(Note: I am traveling for the next few days, but please stay tuned for pictures of Paris!)
Teaching classic children’s stories to my students has been a lot of fun, but there are some challenges. Some of the vocabulary is kind of story specific. I mean, a non-native English speaker can survive without knowing the word “porridge,” although it’s awfully important to Goldilocks when she gobbles down Baby Bear’s breakfast.
Recently I’ve been reading Little Red Riding Hood to my primary students, or “Piroska” in Hungarian. I now appreciate what a mouthful Little Red Riding Hood is to say.
First, I showed them a picture of a hood.
Then, I showed a cloak (which some of my boys know from a computer game) because the word is used in the story.
We kind of skipped over the riding part. I mean, she did not ride a horse to grandma’s house. If she had, maybe she wouldn’t have stopped to talk to the wolf, and the wolf wouldn’t have eaten her and grandma.
This is how the lesson went:
Me: Say “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Students: “H-ooooooooooo-d.” (They draw out all their double-o’s like in “moo” or “boo.”)
Me: (pointing to Red’s picture) “Who is she?”
Me: Good. (*mentally banging my head against a wall*) But in English, she’s Little Red Riding Hood.
Student: But what is her name?
Me: Little Red Riding Hood IS her name.
(Maybe I should have just said that it’s Sarah.)
We then spent a few minutes pronouncing hood, woods, book, and look.
After I read the story, the students had to write a few sentences using their vocabulary words.
One fourth grade boy’s sentence: The woodsman is sexy.
Not what I expected from a nine-year-old, but at least it was grammatically correct.
The fifth graders decided today that Little Red Riding Hood would invite Justin Bieber to her birthday party. They would do karate and eat wolf meat and wolf cake. She would get a wolf fur cloak as a present. Evidently Red carries a grudge.
And, of course, they would listen to LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” (If you don’t know this song, be thankful.)