Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Farewell to Shady Glade” by Bill Peet Project for Class

“Farewell to Shady Glade” by Bill Peet

I would teach this book as part of a unit about the environment. This could be for a 6th or 7th grade class.

The book is about a group of animals that live in a nice place in the country, “Shady Glade,” which is in the process of being plowed under to make more room for the city.

First the birds leave, then the animals decide to check out the machines. They find the tractors without their drivers, and try to understand what to do. The old raccoon decides to lead the animals away to try to find another place to live. They board the train that goes toward another city, and on the way they see the beautiful countryside. On the way to the city, they see the waste of the city, and the “river” which has turned into the sewage waste way.

After an hour the animals are on the way again, back out into the countryside. This time a rock slide helps them disembark. They have found an almost exact copy of “Shady Glade!” The trees tremble, but this time it is only thunder and not the tractors.

Lesson: I would first ask the students if they have ever been in a nature reserve. What are the laws protecting nature reserves.

Then I would read the book, either giving each student a copy, or make a power point presentation with it.


I would put the students in groups, giving each group a different animal to study to find out what they eat, what type of environment they live in,

Animals: crocodile hoopie bird lions nachlieli bird wild goat baboon monkey

The children could use the Internet, books and other materials. The final project would be a poster about their animal and present it to the class. The project would take 2 weeks to complete.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Analysis of the Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address - Analysis of the Gettysburg Address by Rachael Alice Orbach

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted speeches in United States history.[1][2][3] It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 191863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

[edit] Background

Union dead at Gettysburg, photographed by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, July 5–6, 1863
Union dead at Gettysburg, photographed by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, July 5–6, 1863
From July 1–3, 1863, more than 160,000 American soldiers clashed in the Battle of Gettysburg, in what would prove to be both a turning point of the Civil War and one of its bloodiest battles.[
Edward Everett delivered a two-hour Oration before Lincoln's few minutes of Dedicatory Remarks.

"Lincoln’s rhetoric is, instead, deliberately Biblical. (It is difficult to find a single obviously classical reference in all of his speeches.) Lincoln had mastered the sound of the King James Bible so completely that he could recast abstract issues of constitutional law in Biblical terms, making the proposition that Texas and New Hampshire should be forever bound by a single post office sound like something right out of Genesis."[27]
According to historian Shelby Foote, after Lincoln's presentation, the applause was delayed, scattered, and "barely polite."[63] In contrast, Pennsylvania GovernorCurtin  maintained, "He pronounced that speech in a voice that all the multitude heard. The crowd was hushed into silence because the President stood before them...It was so Impressive! It was the common remark of everybody. Such a speech, as they said it was!"[21]

In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."[64] Lincoln was glad to know the speech was not a "total failure".[64]
In the many generations that have passed since the Address, it has remained among the most famous speeches in American history.[77] Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is itself referenced in another of those famed orations, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.[78] Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, King began with a reference to President Lincoln and his enduring words: "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice."
The Constitution of France (under the present Fifth Republic) states that the principle of the Republic of France is "gouvernement du peuple, par le peuple et pour le peuple" ("government of the people, by the people, and for the people,") a literal translation of Lincoln's words.[79]
This fame is somewhat ironic, for Lincoln clearly states that he expects that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TOEFL Short speaking questions

Here are some Short speaking questions that you can use to prepare for the TOEFL speaking test.

15 seconds to prepare, 45 seconds to speak about the topic. 

Tell about a time that you were very proud of a sports team. What team was it, what did they do?

Should parents make their children learn a musical instrument?

Tell about a time that you had a disagreement with your best friend.  What was it about? How did you solve the problem?

How important is recycling to you?  Tell about why or why not you recycle. 

Tell about a holiday that you enjoy in your culture. What is it? What time of year does it happen?

It has been said the GMO (GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS) foods are not healthy.  What is your opinion?  Support your answer.

Should children learn how to sew clothes?  Why or why not?

Is  handwriting is still important in the modern world? Why or why not? 

Should you write thank you notes when you get a gift? Why or why not? 

Which is better for you to read books on electronic device  or a paper book?

Good luck on the TOEFL!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Timelinks Grade 5 Native Peoples of North America

We are now going to change gears and study the Native Americans.  Read pages 20-25.  Then we will talk about it in class. Here are some study questions to think about while you are reading.

Where did these people come from?
When did they come to North and South America?
What was the reason that they came?
Did they come with a purpose to settle America?
What did they find when the got there?
What lifestyle did they have?

