Germany has a fine history of fairy tales and stories. After all, this was the home of the Brothers Grimm, and even Walt Disney took inspiration from this place….
In case you’ve never been to a calendar kiosk around the end of the year, that would be Schloss Neuschwanstein, the pet project of the affectionately nicknamed “Crazy King Ludwig.” I guess Disney had a thing for the mildly mentally unstable Wagner enthusiast.
So to take a page from the grand tradition of stories, I did a little activity with some of my classes. The results were a bit amusing, and I’d like to share them. Disclaimer: My intention is not to mock or make fun in any way, but to illustrate the silly things that happen in my lessons, and to show you what happens when you ask adults to be creative. In another language nonetheless, which is something I could only hope to do. But anyway, this is what you get…
We had been working on a review of the past tense in some of my classes, which is something that they’ve all learned before (a long time before, for some), but they have a tendency to just ignore it and stick to the present. After they had a few review lessons, I decided the time was ripe to play a game I call ‘Chain Story.’ I asked them to take out a sheet of paper while I wrote, “Last week, Bob…” on the board and then told them to finish the sentence. After they finished the sentence, they had to exchange papers, and write the next sentence to the story. We continued this for 10-12 swaps depending on the number of students. Here are two of the results, with the different colors indicating where they changed papers….
Last week, Bob was at a birthday party.
He met there his girl friend Betty.
But suddenly she said she had to go to the toilet. After ten minutes she wasn’t back, so Bob wondered. So he went to the toilet and looked for her.
At the same time Ricky went out of the ladies rest room and Bob wondered again.
But now they wondered both – where is Betty and where is Tina? Now they started together to search them and they found them in a dark edge in the cellar.
But now Tina cleared the whole story. They both wanted to finish their friendship but the didn’t know how to tell it to Bob and Ricky, so they decided to make a plan on the toilet but Bob and Ricky disturbed them and they sneaked in the cellar to finish their plan. But now it was the worst possibility to end the story.
Last week, Bob didn’t do his homework.
He went to the English lesson and his both colleges didn’t do there homework.
I particularly enjoyed how one student jokingly complaining that whenever she tried to send the story in a particular direction, the other one would completely derail it. I guess she had a particular plan in mind for Bob, but I guess we’ll never know what it was. And for their sakes, let’s all hope life doesn’t imitate art. I don’t think anyone wants to be dumped in the dark cellar at a birthday party, and I’m certainly not going to start calling them to “remember” them to do their homework. Sorry kids, not happening.