If you are feeling lazy and just want to work from a script next week (see TPRS in a Year! for how to do that) just go here:
If you are feeling lazy and just want to work from a script next week (see TPRS in a Year! for how to do that) just go here:
A repost from 2012:
I’m doing this story by Jim Tripp this week. It originally appeared here last June but here it is at a more appropriate time of year. As I was underlining the variables, I noticed what a work of art this story is in its simplicity. Anyone who wants to craft a script is invited to notice how the same ultra simple and therefore elegant lines are repeated in three variations in the three locations – if you see that, you will get a major feature of why simple scripts like this bring the highest level of student involvement – because the students can understand it. The best stories are not stories at all but repetitions of one line in three locations*. This story also is a thematic unit workhorse – it allows you to get as many reps as you want of weather expressions, of clothing and of body expressions. This is the work of a master craftsman right here: [Click To Continue Reading...]
I have a question for the group. When you create a story without a script, what do you do? I want to hear the different responses. For me, I just:
1. Get any sentence like John was running, about some kid. It gives me a person to personalize and an action to create a problem from.
2. Bring up the actor unless I want to PQA the basic term/structure, which I don’t do much of anymore (Step 1)
3. Ask where and with whom, which gets me a setting.
4. Create a problem, any problem that occurs to me during the CI discussion.
5. Try to solve it twice in two different locations but failing.
6. Succeed in solving the problem. [Click To Continue Reading...]
A new story from Jim Tripp. Notice that there are no targets. Anne is doing that too. I think Step 1 may be more for when we are being observed, to impress people with all the TPR and fun energy. Or if we feel, of course, that they need the reps to set up the story. What is new is that we are now looking at Step 1 as optional. I think this started with Chris Stoltz.
(Gist: A couple goes out to eat. They each order something. Each finds something gross in their food.)
Lance and Harlee are at a restaurant. Lance wants potato soup and Harlee wants eggs, bacon and toast. [Click To Continue Reading...]
This question from Brian Peck merits vigorous discussion:
Ben, thanks for this post…it definitely grounds me. My struggle is on a long term basis, how can I create a structure in which the type of TPRS you describe in its must pure form can happen? I have bought in to the backwards planning from novels idea meaning that I pick my structures based on a novel I am hoping my students will be able to read. I am trying to really limit what structures I use and be strategic. The only problem with this is that the scripts out there…like Matava and Jim’s scripts and even Carol’s and Blaines don’t always fit in to to the progression of structures that I like to use. No problem right…just write my scripts? Well, I find that I somehow always make them so much more complicated than required and lose sight of the basic principles (3 locations, a conflict, good characters, etc). My question is, am I missing a point here. Is it better to utilize the good scripts out there and just don’t worry about where the structures lead? When I did that though, I often found that we rarely recycled structures from our good stories and then the novels didn’t always include the structures I used in TPRS. How do others reconcile this tension between targeting specific structures to align to a novel or a text versus going with good stories? Or am I missing a point altogether? [Click To Continue Reading...]
Another script from Anne Matava:
This from Jim Tripp is a good example of how simple a script can (and in certain classes should) be:
Angie suggested a story about Little Stephen. This one needs work but here is a preliminary test script:
Little Stephen‘s mom was cooking dinner in the kitchen. Suddenly she smelled smoke. She yelled, “Help!” She went upstairs to get Little Stephen.
Little Stephen‘s grandma was sleeping in the basement. Suddenly she smelled smoke. She yelled, “Help!” She went upstairs to get Little Stephen.
Little Stephen‘s dad was outside. Suddenly he saw smoke and he saw the fire. He saw mom and grandma and Little Stephen at the bedroom window!” He yelled “Jump!” They jumped. [Click To Continue Reading...]
One of Anne’s best is also the story that has not been cracked into by English in my classes all week, not once. The fact that I am experiencing no blurting this week for the first time in my career is certainly partially due to this story. It has been the centerpiece of my week of extreme happiness, just because it’s so badass.
I will always love this story because in the future I will remember that it is the story that finally brought the blurting dog down on its knees and silenced its ugly growling head and allowed me to finally kick its ass hard, at last for a week. Maybe it was luck. But I don’t think so. I will know for sure in another month or so. [Click To Continue Reading...]
This story by Greg Stout is a variation on Cutting Down a Christmas Tree:
wants to light a Menorah
Jill wants to light a Menorah. She goes into the bathroom. She takes a wet sponge. She holds the wet sponge up to the candle for 3 months, but nothing happens.