Homework: Why do people move from one place to another?  Have you or a close friend moved to another country?  What were the reasons?  What were the advantages and disadvantages for you or your friend? 

Reflections on the book: You Just Don’t Understand

Reflections on the book:

You Just Don’t Understand  - Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D   Ballantine Books, New York 1990

by Rachael Orbach

This book’s premise is that the reason the women and men don’t get along with each other is because they live in different verbal worlds.  Each gender has specific ways of talking and getting what is needed.  

When two men talk, they talk about facts, figures and not much about feelings.  They are always looking for markers that tell them whether they are higher or lower in the hierarchy.  If a man realizes that he is being put down, then he will defend himself even to the point of offending the other man.  Now, the surprising thing is that even after a long drawn out argument, the two men might become friends.

On the other hand, women, when they talk to each other are not looking for status, but for connections.  How can the woman connect to the other woman?  If they are talking about troubles, for instance about mothers-in-laws, then one will say something about her mother-in-law, so the other woman will agree with her and add a detail about her own mother-in-law.  They strive to be friends by being similar.

The trouble between the sexes is when men and women talk to each other.  Each lives in a different cultural world so has a different dialect, or “genderlect.” A woman will ask her husband if he wants to go out to dinner and expects him to answer: “Yes, would you like to go out to dinner?”  When he doesn’t she feel slighted. An argument might ensue, nobody really understanding the real reason why.  Women usually adapt to the conversation patterns of men in mixed groups, but men usually don’t adapt to the conversation patterns of women.

Then she goes on to examine boys and girls, and lo and behold, the same patterns emerge. Two boys when asked to speak alone for 20 minutes in front of a camera, talk about facts, they don’t look at each other, they fool around and they don’t really make connections, sometimes talking at the same time.

Girls, however when asked to talk for 20 minutes, speak in the same patterns as grown up women.  What is mindboggling, is that even girls as young as 3 years old, engage in similar conversation patterns.!!!  

What is to be done?  Well Dr. Tannen suggests that everybody learn more conversational styles and the ability to use them often.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Teaching the Poem Fog

Teaching the Poem Fog

Key Components
(H.W. from Session One)
(Session Five)
Pre-Reading Activity
Discuss what is fog\cat-characteristics                        
inferences : fog- wetness\inability to see
cat: cleanliness\ agility
Basic Understanding
Read poem get to a first level of comprehension
LOT questions about the content.
Analysis and Interpretation
Thick or thin fog\fogginess
Cat feet: partial or the whole cat
Hots: use of cat & fog as similes  
Application to ones life – partial\whole
Metaphorical usage
Bridging Text and Context
Connection between lifestyle of poet and our poem

Post-Reading Activity
Have you ever been in a fog?
What happens when you feel foggy?
Have you ever had a cat as a pet?
Short writing task on above
Generating  possibilities
Life comes and goes etc.
Did you like the poem? Why or why not?
What did you learn from this poem about yourself – does it change you in any way?
Summative Assessment
Application to your own life
Comparing  \ contrasting

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quick as a Cricket book review for teaching

Audrey Wood, Illustrated by Don Wood Quick as a Cricket

1982 Child's Playground

Summary: This is a rhyming story about a young boy who uses similes to compare himself with insects and animals around him. Examples include, “I'm as cold as a toad, I'm as hot as a fox, I'm as weak as a kitten, I'm as strong as an ox.”. The boy concludes by stating that if you add up all the diverse characteristics you have him!

Recommendation for Parents: This book is invaluable for celebrating a child's developing a sense of self awareness. It reinforces the child's understanding of rhyming and introduces him or her to similes. The colorful chalk drawings aid in the child's decoding of words as well as overall comprehension of the story. Each page allows the parent(s) and child(ren) to discuss emotions and their facial expressions. The picture book also teaches opposites, such as “sad”, “happy” and “loud”, “quiet”.

Recommendation for Other Teachers: Quick as a Cricket is an excellent book to read to English language learners because the large, beautifully colored pictures complement the text well. As you read the book, you can stop and ask questions such as “What makes you happy?” and “What animals do you compare yourself to and why?” You can discuss the use of the simile and then have the kids create their own. The can create their own picture book by writing and illustrating new similes. Then they can share their work with partners or to the class as a read aloud as you have demonstrated. Personal note: I enjoy reading this book because everyone can relate to at least one of the pages. It also shows that if someone is strong, they can also be weak. The facial expressions also act as a descriptive force in defining what a word means. For example, to have a scrunched up forehead and piercing eyes means to be mean while wiping sweat off a face with a hand means “hot”. I also embrace the idea that each person is a culmination of many different characteristics. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reflection on Black English.

