Birbal and Akbar’s Missing Thumb – teaching activity

Here are two teaching activities.

The first was kindly sent by Maria Schmidt-Lisowski, a teacher using the story with her class during the coronavirus lockdown.

Before you watch, find a definition for fatalism.
While you watch, answer the following tasks:
  1. Note down adjectives to describe Akbar.
  2. Note down adjectives to describe Birbal.
  3. Finish the sentence: remember, everything happens ….
  4. What is the practice of the savage tribesmen?  eating humans, sacrificing wild animals for their gods, singing and dancing at dawn
  5. Which animal does Akbar see first?       boar, stag, hare
  6. Birbal murmurs something, how does Akbar react?           shouting at Birbal, clenching his lips together, laughing with him
  7. The second animal is:             tiny, magnificent, fluffy, huge
  8. This time, Akbar loads his gun, which is something:          simple, confusing, crystal clear, intricate
  9. What happens to Akbar’s thumb?
  10. What does Akbar say to Birbar?           fool, clown, idiot, maniac
  11. Birbal’s punishment is to be:         seized, hanged, dragged, killed
  12. Akbar returns home safely because someone is:       lucky, superstitious, crossed his fingers
  13. He finds Birbal:           in the bell tower, under the drawbridge, deep in the moat, being dragged from the dungeon
  14. What can be learned from the ending of the story?

The second activity was kindly sent by Daniela Campus, a teacher at a middle school in Sardinia.

Download the four-lesson plan as a .pdf

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling