The tree of blob

The last double period of the day promised to be a fiasco.  About half the class were on a staggered rota of oral exams.  A couple were lost to a sporting event.  One student was absent.  And, worst of all, eight were fully present and wouldn’t be leaving for any reason whatever.


Luckily, I’d been at a course over the weekend and so had a nice new resource to save the day.


This is one of those limitless resources.  It’s the kind of thing you just want to present to a class and tell them to ‘Do English’ on it.

For this inaugural usage, though, a bit more structure was in order.  I asked the students to choose one blob man to be themselves.  Then they had to label the others as characters we’d met in English lessons and either give a quote or an explanation of their choices.

  1. I like how these students’ self-description relates to the literary themes.


Whereas this student manages to be much more real about fictional characters than about herself.


And this one, badly presented but full of wit and insight.


The tree would also be a cool way to show the changing fortunes of a character throughout a text.  For instance, which blob man is Hamlet in Act 1, 2, 3 etc?

What I learned?

  1. Students remember much more (and for much longer) than we sometimes think. And this is probably because:
  2. Literature is a place where they can really explore humanity. Books matter to young people, and we should never let our vision of English be reduced to mere skills.

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