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>By Eve Ross – Beijing Institute of Machinery, China

When I created my syllabus at the beginning of the term, I wrote down that I’d do a lesson on “embarrassing moments” today. I don’t know what kind of brain spasm caused me to forget that the face issue would probably interfere with the free exchange of personally embarrassing experiences. So this morning I hurriedly tried to come up with a way to have discussions on this topic without students having to talk about themselves. The answer: make up stories about embarrassing moments.

I made six strips of paper, and on each one I wrote the first sentence of a story. I divided students into six groups, and gave each group one story strip. Each person in the group must take a turn saying the next sentence in the story. The end of the story must be “he/she was embarrassed.” When the story is finished, the groups rotate story strips and do another. I alternated male/female characters in the stories so that students could practice he/she. Here are the sentences I used:

– Once there was a girl who wanted to be beautiful…
– Once there was a boy who wanted to play basketball like Michael Jordan…
– Once there was a girl who had two boyfriends at the same time…
– Once there was a boy who wanted to get married…
– Once there was a girl who wanted a certain boy to love her…
– Once there was a boy who wanted to become rich…

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