In my teacher group, we focused on three major questions A) 1. What is your initial reaction to the actions and behavior of the Lilliputians amongst themselves and towards Gulliver?
“When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a-groaning with grief and pain, and then striving again to get loose, they discharged another volley larger than the first, and some of them attempted with spears to stick me in the sides; but, by good luck, I had on me a buff jerkin,4 which they could not pierce. I thought it the most prudent method to lie still, and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself: And as for the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest armies they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw.”This question will get students to simply voice their opinions about the story and show any likes or dislikes that students have about the excerpt.
2. Is there a connection between this story and any modern political systems or social structures?
“From whence one of them, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long speech, whereof I understood not one syllable. But I should have mentioned, that before the principal person began his oration, he cried out three times, Langro dehul san (these words and the former were afterward repeated and explained to me). Whereupon immediately about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him who was to speak.”This question will challenge students to compare of contrast the general theme and situations in Gulliver’s travels to modern life therefore causing students to analyze the text more closely.
3. How has Gulliver been able to overcome the language barrier between himself and the Lilliputians?
“He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatening, and others of promises, pity, and kindness.”“I found the demands of nature so strong upon me, that I could not forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my finger frequently on my mouth, to signify that I wanted food. The Hurgo5 (for so they call a great lord, as I afterward learnt) understood me very well.”
B) In my teacher group, I came to realize that it is not very easy to think like a teacher. In doin so you must take the text and ask yourself questions that you know the author does not give clear answers to in the text. You have to realize that these are the questions that students will ask. My group realized that when teaching a piece of text, you must look beyond what is written and fill in some of the blanks with history that you already know. In some cases, this assignment was fairly easy because as students, we already know what kind of "how" and "why" questions would be asked by our peers. Hardest part for us was to look beyond what we read and find the answers to questions with knowledge that we already had. Since we have a limited knowledge of the stories subject, it was difficult to look beyond the written text.