In addition to my kindergarten class, which has been featured in several pictures and videos here on the blog, I also teach an afternoon class called ACI every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. ACI stands for Advanced Canadian Immersion (I work for a Canadian school) and is geared towards elementary-aged students. Most of them go to Korean schools during the day and then come to ACI to develop their English skills in the evening.
This month we’ve been reading and watching Peter Pan as a means of explaining the major parts of books and stories: character, conflict, theme, rising action, climax, resolution. As a bona fide “Pan fan” I was happy to see it turn up in the curriculum. I was even happier to hear some of the questions my students came up with during a recent discussion.
10 Good/Interesting Questions About Peter Pan and Neverland
1. When describing the location of Neverland, Peter Pan famously points to the sky and says it’s the “second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” Does this mean Neverland is a planet?
2. Assuming Neverland is a planet, does it follow that Peter Pan is an alien?
3. There is no air in space. How do the Neverland characters breathe? (It can be argued that Peter Pan and the other characters from Neverland are obviously suited to the environment, but what about John, Michael, and Wendy?)
4. Why don’t John, Michael, and Wendy suffocate when flying through space?
5. The crocodile that follows Captain Hook has a ticking clock in his belly. Why is there a clock in Neverland? Hasn’t Time basically stopped there?
6. A related question: are there calendars in Neverland? If so, why?
7. Why, exactly, is Peter Pan considered the hero of the story? [The students seemed surprised that neither Peter Pan nor Tinker Bell are what you’d call nice people.]
8. When the characters first arrive in Neverland (in the Disney version), several rainbows are visible in the sky. And yet, it never seems to rain in Neverland. Where do the rainbows come from?
9. On a similar note, where did Captain Hook come from?
10. And finally, the most frequently asked question among my ACI students…How did Peter Pan and the Lost Boys learn English?
As a student of literature, I’ve spent a great deal of time asking these sorts of pointless questions, and I believe one of my students (Alex) had the best answer for just about all of them:
“That’s why it’s a story.”