This project promotes open access materials and has been funded with support from the European Commission - Erasmus+ program. These materials reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
[Project Number: 2016-1-HR01-KA201-022159]


Title of Activity
Empty Apartment


Description of educational activity
Duration: 4 x 45 minutes (two two hour class – 2 x 45 min)

Student age: 17 - 18 (senior)


1st class

Introductory part of class: the whole class (all students)

Student homework: students listen to the introduction of the story, the professor reads: I climb up the stairs and everything is clear: I am late. The bankers cleaned out my grandmother’s apartment to the dust. On the front door, instead of a lock, there is a hole, and the door is ajar. It is probably the time when bankers don’t care if someone will come in the apartment and steal something. They have already become the owners, it’s all crystal clear.

  • After the introduction the students think and discuss the possible reasons why the bankers cleared out the apartment.
  • They assume the age of the narrator/main character
  • Comment about their ideas of the stories ending


Middle part of class: whole class, later on working in pairs

Student homework:

  • After the introductory discussion they receive text stories in their entirety and read the story to the end
  • I pairs the comment the main pilot, express their thoughts, comment the narrator and event
  • After working in pairs, a conversation follows about their impressions the book created ( reports on how their pair perceived the story)
  • Followed by the question, do you know the meanings of all the words in the story One Feather?
  • Students in pairs find the meaning of unknown words (ajngemahtes…) on the internet
  • They conclude why these words are used in this contemporary story
  • They suggest a student (girl) who will play the main characters part/narrator
  • Three students voluntarily create a group of ‘helpers’ that will help in answering the questions other student will ask


Last part of class: everyone (girl, group of volunteers and the rest of the class)

Student Homework:

  • Girl plays/acts the narrator
  • The ‘helpers’ help answer and shape the questions which the girl will not be able to answer independently
  • The class examines/asks the girl based on the plot of the story



2nd class

Introductory part of class: everyone (girl, group of volunteers and the rest of the class)

Student Homework:

  • Girl plays/acts the narrator
  • The ‘helpers’ help answer and shape the questions which the girl will not be able to answer independently

The class examines/asks the girl based on the plot of the story



Middle part of class: whole class

Student Homework:

  • students independently note information about the story (students are given the information before hand?[1])
  • student on the internet explore about the contemporary author Kseniji Kušec
  • after gathering information for 10 minutes they write them down on the board, students note the most important information (the most important information is described in advance to them[2])


Last part of class: everyone (girl, group of volunteers and the rest of the class)

Student Homework

  • Chose the most acceptable student idea from last class – what actually happened to the narrator that she came to an empty apartment?
  • Discussion: is the narrator the author of the book?



3rd class

Subject area: LANGUAGE

Introductory part of class: five groups of four

Student Homework

  • Students remember the unfamiliar words (ajngemahtes…)
  • They repeat their conclusions why the author used exactly these words in the contemporary Croatian text
  • What similar foreign words do you use or have heard of?(one student writes down the words on paper, thus the groups president writes them on the board, the professor keeps track of the words and if applicable (Germanism). With this a list an introductory is created in the subject area Language Lending - Germanisms in Croatian)


Middle part of class: five groups of four

Student Homework:

  • Every group works on the word they suggested: they talk about their use in language practice (they imagine and demonstrate the situations in which the words can be applicable to)
  • The groups president reports  about the results of the discussion in each groups


Last part of class: five groups of four

Student Homework: for everyone (not group work)

  • students write an essay (method ‘hot pencil’), in which they imagine the narrator from the story ‘One Feather’ in a new situation: after which she came out from the apartment, went to the bank, asked for a meeting with the person who is responsible for her case. A lady in a business suit comes and asks her to join her in her office.
  • Students need to use existing and new germanisms in the imagined conversation


4th class

Introductory part of class: the whole class

Student Homework:

  • Reading their essay


Middle part of class: the whole class

Student Homework:

  • evaluation of students work (having in mine it was done using method ‘hot pencil’)
  • announcing the best essay
  • discussion about the imagines character and the real character from the story

Last part of class: whole class

Student Homework:

  • evaluate the class unit (all four classes) with a survey: in the survey include the question of the possibility for students to read another story by Ksenija Kušec in the same educational period



Support materials:


Evaluation and assessment method:

The evaluation of the teaching process will be visible from the survey conducted on the 4th class.  From the student’s reaction during all the four classes, the professor will evaluate the interest of the theme and author who deals with the social subject matter.


The effect of the activity on RSP reading or motivation for reading:

After reading the introduction paragraph and discussion of possible problems why the apartment was emptied, the students whose interest for the emotional aspect of the narrator. Shortly after they have a protective attitude towards her, they recognize and judge the social injustice and come up with possible solutions.



Connection to curriculum

Secondary education programs for Gymnasiums: senior year

Croatian Language:

Language – lexicology, the use of aliens, germanism

Literature - Contemporary Literature and Postmodernism

Politics and economy: right or need for order and security


Knowledge, Skills and Competences:

  1. recognize serious problems in the society in which we belong and time in which we live in: estimate the possibilities and direction of action that can be taken to solve the problem; to act, not to passively watch
  2. articulate the underlying problem, describe it, argument the situation, show emotion, as well as critically read the text
  3. communication competence: ability to work in a team, inform and act upon.


Bibliographic reference to be used during the activity

Author:   Ksenija Kušec

Country:  Croatia

Language: Croatian

Type: Short story

Publisher: Brod knjižara, Zagreb

Year of publication: 2014.

Type of release: Soft cover

ISSN 1849-0026

Number of pg.: Story ‘One feather  – 5 pg.., whole collection 171 pg.



Short description of digital sources  (applications, games, webpages, FB pages etc.)

To better understand the life of the author as well as her opinions check the following:



Students will be able to:

  • Recognize, describe and comment the social injustice as a literature theme and real life problems
  • Understand why contemporary literature texts talk about the different occurrences in social injustice
  • React to similar events in everyday life



The story One Feather, Ksenija Kušec describes her grandmother’s apartment in which there is nothing left. The bank had emptied it fully. The narrator is a girl who recalls her childhood memories and conversations she had with her grandmother while looking at the empty apartment. From all her grandmothers’ things, she was only able to find a feather on the floor. Furious and hurt with the social injustice, she decides to fight for the repossession of the property and other assets. It is easy to see that action needs to be taken, and this is where the students quickly stand by the characters side, who finds herself in a pool full of social injustice. They put themselves in her shoes and propose different solutions.

(The story can be found under the title ‘Grandma in my pocket” or “Revolution”.)


[2] Because it has to do with seniors, the Bay of work is arranged upfront so simple tasks like this are not to be explained everytime from the beginning.  Basic elements of analyzing and interpreting the story is noted: theme, character, setting, message sent, style and language

[3] It deals with simple information that describe the authors life and work.

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