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Setting the BART Higher!

At TPRS Books, teachers often ask the question, “What level is this book?”

While we understand the question, we would like to dispel the myth at this time that Bart wants a cat, while written in a very simple way, is not JUST for level 1. In addition, other readers might have a level you would want to start using them, but you can still use them in more advanced classes. The simplest story can actually be used in an advanced class. “How is that?” you might ask.

Well, check out this sample for how to use a novel like Bart quiere un gato in upper levels through questions. Examples in English.

Level 2 ideas:

1) Ask questions in the past tense based on the vocabulary needs of your students such as the following:

  1. Where did Bart go?
  2. Who attacked Bart?
  3. What animal did Bart finally choose?
  4. Did Bart get a cat?
  5. What did Bart turn into?
  6. Did Bart talk to the mysterious man?

2) Have students rewrite the storyline they chose or draw what they read and retell to partner/class/instructor in the past tense.

3) Use longer sentences to lead class discussion:

  1. Who thinks that Bart should __?  Why?
  2. ¿Who believes that Bart should ____?  Why?
  3. What should Bart do?  Why?
  4. Which is the better option?   Why?
  5. Does it seem like ___?

Level 2+ ideas:

1) Use conditional (possibly justify):

  1. Which decision would you make? (Would you inspect the sack or ignore the man?)

EX: Teacher: I would ignore the man because I don’t trust mysterious men with cats in sacks in front of cafes.

  1. Who would go to the cat cafe? Why or why not?
  2. Would you talk with the mysterious man? Why or why not?
  3. Would you look for trouble with girls on bikes? Why or why not?
  4. Would you steal for the girls on bikes? Why or why not?
  5. Who would you steal from? Why?
  6. What would you steal? Why?
    • Would you steal money / toys / candy / hearts?
  7. Would you drink the water in the cat house? Why or why not?

2) Use past subjunctive:

  1. If you were Bart, what would you do?
  2. If you were the mysterious man, would you give a zombi cat or a muscular cat to Bart?
  3. If you were a macho man on a motorcycle, would you have a cat?
  4. If you were to look for a cat, where would you go?
  5. If you were a police officer, would you believe a boy that tried to steal a piece of art from the museum?

3) Use perfect tenses:

  1. Who has been captured by the girl on bicycle gang?
  2. Who has been captured by the macho motorcycle men?
  3. Who has been transformed into a cat?
  4. Who has drawn a cat?
  5. Who has seen cat videos on Youtube?
  6. Who has stolen from a museum?

4) Put yourself in the characters’ shoes:

  1. If the girls had captured you, what would you say / do?
  2. If you were a girl on a bicycle, what would you do?
  3. If you were to have been transformed into a cat by a cat crazed lady, would you have  escaped? What would you have done?

5) Use discussion questions (included in the Simpli-Guide).

  1. What makes a life complete?
  2. What do you need to have a complete life?
  3. Who is it best to talk to when you need to make an important decision?
  4. Which is better, Mac or Windows?
  5. What are the benefits of chocolate?
  6. Can chocolate make you happy?
  7. What does true happiness consist of?
  8. Is chocolate or coffee better?
  9. Is it better to get opinions from moms or dads?

6) Use would you rather questions!

  1. Would you rather everything you each turn into chocolate in your mouth or not to have teeth?
  2. Would you rather be able to eat all the chocolate you want without getting fatter or be allergic to chocolate but be a millionaire?
  3. Would you rather have a nice family and no computer or have a computer and a mean family?
  4. Would you rather live without your phone for a week or live without your family for a month?

For more ideas, you can get the whole Simpli-Guide on cd or download!

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