Selected Stories for English Language Study
This collection of anecdotes refer to incidents in the life of the author of this website, Max Neil Maximchuk.
On this page you can access a suggested lesson plan and direct links to the featured story, either in written or spoken form.
Also provided are a variety of worksheets (vocabulary, text-based questions and discussion themes) that you can use while presenting the story.
CLASS ACTIVITIES FOR THE FEATURED STORY:
A TOOTH STORY
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.
SUGGESTED APPROACH to using the stories in class
Click here if you’d like to see a suggested step-by-step plan on how to use the stories in class
This links you directly to the webpage where you can access the stories in written form
A BRIEF LOOK AT THE MATERIALS PROVIDED
The main idea is for the students to work on their English through interacting with the story, whether it is presented as a listening or a reading. Below are the materials provided and some suggested steps (see SUGGESTED APPROACH for more details) to follow but feel free to modify them to better adapt the activities to the students you have and your teaching style.
|SETTING THE SCENE||Students become orientated to the story by extrapolating from its title, listening to a brief forward, looking at some new vocabulary and for a short time explore a few questions that lead into the narrated account.|
|QUESTIONS||The questions focus on extracting specific information as well as acquainting the students with some of the new vocabulary presented. They can accompany the reading or the listening form of the text.|
|THE STORY||The story can be given as a listening or a reading activity. See the links above for the manner of presentation you prefer.|
|LANGUAGE LOOK||This is a worksheet that contains 4 phrasal verbs, a look at how the language can be used and an expression or two.|
|DISCUSSION THEMES||After having gone through the story, the students speak about the events in the story and some of the issues that were brought up.|
IDEAS & MATERIALS FOR USING THE STORY IN CLASS
Different activities to accompany the story as well as their corresponding handouts and worksheets
INTRODUCING THE STORY
SETTING THE SCENE features preliminary work that can be done prior to presenting the story such as pre-teaching some vocabulary and getting the students acquainted with the coming story.
The document contains
- a brief overview of the story to orientate the students
- 6 words or expressions that appear in the story and can be pre-taught before reading or listening to the story
- suggested lead-in question(s) which can prepare the students for what is to follow
This document can be printed and handed out to the students or projected onto the board/screen.
Or, the teacher can simply refer to it while s/he briefly tells the students what the story is about, elicits the meaning to the vocabulary (which could be written on the board) and has the students respond to one or more of the lead-in questions as a class activity or small group discussions.
READING / LISTENING COMPREHENSION
TEXT-BASED QUESTIONS features a brief overall description of the story to orientate the students (in case it wasn’t presented previously) and 5 questions which the students must answer after reading or listening to it.
(See the Suggested Approach for some ideas.)
ANSWER KEY TO QUESTIONS is provided to help the teacher check the answers spoken by the students when going over the questions. It is recommended to go beyond the questions by encouraging the students to make comments or explore some aspect further (as can the teacher). Preceding the answers are some suggestions on how to approach the reading or the listening.
WORKSHEET FOR STUDENTS (LANGUAGE LOOK) is a one-page worksheet with 3 sections:
- 4 Phrasal Verbs
Students must determine their meaning from the context of how they were used in the text. There are further examples supplied and a definition which can be referred to at the bottom of the worksheet if necessary, but the students still must explain how it was relevant (used) in the story. For ex: sb took sb else up on st Who took whom up on what?
There is also a section of gap-filled sentences which the students complete, using the appropriate verb tenses and pronouns.
- Use of English
Students have a look at some aspect of the language such as how native speakers may not always follow the rules while speaking with friends or how one can change a sentence to add further emphasis.
- An expression or two
One or more expressions are briefly looked at (meaning elicited) and encouraged to be used in the forthcoming discussion(s).
ANSWER KEY TO WORKSHEET contains the answer keys to the Language Look exercises for all the stories.
DISCUSSION THEMES has four or five topics that students can explore, some are based on events in the story and others address issues beyond the story.
CHULETA (pronounced choo LEH tah) is a Spanish word which normally means ‘cheat sheet’ but it can also affectionately mean a reference sheet that helps you in some way, like a paper prompting you to remember the steps in scanning and sending a document from the office photocopier. In this case it is a reference sheet offering a variety of categories and examples of ‘higher level’ structures and vocabulary that can be used while exploring the themes. It is a two-page handout format and you can ask the students to concentrate on one or more particular areas, or they can choose for themselves. The principle objective is to get the students to incorporate these structures into their natural speaking repertoire by using and becoming more familiar with them.
on the stories and materials used in the Harvey Skidoo Tree Series