Wednesday, December 30, 2015

World's oldest playable Bone Flute found in China- English lesson

 The world's most ancient playable flutes have been found in Henan China.  They been dated to between 7000 to 9000 years old, and they can still make music.  Six complete wing bone flutes carved from cranes have been found and parts of 30 others were also found.

You can hear a sample of one of the flutes here:

There are flutes with different number of holes, the one with 7 holes plays a scale that is similar to the Modern Scale of C or Do.

These flutes give an insight of the sound of music 9000 years ago.

This archaeological site was discovered in 1962, but has only recently been excavated. Researchers have found the flutes plus many other artifacts that tell us about life in ancient China.  Jiahu lies in the Central Yellow River Valley in mid-Henan Province and was inhabited from 7000 BC to 5700 BC. The site was discovered by Zhu Zhi, late director of the Wuyang County Museum, in 1962.

Only 5% of the site has been worked on with more digs scheduled for the future.

For more information go here:

wing bone
Modern scale
archaeological  site

playable say l
ancient An chent
flute say l clearly
artifacts R ti facts
scheduled ske juled
archaeologica R ke o log gi kal
Modern - hear the r
excavate  - X i vate
site - long i


Where were the flutes found?
How old were the flutes?
What is unusual about that?
What are the flutes made from?
Listen to the sound sample.  What does the sound remind you of?
When was the site discovered?
Why do you think they found the flutes only now?
What information can we find out about Ancient China from this site?
Have you ever been to an archaeological site?
What did you see there?
Which musical instrument do you play?
How long have you played it?
How long did it take you to learn to play your instrument?
Have you ever tried to play a simple flute? If not, would you want to?
Was it difficult for you?

Summary and Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Persuasive Language Lesson Plan

Using persuasive language can be a difficult skill for ESL students.  They have need to learn both the vocabulary and how to use it.

Here is a worksheet that can help students to figure out which words are more persuasive than others. 

Assignment:  Write a persuasive e-mail to your brother asking him to do something that you know that he doesn't want to do

Sample e-mail:

Dear Sweet  Brother,

I so want to you come with me!  It will be an educational opportunity for you, a chance for you to get out of the office and enjoy life for a change!  Please, think of this as my gift to you for the past 5 years that I forgot to give you birthday presents!  Tell the newspaper that you are going on a fact finding mission with me and that we will write a wonderful travel article for the paper!  We are going to have a wild time!  Just do it for me, pretty please?

With love,


Now it is your turn!












Friday, December 25, 2015

How to use the Bagrut Module C as a conversation lesson

The Bagrut is the most important test in the Israeli School system.  The kids have to take tests in order to graduate from High School, and to enter into University.  This can be very stressful for kids in 11th and 12th grades who live in Israel.

I have found that if students study past tests, they are better equipped to pass the English test.  English is not a type of skill that you can do an overnighter, and expect to pass the test the next day.  You have to practice the skills, reading, comprehension, writing, and spelling over a long period of time if you want to pass the test.

This is the Module C exam from 2015, which was quite interesting in fact.

Do reading and answer the questions, Time yourself to be able to complete the exam in an hour and a quarter.  Good Luck!

If you want to use this text as a conversation lesson, then prepare these questions, and have a conversation with your English teacher.  (me?)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Debate Lesson Plan

This is a class debate lesson plan. You can change it to fit your country. For example compare New York and Los Angeles instead of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

It cab be used for Junior High and High School.
Have fun with your debate!

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, English Teacher

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Old Wreck is found - News in Levels, Level 1

Even when you have students that are at a low level, you can still discuss the news with them, This is a site that has human interest stories in three levels.  Today I taught two cute boys via Skype, this story at a Level 1.

  Spanish = something from the country Spain
 sink = you wash your hands in the sink this is a noun
  sinks used as a verb The ship goes down into the water
  1700  Seventeen hundred
 1708 - Seventeen oh eight
 wreck - the remains
 bronze - copper and tin together  very heavy and sturdy


 Where did the ship sink?
 What was on the ship?
 What was the cannon used for?
  How many people died?
  What year did the ship go down?
 Why do find the ship now?
  Did they find it?
  What does the word want mean here?

Then, after asking all the questions, I asked the students to summarize in their own words the article.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How well does your country speak English?

How well does your country speak English?  Well it is a combination of factors.  One is if the native language of your country is similar to English or not.  Another factor could be how "open" your country is to speaking other languages.  France, for example is very proud of French and therefore most people don't like to speak other languages.  Belgium, on the other hand has three official languages, French, French and German, and since Brussels is the capital of Europe, English is also spoken.  How does your country tally up?  If you want at the bottom of the page, you can take one of their tests.  


 gender gap
cultural aversion
communicative approach,
 tourism industries

How important is English in your country?
How is English taught in your country? 
How can English teaching methods be changed in your country?
Which English skill is hardest for you to learn? 
Which English skill is the easiest? 
Which English skill do you use the most in your daily life? 
How do you learn best? 
What is your level in English? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bejing Smog - RED ALERT!

