Learning, growth and fun are three words not often used in the same breath.This site aims to promote language growth through learning, all the while having fun.Hence the name PedaGrowFun. It consists of pedagogical materials designed to help in the development of language skills, and also contains the Christian and Corinne series of adventure stories of a young boy and his little sister,and their marvelous MAGIC TELEVISION. The adventure begins with the April 22, 2008 story.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Christian and Corinne at Cousin Matthew’s in Texas

Christian and Corinne sat at their most favorite place in the whole world, on the big rock, next to the swimming pool, close to the maple tree, and close to the MAGIC TELEVISION. Life was beautiful indeed.

“Christian, what are we going to do today?” asked Corinne. I’m getting kind of tired just sitting here. Usually we do something fun- we run, we play catch, we go for a ride in the Television….

“I’m thinking, Corinne,” replied Christian in a serious voice. “I have to think.”

“What about?”

“About Uncle Ray, about Aunt Stéphanie, and about cousin Matthew.”

“Cousin Matthew - he was just born Christian. We’ve never even seen him….”

“That’s what I’m thinking about Corinne. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to meet him! “

“Yes Christian, but that’s impossible at this time. Papa says that Houston where he lives is very, very far and that to get there takes three to four days by car. That’s really far, you know….

Christian was just about to answer his little sister when he heard a noise coming from the direction of the MAGIC TELEVISION.

“Did you say something Television?” enquired Corinne, turning her head and looking at it.

“Come closer children,” answered the Television. “Come closer….”

Christian and Corinne looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and approached the Television.

“I was listening children and let me tell you it is possible to go to Texas. Even though it’s quite far I can take you there and return you home for lunch.”

Christian looked at his little sister and they both started to laugh. “You’re teasing us Television. Every time we went exploring with you we always went very slowly. It was fun, but not too fast,” Christian said.

“Yes this is true Christian, but we were not going far so we traveled at a speed which would allow you to look around and take in all the scenery. But believe me I can go a lot faster. Look closely.”

The Television opened its screen and in a low voice only the children could hear asked,” Do you see that little black box on the floor - in the far right hand corner? It’s a super special computer which allows me, upon request, to travel at extremely high speeds - faster than any plane in existence - to any destination in the world.”

“WOW!” exclaimed both children, eyes fixed on the box.

“Let’s go Christian! Let’s go to Houston to see Bébé Matthew.”

“O.K. Corinne. Good idea!”

The children entered their wonderful MAGIC TELEVISION and the screen closed behind them. They sat, pressed all the right buttons on the control panel and the Television started to climb one more time high, high in the sky.

“Now look again at the black box children.” Christian and Corinne did as requested and noticed a screen starting to come out from behind the box. On this screen there was a map.

“That Christian and Corinne is a map of Canada and the United States, which is where you want to go. Houston, you know, is in another country. Do you still want to go? Like always it is only and just at your command that I displace myself.”

“Yes!” responded both children in a decisive and confident voice. Take us to Houston to visit our new cousin. Let’s go- FAST!”

“Then hold on children!”

Christian and Corinne heard a small whir and VROOM they were on their way - so fast that even when they looked outside all they could see was a blur. But to their great joy they quickly discovered that they could follow their progress on the map on the computer screen. A red line traced their route accompanied by a voice naming the places and cities they were whirring over. “… are now over eastern Ontario all the way to Windsor, over Detroit in the state of Michigan, Toledo and Cincinnati in Ohio, Louisville in Kentucky, Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee, Little Rock in Arkansas, Texarkana in Texas, now in Houston over cousin Matthew’s house…”

“They’re funny all these words eh Christian? ChinChinNati, Encasa, Oihoho, Texacaca…They’re funny, funny, funny….ha! ha! ha! ha !”

“Yes Corinne, but now is not the time to amuse ourselves with words. Let’s slowly descend to see if our cousin is outside,” Christian added, as he lightly pressed the Down button.

The Television went down, down, down….

“Look Christian, look on the balcony in the bright sun there’s a baby carriage with a baby in it!” Corinne exclaimed. “It’s him! It’s our cousin! Let’s go see him!”

“Hold on Corinne! Aunt Steph must be close by. If she sees us she’s going to wonder what we’re doing here and how we got here in the first place.”

“Yes, that’s true. She’s going to have a real scare.”

“This is not a problem children,” interrupted the Television. “Look behind the black box. There are two hats there in the corner. Put them on and you will become invisible. Let me also tell you, for I’ve forgotten to do so up to now, this Television is also invisible. There are only you two and those you want to who can see it. Do you understand?”

“Yes. We understand,” replied Christian and Corinne, their hearts beating with joy.

Seconds later they were on the balcony, stepping out of the Television and approaching the carriage.

“Oh look Christian. Look how he’s beautiful. He’s sleeping. Ah!!! This is really cute!”

“Yes! Yes! Also look carefully Corinne. His hair is also a bit orange like Uncle Ray’s.”

“And his cheeks are fat like a chipmunk’s - just like Aunt Stéphanie’s in her baby pictures” added Corinne.

“What baby pictures Corinne?”

“Don’t you remember - the pictures in the album Pépé and Mémé showed us last Christmas?”

“Boy Oh Boy! What a memory you have Corinne!”

“I love him so much my beautiful little Matthew, my beautiful little Matt Man.”

“Matt Man?” asked Christian. “You know Corinne that’ a pretty good nickname for our cousin - not bad at all.”

