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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 2

Plot

  1. Refer to the Building a Vocabulary and Grammar 'toolbox' (Word 39KB) for expressions used when talking about 'structure'.
  2. Review the summaries or story maps made during the close reading on plot. Add a freeze frame activity where a group of students acts out a still photograph of the important moments in the stories, while the rest of the class guesses the part in the story. This would need to be prepared beforehand by each group.
  3. The plot structure of Journey is chronological with a stream of consciousness technique used by the author to convey the old man's inner thoughts. Tell the students to complete a Story Plot Map (Word 28KB) of the beginning, middle, climax and ending of the story. Tell them to provide examples of the 'stream of consciousness' technique. Discuss with the students why Grace has chosen to use a chronological plot structure with a stream of consciousness technique. What effect do these have?
  4. The plot structure of Big Brother, Little Sister is chronological with flashbacks to the past. Tell the students to complete a Story Plot Map (Word 28KB) of the beginning, middle, climax and ending of the story. Tell them to provide examples of flashbacks. Discuss with the students why Ihimaera has chosen to use a chronological plot structure with flashbacks to the past. What effect do they have?

Style

  1. Cut up the list of language terms (Word 40KB) and the explanations and examples and get students to work in pairs to match them up together. When they have finished give them out a copy of the language terms to refer back to during the unit.
  2. Give out the worksheet Big Brother, Little Sister - language analysis (Word 41KB) , and get the students to work individually or in pairs to identify the different language features in 'Big Brother, Little Sister' and their importance to the development of the setting, characters and themes.
  3. Give out the worksheet 'Journey' - Language Analysis (Word 38KB) , and get the students to work individually or in pairs to identify the different language features in 'Journey' and their importance to the development of the setting, characters and themes.
  4. Tell the students that in each story the authors use language to create a certain tone or mood. In Journey the mood is optimistic at the beginning of the story, then hopeless at the end. Ask the students to find quotations from the story to support this. In Big Brother, Little Sister, the mood is tense. Again, ask the students to find quotations from the story to support this.
  5. Tell the students that in each story the authors use language to create images in our mind of characters or themes in the stories.
    • In Big Brother, Little Sister, the image that we have of the little sister is of a trapped bird. As well as this image, Ihimaera uses the image of lighted windows as Hema's dreams for a happy future. Ask the students to find at least two quotations about each of these images.
    • In Journey, the image that we have of the land (from the old man's point of view) is of an old friend - a person. Ask the students to find two quotations about this image.
  6. Get the students to brainstorm a plan for the main body of an essay on analyzing the style used in the two short stories and then practice writing one main body paragraph.
    • Give out the worksheet on writing a main body ParagraphOnStyle (Word 30KB) and explain the importance of thinking of a topic sentence, an example and an explanation for each main body paragraph in the planning stage.
    • Now tell the students to try to write a main body paragraph using their ideas from the activities above.

Character

  1. Tell each student to make a wanted poster about one of the main characters in one of the stories. Tell them to draw a picture of what they imagine the character to look like and add information about who they are, what their personalities are like, what events are associated with them and a quotation from the text that is particularly relevant for that character.
  2. Hot seat activity. Ask certain students to pretend they are one of the characters from one of the stories. The rest of the class should ask prepared questions of the person playing the character about his or her life.
  3. Get the students to work together to complete a In the City Fiction Grid (RTF 72KB) about the main characters in each story. This will help them to understand the importance of each character to the themes in the stories.
  4. Hand out the CharacterChangeMaps (Word 25KB) for students to fill in about the old man in Journey. This activity will help the students to understand how the attitude of this character changes at the end of the story.
  5. Students choose two contrasting characters from each story, e.g. Janey and Uncle Pera and the old man and the councillor, and write up a chart to compare them in terms of imagery, appearance, role/importance to the short story.
  6. Get the students to brainstorm a plan for the main body of an essay on analysing characters in the two short stories and then practice writing one main body paragraph.
    • Explain the importance of thinking of a topic sentence, an example and an explanation for each main body paragraph in the planning stage.
    • Now tell the students to try to write a main body paragraph using their ideas from the activities above.

Setting/context

  1. Get the students to fill in the ShortStoriesSetting (Word 14KB) comparing the settings for each story. They will need to identify the time (era) in which it was set, the time span of the story, the places it was set and the social context. Delete words from last column about the effects the setting has on the characters and theme to make a cloze activity for the students.

Published on: 16 Jul 2009




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