The Cold Boy

Jen anticipates her first days back with the kids after the hurricane:


I used Matava’s “The Thirsty Boy” as a basis for my own story “The Cold Boy” that others might want to use and/or help me to tweak a bit. It uses “need/want/have/goes”. I PQA’d the structures today (it is our first day back since the Friday before Sandy hit) and the kids, of course, really engaged in conversation with them. I taught words like “generator,” “flood,” “dignity,” “to help others,” “donate,” etc.

This is my first attempt at doing my own script so, yea, I plagiarized the heck out of it but I’d appreciate suggestions because in a day or so, we will be working with the script:

  • the hurricane
  • is (not) cold
  • has (doesn’t have) electricity
  • goes to a shelter
  • I’m sorry

Tim is cold. He wants electricity at home. He goes to Pennsylvania and goes to Home Depot. The employee comes and asks, “What do you want?” Tim says, “I’m cold. I don’t have electricity from the hurricane. I need shelter.” The employee tells him, “We are cold, too. We don’t have electricity, either. I’m sorry.” 

Tim goes to New York. He goes to Lowe’s Hardware. The employee says, “What do you want?” Tim says, “I’m cold. I don’t have electricity from the hurricane. I need shelter.” The employee tells him, “We are cold, too. We don’t have electricity, either. I’m sorry.” 

Tim is sad. Tim goes to a church. The employee says, “What do you want?” Tim says, “I’m cold. I don’t have electricity from the hurricane. I need shelter.” The employee tells him, “We are not cold. We have electricity. Here we have shelter from the hurricane.” Tim is happy. 

Thanks in advance,





7 thoughts on “The Cold Boy”

  1. I think Anne would be the best one to comment. I think what you did is fantastic. You did a great job of repeating target structures through each location, which is perhaps the biggest key to scripting a story.

    Of course, the obvious critique is the five target structures, but as you know, personally, I don’t think they are too much. Really, you are the one who has to make the decision as to whether the PQA was sufficient to lead to them being easily recognized in a story, which is not an easy term to define anyay.

    Other opinions please chime in. I know that Anne will be very happy with this. When I begged her to write her script books, she put me off for some time saying that we should all write our own scripts. So I am sure that she will be very happy to see how you turned this into a great follow-up to the hard days of the past week for y’all up there.

    Looking forward to hear how it goes. Given the content, it obviously isn’t going to be a hoot and holler experience with lots of cute answers offered. It is a reassuring experience for them, though, as you offer them a sense of closure through the story line.

  2. Thanks so much! I’d love critiques. I will say this in response to your comment about hoot and holler: my first period class turned the PQA into an Extended PQA of “Student A doesn’t have electricity. Student A is cold. Student A goes to the shelter of Student B’s house. He went to his house in order to rob Student B of his dignity, not to help, because…well, you only live once/YOLO.”

    I think that class was ready to turn this whole mess into something more lighthearted. It was an outlet for them, I think.

  3. Kudos to both you and the kids – to you for leaving that door open for them, letting the PQA flow in the direction it wanted to, and to them for going there. I’m sure it was an outlet for them. Sweet.

  4. Here is my useless contribution:

    I think that simple is best. If they are first-year students I would pare it down.

    With that said, I really don’t know how anybody uses my scripts. I can’t even use them, now that I teach a language that is different from the one I wrote them in. The scripts are so personal to me and to my students and to what they have read and will read, that truly I am amazed that anyone else can do anything with them.

    Jen, modify away, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If it’s too clunky, you can trim it up as you go, or for the next class, or for the next story. Get in there and do it and keep doing it, because it gets infinitely easier with practice. Good luck!

    1. Anne, the secret for many of us is to make your scripts our own and feel free to change them as necessary. They are, after all, like guide books. You point out some of the interesting things that are there, but we need not (and should not) follow them slavishly. Instead, we head out on our own adventure.

      Just recently I worked with Table Manners 2 and 1 (in that order). The stories were very different from what you had, but the combination of structures provided sufficient dramatic tension in each case for the story to move forward and my students to enjoy it. BTW, for “Hoer auf” I added “damit”. If you’ve read Twain’s essay on “That Awful German Language” (or was it “An American Abroad”?), you know what fun we had with “damit”; I don’t think my students will forget it any time soon.

        1. I’m sure every language has it’s “fun” words. One of my favorites in Spanish is “molesta” (bothers, annoys). I think it’s one of the words that the kids will never forget, too. When I see kids in the hall engaged in PDA, I usually start yelling at the boys, “¡No la molestes!” (Don’t bother her!) But to those kids that don’t know what I’m really saying, they kinda freak out. Of course, there’s also “puse,” but I really don’t get to that word now since I’m teaching 9 week middle school exploratory classes.

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