Archive | July, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

24 Jul


  • Where do people celebrate Thanksgiving?
  • When is it celebrated?
  • Why did people start celebrating Thanksgiving?
  • What do people usually do on Thanksgiving Day?

On the fourth Thursday in November, families get together for a feast in the United States.  Almost all families eat turkey and cranberry sauce and have pumpkin pie for dessert.  This feast is a part of a very special day, the holiday of Thanksgiving.

This holiday has a very long history.  In 1620 the Pilgrims made a very difficult trip across the ocean from England to North America.  They were forced to risk because they had not been allowed to freely practice their religion. So they went to the New World in search of religious freedom.

They landed in what is now Massachusetts.  During the first winter almost half of the group died of cold, hunger and disease. The Native Americans decided to teach the Pilgrims to plant corn, to hunt and to fish. So when the next fall came, the Pilgrims had plenty of food. They were thankful and invited Native Americans to share their food with them. This was the first Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday many years later because of Sarah Hale.  For forty years she wrote to each president of the USA and asked for a holiday of Thanksgiving. Eventually President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday in 1863.

Thanksgiving today is different from the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in many ways but the idea of this holiday is very much the same: it is a day on which we celebrate and give thanks.

1. Complete the definitions.

  1. The last part of a meal is called the …….. .
  2. When a ship has arrived from somewhere else, it has …….. .
  3. When you are sick, you might have a ……. .
  4. When you have more than you need, you have ……. .
  5. When you let someone use or enjoy something that you possess, you  ……. it.
  6. When the government decides to celebrate a special day, it ……. a holiday.

2. Compete the sentences using the past simple tense.

  1. The Pilgrims ……………. a difficult trip across the ocean. (to make)
  2. The Native Americans ……………. the Pilgrims to hunt. (to teach)
  3. Almost half of them ……………. during the first winter. (to die)
  4. The next fall, the Pilgrims ……………. plenty of food. (to have)
  5. Thanksgiving ……………. A national holiday many years later. (to become)





  1. Dessert
  2. Landed
  3. Disease
  4. Plenty
  5. Share
  6. Declares


  1. Made
  2. Taught
  3. Died
  4. Had
  5. became



I wish …

19 Jul

Make up sentences following the example:

He’s always lying to me.

I wish he would stop lying.

I wish …

  • I’m late to work and my bus hasn’t arrived yet.
  • My sister is visiting me tonight.
  • She’s always gossiping about her friends.
  • I think you smoke too much.
  • Once elected most politicians don’t keep their promises.
  • He is always late.
  • It’s going to be hot again.
  • She always complains about her job.

The Trouble With Fructose

19 Jul

Ear of Corn

  • Name three products that contribute to obesity. 
  • Which of these products are the most dangerous and why?
  • Name three products that are bad for the brain.
  • What problems do these products might cause?

The sugar increasingly used in America’s manufactured foods may be especially bad for the brain.

By Hara Estroff Marano Psychology Today September/October 2012 p.48

In the ever-shifting lineup of dietary villains, sugar has taken a commanding lead. Even New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has fingered sugar as the major culprit in the obesity epidemic and proposed a ban on the sale of supersize sodas in city restaurants and fast food chains. It’s as bad as exposure to asbestos or smoke, he insists, and it’s creating outsize medical bills for the city. He doesn’t know the half of it.

The brain runs on sugar, specifically the simple sugar glucose, which is what carbohydrates become in the course of digestion. But increasingly, the American diet supplies another variety of sugar: fructose. Until about 1970, fructose entered our bodies in relatively small amounts, primarily in fruits, and then in combination with fiber and antioxidants, which moderate its biological effects. Now, it is dumped wholesale into our food supply, thanks to its extraction in concentrated form from corn for use as a cheap sweetener in processed foods, from cereals to baked goods and especially soda. As scientists are discovering, the body handles fructose very differently from other sugars. And that, increasing evidence suggests, is particularly bad for the brain as well as for the rest of the body. It’s best avoided in any portion size.

1.  Look at the words written italics.  Match them with their definitions.

  1. A heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, used in fire-resistant and insulating materials
  2. Deposit or dispose of (garbage, waste, etc.), typically in a careless or hurried way
  3. The cause of a problem or defect
  4. An official or legal prohibition
  5. Keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something)

2.  Read the following sentences and decide whether they are true (T) or false (F).

  1. According to the major of New York consuming sugar is even worse than smoking. ……..
  2. The major of New York City is well-informed about the danger of consuming sugar. ……..
  3. Fructose can be found only in fruits. ……..
  4. People used to consume much less fructose than they do now. ……..
  5. Fructose extracted in concentration form from corn is more affordable than sugar. ……..
  6. Soda has much less fructose than cereals. ……..
  7. Fructose and sugar are observed by the human body in the same way. ……..
  8. It’s safe to consume fructose as a sweetener. ……..




  1. Asbestos
  2. Dump
  3. Culprit
  4. Ban
  5. Avoid


  1. F
  2. F
  3. F
  4. T
  5. T
  6. F
  7. F
  8. F

Practice the idioms

2 Jul

Choose the best substitute for the phrase in bold.

