Medieval Cliffhanger Story

Posted Eureka Lessons 7th Grade Social Science, English, Grade 7, Lessons, Speaking and Listening, Writing

Cliffhanger stories are so fun to tell, especially when you feel like annoying your students.  You set up a great story, get to the climax, and then it's, "Okay guys, come up with a great ending on your own."  Listen!  Instruct students to keep pencils down and simply listen as you read "Lady Ginobili and the Green-eyed Knight".  After each paragraph, pause for about 20 seconds.  Write!  Draw!  In those 20 second pauses, students will pick up their pencils and jot down key words or draw as much as they could remember.  Students will use their Listen!  Write!  Draw! activities to help them finish the story.

*Modifications* Have students finish telling the story as a class.  1-2 sentences per student.

Cliff Hanger Activity: Lady Ginobili and the Green-eyed Knight

Once upon a time in the Kingdom of [insert school name], there lived a fair maiden named Lady Ginobili.  She was the daughter of a very rich nobleman who lived in most beautiful manor in the entire kingdom.  One day, Lady Ginobili was strolling around the garden picking flowers when she happened upon a glimmering green vase lying in a patch of wildflowers.  “What a beautiful vase,” she thought to herself, inspecting its beautiful craftsmanship.  Who would toss such a thing out here?  She pruned the flowers, placed them in the vase, and carried it back to her chambers.  She sat on the edge of her bed, admiring it when she realized the sun was about to set and if she didn’t leave soon, she’d miss her chance to visit the marketplace.

As she hurried out of the castle she bumped into her betrothed, Sir Nash.  Sir Nash was handsome, chivalrous and well known around the village.  He loved Lady Ginobili deeply though she never reciprocated his feelings.  They spoke briefly the weather and upcoming tournaments but she soon grew bored.  She bid him adieu and they parted ways, Sir Nash back to the castle and Lady Ginobili toward the village.  As Lady Ginobili wandered aimlessly around the marketplace, she tripped over a basket of produce and bumped into a tall, brooding figure.  As she looked up at him to apologize, she nearly lost her balance again.  What a vision he was in his embroidered tunic, sea green to match his eyes.  He wore a childish grin, his face was kind, his hair blonde and wavy, but behind those eyes lied a hint of darkness and mystery.  He quickly apologized and helped her to her feet.  His apology progressed into hours of delightful conversation full of laughter.  At the end of the night, she promised to meet him at the same place and time the following day.  As she walked away she realized she forgot to ask him his name!  “Oh, what shall I call him?” she asked herself.  "The green-eyed knight," she sighed.

Excited about her new romance, Lady Ginobili danced and twirled and hummed in her chambers for hours.  She leapt gracefully to the vase full of flowers atop her armoire, and asked them playfully “Do you think he wants to see me again?”  “Yes, my lady, he does.” a voice replied.  Lady Ginobili, startled at what had just happened, knocked the vase to the floor, shattering it into hundreds of pieces.  Had that vase just spoken to her?  Her hands shook uncontrollably as she attempted to clean the mess, so she thought it better to leave the broken pieces on the floor for her chamber maid to clean in the morning.  Later that night, she woke to a strange, glowing green light in the corner of her room.  She rubbed her eyes and let them adjust to her surroundings.  When she realized what she was seeing in the corner of her chambers, her eyes widened as she gasped…