The No-Travel Story Script

Also from Von Ray’s recent TPRS workshop, his German demo sheltered (i.e. limited) vocabulary so well that it focused on 3 verbs (e.g. is, has, wants) of those top 5 (+ likes & goes). I’ve always been uncomfortable with the idea of a Day 1 cold opening story, though many skilled TPRS teachers find it to be the most engaging way to start the year, so this script might just be what I was looking for! With no need for any character to travel to the standard 3 locations, the questions and details concern one or two parallel characters—an essential Storyasking skill to begin building.

The conflict to resolve in Von’s story was “is in jail, because doesn’t have.” Here’s the plot outline:

  • there’s a character
  • character is in jail because s/he doesn’t have something
  • parallel character is somewhere, but not in jail
  • character’s mother is in the hospital, and has what the character doesn’t have
  • character laments (e.g. “Ooh noo, mother! I’m in jail! I’m in jail because…I want…”)
  • mother laments (e.g. “Ooh, [character], I’m in the hospital because I’m sick…”)
  • character says s/he wants what the mother has
  • mother says that it’s not her problem (lol!)
  • parallel character(s) has/have what the character wants
  • parallel character(s) may, or may not give the character what s/he wants
  • story resolves, or doesn’t

If a parallel character gives the item to the main character, add “gives,” or the command “have!” if your language can do that, limiting the verbs to just “is, has, wants,” and “says.”

6 thoughts on “The No-Travel Story Script

  1. This is brilliant. We currently covering school stuff. It is such a regular thing for students to call home and ask for something that was forgotten. So in one story the student is stuck in jail. In the next the student is stuck in school. And the students think it is the same thing so they will roll with that. We could have the kid stuck in detention…

  2. Where would you recommend getting some clips for Movie Talk? I’ve been trying Story Asking with my students, but I’ve realized my students need more exposure to spoken Latin and other activities that build towards that. Movie Talk sounds like a great way to incorporate some of the other activities that we have been doing (One Word Picture, Picture Writing, and a sort-of Mad Lib but with Latin), so that we can transition into some Storyasking by the end of the year (in preparation for CI to be more fully implemented next year, since I started using it and teaching through it recently).

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