I came across an old made for radio play in the literature book this week and thought it would be fun to use it to teach the students about mood as an element of fiction. It turned out better than I could have hoped.
After a short discussion of mood, and suspense in particular, I had the students read Lucille Fletcher's The Hitchhiker. Today we listened to the original Mercury Theater on Air production. The kids were silent as they listened to the story. A few raised their eyes as the Gray Man in the story called out to the main character, Richard Adams. It was easy to see that everyone was engaged in the activity.
However if you're interested in the quantitative data I can add this: on most days I have anywhere from 3 to 5 students in each class that ask to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Others get up to sharpen pencils, get a tissue or throw out trash. During today's class everyone stayed put.
That's what I call success.
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