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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Secret Garden Chapter 1

The Secret Garden was a classic almost when it was published. This book is not only for children, adults can find many delightful allusions, and issues to think about.  Social change can come from literature.  The same can be true with the works of Charles Dickens as well as Frances Hodgson Burnett.  She went through hardships in her life, and decided to provide for her family through her writing for magazines.  Fiction was very popular in the late 19th, and early 20th centuries and she was a woman writer when is was not popular for women to work or write.

Here is the link on Amazon to download the book for free.

Here is a pdf from Gutenberg 

Read Chapter 1 and prepare these questions to speak about with your English teacher.

Before you read the first chapter, what does the title of the novel mean to you.
What does Mary's name signify to you?
What was her parent's attitude toward Mary?
What other boo…

Harry Plotter and the Chamber of Serpents

This is a delightful quick read for all you frustrated Harry Potter fans.  I can't believe that after only 7 books she quit the series!  L.Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books!  There must be more to tell about Hogwarts! And there is!  I found this parody, and it fits right in and is fun!

Is this a good parody?  What makes a parody?
Who is your favorite character?
How did the author portray  Harry, Ron and Hermonie?
After reading this book, how do you feel about Slitherin?
How do you feel about the main character?  His best friend Miles?
Do you think that they should be in this house?
What house would you put them in?
Explain how the author fits his story into the 7 of J.K,Rowling.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher

Newborn Pandas face 4 dangers. English Conversation lesson

I remember the time in 1973 when I spent the summer in Harrisburg Pennsylvania with my Uncle and Aunt. They had an acre and a half of land, using it for growing corn, apples, pears, and vegetables.  When I wasn't up a tree reading a book,( you know the real kind with paper?), we were traveling.  This was the year that the Pandas came to the Washington Zoo.  Nixon had just "opened" China and these animals were the darling of the town.  It was worth it to make a trip to the Capital just for that! Now, we know more about the Pandas, This is a very interesting article about newborn pandas, they are just so cute!

Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher

Key terms
the natural instinct
Easier said than done
a challenging night
excrete waste
a bleaker picture
 panda cams


William Shakespeare Sonnet 1 English Literature lesson

While Shakespeare's plays are very popular,  sometimes it is better to begin studying with the sonnets. They are short, only 14 lines, they rhyme and have only a few ideas.   We are starting with Sonnet number 1.

Key Terms
beauty's rose - symbol of youth's perfection contracted to thine own bright eyes - vain person wants to see only their own reflection self -substantial - consuming itself buriest thy content - killing your offspring churl - miser  niggarding - not giving charity To eat the world's due, by the grave and by thee - to you and the grave will be the end 
Questions What are the themes in this sonnet? What does the rose symbolize?  In modern times?  In Elizabethan times?  Who is Shakespeare writing this sonnet to?  Is this person happy to get this sonnet?  What is the feeling of this poem?  What is Shakespeare's criticism?   Is the person beautiful?  What trait does he criticize?  How old do you think the pe…

Giving Directions in English for French speakers

Giving directions in English can be difficult for speakers of other languages,  here is a list of common directions that you might find when driving a car.  The chart is for French Speakers.

côté de la banque next to the bankcontinuez toujourscontinue on continuez tout droit keep going straight de l'autre côtéon the other side en face de la banqueacross from the bankfaites demi-tourmake a U-turn le croisement intersection le feu set of lightsset of lights suivez la routefollow the road tournez à droite make a right tournez à gaucheturn left

Write 10 sentences in English giving directions to a driver. 
Please tell me where to find City Hall?   First you go straight, and at the 1st traffic light make a left. 
Now it is your turn:  Make your sentence any length you want.  

Raiders of the Lost Ark , Movie English Lesson

This is a movie that almost every kid has seen, either in the theater or at home on their computer.  It is a classic with Harrison Ford at his best. Lots of action, chase scenes, fighting, and spirituality.  A really great movie. But you want to know more about it?  Read this link!
Vocabulary action-adventure film  franchise  invincible originated serials  top-grossing film  nominated  excitement ingenious action hero 
Questions When was Raiders of the Lost Ark released?  Who was the director? Who was the producer? Why were these four films made?  Which Academy Awards did it win?  What did the critics say about the movie?  Did you see this movie?  What was your favorite scene?  Who is your favorite character?  What is ironic about the end of the movie? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach- Professional English teacher

The History of Amazon English conversation

Ever wondered who started Amazon? Well, not until I read this short article did I really know the history of this business even though I actually have written and have for sale books on Amazon!

