Selected Stories for English Language Study
This is a collection of anecdotes and reflections which refer to incidents in the life of the author of this website, Max Neil Maximchuk. They have been adapted for the classroom and made available here as short readings or listenings which are accompanied by worksheets focusing on looking at the English language, comprehension questions and related discussion topics. The recommended minimum level is post upper intermediate although some texts would be more appropriate for even a higher minimum level.
If you have just come across this page, you can see there are some final touches that have yet to be added
as this is still a work in progress. Little by little the loose ends will be cleaned up.
These stories come from the website
Classroom activities are provided for the first seven stories.
Mrs Warrington was a person who was more than she appeared and taught more than just math. Her efforts and values were appreciated by many of her students and continued to influence them throughout their lives. This is an account describing her as a person and what she did in the class.
The first day in a new school or place of work can be unsettling, especially because you’re unfamiliar with the people and the routines. You don’t know what to expect and sometimes there can be a surprise or two. This story takes place in a smelter where a man enters the lunchroom for the first time to wait for his future boss to tell him what his work will be.
I have been in numerous novel situations but very few of them were as foreign to me as this one. It was an introduction to the intensities found in heavy industry. It’s not for everyone but for those who can adapt to it, it can help you find some hidden parts of yourself that you may not have otherwise encountered.
One summer a young man takes a job he wouldn’t normally consider. His experiences while learning to be a door-to-door salesman lead him along an interesting journey and to a very unexpected end.
I’d like to thank those teachers who have gotten back to me and given me some feedback. Your comments encouraged me to continue developing the stories shown here on the site. Those perspectives are very much appreciated.
My initial intention was to provide the stories only, but I later thought I’d give a few exercises as well, mostly to show some ways one could approach the stories in class. This evolved into having the lead-in vocabulary & class discussion topics (Setting The Scene), Reading / Listening comprehension questions, grammar & vocabulary exploration (Language Look) and the post reading / listening discussion themes. They have all been a labour of love and I have enjoyed the challenge and the task of developing them.
However, I would now like to concentrate more on the writing and the cleaning-up of new stories as well as focusing more on the other elements of this website (Max’s English Corner). Consequently I am going to put writing further exercises for future stories on hold, with perhaps an occasional exception. New stories will continue to appear on the Harvey Skidoo Tree website and I invite you to use them in your classes as well.
If and when I return to writing exercises to accompany the stories will depend in part on the demand. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome and I look forward to hearing from you. From one such suggestion I recently made a lesson plan for some activities to accompany another story. Check it out below in S’MORE STORIES.
Max Neil Maximchuk
Here you can find a story which doesn’t follow the same lesson plan as suggested for the first seven stories listed above.
Just the stories (which are not accompanied by classroom activities but feel free to invent your own)
A young man takes a short vacation on his own for the first time. He went to see Carnival in Quebec but came across much more than what he originally anticipated.
12) The Greeks
Living on campus exposed the new university student to new cultures, new ideas and a fuller acceptance of himself and those around him.
13) Getting Older
Yes, it will happen to you.
(If it hasn’t already.)
14) Good Morning Prank
A surprise is waiting for a person who had too much to drink the night before.
15) Wart Is It?
A wart occupying a man’s finger became a familiar sight for him until one day he decided to do something about it. Then something mysterious happened.
16) Psychic Seminar
This is a gentle story describing an encounter that perhaps many of us have experienced at some time in some form or another. This one stems from curiosity when a person tries out attending an informal psychic seminar in someone’s home.
17) Tae Kwon Do Farting
A Tae Kwon Do class became very alive with expression one day when the students were told to push beyond their normal limits.
18) Punk, Some History and Me
One person’s look at some aspects of the world of punk and how they related to him.
19) A Punk Concert
What happened one evening when a young man went with some friends to check out a Dead Kennedies concert.
Taking a contemporary dance course for the first time, a man comes across a number of new experiences.
21) Bully on the bus
A man encounters a bully on a city bus and wonders what he could do.
22) First Kiss
A teenager was concerned about his future first kiss, and when it finally happened, he found it very moving.
23) The Glove
You think the world will stay the same, that when you enter familiar quarters, it will be the same as the last time. Then something happens to unsettle that secure foundation. That is what happened when this young man came home one evening.
24) Pizza Prank
You think you know who your friends are. But just wait until something turns up to put it to the test. Like a freshly delivered pizza.
25) to be determined / written
This story will be available in May.