Water Of Life
Stories have been part and parcel of our lives since prehistoric times. People used to sit around the fire and tell them one after another. But every story has a twist and every story can have a different perspective. In today's post, I would like to show you a great activity where the story changes depending on a storyteller.
LEVEL - pre-intermediate +
AGE - 13 +
Set in 1912, 'Uisce Beatha' (Gaelic for Whiskey or Water Of Life) is the true story of Tom, a young Irish man who leaves his home in rural Ireland to cross the ocean on the ill-fated 'Titanic'. But a night of celebration beforehand results in a twist that will affect Tom's fate drastically....
Ask your students if they know what happened on 14th April 1912. Some students may be familiar with the date, some not. Tell them the story of Titanic and asked them if they have seen the film. Class discussion.
Divide your students into groups of 4. Give each of the groups a set of 5 screenshots from the film. Tell them that this is a true story that took place in Ireland in 1912 on the day Titanic set off. Give them a few minutes to prepare their own version of the story. Monitor the use of L1. When they finish, each group has to present its version. One last screenshot is missing, give them the last photo a minute before the end (it can be any photo, to mess up a bit in their story:). Ask how it influences their story. Does it change? You want to make students aware that knowing a fact or two more, can change the perspective completely.
Play the film to the end. Ask students which version was the closest to the original story.
Ask your students to work in the same groups. This time they have to retell the story but from a different perspective.
Group one - you are the father whose son decides to leave hometown and travel to America. Tell your own story (feelings, opinion etc.)
Group two - you are the son who cannot stand poverty and decides to leave his father and look for work and a better life in America
Group three - you are the bar owner who meets a young naive boy who boast about going to America
Group four - you are one of the 'new friends' met in the bar who meets a young man who is planning to travel by Titanic the following day
Give your students a few minutes to prepare their own version of the story and choose one person from each group to tell it aloud.
Students work in pairs this time. One is a journalist, the second one the young man. Let's imagine that the story took place in modern times. All media would like to hear this unbelievable story of the man who fooled his destiny. You are the journalist and have to run an interview. Prepare a short role-play and act it out. Choose two pairs of students to act it out in front of the class.
Questioning the truth. And what if it wasn't Titanic that sank but a completely different ship. It's still a mistery but there are a few versions of the story going around. Ask your student to look for a video of a conspiracy theory about the real Titanic. There are plenty of videos available on Youtube. Give it as homework.
REMEMBER - you can change it up side down if you want and not mention anything about Titanic at the beginning and let the story develop.....
Hope you will enjoy the lesson and this beautiful story:)