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.
For the first time, materials for the BritLit project have been produced outside of Portugal, where the project began. Teachers working on BritLit in Hungary have been busily devising a new approach, and they have chosen to focus on four British cities, examining them through the eyes of their native poets. The first of these looks at the city of Liverpool and uses the words of Levi Tafari.
A House in the Country concerns a returnee, Ray, who has made enough money in London to rebuild a house in Colombo. He is helped by Siri, a young man from the country, and together they talk about building another house, in the country. This is set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's ongoing civil war. When tragedy comes a bit too close to home, everything changes.
Ex Poser is the second in a series of short stories selected for 13 and 14 year old learners of English. It is based on another authentic short story by popular Australian children's writer Paul Jennings, the first having proved so popular.