Apr. 14th, 2011

Snipe Hunt

Apr. 14th, 2011 05:58 pm
judifilksign: (Pirate)
A story we read in school today featured a girl lying to the main character.  When I asked whether anyone had seen the twist to the story in my first period class, one boy said he knew she was lying about the hunters going off to die in the bog, because they'd been hunting snipe, and snipe hunts weren't real.  No one else had ever heard of a snipe hunt.

So I had a marvelous time in that class period, and for the rest of the day, filling up a plastic grocery bag with air, turning off the lights, and narrating how we were going to go out into the woods to catch a snipe.  I'd rustle the bag.

"Didja hear that?" I cried suddenly.  "There it goes!" and tiptoed between the desks.  The students leaned forward in their chairs, totally unsure where I was going with this.  You could hear my shoes squeaking as I walked!  I totally used that, too.

"Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet.  We're hunting those wascally SNIPES!" I said in my best (bad) Elmer Fudd imitation.

Then, stopping behind one of the most confident kids in each class, I'd suddenly smack my hands together, making the blown up bag go POP!  Predictably, a number of students in each class would scream in surprise, which would make other kids jump because people were screaming.  It was great fun.

And I did this in every class period, despite knowing quite well that in Britain, there really are such marsh birds as snipe, and they really are hunted in October, especially during the Victorian period in which the story was set.  (The story is "The Open Window" by Saki.)  I figured it was great fun, and one of the things that gets students to learn and remember is novelty.  And, for modern readers, the comments about snipe really could be a foreshadowing clue that Vera (the girl named for truth) is lying.

Adventure at short notice is my specialty.

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