 Read and prepare this link. There are many exercises on here, do as many as you can to see what you understand!

popular ranges of goods
a huge share
teamed up
minimal packaging
an innovative leader

Who started  
When did he start Amazon?
Why is Amazon so successful?
When did Amazon start selling other products than books? 
Do you buy products on-line? 
Have you ever bought from Amazon? 
If so, were you satisfied with your purchase? 
Do you think that Amazon would take back a product if you didn't like it? 
What can be improved about the Amazon website? 

Here is your English teacher's mini-site on Amazon!

How to Stay Cool without Air Conditioning!

This past week we felt like we lived at the equator!  Some days were up to 37 or 40 degrees!  Most people just sit at home and turn on the air conditioner, and I even saw a neighbor get one installed last week!

Read this article to get more ideas about how to keep cool during the summer!  There are 3 pages, so be prepared!

scorching summer weather
wide-eyed disbelief.
 refrigerant-based air conditioning 
beat the heat
voracious energy appetite
releases fossil carbon 
fluorocarbon refrigerants
wean ourselves off 
urban heat island
internal dial
adaptive model of comfort
Superfluous reliance
shedding the heat
lingering effects
swamp cooler
deciduous trees
deflecting sunlight
 properly hydrate
a good foot soak 

Which one of these options have you used in the past? 
Which one will you want to implement? 
What temperature do you feel most comfortable? 
What is…

Napoleon Bonaparte - The Battle of Waterloo

This is a very interesting site that has the news in English in three levels. 
How to use this site. Note to teachers:  1st read the first level news. Make sure that the student knows all the words.  Then move up to the 2nd level. check understanding, then move up to level 3. Levels 1 and 2 have an audio component and level 3 has a video.  This site has funny news as well as more serious subjects for your English students.  

Now the student has knowledge of the subject, and can discuss with the teacher the differences between the levels, and can talk about the subject in more detail. 

Napoleon Bonaparte was a very important person in European History. Read the three levels and listen to the audios to learn more about him.





came to power 



What clothing did Napoleaon Bonaparte like to wear?

What was the name of the battle that he lost?

How many days was he in…

Minion attacks in a Museum - Easy English Level Conversation

This is a very interesting site that has the news in English in three levels. 
How to use this site. Note to teachers:  1st read the first level news. Make sure that the student knows all the words.  Then move up to the 2nd level. check understanding, then move up to level 3. Levels 1 and 2 have an audio component and level 3 has a video.  This site has funny news as well as more serious subjects for your English students.  

Now the student has knowledge of the subject, and can discuss with the teacher the differences between the levels, and can talk about the subject in more detail. 

Minions are from a movie and kids are more likely to have prior knowledge about them, in addition to what they will learn from this website.  Here is the Level 1 news link:






What is a minion? 

What movie is a minion from? 

Have you seen the movie? 

What did you like about the movie? 

What happened in Dublin?…

Jurassic World Movie Breaks Box Office Records - English Conversaton

I remember when the Jurassic movie trio came out in the 1990's.  We rented all three and on a rainy and cold weekend, we watched them all.  By the end, the kids were under the table from fright to save themselves from the Raptors!  Well the fun is out for round 4! And it is a Hit! 

Prepare this text and answer the questions with your English teacher

broke box office records
an opening weekend
No one saw this coming

How much money did Jurassic World make when it came out? 
Why didn't anyone see this coming? 
What is the movie about? 
How many countries did the movie play in? 
Why did it break the record? 
Do you like dinosaur movies?  How often do you watch movies?  Where do you watch movies?  Which is better to watch a movie at home on the computer or in a theater? 
Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

History of Badminton English lesson

I never knew that Badminton had such a colorful past!  I used to like playing the game when I was a child, because of the "birdie"  It is so cute!

Read this article and prepare to discuss it with your English teacher

 upper class pastime

What was the original name name of the game?
Why was it changed to the modern name?
Who first played the game in England?
When was the IBF formed?
How many countries were members?
How long did it take until there was a tournament event?
How many disciplines are there in Badminton?
When was the first Badminton game played at the Olympics?
How long did it take for the game to be accepted as an offical Olympic event?
Why is Badminton  an unusual  event in the Olympics?
Which discipline do you like to play in Badminton?
How long does a game last?
Where is your Badminton club located?
How often do you play?
Which is more difficult, Tennis or Badminton?

