The kids will be encouraged to…
– Think out of the box and use their creativity
– Express their opinion and true feelings without fear
– Show appreciation about learning a language
– Make reading process much more accessible and entertaining
– Acknowledge that learning can be done in a playful environment
– Acknowledge the value of equality in learning process and rethink the traditional conception of students as recipients of teacher’s explanation
– Engage in discussions about important global/social issues
– Learn to democratize the learning process by ensuring that everyone has the chance to speak and participate
Grounding text: Excerpt (Chapter 4) from “The Story of a Seagull and the Cat who Taught Her to Fly” written by Luis Sepúlveda
– A brief exercise for creativity and getting ready to think out of the box
– Present kids with some incomplete figures and encourage the kids to imagine and draw the rest of the figures and turn them into complete drawings, share them, and appreciate the diverse possibilities. Other activities could include turning as many circles as possible to other identifiable objects.
2) Read the text and put the puzzles together
– The lector(reader) reads out loud the text, while the kids doodle anything that comes into mind.
– After finishing the reading, we’ll have three subgroups for this activity. Each group will be given a short passage from other parts of the book, and the members of each group will use their imagination and make a complete story that connects it with our grounding text. Each group will be invited to share their own version of story.
– Examples of short passages from other parts of the book:
3) Group recitation / theatre
– Everyone will be asked to choose one or two sentences or one (short) paragraph of the grounding text. Then, the kids will be invited to recite the sentences assigned to them accompanied with anything they would like (dance, song, sound, hand gesture, facial expression, imitating an animal, and translating the sentences into Chinese)
4) Reflection time. Ask ourselves “What did we do?”
– The kids will be invited to share their reflections about what we did and what it meant for each one of them. The person who spoke will invite another to speak, until everyone takes turns.
5) A big round of applause for ourselves!
Grounding Text: Excerpt from Chapter 4
[4. End of a Flight]
The big, fat, black cat was taking the sun on his balcony, purring and meditating on how good he felt lying there, belly up, luxuriating in the warm rays of the sun, his four paws folded and his tail straight out.
At the precise moment that he lazily rolled over so the sun could warm his back, he heard the hum of a flying object he couldn’t identify, something approaching at great speed. Alert, he leapt up, crouching on all four feet and ready to jump aside to avoid being hit by the seagull that dropped onto the balcony.
It was a very dirty bird. Its whole body was coated with some dark, stinking substance.
Zorba walked toward the gull as she tried to stand up, dragging her wings. “That was not a very elegant landing,” he said.
“I’m very sorry. I couldn’t help it,” the gull admitted.
“Eeyow! You look awful. What is that all over you! And you stink something awful!” The cat hissed.
“I was caught in an oil slick. The curse of the seas. I’m going to die,” the gull croaked plaintively.
“Die? Don’t say that. You’re tired and dirty. That’s all. Why don’t you fly over to the zoo? It isn’t too far from here, and there are veterinarians there who can help you,” Zorba said.
“I can’t. That was my last flight,” the gull croaked in an almost inaudible voice, and closed her eyes.
“Don’t die on me. Rest a little and you’ll see, you’ll feel better. Are you hungry? I’ll bring you a little of my food, just don’t die,” Zorba begged, approaching the swooning gull.
Overcoming his disgust, the cat licked the gull’s head. The black stuff that covered her tasted as bad as it smelled. As he passed his tongue along her throat, the cat noticed that the bird’s breathing was growing weaker and weaker.
“Look, my little friend. I want to help you, but I don’t know how. Try to rest while I go find out what you do with a sick gull,” Zorba called back, ready to jump to the roof.
As he started off in the direction of the chestnut tree, he heard the gull calling him back.
“Do you want me to leave you a little of my food?” Zorba asked, slightly relieved.
“I am going to lay an egg. With the last strength in my body, I am going to lay an egg. My good cat, anyone can see that you are a find animal, one with noble sentiments. And for that reason, I am going to ask you to make me three promises. Will you do that for me?” Kengah croaked, slowly paddling her feet in a futile attempt to stand.
Zorba thought the poor gull was delirious, and because she was in such a sorry state, he had no choice but to be generous. “I promise I will do what you ask. But for now, just rest,” he mewed with compassion.
“I don’t have time to rest. Promise me you won’t eat the egg,” Kengah croaked, opening her eyes.
“I promise I will not eat the egg,” Zorba repeated.
“Promise me that you will look after it until the chick is born,” she squawked, holding her neck a little higher.
“I promise I will look after the egg until the chick is born.”
“And promise me that you will teach it to fly,” Kengah gasped, staring directly into the cat’s eyes.
Then Zorba knew that the poor gull was not just delirious, she was totally mad.
“I promise to teach it to fly. And now you rest, I’m going to look for help,” Zorba told her, with one leap reaching the tile roof.
Kengah looked toward the sky, thanking all the good winds that had carried her through life, and as she breathed her last sigh, a little blue-speckled white egg rolled free of her oil-soaked body.