EFL

Come Little Children

This month we will have Medieval times as a thematic core for our workshops.

“Come little children”, a beautiful folk song in the magnificent version by ERUTAN serves as a great ambient creator to warm any medieval workshop up (hehe, too many adjectives in a row, but that’s exactly what it is – beautiful, magnificent and great!)

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Guardian of the Fire – Prehistoric Tales

We are immensely glad to announce that 2015 will bring about the latest version of Storymaking Sessions by Tell-Tale What? This time, time itself will be the axis of symmetry. Prehistory, Medieval times and Present-day tales will be the topic of the three sessions arranged for January, February and April, respectively, at Ignacio Aldecoa Culture Centre, in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The following short story has been created with this purpose, serving as brainstorming for children of about 7-10 years old during the Prehistoric Session. Hope you enjoy it!

prehistoria taller ingles 011

We used a “cave painting” as the graphic support for the story. (Image: Ignacio Aldekoa Kultur Etxea)

 

 

GUARDIAN OF THE FIRE

(Click here to download the PDF file: Guardian of the Fire)

Long, long ago, when the streets were rivers and today’s hills were still under the sea, the moon and the sun were ever so bright and the stars were the ancient peoples’ only guide in the night.

Mammoth_hunt

We learnt how to survive. We tamed the fire, it became our dearest pet. We worshipped its power: the power to light the darkness, the power to melt the ice, the power to destroy. It was a question of measure; we pictured relativity. In every clan a Guardian of the Fire was appointed. In our clan it was generally a young hunter, helped out by his whole direct family, especially the women, who would look after the fire when the hunter left in a mission with the rest of the men in the clan. Much before I became a hunter myself, my brother Nack was appointed Guardian of the Fire. It was a honour to us all. It affected all our family directly since our place at the cave changed from quite-at-the-entrance to right-next-to-the-fire. And, believe me, this was an outstanding promotion. (more…)

Big Joe and Phantom 309

English Club – Session II, November 8 at Vitoria-Gasteiz.

I want to share this amazing tale with all you storytime lovers, especially those under-age… simply because I love to see their eyes catching fire with the unexpected.

Welcome you all!

I hope you brought some tissues with you…

 

“Big Joe And Phantom 309”

Written by Tommy Faile 1967,

Performed by Tom Waits

Well now, it’s story time again. I’m gonna tell you a story ’bout a truck driver. This story was written by a guy named Red Sovine, and it’s called the Ballad of Big Joe and Phantom 309.”

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Reading encouragement for youths

Brick-books

Since my good friend Lola mentioned it, I started going through the picture publications at WeHeartIt, now and then. A soothing activity that tells you a lot about how global society lives nowadays. I found it to be somewhat like Pinterest, but with even less words, just images.

I have to recognize that, depending on the day, I may relax visiting We Heart It by feeling I’m not doing exactly anything or, on the contrary, I may get overstressed by the sight of an infinite parade of slim youngsters in their underwear, tossed with witty phrases.

Among these, I saw that there exist several publications of this kind linked to literature. Most of them aren’t related to classics, but to popular up-to-date bestsellers. And that’s where my light bulb started working. Using catchy images and phrases linked to the art of reading and the joy it brings may help creating a new feeling of belonging, something lost for many youths these days (or at least that’s my feeling in Spain).

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Adjectives to describe characters

image

An easy way to get youngsters to use the load of adjectives we teach them at school is to make them think about (or link them to) something they enjoy.

During the first sessions of the Reading Workshop we will go through several adjectives describing personality and appearance to find out what type of characters move them.

We will also look into the distinction between flat and round characters as presented by E.M Forster in his book Aspects of the Novel (1927), and use it to classify the characters we find along the workshop.

Which should I choose?

I’m preparing our next storytelling session, based on Peter Pan.

We are not doing any follow up activities after the storytelling, this time, so I was wondering what song to choose to round up the gathering.

On the one hand, it has to be a song linked to the thematic of the story – that’s  easy, I thought; Peter Pan has got all the ingredients that children love: Indians, mermaids, fairies, fantasy, mystery, fights, even some romance… so I said to myself, it should be easy to find such a song…

But, in this case, the answer is not so obvious. The partakers are 25 children of between six and eight years old. Their mother tongue is either Spanish or Basque. By now, they have generally had an introductory encounter with the language, maybe as much as two school years, but they don’t master the language yet… in fact they are far from that.

Therefore, I have two possible pirate songs, but I am well aware that they are not going to grasp the lyrics just by listening once.

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Read every day. Lead a better life.

Read every day is a global literacy campaign, a superb initiative by Scholastic to promote the pleasure of reading amongst young people.

The campaign includes a dozen  interviews with children’s book illustrators plus read-aloud videos by themselves.

Suggested activities introduce the artists through their work, elicit questions, discussions and art prompts, and give children an opportunity to listen to real authors talking about the creative process.

Read every day, Lead a better life was launched in 2013, and we can still have access to its contents  and take advantage of them as EFL teachers or merely as loving parents.

Remember there is a good reason to dive into this project and make it yours: our children.