Lesson Plan by Rachael…

The Enlightenment and how it is still affecting our world. History English lesson

The Enlightenment was a period in time that was the explosion of new ideas and ways of living.  It started in 1650 and ended approximately 1800.  But the effects of this movement are still being felt in today's world.  

Read this article and prepare to speak about it with your English teacher   I suggest that you look up all the famous people mentioned in this article, if you want, you can read about them in your native language. Be able to speak about them in English.

Key Terms 
a breaking point
a snowball effect
scorn and skepticism
solidifying concepts
the best intentions

What was the initial cause of the Enlightenment ?
Who were the main early proponents? 
Which discoveries caused people to think differently? 
Why was  Galileo Galileitreated so badly by the church?
What was so important about Renee Decartes…

Who invented the Smiley Face?

I don't know about you, but I even had a pink smiley button.  This was when I was a kid.  In the 1970's we saw this everywhere.  The Peace sign was blaze, and there it was on T-shirts, buttons, and you name it.   Forget your troubles, and Be Happy!  I never thought about who actually designed it until the Forest Gump movie came out.  But now we have the real story about the Smiley! 
Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher
Vocabulary  hapless enduring cultural icon  craze misremembering casting about cranking out   assuage low employee morale in lots of 10,000 to register the mark global licensing agreements    emoticons     unmistakable dimples

Questions  Where did you first recognize that the Smiley was a fad?  Did you believe it was Forest Gump? Did you know that Forest Gump is actually a fictional Character in a 1986 novel by Winston Groom?  What does the Smiley mean to you?  What ki…

Police Officer helps 38 weeks Pregnant woman

Usually in the news nowadays we have been hearing about police abusing their position.  White police officers beating up black suspects or even worse.  Well, this is not a story about that but instead about how police officers helped a black woman on the way to the hospital to give birth.  A welcome change in the news!

Read this article and prepare the questions to discuss with your English teacher

Key Terms
going viral
really bad contractioncitation
to affix
no race

What do you think about police officers?
Are police officers generally helpful in your city? 
What do you feel when you see a police car behind you? 
Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket?  What happened? 
Is there anything unsual in how the officers in this story reacted? 
How can we make the police to act more compassionate? 
Is this an isolated incident? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Tea…

6 ways Journalists can use press releases

When you are starting out as a journalist, you have to learn how to write effectively. This is a different type of writing than what is taught in school, Is  |"Truth in the news" still the norm, or not?

Read this post and discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms
 minimal editing
 traditional reporting skills
fact-check the information
 raise questions
my beat

Do you believe in the news from social media? 
What makes a press release important? 
What things do you look for in a press release? 
How do you know they they are telling the truth? 
How often do you follow the news? 
Do you write for a blog, or other newspaper? 
Do you think that letters to the Editor are effective? 
What type of news do you like? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teach…

Open Plan Offices or Closed Plan Offices; That is the Question!

When you are setting up your corporate space, you need to decide whether to have your employees sit out in the open, or in cubicals, or offices. This article gives guidelines to business leaders how to plan their space.

Key Terms
 opt for 
energy-sapping distractions
electrifying ideas
gregarious extroverts
struck a chord
 rankling bullpen offices
decompression or focused work
prying eyes and ears
 team-based brainstorming
negative implications
hidden financial cost

What type of office do you work in? 
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 
Which time of day do you do your best work? 
What type of office would you want to work in? 
Which one of these rooms mentioned in the article is your favorite? 
Which one would you go to most? 
Where would you hold a meeting? 
Where would you go to take a break? 
Would your company chang…

Mapi Pharma patent approved! Medical English Lesson

Israeli Startups are in the news again, this time in the medical field.  New drugs are being developed that will help patients have a better quality of life despite their illnesses.  One of the new drugs will help MS (Multiple sclerosis) patients. 

Read this article and prepare to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms
"eye level"
slow-release form
Informed by 
innovative drugs
 therapeutic agent 
novel form.
improves compliance 
lucrative market
foreseeable future

How can these new drugs help patients?
Which is better once a week injection or once a month?
How long does it take to bring a new medication to the drug stores?
How many people does MAPI employ? 
What is so special about the CEO?
How did he decide to work on these particular drugs? 
How is this different from the usual way that products are developed?

Medical English Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice …