Collaborative idea generation for ELT


Unshelved cartoon: there are two kinds of people

(c) Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum Used with permission

This is a cartoon strip from a series called Unshelved set in a library. I particularly like them as my mum is a librarian and my first job was a library assistant.

What would you do with this cartoon in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below.

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Comments on: "Unshelved" (7)

  1. With comics:

    – blank out the words in the bubbles, have the ss fill in the missing speech. Compare to original. Explore comic book language, good for looking at onomatopoeic words.

    – get ss to continue the comic strip

    – get ss to role play the comic strip and continue it orally that way

    – get ss to bring in their favourite comics. Get them to describe said comic characters so friends can guess. Get them to make a strip using their favourite character.

    – get ss to invent a comic book character and role play it at an imaginary dinner party

    …off the top of my head! And now I will enjoy reading all the other comments for this! 🙂

  2. Radka Dolihalova said:

    I had the same idea of blanking out the words. 🙂 You may set the goal: e.g. use past perfect in the speech etc. 🙂 Have already tried that, works wonderfully. 🙂

  3. You could give the students just the first panel and ask them to think of how they would divide the world up into two types of people. Would make for an interesting comparison, I think.

  4. Get students talking about their relationship to books and open up for a discussion on why we read literature:
    After showing them the cartoon, get half of the class to write a character sketch of the librarian focussing on her rel. to books, and half the class to write about the boy. Pair librarians with boys and share their character sketch. Then students write about themselves and their relationship to books. Maybe even do their own comic strips on this.
    This might be a good way open students’ minds to why we read literature.

  5. Ask students to change one or two words in each box. Compare the new comic strips. Which one is the best?

    Sandy-I loved hearing that your mom is a librarian and that your first job was in the library. My mom volunteered in our school library when I was a kid. I always wanted to work in a library. As I explained in my recent interview with Vladka, I’m settling for working in the ESL-Library. 🙂

  6. Actually, I am going to use this strip this when I get to TBI… got a whole reading-related,library-related project planned, so it’ll slot in nicely somewhere along the line…. it’s gonna be so cooool! 🙂

    I’m so excited about having a library to get involved in and a boss who’s super keen on the library and my getting involved in it!

    Will be slightly different from current situation 😉

  7. Sue Annan said:

    You could blank out the last one and get students to finish with the punchline.

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