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What's New?
Visualizing the Superior Fighting Position
for after Chapter 7

Educational Benefits:

  • Teaches close reading - causes students to go back into the text really figure out what it is saying
  • Student ownership - final products are displayed in the room so each student can point to something they made
  • Appeals to visual/tactile learners

Materials Needed:

  • One package of pipe cleaners (1.5 pieces per student)
  • String or whatever you can use to hang soldiers from the ceiling
  • Scissors for cutting the ½ pieces and string


  1. Make sure each student has one and ½ lengths of pipe cleaner. Note: some may want an extra ¼ or so to make a gun - up to you and or school policy about guns
  2. Make them WATCH before they DO.
  3. Demonstrate how to make a figure - see figure (no pun intended)

  4. Once they have made their basic figure, refer them to page 97 (it'll be different in different editions - look for the passage over half way through chapter 7 - "Abruptly he felt himself reorient…") and have them put their little Ender into the proper fighting stance.
  5. It should look like this (or something like it):

    Be prepared for slightly perverse snickers about this from some of your students.

  6. Then, demonstrate the advantages.

    Ask - Why do people hit the ground when someone's firing a gun?
    Smaller target.
    This is the same principle.

    Have two students demonstrate: an upright Ender fire at a positioned Ender
    Ask - How can the positioned Ender have the advantage?

  7. Then you can do all kinds of fun things:

    Post Enemy and Home gates on two of the walls - have them talk about what is down/up etc.

    Put them in toons to simulate movement through null grav.

    Null grav is easy to simulate when you're holding a pipe-cleaner Ender.

  8. Have each student show you their properly positioned Ender for participation points and have them hang them around the room.

Note: I did this activity with SENIORS in high school and they loved it - especially showing off their embellished fighters - some Petras had pony tails.

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