Spaghetti Pig-Out Teacher’s Book  Part I 

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Spaghetti Pig-Out
Teacher’s Book

Part I 


Teacher’s Guide and Teaching Plan

Description

Students follow the story line, study the characters, work on some vocabulary exercises and on activities related to the remote control (key element in the story). The highlight of this unit is activities that develop students’ thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills.



The Story

The fantasy genre is both celebrated and parodied when a TV remote control begins to work on people in real life. Elements of the fantasy genre that can be explored using this episode are magical transformation of objects, unreal events occurring in real life and humorous fantasy.



Learning Targets

Knowledge Dimension/Strand

1. To establish meaning in text

2. To employ contextual and syntactic clues to understand meanings of words


Interpersonal Strand

1. To exchange ideas on the possible development and likely outcome of the story


Experience Strand

1. To respond to the events in narrative text through drawing pictures and creating new developments for the story


Generic Skills and Attitudes



Objectives

Text-type

Story
Vocabulary

1. Adjectives for describing colour, shape and texture

2. Action verbs for describing the physical conditions of sick people
Language items and communicative functions

1. Use – “when” phrases to state the conditions for what actions to take



(I would press the rewind button when Guts told the other classmates not to play with me.)
2. Use statements of “bare infinitives” to list the functions that a device performs

(Press this to perform an action at an enormous speed)

Language Focus





Activities and Skills Focused



Materials




Catering for Learner Diversity




Suggested Number of Lessons

8-10






Theme: Magic

Nature of input: The story “Spaghetti Pig-Out” taken from Paul Jennings’ book “Thirteen Unpredictable Tales”



Spaghetti Pig-Out

(taken from Paul Jennings’ Thirteen Unpredictable Tales)



Story

(short version)

One day, Matthew’s father bought home a video player. Matthew soon found out that it was no ordinary video player. The remote control could be used to freeze, speed up or even reverse one’s actions. Later this remote went into the hand of Guts, Matthew’s enemy, and he used the fast forward button to help him win the Spaghetti Pig-Out. But Guts had eaten more than he could take and threw up. Matthew made use of this chance to get back the remote and pressed the rewind button at Guts. The story ends with no mentioning of what’s going to happen to the remote control.

(full version)

Matthew lived with his parents and his cat, Bad Smell. He was a lonely child with no one to play with. His mean classmate, Guts Garvey, asked other kids not to hang around with him. All he could do was to watch T.V. after school. Since there weren’t too many kids’ shows on before tea, so Matthew had always wanted to have a video player.


One day, Matthew’s dad came home with a video player. It was funny-looking and had no cables. Nobody believed it worked at first. Later when Matthew gave it a try by pressing on the licorice-like buttons on the remote control, the video started playing. Not only did Matthew find out that it worked, he also discovered accidentally that when he pointed the remote control at Bad Smell and pressed the PAUSE button, the cat froze. Off she went when the FORWARD button was pressed. Matthew tried the various buttons on a fly and on his dad. He did not tell his parents for fear they would take it from him.
He planned to take it to school to impress Guts Garvey. He hoped that Guts would make friends with him and the other kids would want to have a go with the remote control.
Matthew could not wait and set out to find Guts on Saturday. He found him at the corner of one street with his mate Rabbit. Matthew passed the remote control to Guts and urged him to press the buttons. When Guts discovered what the remote control could do, he kept it to himself. He even pointed it at Matthew and froze him into a statue. After some time, Matthew was able to move. He then realized that the pause effect wore off after four or five minutes.

The day for the Spaghetti Pig-Out finally arrived. Matthew had won all the heats. His record was 10 bowls of spaghetti bolognese and he stood a good chance of winning. His only worry was Guts Garvey who seized the remote control from him. Matthew had no idea what he would do but he was sure Guts was up to something. Matthew was right. When he was up to 7 bowls, Guts had only eaten 4. Rabbit, his mean mate, then took the remote control from his pocket and pointed it at Guts. He pressed FAST FORWARD and Guts started to eat at an enormous speed. He ate a total of 40 bowls, beating Matthew who ate 10. Guts would be the winner if he did not throw up.

You should now guess how the story ends. Besides winning a free trip to London for two, which he gave to his parents, Matthew won the respect of other kids in school. On the other hand, Guts was not very popular. As for the magical remote control, the story does not mention what’s going to happen to it.

Spaghetti Pig-Out

(Teaching Steps)




Setting the scene


Refer students to the title of the story: Spaghetti Pig-out
Ask students if they understand what the two words mean. Explain to them if they don’t.
spaghetti: a kind of pasta in very long thin pieces

pig-out: (phrasal verb; informal use) to eat a lot of food
Tell students that “Spaghetti Pig-Out” was actually a competition held in a school to see who could eat the most spaghetti bolognese in fifteen minutes. The winner would receive a free trip to London for two. It was not just a fun activity but a charity activity as entrance money to this competition would help the needy.

