This is a one-page comic about Jaco Pastorius, the world's greatest bass player and a tragic figure from music history. The story is extremely condensed and I've taken many artistic liberties with it. It comes together with appropriate vocabulary to use with each panel, a sample story that uses all of that vocabulary, and discussion questions to use in class. The goal is to strengthen your students' ability to tell a story in past tense and to use vocabulary related to the music world.
This lesson can keep one student or an entire classroom busy for 40 to 90 minutes.
The first page is the cartoon, which is perfect for photocopying. The second page is the instructions and activities for the teacher to use. Don't let the students see page 2, or they will just memorize parts of it and parrot it. Stimulate them to create and connect their own sentences using the vocabulary words.
Here's what I do:
1. Give the cartoon to each student, or to every other student if your school is short on paper. Ask them to volunteer their ideas of what it is all about, and they can use English to describe what they see.
2. Then you introduce the vocabulary. Feel free to add your own. Tell a little story similar to the one that I have written on page 2, and use all the vocabulary. You can pause to ask comprehension questions or to ask students to make sentences with the new vocabulary.
3. If you feel like the students need a little break from the narrative, go directly to the discussion questions on page 2. If they don't need a break, ask them to tell the story themselves, using all vocabulary words. They can start by telling the story to their partners, or they can tell parts of the story out loud to the class. Correct their grammar as needed, but don't overdo it. They shouldn't get too frustrated.
4. If you didn't already do the discussion questions, do those now.
5. Ask the students to imagine that the final scene never happened. Now create some possible new endings! Hopefully the ones they make will be happier than the way this story really ended.