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In Days Of Old


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Select a short story set in another time and place as a way to help readers focus on details of a setting.
Have the children read it silently.

Suggest that they skim the story and then determine which words and phrases designate or infer the time and setting.
They may include such details as the clothes the characters wear, their manner of speaking, house furnishings, occupations, recreations and perhaps even names.

Discuss how the stories would change if they took place in the kids' own community at the present time.
Accept generalities, for starters.

To encourage attention to detail, use questions, such as :
                          "Will the girl character wear jeans?"
                          "Will the mother continue to say `thee' and `thou'?"
                          "Will the family eat bear meat or hot dogs cooked in a fireplace or a microwave oven?"

Appoint a group scribe to make notes of the necessary changes to be made in the story in order to bring it "up to date."
Have children take turns rereading the story aloud, making instant changes along the way.

If a student reverts back to the story's time or place, classmates can snap their fingers, signaling the time for the next reader to take over.


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