More on the Realm

Q. Do you use three structures in the Realm?

A. No, in the Realm not normally. Why waste time when I only have 53 minutes? Besides, everything is itching to get going in the virtual community from the previous day. The food is already ready, so to speak.

Q. So the lack of the three words at the beginning of Realm episodes is a plus?

A. Yes. I think that, as useful as the three words are in a regular story, events in the Realm are just more interesting when I am not trying to tie them to a preconceived set of words. I mean, at what point do you stop allowing anything like a set of words dictate how your episode emerges?

It is back to that word organic. In the Realm things emerge organically and it feels right. Starting a Realm episode with three words would be like putting food additives into a gourmet meal. They would ruin the taste. The story should dictate what words are taught and not the other way around. 

Another point to consider here, one that I have made before, is the idea that emotions always drive the story forward better than events. They are simply more interesting to kids. The pirate your student fell in love with, not the color of his hat, is more interesting to the class, and it leads to the creation of better comprehensible input. 

Some words are just not that interesting, so why even start an episode around them?  This is my problem with teaching words like “pencil sharpener” and “sink” to kids, and why I hold them responsible for knowing them by studying them outside of class for periodic tests. 

For example, if, in a regular story the thematic unit is the body and one of the words is “broke”, and the story script has a broken leg in it, it is essentially a negative thing, not a creative thing. It is not funny, really. It is merely an unfortunate life event. On the other hand, romance, pirates, adventure, these are different things altogether. 


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