Extract from The Exam Class Toolkit: How to Create Engaging Lesson That Ensure Progression and Results (Continuum)
The following story was emailed to us recently. At first it may seem just like a
funny story, but if you read between the lines, it raises several interesting
questions. Can you spot them?
An old Maori man lived alone at his family home out in Ruatoria.
He wanted to dig his kumara garden, but it was very hard work.
His only son, Hone, who used to help him, was in Paremoremo prison.
The man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.
Kia ora e Hone,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to
plant my kumara garden this year.
I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot.
If you were here, all my troubles would be over.
I know you would dig the plot for me.
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
For God’s sake! Don’t dig up that garden, that’s where I buried the BODIES.
At 4am the next morning, Gisborne C.I.B and the local police showed up with a search warrant and dug up the entire area without finding any
bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant the Kumara.
That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
When we received this story we were thrilled and used it immediately. It has so much potential for the classroom; you could use it to investigate the power of language and its uses, to look at motive, to understand character, or reactions
(human or chemical). Think about how powerful this story would be as a starter in a lesson.