Saturday, 28 January 2012

Treasure Island - a Neverending Story Misaki"s Treasure Island (mp3)

I have not seen Misaki for a while, because our schedules have conflicted - I've been away doing exam stuff, or she has. Yes, exam hell time for her. But, she is escaping, which I am thrilled with, and from April will be enjoying a whole new life in Australia. Not messing around, but studying English before college.

She didn't want to open her book today, which was fine. Instead, I dug up a game I haven't used for ages. "Neverending Story" encourages collaborative storytelling by simply requiring turn-takers to add on to the story so far, putting a picture card onto the board. There is no 'right or wrong' direction for the stroy to take - totally at the mercy of the turn taker! What I like about it with my students is the chance for me to ask questions to extract more story details (if necessary).  Each turn the player needs to start at the beginning and recycle the story so far. When it is my turn to repeat the whole story with as much of their details as possible, a few embellishments/clarifications/mistakes - but modelling the correct narrative tenses without correcting them are looking for prompts. No pencils, no reading, no safety net!

English: Stevensen Treasure Island
Image via Wikipedia
I find this helps a lot with students getting beyond the first thing they thought of and leaving that as 'their turn'. It makes students listen to each other carefully, and check/clarify details. They have to link their ideas to each others', and use a lot of discourse markers.

By the time we 'finished' - timed out - we had run through the story at least a dozen times, adding bits and polishing the edges. I remembered a Shelly Terrell app recommendation for last year's JALT Conference and popped my iPhone into her hand with AudioBoo ready. The five minute free limit was ideally short - had to get on with it. As you can tell, Misaki is doing a lot of thinking to keep her story fluent. My apologies for getting in the way here & there, but I was watching the timer. Most of the ideas were hers after my "Once upon a time..."

Misaki & I would both like to hear/read your comments :)
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