All around the world children love listening to and reading fairy tales in their mother tongue. Whatever the reason, fairy tales provide both children and teachers with a familiar starting point from which to explore stories in a second language.
If telling my students "And now we're going to practise listening," elicits looks of dread and fear, announcing reading practice can often elicit yawns, heads descending to desks, or eyes ascending heavenwards.
'Lucky' is a kit based on the short story by Jane Rogers, and is the first in a series of BritLit projects in collaboration with Comma Press. Unlike previous kits, 'Lucky' uses the spoken rather than the written word as its primary source, and the story is read by the author on an mp3 audio file.
This kit is based on a story by Paul Jennings, the third of his stories subjected to the BritLit treatment. Like most of Jennings' tales it centres on a hapless school student who, in this case, tries to find an ingenious way to shake off the bully who has been tormenting him and, at the same time, keep his girlfriend.
'Emergency Landing' is a very short story by Louise Cooper, from her collection of very short stories called 'Short and Scary'. This kit is the third in the series for young teens. Engine problems during a flight cause the crew to look for somewhere safe to land and for passengers to wonder about what might happen when they make an emergency landing. But nothing is quite as it seems.
The kit includes ideas to engage the children in the tale in addition to a host of activities to exploit the story and to extend the topic of farms and farm animals. Old MacDonald may be one of the most famous fictitious farmers, if not the most famous farmer, in the world.