BOS Glossary




Questioning to learn

Teacher's Guide



Using picture books in the study of English.

Colin Thomspon challenges our perception about the boundaries between real and imagined worlds. These worlds are represented through references to various narrative forms and characters, historical and contemporary. The Violin Man is a picture book that provides
students and teachers with the opportunity to examine the ways in which
meaning is constructed within a postmodern picture book using appropriation and surrealism. The text provides students with the opportunity to explore imaginative journeys through both literary and visual texts.


by Colin Thompson

For as long as anyone can remember, Oscar has played his violin outside the theatre. Every night, as people queue for their tickets, Oscar fills the air with his music and the echo of his lost dreams. In those dreams, he is the greatest violinist who has ever lived, and his young daughter Marietta, now long gone is the greatest ballerina.

Oscar lived in a world of dreams.

We imagine journeys optimistically or pessimistically.

While many life journeys reveal beginnings through rite of passage and endings in stages or small steps, the nature of narrative begins a journey with an orientation and ends a journey with a resolution.

Imaginative journeys are punctuated by symbols and signs.

Oscar's imaginative journey is littered with music, light and shadow, characters and surreality. In our imagination light is hopeful and shadow is sometimes dreadful. Oscar doesn't travel into the future in a spacecraft but engages in a past life where opportunities might have altered that past as well as his future.

Author: Julie Bain

Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA);

Grade Levels: Secondary / High School; Teacher; University / Tertiary;

Last Updated: 23 February 2007

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