History Lesson




Read the text.


Reading is one way people become well informed. Whenever you sit down to read, you are also sitting down to learn. This is true no matter what the reading is - a novel, a newspaper, a magazine article, a textbook, or even the label on a bag of cookies. Written words are always a message from one person to another - just as spoken words are. So, the very act of reading - reading anything - means you are learning what the message is the author has set down for you.

Schoolbooks especially provide a teaching message. It is your job as a student to learn what your books have to teach. Learning from what you are reading requires effort - concentration and practice. In fact, learning and doing well at school is much more a result of good working habits than it is a result of being a brain or a genius. The great inventor Thomas Edison said: There is no substitute for hard work. And to those who would call him a genius, he had this to say: Genius is one percent of inspiration and ninety-nine percent of perspiration. Genius, in other words, is mostly a matter of hard work. The same applies to reading, studying, and learning.

Reading gives people power. It helps them to develop their minds so they can think for themselves. Reading helps citizens to be active members of their country. Here is a very simple example. When citizens options affect other people such as when they vote, its very important that options are based on reliable information. Both leaders and active followers need to read, so they can make wise decisions.

Responsible citizens read about their country and what is going on in the world.

People everywhere want the kind of information that would enrich their lives. Non-fiction books are where we look to find actual information. They are true. They include reference books, like encyclopedias and dictionaries. They may be about science history, religion, languages, literature, or arts. We read these books for knowledge.

Biographies are also non-fiction books. They are about people who really lived.  They tell us about men and women living their lives with grace, courage, and resourcefulness.

Sometimes we need to read something to relax: mysteries or detectives, adventure stories, humor... Tastes differ, but lots of people cant imagine their lives without reading.

And what about you?



Ex.1. Practice in reading the underlined words:


a label, a message, to require, effort, a brain, a genius, to substitute, inspiration, perspiration, to apply, an option, to affect, reliable, non-fiction, encyclopedia, actual, grace, courage, resourcefulness, to relax, a mystery.


Can you translate these words from English into Russian?



Ex.2. Try and guess which word from the text should be used in each sentence.


1. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are ... books.

2. The ... on your jacket tells you how to take care of it.

3. My friend was out, so I left a ... on his answering machine.  

4. You can trust him. He is sure a ... man.

5. Learning any language takes a lot of ... .

6. Calm down, please.  Sit down, have a cup of  tea. Just ... !

7. Agatha Christie wrote lots of  ...  .

8. When the country celebrates Teachers Day, the senior students of our school ... the teachers presenting lessons.

9. What are you talking about? What is in your ... ?

10. ... is a source of creative activity.

11. He ... his knowledge very well, thats why his test grade was very high.

12. Your car ... repair.

13. He said he was almost dying. Those were his ... words.

14. ... is one percent of ... and ninety-nine percent of ... .

15. The word choice is the synonym for ... .

16. Everybody can be saved by the ... of God.

17. I cant live in St.Petersburg. The climate ... my health.

18. It is not easy to say, Im sorry. I was wrong. Youve got to have the ...  to say that.

19. Lots of feature and ... films are on TV every week.

20. His courage and ... helped him to survive on a small island after the shipwreck.



Ex.3.What questions have been asked if the answers are as follows:


1. Yes, reading is one way to be well informed.

2. Written words are a message from one person to another.

3. School books do.

4. Thats true. Learning always requires effort.

5. I think it is not always easy to concentrate.

6. Oh, its easy. These words belong to T. Edison, a great inventor.

7. I believe so. Reading does give people power.

8. If you love your own country it is very important to know.

9. We can find it in non-fiction books.

10. I prefer reading mystery for leisure.

11. No, I cant imagine my life without reading.

12. Well, I have a lot of books at home but I go to the library, too.

13. Sometimes I read in the reading room. But, to tell you the truth, I dont like it very much. I prefer to take out books to read them at home.

14. Oh, yes, my parents are fond of reading, too. Even my grandpa who is already in his late 70s likes to read.

15. His favorite books are war stories and biographies.

16. My favorite Russian writer is M. Bulgakov.  I just adore his The Master and Margarita.



Read the dialogues and try to reproduce them. Work in pairs.


At the Library


Librarian:       Can I help you?

Natalie:          Yes. I am a bit confused. My English class is supposed to read a chapter in a book called Daddy Long-Legs. According to the syllabus, * the book is in the library, but I havent been able to find it.

Librarian:       Do you have your syllabus* with you? May I see it?

Natalie:          Yes, ugh... I put it in the front of my English textbook. Oh, here it is.

Librarian:       Let me see. Oh, yes. Your teacher has placed this book on reserve. That means you cannot find it on the shelves in its usual place. You need to go to a special room called the reserve room. Its down the hall and to the right.

Natalie:          Im sorry - I still dont understand what you mean by on reserve.

Librarian:       You see, your teacher wants everyone in the class to read the chapter. If one student removes the book form the library, it is likely that none of the other students will have the opportunity to read it. So, your teacher has insured that all the students have the opportunity to read it by placing it on reserve.

Natalie:          So, will I be able to find this book?

Librarian:        Yes, when the book is on the reserve, a student can go to the reserve room and ask the reserve librarian for the book. The student can have the book for a few hours, and he or she MUST read it in the library during that time. That way, the book stays in the library, and all the students have a chance to read it.

Natalie:          Okay. Thank you. I understand now.

Librarian:       Will there be anything else?

Natalie:          No. I am on my way to the reserve room. Thanks again!



syllabus*- a plan showing the subjects or books to be studied in a particular course.






- Do you like books?

- Sure. I read all the time.

- What do you like best?          

- Serious books.

- Serious about what?

- Love.

- Love isnt a serious topic.

- Its a serious topic for me!



BIG brother and LITTLE sister

Billy, teach me to read!

- You are too little.

- No, I am not! I am big! Very big!

- I am busy. Heres a nickel* for some candy.

- A nickel? Thats too little! I need fifty cents.

- Hmmmm. It would be cheaper to teach you to read!


*a nickel = 5 cents