James wants to light a Menorah. He goes into the closet. He takes a book. He holds the book up to the candle for 17 years, but nothing happens.
Herbie wants to light a Menorah. He goes into the garage. He takes a cat. He holds the cat up to the candle for 16 centuries, but nothing happens. [Click To Continue Reading...]
A story script from Robert:
Here is a story script I used in my German 3-4-AP class. I got the inspiration from Anne Matava’s “I Should Have Done it Myself” script. Some things to note:
– Danny and Emily are brother and sister (twins)
– Danny really does love baseball
– This goes along with the “Virtual Move” to Vienna unit; the Vienna Wanderers are a professional baseball team in Vienna
– During the creation of the story, there was a lot of good-natured banter going on in German
– The class has 38 people in it
– My TA, who has never had German joined in and got 3/5 on the end-of-class quiz
– This was simply a lot of fun to do (and much more entertaining than learning travel vocabulary lists) [Click To Continue Reading...]
This story from Jim Tripp has an elegant simplicity in the structure. The one I am going to do with the Skyped in kid from Japan may be too complex. I am glad Jim sent us this. It points up something of great importance – that many of us, certainly me, tend to forget. The main reason that they don’t understand us is not just because we go too fast, it is also because we present material that is too complex.
goes on a trip
left behind the most important thing
Jason goes on a trip to Ecuador. He arrives to his hotel. He left something behind! He left behind the most important thing, his comb. [Click To Continue Reading...]
Next week one of my students has to go to Japan for the week. I’m going to Skype him into our classes because he doesn’t want to miss class. We’ll beam him in from Japan on his iPad.
Here are the target structures I will use:
lost something of great importance
Script draft below – minus variable underlinings – it’s a weak script in its current form and I have asked Anne Matava to look at it, but just to get the general idea:
Four boys (who normally sit with the Skyped-in student in the classroom) will be the actors. They are upset. They have lost something of great importance. They go to Canada and look for it there but can’t find it. They are sad. They sit down and cry. [Click To Continue Reading...]
This is by Anne Matava:
A. Scripting a story from a short story or novel:
Go to a chapter in the novel or short story, preferably the chapter you will be reading next with the class.
Read the first few pages carefully, watching for words/ structures that are:
high frequency in real life
high frequency in this chapter or the novel in general
interesting enough to create an engaging script from
not so specific as to be limiting (it’s okay to have one very specific word, like “vacuum cleaner” or “navigate”. The other two structures will need to be generic enough so that the story can go in a variety of directions.) [Click To Continue Reading...]
This script from Anne Matava has home run potential:
assis(e) dans le coin
Bob est en cours. Il est assis dans le coin. Le prof parle, mais Bob ne fait pas attention. Il caresse un renard. <<Toi dans le coin!>> dit le prof. <<Fais attention!>> Mais Bob ne fait pas attention. Il continue à caresser le renard. <<Va chez M. Hatch!>> dit le prof.
Bob va au bureau de M. Hatch. Dans le bureau il est assis dans le coin. M. Hatch parle (or le réprimande), mais Bob ne fait pas attention. Il embrasse son renard. <<Toi dans le coin! Fais attention!>> lui dit M.Hatch, mais Bob ne fait pas attention. Il continue à embrasser son renard. [Click To Continue Reading...]
Another script from Anne, who shares:
“This is not a hard-core, high-frequency, work-it-for-a-week-or-two script. It is a way to build fun and laughter into the class, at a time when the class may sorely need it. Note that soccer is a variable that you can replace depending on the season, but be sure to change the term for goal to reflect the sport (marquer un but in soccer, marquer un panier in basketball, etc. – Judy is it marquer un panier?) It’s also best done starring an actual player of that sport.” [Click To Continue Reading...]
Here’s a good level 1 script that can be embellished for upper levels. It’s from Anne Matava:
Sebastian is on vacation in China. He needs a razor. He goes to a cheese store. (He doesn’t know that it’s a cheese store; he doesn’t understand Chinese.) He says to the saleslady, “I need a razor!” The saleslady doesn’t understand French (or whatever language you are teaching.) She gives him some Camembert. Sebastian says, “But I don’t need Camembert ! I need a razor!” The saleslady doesn’t understand. Sebastian leaves the cheese store. [Click To Continue Reading...]
Linda Li is in my view the only teacher I have seen who has mastered the skill of SLOW. It’s that rare to see a CI teacher speak slowly enough. There is even a term in the TPRS community to describe how slow is slow enough in a storytelling class, SLOW-LI (credit: Robert Harrell).
