AG 1 – Reading in the autonomous classroom

Group leaders: Alan Pulverness, Susanne Quandt

Group members: Thomas, Doris, Natalie, Carla, Susanne


The PDF can be downloaded here.

AG1 Alan Pulverness: Reading in the autonomous classroom

Vorstellungsrunde und Leseerfahrungen mit Schülern

  • Genre SHORT STORY ppp by Alan on definitions, writer’s quotes, criteria etc.
  • BBC radio iplayer: outlet for short stories
  • : lots of stories
  • stories not longer than a page
  • The German Boy by Ron Butlin: pre- and postreading tasks (attachment)

Short story toolkit     britlit (selection of toolkits)


5 short stories (attachment)

Clara’s Day by Penelope Lively:

Different approaches to working with the story:

  • Leave out the beginning ( start out p.265 All morning people…) and the end (p.268 Guess what she did!) What do you think Clara did?
  • Read the whole story. Why does the story end where it ends? What do you think makes her cry?
  • Make a role play of what happens afterwards (alternative reactions)

Scene in the the headmistress‘ office (p.266  Were you trying to attract attention?

Scene at the breakfast table ((p.268 Guess what she did!)

Either do it before handing that part of the short story and compare your version to the original one OR read the whole story and think of alternative reactions.

  • Clara leaves her home and leaves a letter to her mother on the breakfast table. Write that letter.
  • Discuss in small groups on the way the mother reacts to her child’s behaviour. Form two groups and start a fishbowl discussion.
  • Discuss in class: pros and cons of liberal parents opposed to strict parents (fishbowl discussion)
  • Make a diagram of the relationship between Clara, her headmistress, her mother and her boyfriend. You can start off with a word web character+adjectives
  • A classmate sends an email to another student about the incident at school.
  • The headmistress goes home that day and tells her husband about the incident at school.
  • Have you been in a situation where you did something wrong and adults didn’t react the way you expected?
  • Talk about whether society today is over-sexualized? Start off with a picture of magazine racks at a newsagents or adverts. Write a blog post.

Loose Change by Andrea Levy

Sticks and Stones by Trezza Azzopardi

Teaching ideas:

  • Start off with just the first paragraph and make your students guess who they think he is, what has happened/will happen and why he has jumped
  • Grammar point: use of historic present, switching to past tenses, effect on the reader
  • Find words that go into the world field coast/ running away
  • Topic: What is bullying, what are bullies like, experience of being bullied. What does „boys will be boys“ mean? (playing it down)
  • Title: „Sticks and stones“… may break my bones, but names will never hurt me (playground chant). Sticks and fishing rods (parallels).
  • Running away theme inherited

The Miraculous Candidate by Bernard McLaverty

Teaching ideas:

  • Levitating (being lifted) when you are in a state of grace, being very devout and holy – start off by talking about wonders, holy persons and spiritual experiences
  • Find out about the famous Saint Joseph of Cupertino
  • Talk about fear of exams. What do you do/what are your strategies to pass exams?
  • Punchline, funny twist at the end of the story, not dramatic at all
  • Questionable moral consequence: If you are only devout enough, everything will come your way.
  • Story is not poking fun at religion, only at people who are overly devout (target of satire)