written to be recited although there are many that are written to be read silently. When we use poetry with little children, reciting is part of the lesson. Clive Samson in his book Speech Rhymes mentioned 11 technical aspects of speech that are dealt with when reciting and they are: Breath control Resonance and forward production Speaking without shouting Agility in the use of tongue and lips Pronunciation Phrasing: as they link words that make sense. Stressing and emphasis Expressing mood and feeling Changes in pace and volume Rhythm Range of pit and tone We totally agree with him; besides it is necessary to remember that at this point it’s not necessary students understand all the words. The important thing is to understand the work as a whole.
So far, so good, the difficulty is to put all the points into an appealing activity for children. We can: Ask students to work in pairs, reading alternate lines (one reads line A, the other reads line B) Ask students to read two lines each (ones reads A and B, the other reads C and D) One volunteer reads the poem; the others can echo the last word, the last chunk or the whole line.
The same can be done with little children, instead of reading the poem they may repeat it after the teacher and also choral repetition may be used.
The poem should be presented to the class as a whole, then students in pairs or threes can practise and later the class is brought together for group reading.
The exploitation of a poem published in one magazine called English Teaching Professional by Ann Dwyer and Julia Borrega provided interesting activities that can be very well used in our classrooms. The authors used The Witches´ Spell in Macbeth (1616, play written by Shakespeare), but the activities can do for any other poem.
The poem goes like this:
Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard´s leg and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble. Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Teachers should start by creating the atmosphere of the poem in a way that students’ attention is captured, the classroom is darkened, a torch can be used to create shadows and the poem is read by the teacher in a “witchy” voice. Students can grasp the meaning of the poem without understanding all the words. A second reading can be done and so students will be able to recognise words that are familiar to them. The poem is handed out and students can look up the words in a dictionary or if they can’t read, the teacher can show pictures for the new vocabulary. Then, the teacher should focus on the structure of the poem, (Rhyme, repetition) and on the sound of the words (rhythm, volume, speed) and in twos or threes students recite the poem doing their best to sound and act witchy. The final stage is that students make a poem of their own. The poem is very good to use illustrations with the poem. If the poem is well used, students can understand it without difficulties.
Poetry for phonology:
Ten for the day by Tony Mitton
One one Jump and run
Two two I go to zoo
Three three I go to sea
Four four Stop the floor
Five five I can dive
Six six Eat the chips
Seven seven I am eleven
Eight eight It is very late
Nine nine I like drink wine
Ten ten Write with pen
A) How would you work with this poem? (At the site: www.highlights.com you can find many poems, songs, cards and lots of useful material) (These links can also help http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-poetry-activities/ http://www.wartgames.com/themes/poetry.html http://www.dltk-kids.com/type/poetry.htm
Working with newspapers
Newspapers are a useful tool in the ELT classroom as they can improve reading skills and enhance students' knowledge of current affairs. There is a danger of making students feel frustrated reading newspapers if they cannot understand the language used by journalists. Used in a creative way, newspapers can help students to develop not only reading skills but also writing, grammar, vocabulary and speaking skills. The activities given below are suggested for lower levels, they have been successfully used by many teachers. It is important that teachers pilot the activity before they give it to students, they should get hold of a paper and do the activities first to make sure the questions are well made. (At the internet you can get many newspapers in English)
Activities for elementary level
Students can use a copy of an English newspaper to answer the following questions:
1) How many pages are there in your copy?
2) How many pages are taken up by sports, business, TV schedules, and news on politics?
3) According to your point of view, what is the most important news story? What page is it on? How many columns does it take? Does it have a photo? Is the photo a good one?
4) How many news articles are there on the front page? How many of them are domestic news? How many are international news?
5) Where is the index? What page do you find business news? Sports news?
6) Is there any article on a robbery, accident, murder? If so, are there photographs? How many?
7) On what page do you find TV and radio schedules? What else do you see on that page? 8) On what page(s) do you find comics? How many are there?
8) On what page(s) do you find classified ads? How many are there?
9) On what page(s) do you find letters to the editor? How many are there?
10) Where do you find international news articles? Domestic news articles? How many of each are there?
11) What are the three largest headlines, in order of size?
12) Find the following articles:
One that is about good news Another that is about bad news. News about a famous star. News about football. News about Argentine politicians News about foreign politicians Cut out the articles and glue them next to the appropriate phrase given on the list.
As you can see, students have to peruse the paper many times in order to answer the questions, in this way they become acquainted with the different sections in papers and also acquire vocabulary in a natural way. Also, students are working with authentic material which is encouraging for more of them.