Today Bejing issued a "Red Alert" because of heavy smog in the city.  Well, as coming from Los Angeles, we have had many of these in the past.  But usually it was during the summer so it was so hot that you didn't want to do anything anyway!

What is the condition in Bejing?Visitors use mobile phones to take pictures and videos as they watch a flag raising ceremony at the Tiananmen Square amid heavy smog in Beijing, China.

construction work
to criticize 
climate change


What is the main cause of pollution in Bejing? 
What is the government doing to lessen pollution? 
Is it effective?  What do you suggest? 
Is pollution a problem in your city?
What can you do personally to lessen air pollution? 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Finish the Story worksheet - English writing practice

This worksheet is so much fun!  It is perfect for this time of year, now that in some places it is beginning to get cold and snowy.  Well, here in Israel we never know if it will snow, last year we had three snowstorms, in December and in January, so now that it is at the beginning of December, you never know.  So this can help you plan for those snow days.

In this worksheet, students are given the first paragraph of the story, and they have to finish it.

A lot of fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to start your writing

Oftentimes when faced with a blank piece of paper, or more accurately a new file blank word document, people go blank.  It's scary.  I have lots of ideas, but how to start?  Aren't there any prompts that can be used?

Well yes, there are.

These examples can be used when starting any kind of writing, a short story, diary entry, a blog post, a novel, and a newspaper article.  

Use this worksheet to come up with some example starting sentences. 

Now that you have done this worksheet, 

Write your own: 

1. ______________________________________





\Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense - Book Review

This is a book that everyone should have in their library.  It is a "how to" book that will help you in all sorts of ways.  Teach your children to analyze their speech, how to defend themselves against bullies and all sorts of verbal acrobatics.  I have the first one, and this book is another one in the series.  If you work in an office you NEED to have these strategies!

 I got my copy direct from the author, but you can get yours from Amazon.

Rachael Alice Orbach
English Teacher

Sunday, November 29, 2015

How to use similie and metaphor in your writing

Similes and Metaphors really spice up your writing.  These are ways that you can compare one thing to another in a very graphic and imaginative way.  Yes there are some similes that are idioms now, "She is as quiet as a mouse." Or He runs as fast as a horse."  But with some practice, you can make up your own and make your writing very interesting!

A real mouse is maybe not so quiet? 

Here is a worksheet that I have used in class.

After you have done this worksheet, write your own similes and metaphors here: 

1. _________________________________________





Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice  - English Teacher 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thomas Alva Edison

Treasures Grade 4 Bright ideas  Today we will learn about Thomas Alva Edison!  page 221-223

(come in) handy

convinced - con vin sed
whirlwind - short i \
curious c  is a k sound
read in the past tense is pronounced "red"
Inventor hear the t
lighting lite ting
appliances  long I

What do you know about  electricity?
Who first discovered electricity?
Do people teach their children at home?
Could we use Edison's vote counter today? Why or why not?
What was Edison's greatest problem?
What was the problem with lighting with gas?
What would you like to ask the author of this article?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Coffee can help you live longer! English conversation lesson

Coffee, you love it or you hate it! I personally have not found a cup of coffee that I really like, but maybe because of this information I might change my mind!

life-threatening illnesses
moderate consumption

  growing hear the r
  diabetes - di a be tes
caffeinated caf fi na ted
sweeteners sweet ter ners

Do you drink much coffee?
How many cups of coffee do you drink?
Did reading this article change your mind about coffee?
How many cups will you drink from now on?
What questions would you like to ask the researchers?
Do you think that the study was rigorous enough?
Which drinks do you drink for health reasons?
Which ones do you drink for the taste?

 Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach  English Teacher

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hanukah is coming! Get your gifts at Hanni's Gifts!

I have Hannuka towels, really cool sevivon and an apron I designed on the computer and went to someone to put it on the apron. For each sale 5% is donated to the children of Sderot. The Hannuka towels are nice dish towels and the picture can be found at the bottom of the towel. They are very nice. the sevivon are lazer and go around in a circle and light up and sing in Hebrew. Last is my apron and my helper Yisraela is on the apron and is modeling it. . You me here or on facebook under Hanni Harel or at my e-mail address. It is: Thank you.

Hanni is also at the Israel Center every Monday from 8:30 - 11:30! Go there and say that Rachael Alice sent you!

Washer, Dryer and stove for Sale in Nachlaot

A wonderful lady is moving soon, and her new apartment doesn't have room for her washer and dryer. They both work, and don't need any servicing.

 This is the stove, it works too!