Introducing the characters


Tell students who the main characters of this story are.
Show pictures of Guts Garvey and Matthew and ask students to guess their characters.
Don’t comment on whether students’ guesses are right or wrong. Ask them to read the first page of the story to find out.
Guts Garvey

 a real mean kid

 would not let other kids hang around with Matthew

Matthew


 had no one to play with except his cat, Bad Smell

Getting into the story


Ask students to imagine what it is like to have no one to play with. (lonely)
Ask students to guess what Matthew would do in his free time with no one to play with. (watching TV)

Refer students to the lines which say “There were only little kids’ shows on tv before tea. I wish we had a video.” (p.6)

Tell students the story begins with Matthew’s father buying a video player back home.
Have students read the relevant pages to find out more about the video player.
Ask students to redesign the video player and write a description. (Task 1)

Discovering more about the remote control (Task 2)


Tell students that the remote control was not an ordinary one. The four buttons on it could perform different functions when pointing to living things.
Ask students to find out from the story:

  • what functions they could perform

  • how it was different from an ordinary remote control

  • which button was Matthew most scared of

  • the 3 occasions when this button was used


Extending students’ thinking beyond the story (Task 3)

Ask students to think of:



  • which one of the three buttons (PAUSE, FAST FORWARD, REWIND) they will use in face of the given situations

  • other situations when they use those buttons

  • which button to use to repair their relationship with Guts if they were Matthew

Have students share their answers in groups.


Expanding students’ vocabulary (Task 4)

Draw students’ attention to the words and expressions the writer has used to describe Guts Garvey’s throw-up


Have students find out words from the story to fill in the missing blanks.

Familiarize the meanings of these words and expressions through a matching exercise.

Developing students’ creativity, collaboration and communication skills (Task 5)

To achieve the above, put students in groups to develop another story as to what happens to the remote control

Before doing this, teacher can introduce the concept of story map to students. The story of “Spaghetti Pig-out can be used to illustrate the elements of a story map.
In groups, students have to:


  • brainstorm ideas

  • discuss the development of the story

  • arrive at a new story agreed by all members in the group

  • write the story

  • present the story to the whole class

Teacher Data File

Story Map

































Guts


Matthew


Teaching Plan


Teaching procedures

Nature

of input

Activity type

Language focus

(vocab & lang pattern)

Language skills

Setting the scene

Refer students to the title of the story: Spaghetti Pig-out


Ask students if they understand what the two words mean. Explain to them if they don’t.
spaghetti: a kind of pasta in very long thin pieces

pig-out: (phrasal verb; informal use) to eat a lot of food
Tell students that “Spaghetti Pig-Out” was actually a competition held in a school to see who could eat the most spaghetti bolognese in fifteen minutes. The winner would receive a free trip to London for two. It was not just a fun activity but a charity activity as entrance money to this competition would help the needy.


story title

Q & A

spaghetti

pig-out

listening





Introducing the characters

Tell students who the main characters of this story are.


Show pictures of Guts Garvey and Matthew and ask students to guess their characters.

Don’t comment on whether students’ guesses are right or wrong. Ask them to read the first page of the story to find out.

Guts Garvey

 a real mean kid

 would not let other kids hang around with Matthew
Matthew

 had no one to play with except his cat, Bad Smell



pictures
text


guessing




reading for information



Getting into the story

Ask students to imagine what it is like to have no one to play with. (lonely)














Ask students to guess what Matthew would do in his free time with no one to play with. (watching TV)
Refer students to the lines which say “There were only little kids’ shows on before tea. I wish we had a video.” (p.6)
Tell students the story begins with Matthew’s father buying a video player back home.
Have students read the relevant pages to find out more about the video player.
Ask students to redesign the video player and write a description

text


Task 1 (blank filling & sequencing)

drawing

words describing the colour, shape and texture of a video player

reading for information


writing

Discovering more about the remote control

Tell students that the remote control was no ordinary. The four buttons on it could perform different functions when pointing to living things.


text

Task 2




reading for information






Ask students to find out from the story:

  • what functions they could perform

  • how it was different from an ordinary remote control

  • which button was Matthew most scared of

  • the 3 occasions when this button was used


Extending students’ thinking beyond the story

Ask students to think of:



  • which one of the three buttons (PAUSE, FAST FORWARD, REWIND) they will use in face of the given situations

  • other situations when they use those buttons

  • which button to use to repair their relationship with Guts if they were Matthew

Have students share their answers in groups.





