I finally finished the workbook for next year. 38 weeks of worksheets, activities and the instructions for everything. 75 pages total. I used a lot of things I found in other books and on the internet, but I couldn’t use anything I found straight. I’ve had to modify most everything. I feel vaguely let down, although I’m pretty proud of myself. I still have to make all the prep for summer camp: “It’s Murder!” – the theme is murder mysteries. I’m pretty excited.
One of the things I did find that I could use pretty much straight from the internet was minute mysteries. http://www.math.umass.edu/~diehl/mysteries.html
the one I used this week–
Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all live in the same house. Bob and Carol go out to see a movie. When they return, they see Alice lying dead in a puddle of water and broken glass. It is obvious Ted killed Alice, but Ted will not go to jail or be punished. Why?
My students should ask yes/no questions to solve the mystery. At first they ask a lot of questions about the story itself. “What is a puddle?” and “What is jail?” were the two main questions. Once they figured out what had happened, they started to ask more questions (and after pulling a couple of eye teeth to get them started)-
Some of the questions were pretty perceptive, although they did show a rather cynical view of justice. For example:
“Was Ted’s father a policeman?” (no) “Was Ted crazy?” (no) “Was Ted too young for jail” (no) Were Ted’s parent’s rich” (no) “Did Ted commit suicide?” (no) Did Alice try to kill Ted first” (no)
Mind you, these are ESL students, so the questions they asked were more like “Ted… hmm.. crazy, no?” , so I had to reword a lot of the questions. Still, much quicker than I anticipated, they came up with the most important question. “Is Ted human?” (no)
The solution is that Ted is a cat, and Alice is a goldfish.
The website calls them Minute Mysteries, but it took us half the class. However, I was still quite pleased with the experiment. Even the grumpy silent girls asked a few questions, and were talking about the situation (using more Korean than I would have liked, but you can’t have everything).
They are definitely going to be part of summer camp, and I want to use them in my main classes too. I was really surprised that some of my beginner classes actually participated and seemed to enjoy the activity.
I still have quite a bit of work to do, I want to make the skit kits a bit prettier, and I want to make up some more conversation templates, but the main work is done. I think tonight I’ll have a glass of wine, and work on my puzzle.