Monday, February 29, 2016

Because of Winn-Dixie, Chapter 2, Lesson Plan

Because of Winn-Dixie is an exciting book and movie.  Today we are studying Chapter 2!

missionary - someone who teachers other about Christianity
The missionaries in California provided food and education to the Native Americans in the 1800's

sermon- speech that a priest will give in church
The small boy liked the sermon about Noach's Ark last Sunday

limping - how you walk when you hurt your leg or foot
After I sprained my ankle, I limped for a week.

less fortunate - people who have less money than the average
You should give charity to people who are less fortunate than you.

What is the main character's name?
Why does she have that name?
What do people call her?
Where does the family live?
What does the father do for a living?
How does the girl convince her father to keep the dog?
Which animal does her father remind her of?

Tell about a time that you helped a person less fortunate than you.
What did you do?  When was it? How do you know that the person appreciated it?

Example:  One day I was walking to school on a very hot day.  I saw a city gardener working very hard, and he was sweating eventhough it was only 7:30am.  I was hot too. so I went and bought two bottles of mineral water and walked back and gave one to the gardener. He was very happy to get the water and he was very happy, and took a drink right away.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pirates Past Noon - Chapter 5 Magic Tree House Lesson Plan

Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne, is a fast, fun book where kids can learn a bit about Pirates. When reading this book, be sure to check out these extra links to learn even more!

Background reading

Key Terms

back slowly away - to walk backwards in a slow manner
When I saw the porcupine, I backed slowly away, I didn't want the frightened animal to throw any quills at me. 

lubbers slang term for people who live on land
Hey, you land lubbers!  If you are going to be sick, throw up over the side!

thy-Old English word for "you"
Thy eyes are the color of the sky! 

doom - to die 
I thought I was doomed, the oncoming car was coming too fast, but I turned away at the last moment! 

Cap’n - abbreviation for the word Captain
Cap"n, Kidd hid his treasure on an island. 

Aye - Slang term for "yes" 
Aye Aye, Captain, I will bring you a glass of wine. 

What are the events that happened in Chapter 5?
What do the pirates want from Annie and Jack? 
What do they do with the gold medallion? 
Why can't the pirates find the treasure, even though they had a map?
How has Annie's attitude changed toward the pirates? 
Where did they take Jack and Annie? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Magic Tree House Pirates Past Noon, Chapter 4

The Magic Tree House takes us to the time of the Pirates, where some pirates were working for themselves, and others were working for a state. Barbary was one country that sponsored their pirates and one famous pirate, Sir Francis Drake was in the employ of England.

Why did the pirate have a patch over his eye? 
Why does the pirate say "vile booty?" 
Why doesn't the pirate captain like books?
What does he want instead?
How does Annie speak to the Pirates?
Why did Jack go back for the book?
What would have you done in this situation?


What is more important for you, money or friends?
Which will help you more in the future?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Magic Tree House Pirates Past Noon Chapter 3

Pirates Past Noon is a fun look at the Pirates myth.  Whether there were any pirates as these I will leave it to you to figure out!

If you happened to see this image on a flag, the best thing that you should have done, is to go the other way as fast as you can!  Most pirates only cared about plunder and cash!

Background information
Pirate pistol*

How big was a pirate ship?

Pirate rowboat*

confusion- too much is happening and you don't think straight.
In the confusion, I lost my phone.

Why does Jack almost faint when he sees the picture of the flag?
Why does Jack want to draw the flag into his notebook?
Why is Annie getting nervous?
Where do Jack and Annie start to go?
Why does Jack have to stop?
What did Jack forget to put into his pack?
What happened when he went back to get it?

Write a newspaper report about the events in this chapter
Answer these questions about the situation.  who, what, where, when and why.
Include a quote at the end.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Magic Tree House, Pirates Past Noon,. Chapter 2,

We are continuing with our book Pirates Past Noon.   Chapter 2.  Many people know more about Pirates now than in the past thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.  But in reality pirates were very cruel and didn't live long thanks to the battles that they had, either with other pirates or between different countries navies.

