A lesson the kids loved
I got the idea to have the kids write characters on pieces of paper (ie: politician, pirate, singer, etc), collect the papers, mix them in a bag, and have each student choose one. With their partner, they write a dialogue between those two characters. (Or they could work alone and choose 2 characters from the bag).
I’ve done the exercise with three classes so far and each of them have loved it. In the class of 16-year-olds, they had me and Julian, the teacher, choose characters too. We haven´t performed ours yet, but we are going to improvise a scene between a basketball player (him) and a singer with a steak on her head (me). I glimpsed his notes for the scene and his first line is “hey baby, where are you going?” It’s going to be awkward.
Some scenes were bizarre. For instance, a scene between a “pink orange” and a singer begins with the orange yelling “you sing like a Canadian lesbian”. And I know I’m not supposed to find jokes about homosexuals funny, but I couldn’t help but be amused by that because what the hell kind of line is that for an opener? I did my queer duty though, by asking what a lesbian sings like. They had no answer.
The 15-year-olds did the best dialogues. They have that magical combination of competence in English and slight childishness that allows them to not worry about being perfect, like the 16-year-olds do. Here are some highlights (with no grammar corrected):
A conversation between “Elisa”, a girl in the class, and a skeleton:
Skeleton—How are you?
Elisa—I’m fine, thanks and you?
Elisa—What are you doing?
Skeleton—I’m studying for the next exam.
Elisa—OK! Are you a good student?
Skeleton—No, I don’t study a lot but I pass
Elisa—What are you doing this afternoon?
Skeleton—I’m go to the cinema
Elisa—Can I go to the cinema With you?
Skeleton—Yes but my bus start on 5 minutes, I am a hurry
Elisa—OK bye, I phone you later
Politician—Hello Mechanich, I came here to offert you a deal…
Mechanic—OK, tell me.
Politician—If you give me the 50% of your benefits, I will give you some subsidies.
Mechanic—It depends of the benefits.
Politician—If you give me the 50%, I will give you a very good subsidies, valued in 500,000 euros, from the public funds.
Mechanic—I’m sorry but I’m not a corrupt person. Go out of my costume.
Politician—I will get the money, I’m in A Fonsagrada, in Spain!!! Don’t forget that.
Bus driver—how are you?
Tiger—can you take me to Lugo?
Bus driver—yes, get into the bus and I’ll take you.
Tiger—thank you so much
Bus driver—put on your seatbelt, please
Tiger—I broke it
Bus driver—I’m going to turn the music on
Tiger—I don’t like music…
Bus driver—I’m going to drive faster.
Tiger—No! No! I need to stop here.
Bus driver—bye bye
Street sweeper—Good Morning!
Artist—How are you?
Street Sweeper—mmmm…I’m not very well.
Street Sweeper—Because it is a very hot day.
Artist—Yeah, I’m sorry. What are you doing?
Street sweeper—I’m sweeping.
Artist—What are you sweeping?
Street Sweeper—I’m sweeping the street.
Artist—I think it is a boring work.
and my absolute favorite:
Paramedic—Hi Mole!! Go on or I run over you
Mole—No, because I can go under your ambulance.
Paramedic—but I catch you with the wheel you can’t pass under.
Mole—I’m going to call the police.
Paramedic—But you are a mole. the police doesn’t pai attention
Mole—Bye, I go to the sewer.