Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Subliminal Grammar - Story Tree exploited

I love OUP's Story Tree graded reader series for a lot of reasons, as I have mentioned before here.
My class of boys on Tuesday were thinking a story about feeding dolphins was a bit naff, so I asked them to find a few words in their reader that were 'new' for them, such as up, down, through...and asked them to tell each other what they figured they meant - encouraging them to look back at where they found the words and to think about what was happening in the pictures (eg naff dolphin jumping through naff hoop!). I asked them to underline each time they could find these words; then we wrote them on the inside rear cover with a simple drawing to indicate the direction of movement (and no, I don't think they want to be blinded with a word like 'preposition' just yet!)

Next, we highlighted words like big, wet...same process but asking them "What is big/wet?" etc. Didn't take them too long to realise what these words were doing ie describing something. Could they think of any opposites? "Are you wet/big?" etc!


Finally, we searched for 'doing' words (I had to cheat and explain a bit in L1 - my attempt to gesture fell flat and time was short) like jump, give, take...their TPR was much better than mine!



End result I think was a 'naff' book  suddenly full of cool words they could readily apply to things they see and do. Acting their way out of class jumping, being big, and going through the door!