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Spring SAVY 2015, Week 5 – Don’t Turn Out the Lights (5th/6th Grade)

Posted by on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in SAVY blog.

Be careful what you wish for. That’s more or less the moral of W. W. Jacobs’ horror story “The Monkey’s Paw” which we read this week. The class started talking about the positive and negative aspects of making wishes. By and large, wishes are viewed as magical dreams come true, but they’re not always so nice.

Wishes can turn sour, especially in Jacobs’ story as Mr. White’s son dies as a casualty of the father’s wish. “The Monkey’s Paw” is all about consequences. The class talked about the idea of consequences and fate and why they’re so important.

Encourage your children to think about this aspect of the story, especially those who missed Saturday’s class. The story foreshadows the tragic events, and Mr. White is not thinking about anyone other than himself, which leads to his personal tragedies.

We spent the majority of the class, then, writing about consequences by using the web-based writing program Twine. It’s great fun! Try it at twinery.org. Twine is an HTML-based writing program that enables users to write branching stories. If you’ve ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, you’ll be familiar with branching narratives. The program also displays the stories different paths graphically to make writing them easier for the story’s architect. The kids wrote their own three wish stories using the software to encourage them to consider the idea of ramifications behind their characters’ choices.

I will have these stories available for you to read during the open house next Saturday, but if you would like to download the individual .html files for your students, Ms. Sarah DeLisle (sarah.s.delisle@vanderbilt.edu) has those and can email them to you.

Next week we will conclude the course and discuss Octavia E. Butler’s “Bloodchild.”