Call Hana in the afternoons only at: 02-652-0652 or 055-999-3436
Make her an offer!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mealworms can eat plastic! English conversation lesson

This is an exciting development!  Mealworms, used to feed lizards can eat plastic.  I came across first on   TSU and then I did more research

Disgusting looking things, aren't they?

global pollution

Why is this a surprising discovery? 
How can this be used in the home? 
Can it be used in a industrial setting? 
What would happen if some of these bugs escape the laboratory?
How do you recycle?  What items do you recycle? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach- English Teacher

Treasures 4 Unit 1 Welcome to Mexico

Treasures grade 4 Unit 1 Welcome to Mexico pages 176-179 Lesson Plan.
For more activities go here:
overheard strikes opportunities citizen border boycotts unions immigration tamale.

world hear the l

What information do we find out about in this letter?
Who is he writing to?
What is the author's purpose?
Why does the author of the letter in two languages?
What would you like to do in Mexico?
Would you want to eat a Tamale?
What is the problem with the Farmers?
Why will boycotting produce from other countries help?
Find phrases that show us that Paul is enjoying living in Mexico.

This link can be useful if you are homeschooling your child: Homeschooling your Child

Monday, November 9, 2015

Timelinks Unit 2 Lesson 3

Social Studies can be fun!  Today we are learning about the Earth!

In this lesson we will study from page 14-18


What do we see in the picture on page 14?  What part of the Earth do we see?
What is the Earth made of?
What is the difference between a lake and a river?

Homework: Describe a lake near your home. 

For more activities go here:

I have an exciting book for you today, How to choose the best toys for your kids!
 Choose the best toys for your KIDS!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Walk in the Desert- Treasures Gr. 4 Unit 1

After studying the Cold of Alaska, we are now going to find out about the hot desert climate..  For one thing there are many more kinds of animals that live in the desert, but it is also a harsh environment.

We will start on page 49 -65
A Walk in the Desert


  fl ickering flik er ring
 biomes BI omes  long I
regularly re gu la ri
Gila  I is a ee sound
enormous e nor mus
  nocturnal nok tur nal
  chuckwallas chuck wa la
  streaks  ea - ee sound
  roadrunner road run ner

What happens in the morning in the desert?
What happens at noon in the desert?
What happens at night?
Why does a roadrunner prefer to run and not to fly?
Which would you like to visit?  The Desert or the Tundra?

Rachael-Alice-Orbach's books on Amazon

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Women Pick up the Ball - Treasures Grade 4

Women took up the slack during World War II in many different fields, one of them was Professional Baseball!

We are reading the story within a story on page 150-151

Succeed muttered 
fluke gaped 
flinched snickering 
a big draw

fl uke. long u 
lessened les send
Cooperstown town ow

How does Lucy feel at the beginning of the story?
Where is she exactly?
What is interesting about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League?
What are the girls doing with the thing on their heads?
Why did the Girls Baseball league fall apart?
How does she feel at the end?
What will happen after this story?

What type of sports do you like to play?
What sports do you play in the summer? In the winter?
Are women's sports important in your country?
Which women's Olympic sports do you like?

Inspirational Kids stories Inspirational Kids Stories.
Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Vasco de Gama - Explorer

Vasco de Gama opened the Asian markets to European trade.

extensively traded a lot
in a really big way 
wore out his welcome 

 Portugal Porr tu gal
1400’s fourteen hunderds
spices - long i 

Why did King Manual finance de Gama's voyage?
Why did Portugal want a sea route and not overland?
Why did he want to get spices? 
How many ships did de Gama take the first time he went to India?
What did he accomplish on his first journey?
How did the people in India feel about him?
What did he do about the situation? 
What happened in 1502?
Why did he take so many ships?
What is Vasco de Gama's legacy ?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Essential Links Lesson Unit 2 page 47

This is a book for people who like real life adventures and disasters,  Today we are going to study page 47

Guest house 
tsunami - tidal wave 

Where did this story take place? 
Where is Talia from? 
What happened when the tidal wave hit the village?
 What is Talia doing now? 
Where did she go to raise money? 
What are the similarities and difference between the incident with the tidal wave and with the volcano? 
What happens when a volcano explodes? 
What happens when a tsunami hits the beach? 
Which one causes more damage?
Do natural disasters like this happen in your country? 

Homework Write a news report of natural disaster: earthquake, tsunami, volcano that hit a neighboring town. What happened, how long did it take, how much damage. 
Write as if you are a reporter.  Write 50 words 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Treasures Grade 4 Unit 1 The case of the Missing Sandwich!

