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.

Nightmare.

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

Enter: THE TREE OF BLOB.

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.

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

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

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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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