Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Let's Go Fly a Kite -Upping the Atmosphere

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Let's Go Fly a Kite -Upping the Atmosphere

Article excerpt

I WAS keen to begin The Kite Runner with my A-level English class, but when I was confronted with a new group of silent college students who didn't know me or each other, I realised that some ice-breaking would be necessary before discussion could happen.

As the kite is so significant in this book, I decided to focus on that. I discovered that only three students had ever flown a kite, so I knew this was my way forward.

An internet search uncovered the amazing website of a Hawaiian couple who design kites (www.bigwindkites.com). Although they sell their designs, their site also includes instructions for making a very basic kite, which was suitable for my lesson.

I made one at home first, running around the garden to make sure it flew. It certainly wasn't a glamorous creation; my children, mortified, offered me hard cash not to take it into college. But I was undeterred.

I began by showing my kite to the students, explaining that they were going to make one. Their horror at having to produce something so "uncool" united them immediately. …

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