Reflection on Black English.

by Rachael Orbach

I didn’t know that Black English really had a structure!  Even though the Black kids from the Center of Los Angeles were bussed into our suburban school, and I had to study with them, I heard them talk, but never really paid attention to their  speech per say.   We were not friends even though  they were in the same class.  

It was really surprising that Black English, has its own grammar like the word “Be”  and that when it comes in a sentence.  It reminds me a bit like how Spanish is.  If you say “Vou estas bien”, it could be a complement, or not.  “He be good,” means that the boy is good, and is always good.  But, “He good,” is only for right now.  This could be a compliment or not.  

Sometimes when Black children speak, it almost seems like another language, the way that words are accented and run together.  This is different from American English, and it makes it difficult for Blacks and Whites to integrate.

Letter substitutions like   “dem,” instead of “them,”  are also interesting. Do Black children get mixed up when they get to school?  How do they reconcile the way they are taught to read compared with the way they speak?  This may be the reason that Black children in the United States get behind in reading and writing.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Anger Close at Hand

Anger Close at Hand

The Gemara cites the possuk, "Anger rests in the heart of the fool."  (Kolelet 7:9) The Dubna Maggid explained by means of a story.   A person who runs a store separates his products into two types.  The products that are constantly asked for are kept close at hand,  while the products that are seldom purchased are kept on a high shelf, out of reach.  So too, the fool keeps his anger close at hand, since it is always in use.  The wise man, however, keeps his anger out of reach, taking it out only at the rare times when it is absolutely necessary. ( Ohel Yakov).

1. What are the action words in the paragraph?   Circle them.

2.What are they called? _______________________________

3. What tense are they in?  ___________________________

4. Write the nouns:


4. Write the adjectives:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop Study Guide Chapter 2

What do you know about Ancient Egypt?  The Pyramids?  The Nile River?  
Alex and Laura find themselves in Ancient Egypt, and see incredible things! 

How do Alex and Laura figure out where they are? 
Who knows more about history, Alex or Laura? 
Why does Laura tell Alex to put his phone away? 
Why did they go to Ancient Egypt? 
What do we see in the illustration? 
Why do they go see the huts instead of the palace? 

What do you already know about Ancient Egypt?  Where would you like to visit there? 
Who would you like to meet? 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Timelinks G5 History and Culture pages 12 - 13

History Past and Present.  If we don't learn from the past, then we are doomed to repeat it.  This is why I am always interested in learning history so that I can see how and why events happened before. Then I can learn from other's mistakes and not make the same mistake myself.


primary source
secondary source 


Which artifacts from the past are most reliable source of information? 
Give an example of a primary source oral history?  written primary source? 
What is a secondary source?  Give an example. 
Is a museum a primary source or a secondary source?

Homework: Write about an historical place in your city.  What happened there? 
Who lived there?  What is the site being used for now? 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop Study Guide Chapter 1

The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop Study Guide Chapter 1

Get the book on Amazon: 

In Chapter 1 We meet Alex and Laura.  They are new Olim, that is new immigrants to Israel who live in Jerusalem. They have been in Israel for a while, but still miss the United States.  Alex is very smart, and he has really put a lot of effort to learn Hebrew.  Laura, on the other hand is more interested in having fun and looking good.  She has not truly adjusted to living in Israel and misses her friends "back home."  

This story takes place the day after Passover ends, and in Israel it is not a holiday, but according to religious Jews who live outside of Israel it is a holiday. 
The kids are happy to be out on the town, and to have an extra day of vacation from school.  

All of the Hebrew terms are defined in the Glossary at the back of the book, but I will define them here in the study guide as well. 

Key Terms
 Isru Chag – The second day of a holiday in Israel, it is a semi-holiday in Israel corresponds to the second day of a holiday outside of Israel 

Bureaka – a pastry that is made from oil, flour and usually potatoes. Not kosher for Passover. 

Chag - Holiday

kitnyot – Types of food that may be mistaken for bread or wheat products. Ashkenazi Jews don’t eat these products during Passover.

Kosher – Food that has been supervised by the Rabbinical council and has a label to show that it the Jewish dietary rules were followed during manufacture or harvest.

Matza – The special “bread” that religious Jews eat for the Passover holiday.

Hol HaMoed – Intermediate days of Passover and Succot.


How long have Alex and Laura been living in Israel?
Why do the kids stop on Jaffa street? 
What is interesting about all the candy in the shop? 
How much money did Alex get for finding the Afikomen? 
What does the Moshe Rabbainu Mocha Munchie candy taste like? 
Why does Laura grab Alex's hand? 