Famous Pirate flags 
Tall sailing ship

Map of the Caribbean 

swooped - to fly in a circular manner
The eagle swooped down to catch its prey. 

hit the sand - to reach the sand
When he hit the sand, he ran to the water and waded into the cool water. 

saltwater. - sea water
The sea is full of saltwater. 

green parrot 

salt - say l clearly 


What has happened in Chapter 1?
Why did Annie "happen" to choose this book?
Why was the Tree House in a Palm tree?
Why did Annie leave her boots on?
Why did Jack take his boots off?
Where did the parrot fly off to?
Why was Jack afraid when he saw the ship's flag?
What was the title of the book?
Where was that place?
Why was it a good place for pirates?

Research a pirate and tell about his "achievements"

You can use these websites:

Example: Biography of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was born on Feb. 11th 1847  He was mostly educated at home by his accomplished schoolteacher mother.  He read many books and at the age of 15 after saving a child from a train accident, the father taught him to run the telegraph machine,  Edison then worked as a substitute telegrapher for those who were called up to serve in the Civil War.
One of Edison's first inventions was an electronic voting recorder, but the Massachusetts legislature wasn't interested because they didn't want the votes to be counted quickly!  The next invention Edison sold netted him $40,000, a lot of money in 1869, it synchronized stock transactions.   With this money in his pocket, Edison went to work as an inventor, and the rest is history.  Edison held 1000 patents the most famous of them the incandescent light bulb, and the phonograph.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English teacher

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Magic Tree House - Pirates Past Noon Chapter 1

Magic Tree house is a very successful series of books for children who read at a lower level. The language is simple, but the concepts are interesting and the readers learns about many different places and time periods effortlessly.

Today we are reading Chapter 1

Yuck - something that you don't like
Yuck! I stepped in the sticky mud!

cozy- warm and nice
I couldn't get out of bed this morning, it was so warm and cozy.

TV - television
I watched the weather report on the TV.

rain gear - things that you use when it is raining
I forgot my rain gear this morning and I got very wet.

charged- to run fast
I charged down the hill because I was late for the bus!

rainy  say r clearly
lonely  say l's clearly

Why can't Jack and Annie go out to the Tree House?
Who does Annie want to meet at the Tree House?
Why did Jack get the medallion and the book mark?
Where did they find the Medallion?
Where did they find the bookmark?
What else did Jack take with him?
What other objects would you have taken?
Why does Annie think that the M person has been to the Tree House?
Which books does Annie pick up?
What memories do they bring back?
Which one would you like to go to?
Which is the most important book?
Which animal did Jack and Annie see?
Why did it squawk "Too late?"
What name does Annie give the animal?

Homework:  Jack and Annie have been to three different places.  Pretend that they are writing to their cousin who lives far away.  Tell about your favorite adventure that they had.   Where did they go, what did they do, They tell their cousin why they would or would not want to go back to that place.

Example: Write a letter to your Aunt telling about your last vacation, include the place you went, how long you stayed,

Dear Aunt Rose,

On our last vacation we went to New York!  It was very fun, we took the Metro to go almost everywhere.  There are so many people in New York, it is amazing!  We went to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, and then took the ferry to Coney Island to eat hot dogs on the beach.  We then went window shopping down Fifth Avenue.  We didn't buy anything because it was too expensive.  It was a fun trip and I want to go back to see the Modern Art Museum MOMA and the Rockefeller Center.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Module A from 2009 Use as Listening, or a Role Play - English lesson

I use this as either a listening, or as a role play, with questions at the end to check comprehension

Module A

Good morning listeners. This is Mary Silver in our program "Stay Healthy". Today we

will talk about a new idea that is becoming popular all over the country: Building

exercise rooms for people at their place of work. Here in the studio is Mr. Jason King,

president of the Crown Computer Company.

Good morning Mr. King. 

Good morning.

I heard that you have opened an exercise room in your company’s building. Why 

did you decide to do that?

Well, many of my workers complained that they work long hours and don’t have time to

do any kind of sports or exercise. They were worried about their health.

And what did you think?

I agreed with them. I decided to do something that will keep them happy and healthy.

Do you know about other companies that have exercise rooms?  

Yes. In fact I visited exercise rooms in a few companies. I talked to the company

managers and to the workers. They all said the exercise rooms were very successful. That

is when I decided it was also a very good idea for my company.

