ESL

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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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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Adjectives to describe characters

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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.

Tell me the duck story

Grapes signA good idea of organizing a Storymaking-Sessions Season is around genres or literary moods.

This was our first organizational principle and gave great results with children of between six and eight years old.

Duck Story at la Florida

Duck Story at la Florida

Each Session was based upon a well distinguishable genre where participants could experiment with characters, setting and diction: we had “Fairy Tales”, “Animal Fables”, “Science Fiction”

One particular session was “Funny Tales”. I have a great memory of it because we all had an awesome time in part thanks to the triggering activity, The Duck Story by Bryant Oden. Although we acted out the song very simply with a plush toy duck, and a different colour cap for each seller, you can probably take advantage of this video version with lyrics.

Don’t forget to visit Bryant Oden’s site, www.songdrops.com, where you can download all his songs for free, provided that you are a teacher and you won’t sell them!