Treasures Grade 4 is a very interesting book for the 4th grade, Every two stories have the same theme

assignment work to do in class
culprit - the guilty one
consideration - after some thinking
accuse to blame
suspicious - very strange
evidence- proof
 consume- eat
succession- very fast one after another
culprit - the guilty one

vegetarians ve ge tar ri ans
consideration, con si der at shun
allergies al er gi
bumped bumpt
earlier earl I er
exactly x lac li
salami sa la mi
apologetically. a pol I ge ti cli
 alibi  al I by
 cafeteria kaf fi ti re a
 Whole -hole
growling hear the l
 certain ser tan
 determined de ter mined
  made hear the m

hated past tense of hate

How did Ramon keep track of the clues?
Who does he cross off his list?
How did he feel when he found the smiley face?
Why did the Assistant Principal come into the room?
Why did he mention the cat?
What was the biggest clue?
What was a supporting clue?
Why was Ramon happy?
Could this story happy in real life?
What happens next after the story?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Book Review

Yes, I know that books about English grammar just don't seem like light hearted reading  For the most part, when I teach in a class face to face, when I start to write sentence diagrams, the students, one by one fall asleep. . . and then the bell rings, or someone coughs, and they wake up to do the exercises or run out the door.

I'm here to tell you that this is one book about English grammar that will keep you laughing!  Where you put a comma, can change the whole sentence! 

Yes, it's true. 

How would you say the following sentences? 

A girl, without her cat, is nothing. 

A girl; without her, cat is nothing. 

Ok, well it works better with men and women, but you have to read the book for other examples!  

Have fun with punctuation! 

Here is an at home course that you can use to improve your English
Learn English at Home without a Teacher!

Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher

Friday, October 30, 2015

FCE Picture comparisons

  1.   Which seller would you rather buy from and why?  


 2. Which exercise would you rather do, stationery bicycle or going to the beach and why? 

 3.  Which activity is better for children, playing indoors or going to an outside museum? 

4. Which activity would you do when you go on vacation?  Why?  Which do you like better? 


5.  For Halloween, which costume would you want? This one:
 Or this one?  Why?

6. Why would people want to go to a Parade? 
 Why would these girls want to sing in public?

Good Luck preparing for this Exam!

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hit the Lights - Selena Gomez - video and guitar tabs

 Selena Gomez started out as an 11 year old actress on a cute TV series called "The Wizards of Waverly Place."  It ran for a number of years, and Selena, as the bad girl character "Alex" matured into the singer we see now.  She has an amazing voice and works well with different pop songs. 

As and English and Guitar teacher, I might also teach this song in different ways.

Hit the lights- go out at night 
freeked out - to get upset 
wanna - slang for want to 
totally screwed up - made a big problem 
rafters - the roof 
Vegas - The city of Las Vegas
gotta - have to 

[Selena Gomez - Verse 1]
It's the boy you never told I like you
It's the girl you let get away
It's the one you saw that day on the train
But you freeked out and walked away
It's the plane you wanna catch to Vegas
Things you swear you'll do before you die
It's the city of love that waits for you
But you're too damn scared to fly

        D               A          
Hit the lights, let the music move you
Bm              G            D
Lose yourself tonight, come alive
        A                Bm             G
Let the moment take you, lose control tonight
        D               A
Hit the lights, let the music move you
Bm              G            D
Lose yourself tonight, come alive
        A                Bm             G
Let the moment take you, lose control tonight

[Selena Gomez - Verse 2](same chords)
It's the time that you totally screwed up
Still you're trying get it out your brain
It's the fight you had when you didn't make up
It's the past that you're dying to change
It's all the money the you're saving
While the good life passes by
It's all the dreams that never came true
'cause you're too damn scared to try

Hit the lights, let the music move you
Lose yourself tonight, come alive
Let the moment take you, lose control tonight
Hit the lights, let the music move you
Lose yourself tonight, come alive
Let the moment take you, lose control tonight

       D                    A
It's a mad mad world, gotta make an escape
       Bm                      G
It's a perfect world, when you go all the way
        D               A
Hit the lights, let the music move you
Bm              G
Lose yourself tonight
So let's go go go go
A                       Bm
All the way, yeah let's go go go
G                       D
Night and day, from the floor to the rafters
People raise your glasses
Bm                G
We could dance forever

Hit the lights, let the music move you
Lose yourself tonight, come alive
Let the moment take you, lose control tonight
Hit the lights, let the music move you
Lose yourself tonight, come aliveLet the moment take you, lose control tonight


 The first stanza talks about situations between boys and girls that never met, 
Which one do you identify with?

The chorus is where Selena gives us advice about how to solve these problems
Where does Gomez tell us to go? What does she want us to do? 
Looking at the video which scene would you like to be in? 
What activity would you like to do? 
What does "Lose yourself" mean to you? 
 Why does she want to lose control? 

The second stanza has negative allusions, why is that? 
Which one do you see your self? 

The Bridge  has two metaphors, a mad world and a perfect world.  
How does she change the mad world into the perfect world? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher

The Dort Automobile Company in Michigan

I came across this website while just browsing the web and I thought it added a facet of history to the Car industry.   https://til...