Write about a time in history that you would like to go back and witness?  What happened then?  Why is this time period interesting for you?  Would you try to change the event? 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop Study Guide Prologue

Everybody wants to know more about the The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop!

It is located on Yaffa Street in Jerusalem.  (well not really, it is a place in my imagination)

You can go there by reading this book: The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop #1: Moshe Rabbainu Mocha Munchie by [Orbach, Rachael Alice]
Go here to get your copy! The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop

Key Terms:
Passover - The very important Jewish holiday that happens in the spring, Jews have a big Seder and eat Matza for 7 days.
Shurit Leumi - National Service in Israel.  High school graduates, mostly girls choose to volunteer in a school, hospital, youth village instead of serving in the Army.
wry smile - a smile that is ironic
Hulda - the name of one of the 7 Prophetesses
Badatz sign - all restaurants and outlets that sell food,  that want to cater to religious Jews need to be certified as Kosher.  In Israel the most respected organization that certifies establishments as kosher.
Yaffa Road.  The main road that is in the center of Jerusalem.
landmark - a place where most people know about and go there to see it.

Why did Dan and Hulda want to open a candy shop?
What did Hulda's great grand uncle do in Boston?
What is the difference between the candy shop in Boston and the one in Jerusalem?
Why is Hulda happy about Ayala's choice of Shurit Leumi?
Why did they wait until Passover to open the shop?
Why do you thing that Dan and Hulda don't eat in the shop?

Dan and Hulda have this dream of opening a candy shop.  What is one of your dreams, a goal that you would like to do?  What are the steps that you can do to make this dream a reality?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Timelinks G5 The American Economy page 10 -11

It is very important for people nowadays to understand the economy.  Many schools skip over this important subject and jump into teaching names and dates of history, or the part of grammar, But if more people understood economy then they would be able to work more efficiently.

This unit is about the American economy and how it changed.

Key Terms
Goods and Service,
cost-benefit decision
opportunity cost

What was the basis of the American economy in the 1700's.
Why did it change?
What is the GDP?
Why is a Free Market important?
What is a good?
What is a service?


How is the economy structured in your country? What decisions do you make about which goods and services to buy?  What are your opportunity costs? Write about how you made a decision to buy a "big ticket item" like a car or a property.  What steps did you think about?

Post sponsored by:  The Jerusalem Magic Candy Shop

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lesson Plan about Napster

Lesson Plan Outline
Rachael Orbach

Level Intermediate 3rd Stage Grade 7th May 15th

Domain(s) Access to Information

Purpose of Lesson: (General Aims)
Reading Comprehension of text, analysis of paragraph structure.

Lesson Benchmarks(s): (indicators of progress within each domain)
Understand the main idea and supporting details in this text, using this knowledge to answer questions about the text.

Handout, of a paragraph from a newspaper, with questions, white board, markers, students' notebooks to write answers to questions.



Set Induction
What makes a great paragraph? How do you know that the paragraph is interesting?
What associations? How does it affect you?
5 minutes
Practise (Groups, Pairs, Individuals
The teacher reads the paragraph, asks questions about it,
15 minutes
Students answer the questions on the handout working quietly, Then teacher asks for the answers writing on the board.
15 minutes
Students summarize the text
5 minutes

Anticipated Problems and possible solutions

Vocabulary is too hard. Have students look up words in dictionary.

Students don’t have dictionaries. Teacher gives the definitions of hard words.

Introduction: Paragraphs.

Make a list of elements that make writing interesting:

  1. ________________________________________

  1. _________________________________________

  1. __________________________________________

  1. _________________________________________

  1. __________________________________________


instantly moguls preliminary injunction pull

the plug appeals court ruling shift membership

testimony entrepreneur rancor legislators topping the charts

royalties munificent reissues bulk existence. Status quo

shut it down

Read the paragraph, underline the elements that you chose

  1. How does the first sentence of the paragraph attract your attention?

  1. A topic sentence give the main idea of a paragraph. What is the topic sentence of this paragraph?

  1. How would you state the main idea of the paragraph?

  1. What is the purpose  of sentence 2?


  1. What details does the author give?


  1. What is the conclusion of the article?


  1. Summarize the paragraph in your own words.




“Farewell to Shady Glade” by Bill Peet Project for Class

“Farewell to Shady Glade” by Bill Peet I would teach this book as part of a unit about the environment. This could be for a 6 th...