Our school's Fans of Short Stories Club met to discuss O'Henry's famous Christmas story "The Gift of Magi".
"At each club meeting we discuss a story's linguistic features and the author's ideas, trying to better understand the story's purpose," explains English Language teacher Svetlana Feshchenko, who also serves as IB Progam Coordinator for grades 5-9. "The goal of our meetings is to help students develop their language skills and while discussing well-known works of literary art."
Participating in the club's most recent meeting were 6th graders Savva Reshetnikov and Ignat Starinchik and 8th grader Olga Filimonova along with English Language teachers Svetlana Feshchenko, Aleksandra Matyushina, Richard Thomas and Rhonda Slugosky.
"We try to immerse ourselves fully in each story," says Aleksandra Matyushina, "and each member of the club has a specific task. For example: What word is repeated most often in the story and why? Or: in which paragraph does the author express the main idea of the story? Or, specifically in the case of 'The Gift of the Magi': how would the story change if the last paragraph were omitted?"
The club's wide-ranging discussion of O'Henry's tale of Christmas gifts and kindness was enhanced by tea and sweets, as the students and teachers exchanged their ideas about and reactions to the author's tale.
"Fans of Stories Club is another exmaple of how our school tries to encourage interaction between students and teachers," notes ILS Principal Olga Shevchenko. "Studying classic works of English and American literature expands our students' knowledge of English speakers' culture and their understanding of a significant portion of the world's cultural heritage."