Monday, 1 November 2010

Story telling - passive voice

Witches coven? Black for Hallowe'en?
Recently my NHK class has been talking about 'news' and relating stories/headlines, and showing them how we are often more interested in the actual event than the person ('actor') responsible. Good thing about using the newest news is that we often don't know that bit anyway eg Who was responsible for a certain act of terrorism or why was there an accident; instead, we do know the result, and that is the thing we are most interested in discussing. eg "hundreds of people have been evacuated from the area around Mt. Merapi in Java".

Big Blue Teruki & team!
Today's activity was set up in class last week and finished off as homework, namely writing a (passive) sentence about an event in a famous fairy tale (in Japan these are not so familiar culturally, but certain Disneyfied versions are well-known).

A class-wide issue showed up - using a vague indefinite article vs definite 'the'. In starting five different stories with "The Princess..." it looked like the same very busy princess (likewise the dashing hero/prince!)

A second, later event had to be described, again a passive sentence, written upside down on an interlocking piece of paper. Stories then cut in half like a jigsaw, and switched between groups to rebuild as a race.(You can see what I mean below).

Team work - fairy tale building

They then had plenty to argue about - which re-telling was better & why. Peer correction a lot more 'critical' & picky than I like to be!
What I liked about this exercise was the realization that vagueness or lack of specific detail does not mean you can't tell a story.