Talking Statues: Suggestions for exploiting the story in the classroom.

Here are some suggestions for exploiting the story 'Talking Statues'http://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2014/11/historias-y-humor-talking-statues.html in the classroom. The exercises I propose can also be useful to students studying English on their own, just substituting reading comprehension for role-play:


Interview Henry VIII's statue: one of the students takes the role of the journalist, and the other, that of Henry VIII's statue. Here are some suggested questions:

- When did you reign over England?
- Why did you want your marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled?
- Why did you separate the English Church from Rome?
- Why did Pope Leo X grant you the title of 'Defender of the Faith?
- Why did you sense that your son Eward would not outlive you by many years?
- Why did you marry Anne of Cleves?
- How old were you when you died?
- What caused the wound in your leg reopen?
- Were Catherine Howard  and Anne Boleyn relatives?
- Why did you ask Catherine of Aragon, your first wife, to retire to a nunnery?
- What was the happiest day of your life?
- Was there any woman you really loved?

Identify Henry VIII's wives

Match the letters with the numbers:

a.- She's believed to have had her face pock-marked and her laugh resembling a horse's neigh
b.- There was no doubt she was unfaithful to Henry
c.- She looked after Henry in the last days of his life and gave him good advice
d.- She was Charles I of Spain's aunt
e.- She was charged with adultery, witchcraft, incest and treason, but the accusations may have been false
f.- She died  twelve days after giving birth to Henry's son, Edward

1.- Anne Boleyn
2.- Catherine Parr
3.- Jane Seymour
4.- Anne of Cleves
5.- Catherine of Aragon
6.- Catherine Howard


Find words in the story meaning the same or almost the same as the following:

1.- spooky
2.- hair-raising
3.- uncanny
4.- bewildering
5.- obtuse
6.- to cheat on your husband/wife
7.- repulsive
8.- sadness
9.- to wed
10.- to confer an honour on sb

Phrasal nouns

Breakthrough can be translated as 'descubrimiento decisivo', how would you translate these other phrasal nouns?:

a.- breakdown 
b.- break-in
c.- breakout
d.- breakup

Grammar review

- no matter how personal the questions may be (adverbial subordinates of concessionhttp://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/pinceladas-gramaticales-oraciones.html
- since I've been programmed to........ (because/as/since/forhttp://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2014/02/preparing-for-oposiciones_22.html)
- were I to be born again (inversion of subjecthttp://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2013/08/inversion-del-sujeto.html)


Silent consonants: the 'g' is not pronounced in the word reign, what other words do you know containing a silent 'g'?

KEY (suggested answers)

Role-play: students' own answers, taking the story as a basis

Identifying Henry VIII's wives: a-4; b-6; c-2; d-5; e-1; f-3

Synonyms: 1- scary; 2- bloodcurdling; 3- uncanny; 4- amazing; 5-dull-witted; 6- cuckold, to be unfaithful; 7- unsightly; 8- sorrow; 9- to marry; 10. to bestow upon

Phrasal nouns:

breakdown - avería; depresión nerviosa; desglose; fracaso de conversaciones/negociaciones, relaciones, etc.; transformación química de alimentos
break-in - robo con allanamiento de morada
breakout - fuga de la cárcel
breakup - ruptura de relaciones/matrimonio, etc; desmembramiento, disolución (de grupos, asociaciones, empresas, imperios, etc); fracaso de negociaciones, conversaciones, etc.

Grammar review: See the links given

Phonetics: campaign, foreign, foreigner, sign, benign, malign, design, resign, gnome, gnu, gnarled, diaphragm

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