Activities for intermediate students:
1) The teacher may select an article which he/she thinks interesting for his/her students; during the lesson he/she can write some key words taken from the article on the board. Students are asked to work in teams to come up with the story that includes the words given. Students read their versions and then, the teacher reads the “real” article so that comparisons can be made. 2) Students are divided into teams and given hand outs with questions (each team gets a different questionnaire). The teacher pins articles around the room, students have to walk around trying to find the answers to their questions. 3) Students are divided into small teams and given some recent newspapers. Then, they are told that they are in charge of producing a news programme (so they will have to use headlines, special reports, interviews, TV schedules and everything they may find useful!). All the students in the team have to participate and be involved in some way. Once students finish selecting the material, reading and rehearsing, they could act out their programme to the rest of the class or to another class if possible. 4) Students are asked to select a short item of news and read it carefully, then, they will summarise it to a partner changing some facts, the partner has to guess what has been changed.
You can get
interesting activities to work with the newspaper in the classroom.
(From November 13th to November 17th) As you have read on some activities to work with newspapers, select some that you believe are the best. Then, with two or three students discuss the activities you have chosen and the ones chosen by the other members of the group. When you come to agreements, post the activities at the forum. (To be used if working offline) Lesson III Working with poems Poems offer a rich varied repertoire and can be a source of enjoyment for teachers and learners alike. The initial advantage of poems is their length (they are short); they can be used in a single-classroom lesson. Poems can be very useful for language learners when working with stress, rhythm and similarities of sound. Indeed, poems are capable of producing strong response from the reader, and this memorable intensity motivates further reading of poetry in the foreign language.
Items that should be taken into account
The subject matter should be interesting, useful or connected with the topic being studied.
The vocabulary should be appealing and/or useful
They should contain rhyme, rhythm and sentiment.
They should be short enough to be read aloud and to memorise.
Key to unit IV
Task: Poetry for phonology: How would you work with this poem? Students are given a card containing a number or a word. The number must rhyme with a word (e.g.: two-shoe) Students mingle to find their rhyming pair, then students are encouraged to come up with more alternatives, e.g.: blue, glue.
Then the poem is handed out. Students read it and usually understand it, if the first part of the lesson was well practised the poem is usually understood. In pairs or in threes, the students read the poem and then try writing another using the words they produced in the second part of the lesson.
Bibliografía del alumno Bibliografía del alumno Misery- Anton Chekhov http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/1026/ http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/achekhov/bl-achek-misery.htm
Anton Chekhov http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/chekhovbio.html http://www.online-literature.com/anton_chekhov/ http://www.biography.com/people/anton-chekhov-9245947
The Distracted Preacher- Thomas Hardy http://www.online-literature.com/hardy/3171/ http://www.readprint.com/work-3672/The-Distracted-Preacher-Thomas-Hardy http://www.freeclassicebooks.com/Thomas%20Hardy/Short%20Stories/The%20 Distracted%20Preacher.pdf
Thomas Hardy biografía http://www.britainexpress.com/History/bio/hardy.htm http://www.online-literature.com/hardy/
The Cook’s Wedding-A. Chekhov http://www.eldritchpress.org/ac/cookswed.htm http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13417 http://www.medellin.edu.co/sites/Educativo/Repositorio%20de%20Recursos/Ch ekhov_Anton-The%20Cook's%20Wedding%20And%20Other%20Stories.pdf http://www.online-literature.com/anton_chekhov/ http://www.biography.com/people/anton-chekhov-9245947 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKKYtByZlx8
“Showing” versus” telling” http://www.wright.edu/~david.wilson/eng3830/creativewriting101.pdf http://www.explorewriting.co.uk/showingtellingfiction.html
Ten for the day
Actividades para obras de teatro http://www.valleyair.org/programs/ActiveIndoorRecess/Active%20Indoor%20Re cess%20Curriculum%20-%20Kindergarten%20-%206th.pdf http://www.learnenglish.de/Teachers/roleplays.htm http://www.tes.co.uk/drama-secondary-teaching-resources/
Obras de teatro http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/eslplays.htm http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/youththeatre/index.htm http://artdramascripts.com/plays_for_kids/
Actividades con poemas http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-poetry-activities/ http://www.wartgames.com/themes/poetry.html http://www.dltk-kids.com/type/poetry.htm Limericks http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_famous_limerick_examples.html http://www.kidzone.ws/poetry/limerick.htm http://www.limerick-and-limericks.org/limericks-for-children/index.htm
El uso del diario en la clase http://www.onestopenglish.com/support/methodology/teaching- materials/teaching-materials-using-newspapers-in-the-classroom- 1/146510.article http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson139.shtml http://www.illinois-nie.com/pdf/100_Ways_to_Use_Newspapers.pdf
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