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The Man with the Scar
This is based on the classic W. Somerset Maugham story of the same title - check it out. It is great for practising the Past Simple Tense for narrative, and it makes for a lively class. First prepare a horrible looking scar with paper and coloured marker, whatever, take one of your students out, (choose one who is a good actor), ffix the scar to his/her neck, feed him/her the punch line and give a suitable name - the General, Pancho the Bandit, etc. You, the teacher, roleplay a tourist visiting a bar at night in a violent and unstable country. The students play the locals who will tell you the story of "The General", who is sitting in a corner feeling his scar and sending some murderous glances in your direction. You "feed" each students with either Verb 1 (eg "escape") or a trigger word (eg "prison") and the student has to come up with a sentence (eg "He escaped from the prison in the President's palace. Round the class a continuous narrative should emerge - it should be violent, funny, romantic, outrageous, all the time practising Past Continous forms. Trigger words can be eg "President's daughter", "execution squad", "revolution" etc etc When the story runs out of steam the teacher, as the tourist, asks "But the scar!, how did he get the scar?. ""The General" then replies "I was opening a bottle of ____Cola, Senor. My hand slipped, the glass broke.... "
from Dachlan Cartwright, Jakarta
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