“Yes! Yes! I know,” answered Corinne, beaming with pride. “Then it’s settled - from now on that’s our name for him. O.K. Christian?”

“Agreed Corinne!”

At supper, when the children related their latest adventure to their parents these two, as always, laughed, saying “My what vivid imaginations!”

However, not long after, Maman Renée looked at her husband, somewhat concerned, and asked -“But tell me Steve, how do they know he has hair the color of oranges, cheeks like a chipmunk’s?”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Christian and Corinne in the Country of the Beaver

Christian opened his eyes and yawned. Already warm from the bright sun entering his bedroom through the big window, he got out of bed and started approaching the pane slowly, hoping to be able to touch the most beautiful robin he had ever seen. But it didn’t take very long for the bird to spot him and fly away.

Christian smiled, stretched, and told himself that it was going to be another wonderful day.

TOC TOC, he heard at his door. Thinking it was his mother, he said, “ Come in Maman.”

“ Christian, it’s not Maman, it’s me , your sister Corinne.”

“ O.K. You can come in Corinne.”

Corinne entered and said,” Quick Christian dress up. It’s really nice outside. Let’s go eat breakfast and go for a ride in the Magic Television.”

“ Good idea, Corinne.”

Five minutes later found them both at the kitchen table, eating their cereal. Once finished, they rushed their dishes to the dishwasher and ran to the big maple in the backyard. Sure enough- the Television was still there… Still somewhat scared, they approached it slowly. And, like the first time, when they were about a meter away, it started speaking to them.

“Good morning children. And how are you this fine spring day? Can I interest you in another adventure?”

In a timid voice, Christian stuttered,” Yes… but not too far… not too… long. Maman Renée expects us back for lunch.”

“That’s fine. Let me open up. And, don’t forget, the Magic Television is in your hands, under your control.”

Christian and Corinne entered the Television and, like the first time, the picture screen closed behind them. With hearts beating loudly in their little chests, they looked at each other, sat down, and stared at the control panel.

“Where are we going to go today Christian?”

“Do you remember, Corinne, our visit to Gatineau Park? Papa Steve and Maman Renée took us there last Fall to look at the leaves when they were all kinds of colors- red, green, yellow, orange. It was so beautiful there. Let’s return!”

“Oh yes Christian! Let’s go back to see if all the colors are still there.”

Remembering the lesson on how to use the control instruments, Christian pushed the buttons to take off and to start climbing. In a few minutes they were high, high in the sky. Then, with a little touch of the steering wheel left and they were heading North.

They quickly passed over the fabled Ottawa River and Gatineau, twin city of Ottawa, the nation’s capitol.

“Look Christian!”exclaimed Corinne. “Look at the mountains, look at the huge forest. A gray line seems to be cutting across the woods just below us. It looks like a road- perhaps the road we drove on with Maman and Papa.

“Yes! Yes! Corinne. I can also see a big lake on the right. Let’s go explore! Corinne, here, it’s your turn at the controls.”

Smiling, Corinne turned the wheel right and the Television headed towards the lake. As they approached, they spotted a long stream running into the lake. Corinne pressed the Down button and they quickly found themselves hovering over the stream.

But, to their astonishment, what should have been a whole lot of water rushing headlong into the lake was no more than a trickle. Upstream, there seemed to be a small road traversing the water somehow preventing it from rushing onward.

“Who could have built a road in such a place?” asked Corinne?

“It’s not a road,” replied Christian. “It’s a beaver dam. We learned about those in school last year.”

“Let’s go see-let’s go see up close Christian” implored Corinne, her voice full of enthusiasm.

“All right little sister. Let me take back the controls. That way you’ll be able to have a better look.”

Without another word, Christian piloted the Magic Television towards the dam in the deep wood. When they arrived he landed it on the dam. When they were both satisfied their craft would not sink through, Corinne activated the Exit button and the television screen opened.

The children stepped out and started their awkward walk on the hundreds of branches forming the beaver dam.

“Let’s be careful and walk with prudence Corinne.”

“O.K. Christian. I’ll follow.”

On one side of the dam the children could see a small pool of black water resembling a small lake. On the other side they saw thousands of branches pointing in every direction imaginable. They also noticed that here, on the downward side of the dam, there were many small threads of water coming out of the dam, falling into the stream below and heading towards the lake.

“Isn’t it beautiful and calm here? I can hear the music of the running water.”

“Yes, but it’s also a bit frightening”, added Christian, who was looking at the somber forest surrounding them.

“Christian! Look! Over there! Next to the shore- there’s a big bunch of branches in the shape of a big ball… Is it a treasure?”

“I don’t think so Corinne. It’s probably the house of the engineers who built this dam though. Let’s approach it- to get a better look.”

Suddenly, as they were making a slow approach to the shore, what sounded like a giant hand slapped the water next to them. They jumped, almost losing their balance and falling into the water.

“Over there—it’s a beaver!” yelled Christian. “He slapped the water with his tail to scare us. He doesn’t want us to get to close to his house.”

“Let’s listen then- maybe it’s best not to bother them- maybe it’s a mother who doesn’t want us to wake up her babies” said Corinne, her voice shaking.

Slowly, the children made their way back to the safety of the Magic Television, which brought them home in time for lunch.

That night at supper they related their newest adventure to their parents, who looked at each other, shook their heads and said again,” Our children have quite an imagination!”