Did you discuss it with your workers?  

Yes, of course. They all liked the idea.  We built a big exercise room and opened it a year

ago. We have exercise machines and exercise classes with a special teacher.  People can

also take a shower and change their clothes after they exercise.

When is the exercise room open? 

It is open from 6:00 in the morning till 12:00 at night. People can come during the day or

they can come before or after work.

Can the workers come whenever they want?

Well, we tried to let people choose when they want to come. However, sometimes too

many people wanted to come at the same time. So not all of them got exactly what they


It probably cost you a lot of money to build.  

Yes, it was very expensive but I am happy I did it. My workers are very pleased. They

say they feel better and I see they also work better. I am thinking about opening another

exercise room for the workers’ families.

What a great idea! I’m sure your workers will be very happy. 

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope more companies will learn from 

your experience.  That is all for today.  Goodbye!

What was the worker's problem?
How did the business owner feel about that?
How long ago did the exercise room open?
What are the opening hours?
What was the cost of the exercise room?
What facilities are there?
What is his next project?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice - English teacher 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Buy a Czech Castle for 12,000 E - English Conversation lesson

Would you want to live in a Castle? Just finished studying Magic TreeHouse 
Got the Castle bug?  Well let's go to this site and find out more!

history buff
the roof sags
ripped-up parquet floors

How did Natalia Makovik get into Real Estate?
How long does it take to sell one castle?
How much is the purchase price?
How much would the renovations cost? 
Why would you want to buy a castle? 
Would you want to live in the castle? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IELTS short answer Interview questions

If you need practice for the IELTS Interview section use these questions and practice with a friend:

Ielts short answer Interview Questions

Hi I'm __________________  What work do you do?

What do you like about your job?

What hours do you work?

Who was the most interesting customer you have served?

How many people do you sell to a day?

Where do you see yourself in a year's time?

Where do you like to go out in the evening?

Who is the person you most admire?

What do you like to do in your free time?

Do you prefer to spend your free time alone or with other people?

Are you good at managing your time?

How do you manage your time?

When is it most important for you to manage your time?

What kind of books do you like to read?

Do you read the same kind of books now that you read when you were a child?

Can you swim?

Are there many places to swim near you?

Do you think everyone should learn to swim?

For your Listening Pleasure: go here: Original Music by Rachael Alice Orbach
Rachael Alice Orbach - English Teacher

Because of Winn-Dixie Chapter 1

This is a favorite book of mine, but I didn't like the movie that much.   It tells of life in a small town, where the supermarket is called Winn-Dixie.   The first class takes place on Adar 1, (February 10th) at 16:30-17:00,  We will read the First Chapter, talk about vocabulary words and answer the questions.  Open to 10 students only.  E-mail as soon as possible to reserve your space!

Key Terms
skidded - to come to a stop
The pound a place where stray animals are taken


What did India Opal Buloni need to buy at the market?
What did she come back with?
What did the dog do?
Why did the dog want to thank the Manager?
Why did the store manager want to cry?
Why did she choose the name Winn-Dixie?
What condition was the dog in?
How did Winn-Dixie show that he wanted a new home?

Predict what her father (the preacher) is going to say about the dog,


Tell about a time where you did something different than what you planned.
What did you do? Where was it? What was the reactions of your family and friends? Use more space to write if you need to!




I had told my friends that I was going to go to music camp, Tanglewood Music Camp in Northern California,  and play clarinet. They were all very jealous of me, because at the end of the summer I would be so much better, I would get the 1st chair in the Emerson Band!  But instead, I had to go to summer school and work on math.  It was a great disappointment to me and still it didn't help my math grades.  My family was relieved that I stayed home because Tanglewood Camp was very expensive.  And my friends were relieved too, but I did spend a lot of time practicing clarinet, I didn't progress as much as I would have at camp, but enough.  

If you want your work to be corrected, schedule a private 15 minute session with Rachael,  15NIS

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach
To participate in the Group lesson on WowApp First sign up for Wow, then send an email to to sign up for the class. Hope to see you there! - More questions and key terms may be added at anytime!

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...