Linda’s Mandarin sessions at national conferences are always filled to capacity and often include Dr. Krashen in the audience and Linda of course includes Dr. Krashen in the story. They have a little routine worked out where Linda creates a super mini story in Mandarin around Dr. Krashen’s ubiquitous cup of coffee: [Click To Continue Reading...]
Jim I cleaned this up a bit. Feel free to change it since it is your script. It is just one possibility. I just felt it was too complex before. I left out “what she wants” as a target because in French at least it is one of those relative pronouns that are not really teachable but must be included in the din and acquired that way. (This is a great script for teaching on top of, below, next to, etc.)
Danika writes a gift list for Christmas. She asks Santa for one thing(s) – a tablet/iPad. Santa has what Danika asks for. Santa goes to Danika’s house. [Click To Continue Reading...]
Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg (Winnetka) told me this today:
My sister was at Target in LA yesterday and tripped on a basket and fell. A man behind her asked, “Are you okay, miss?” She got up and it was non other than ….Justin Bieber!! How embarrassing! TRUE STORY!!
Here is a story we could do that is based on that story, and serves as an example of how a simple event in every day life can lend itself to the creation of a wonderful and simple script for our level 1 classes:
Entering Target [Click To Continue Reading...]
This Christmas script is from Anne Matava’s Volume 1 script collection:
have to go to the bathroom
3-year-old Billy and his mother go to the mall to see Santa. They wait for 3 hours. Billy says, “I have to go to the bathroom.” Mom says, “Can’t you wait?” Billy can’t wait. He pees his pants. He sits on Santa’s lap. Santa says, “Yuck! Your pants are wet! You’ll get no presents!”
Billy and his mother go to Sears and buy new pants. They go back to Santa and wait 23 minutes. Billy says, “I have to go to the bathroom.” Mom says, “Can’t you wait?” Billy can’t wait. He pees his pants. He sits on Santa’s lap. Santa says, “You again! Your pants are wet! You’ll get no presents!” [Click To Continue Reading...]
wants to cut down a Christmas tree
(In this story, a student plays the tree.)
Mattie goes into the forest. She wants to cut down a big Christmas tree. She takes a little ax. She hits the tree 54 times but nothing happens.
She calls Lumberjacks R Us. Fonzie, a big bruising lumberjack, answers the phone. She explains her situation to him. He goes into the forest. He takes a big ax and hits the tree four times, grunting loudly each time, but nothing happens.
Mattie calls Lumberjack Suppliers. Ray, a little guy with a beard, answers the phone. She explains her problem to him. He goes into the forest. He takes a little ax and cuts down the tree by hitting it 1, 673,000 times. [Click To Continue Reading...]
This is from James:
Hi Ben –
If others are like me they are looking for a way to fill up these days before Christmas with something useful. Here is a script I’ll be running the next couple of weeks. I thought others might find some use for it. I made it to get at “is able to/can,” a word which I have woefully forgotten in all my levels. Of course in upper levels a lot more details can be added. What follows is as bare-bones as it gets. It works really well with actors, too, which is nice given the time of year. [Click To Continue Reading...]
wants to go to the bathroom
does not return
Sally is a student in (your school). She’s in art class. Sally has a problem. She wants to go to the bathroom. She asks her teacher Mr. Brown, “May I go to the bathroom?” Mr. Brown says, “No!”
Five minutes later, Jill wants to go to the bathroom. She asks Mr. Brown, “May I go to the bathroom?” Mr. Brown gives he Jill a pass. She goes to the bathroom but does not return.
An administrator looks for Jill. She goes to look for her in the bathroom. Jill is smoking a cigar in the bathroom! The administrator steals the cigar and takes it home to smoke. The girl gets kept back for three years until she’s a super-super-super senior.) [Click To Continue Reading...]
If you have a really short story, please share it with us in a comment field below. This is the time of year for really short stories. Structure it like the one below if you can, with the variables underlined.
This is the one that Catharina recommended to Aya:
A Thirsty Dog
A dog is thirsty. The dog drinks a lot. The dog runs to the bathroom.
[Credit: Michael Miller]
Just treat this in the same way you would a regular story. Establish meaning, PQA the target structures using your PQA counters, and then get an actor up to be the dog and take the first sentence and start getting circled reps on it until it fades out in interest level, do the second sentence and the third. Cook for thirty minutes with a quick quiz or two thrown in with any other ingredients that are garden fresh, serve and enjoy as a reading. For a thorough review of how to do that, reread Sample Stories A through D in TPRS in a Year! [Click To Continue Reading...]