This is another Karen C one-word story. She has the whole thing so well thought-out that I bet a lot of us who haven’t done anything yet for Halloween might use it.
El Licántropo y su Novia (The werewolf and his girlfriend) – a romantic story about a lonely werewolf who finds the girl of his dreams…
Day 1: I start with the word “Licantropo” and ask the kids to guess what it means. Once they guess, I ask the class for “información importante” about him!
• His name
• What’s he like, physically? (one class determined that he had “mood” fur that changes color according to his emotions)
• How old is he (the story works best if he’s a teenager going to your high school)
• What “talentos” does he have?
• What kind of car does he drive?
• We know that the boy is only a werewolf during nights of the full moon; any other time he looks like a normal boy.
• I end by stating that the licántropo is VERY sad and VERY lonely, because he doesn’t have a girlfriend….
Day 2: His house
• He’s emancipated, so he lives alone, but where? (a tree-dog house?)
• How many rooms does it have? Furniture? Activities in each room that relate to his aforementioned talentos? (He dances in his living room; he cooks Chinese food in the kitchen, etc.)
• I end this day with the licántropo in his bedroom, sad, lonely, crying and dreaming about his ideal girlfriend.
Day 3: the ideal girlfriend
• What does she look like? (One class pretty much had her look like a female werewolf; the other class came up with a normal girl).
• I tell the class that we all have idealized versions of the perfect person for us, but in reality we fall in love with someone who isn’t perfect and that’s ok, because we aren’t perfect either.
• I tell the class “un secreto:” the future girlfriend of this werewolf is a girl in CLASS!!! Who is it? Well, we find out by voting, of course!
Day 4: We determine if the werewolf and his future girlfriend have any classes together.
• First hour, he has “álgebra 2” with “Sr. Veater,” etc. Kids call out possible classes and we pretty much decide by acclamation which ones we like for his schedule.
• The actual girlfriend doesn’t say a word during this time; it’s only afterwards that we ask her if he has any classes with her.
I stop the story here and ask kids to give me their first write-up using Scott Benedict’s numbered spaces worksheet. The kids do this as homework, using the notes they took in class. The only requirement is that all the verbs be in imperfect tense. I tell them that if they can give me 100 words, they get a B; if they can go to the bottom of the page (163 words) it’s an A. Every single kid in class was able to do at least a B; many kept going beyond the 163 words!
Day 5: Something horrible happens to the werewolf at school – he falls and breaks a bone!
• The werewolf is running down the hallway after period 4 because… (class thinks of a reason – he’s leaving campus to go have lunch was the reason in both my classes)
• BUT, there’s something in the hallway that HE DOESN’T SEE – what is it? (My thought was that this would be a one-word item – like a banana peel or a puddle or something – and that we’d move on quickly, but both of my classes got way into it. One class said that it was a character from the previous story who sought out the licántropo to tell him something very important (that his tree-dog house was going to be chopped down) – anyway, moving on…
• The werewolf doesn’t see the thing in hallway, falls over it and splats onto the floor, dazed, injured etc.
• Who should come upon him in this injured state, but of course his soon-to-be girlfriend. (Shelbie in one class, Brianna in the other).
• We now switch to dialogue – no more imperfect verbs for this sequence.
• I tell the kids to start the dialogue and they stare at me blankly until I say, what’s the first thing you ask someone when you meet them?
o What’s your name?
o Antonio. And you?
o Shelbie. Pleased to meet you.
o Same here (groan, groan)
o What happened to you?
o I think I broke a bone. (We practiced this in class the previous week in an activity I do called “walk and talk” where the kids have to ask and answer questions with every member of the class, followed by an oral quiz with me: I ask them the questions and listen to their answers, then they ask the questions of me. If they can’t do it with speed and fluency, they have to re-test until they can)
o Which bone?
o My leg, my leg! Ow, ow, ow!
o Say, I broke a bone myself once!
o Which one?
o My arm?
o When I was 8 years old.
o What a shame! Do you have a scar?
o Say, I love talking to you – you’re very pretty, but how about calling the paramedics?
o Oh… certainly!!
Day 6: in the hospital.
• The girl comes to visit him, and the werewolf thanks her for her help.
• He wants to take her out on a date to show his gratitude (after the cast comes off?)
• He suggests the ideal date: First, we’ll do this, then we’ll do that, later we’ll do that, finally we’ll do that, etc.
• The girl agrees to go out with him
Day 7: The ideal date
• The date begins and we switch to preterit to show the events in order as they occurred.
• At some point, of course, the full moon makes him turn into a werewolf right at the WORST MOMENT OF THE DATE!!!
At this point l turn the story over to the kids to finish as they wish. Will the two live happily ever after or NOT??? The requirements: 100-163 words to tell the story from the accident through the visit in the hospital. The final paragraph is 50 words minimum to describe what happened on the date and determine if the couple fall in love as a result or they decide to go their separate ways. The verbs must be in preterit, unless there is dialogue, in which the verbs would be in present tense). The last line must be either “they lived happily ever after” or they “did NOT live happily ever after.”
After the rough drafts come in (250 words minimum):
• Kids type the final draft with all corrections made. (I keep these and publish them in a spiral bound booklet with the rest of their stories to give them at the end of the year).
• Kids read their stories to each other in small groups.