Task 3


bare infinitives

(Press this to _______ )


I’m going to …

I would …

speaking


Expanding students’ vocabulary

Draw students’ attention to the words and expressions the writer has used to describe Guts Garvey’s throw-up.










Have students find out words from the story to fill in the missing blanks.

Familiarize the meanings of these words and expressions through a matching exercise.


text

Task 4

(blank filling & matching)



  • swell out

  • sway

  • stagger

  • totter

  • lurch

  • splash down

reading for information

Developing students’ creativity, collaboration and communication skills

To achieve the above, put students in groups to develop another story as to what happens to the remote control


Before doing this, teacher can introduce the concept of story map to students. The story of “Spaghetti Pig-out can be used to illustrate the elements of a story map.
In groups, students have to:

  • brainstorm ideas

  • discuss the development of the story

  • arrive at a new story agreed by all members in the group

  • write the story

  • present the story to the whole class




A handout of a story map

Task 5





speaking & writing


Part II 


Student Book with Answer Key

Key




  1. What do you know about the video player Matthew’s father bought? Refer to pp.8 and 9. Based on the picture of the video player and its remote control on the left, complete the missing information on the right.





Picture

Specification









Price:

$50

Colour:

green

Size:

a large cake

Shape:

a loaf of bread

Texture:

spongy and mouldy

Set-up:

no cables needed


How to operate:

(Number the steps in their correct order)

(2) Put a video tape into the hole/opening at the front of the video player

(1) Switch on the TV set

(3) Press the small black squares /blocks on the handset / remote control





  1. If you have to redesign the video player, how will the colour, shape and texture differ from the one in the story? Draw the picture on the left and describe its appearance on the right.



Description
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





Key


The remote control in the story is magical. It performs functions that are different from what an ordinary remote control can do.





an ordinary remote control





the remote control

in the story





Functions

PAUSE

Press this to stop the playing of video for a short time before starting again

Press this to freeze whatever action one is performing

FORWARD

Press this to play the video

Press this to offset the PAUSE function, the FAST FORWARD function and the REWIND function

FAST FORWARD

Press this to make a video tape go forward quickly so that you can skip something or have a quick look at it


Press this to perform an action at an enormous speed

REWIND

Press this when you want to make a video tape go backward so as to see it again

Press this to perform an action backwards

Which one of the above 4 buttons was Matthew most scared of?


___________________________________________________________
There are 3 incidents in the story when this button was used. What are they?

Incident 1: _________________________________________________

Incident 2: _________________________________________________

Incident 3: _________________________________________________




(A) Suggest which button you would use in the following situations.


Situation

Circle the button to use

Your mom is again asking you to do your homework and revise your books.

PAUSE

FAST FORWARD

REWIND

You are running a 100-metre race in the school sports day.


PAUSE

FAST FORWARD

REWIND


You have put too much sugar in your tea.

PAUSE

FAST FORWARD

REWIND

(B) Suggest other situations when you use these buttons. Say the line:

“I’m going to use the ________ button when ________________.”


PAUSE

button


FAST FORWARD button

REWIND

button


- when…

- when…

- when…




  1. Imagine that you are Matthew and were allowed to use the above buttons to repair your relationship with Guts, how would you make use of them?

E.g. I would press the REWIND button when Guts told the other classmates not to play with me. I would make him redo what he did to me.



Key


The writer has used some very vivid descriptions to talk about Guts Garvey’s throw-up. Find out from the story what words/expressions they are and fill in the missing blanks.

- His stomach swelled out over his belt.

- He started to sway from side to side.

- Guts staggered and tottered.

- He lurched to the edge of the stage.

- The putrid waterfall splashed down all over Rabbit.

The above words and expressions can be used to describe other situations. Match those on the left hand column with the situations on the right hand column.


Column A

Column B

1. swell out

( 3 ) how a drunken man walks in the street

2. sway

( 5 ) how a stream flows after heavy rainfall

3. stagger and totter

( 1 ) how a loaf of bread looks like after absorbing much water

4. lurch

( 4 ) how a car moves minutes before it breaks down

5. splash down

( 2 ) how a tree moves in the breeze

What about turning the above into “blank-filling” exercise?



  • The drunken man staggered and tottered in the street.

  • The stream splashed down the slope after the heavy rain.

  • The bread swelled out after it soaked up the milk in the plate.

  • The car lurched to the side of the road and then broke down.

  • The tree swayed in the strong wind.


It says in the very last paragraph of this story “And as to what happened to the remote control … Well. That’s another story.”
Think of some possible happenings to the remote control. Or continue writing the story on what becomes of the Remote Control.













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