1. When he was promoted to manager, his colleagues were green with envy.

a. sick                    b. very jealous                  c. happy for her

2. Martha is really gung ho about her new job.

a. very enthusiastic                         b. concerned                     c. angry

3.  Ever since her cat died, she has been down in the dumps.

a. depressed                      b. angry                                c. busy

4. Take it easy, I’m sure they will be back soon.

a. it’s not tough                b. relax                                 c. it’s difficult

5. Don’t take it wrong, but I liked your hair better before you had it cut.

a. take offense                 b. take it right                    c. it’s a wrong place

6. Help yourselves to cookies and tea.

a. I can’t help you            b. make your own meal                                c. serve yourselves

7. I was thirsty. This glass of water is just what the doctor ordered.

a. exactly what I needed              b. very healthy for me                   c. exactly what my doctor said

8.  I would like to live on an island and write novels, but I know that’s just a pipe dream.

a. a realistic hope                             b. an realistic hope                          c. a big hope

9. The cheese cake was so delicious; I made a pig of myself by eating three slices.

a. made myself sick                         b. turned into a pig                          c. ate more than I should

10. Peter likes to draw silly cartoons of his classmates.  He’s a wise guy.

a. a smart student                           b. a sarcastic person                       c. a bad student

11. My friend wanted me to go to Africa with her, but I told her it was out of the question.

a. impossible                                      b. possible                          c. interesting

12. Have you seen that Burberry jacket?  It’s all the rage this season!

a. the latest fashion                        b. out of fashion                               c. hideous




  1. B
  2. A
  3. A
  4. A
  5. A
  6. C
  7. A
  8. B
  9. C
  10. B
  11. A
  12. A


Practice the idioms

2 Jul

Choose the most appropriate reply to the following statements

1. I can’t get my old job back.  It’s a lost cause.

a. Lost?  Maybe I can help you to find it.

b. Yes, I know it’s not a good cause.

c. I understand.  You’ll find something else.


2. I’m not surprised she got fired.

a. Yes, she was footing the bill.

b. Yes, she was too busy slacking off.

c. Yes, she was working like a dog.


3. It’s getting late. You’d better start hitting the books.

a. Hit the books? I’d better read them.

b. Yes, that’s a good idea.

c. I’d rather study.


4. The truth is that I really can’t stand Peter.

a. I know, he likes you too.

b. I know, he is a nice guy.

c. I know. I don’t like him either.


5. I didn’t sleep a wink last night.

a. You must be really exhausted.

b. Lucky you are!

c. You look great!


6. What’s up?

a. Fine, thank you.

b. I’d like to discuss a business deal with you.

c. I don’t know.  Let me ask my boss.


7. I think he will go nuts over this cake.

a. Nuts? If you insist, we can put nuts in the cake.

b. You are right. After all, they’re absolutely fantastic!

c. I don’t agree. They’ll definitely like them.


8. These cookies are out of this world.  What do you think?

a. I agree. They’re delicious!

b. I don’t know where they are.

c. No thanks, I‘ve already eaten twelve cookies.


9. How’s it going?

a. I don’t know how to do it.

b. Everything is fine.

c. I don’t know how to go there.


10. Christopher was really lucky – he won the race by a hair.

a. Yes, he was very lucky because his hair was very short.

b. Yes, the second-place winner had his hair cut.

c. Yes, the second-place winner came in just a second behind him.


11. She was upset that they had kept her in the dark about their plan to sell the house.

a. They should have told her about their plans.

b. They should have turned on the lights.

c. She could have left the lights on.


12. They caught the thief red-handed.

a. Yes, his hands were covered in red.

b. Yes, they found the stolen jewelry in his pocket.

c. Yes, they didn’t manage to find the thief.



1. c

2. b

3. b

4. c

5. a

6. b

7. b

8. a

9. b

10. c

11. a

12. b


1 Jul

There once was a girl Selina,

Who wanted to be a ballerina.

She went on her toes,

And broke her nose.

Then she became cleaner.

Complete this limerick.

There once was a boy named Kevin

Who   ……………………………………..

He  ………………………………………..

And  ………………………………………

So  ………………………………………..

Now make up your own.

Practice the idioms

1 Jul

Fill in the blank with the missing words

  1. I can’t believe you bought that dress at Nordstrom.  Everything in that store costs an arm and a …

a. foot           b.leg      c. hand

  1. When somebody isn’t listening to you, there is no … in trying to argue with them.

a.edge          b. tip      c. point

  1. Even when times are tough, Jean manages to keep her … up.

a.nose          b.chin    c.head

  1. He was making $5 an hour.  He was really living from hand to … .

a.mouth       b.leg      c.shoulder

  1. Steve dyed his hair blue – he doesn’t give a … what people think.

a.ring             b.hoot  c.notice

  1. Tom’s teacher told him that he was … and shoulders above his classmates.

a.elbow        b.neck  c.head

  1. She’s not my cup of … .       b.tea     c.milk

  1. She is such a …-noser.  She’s always telling her boss how much she loves working with him.


  1. When Jessica saw Albert in the street, she didn’t even stop to talk to him.  She really gave him the cold …

a.look            b.shoulder          c.hand

  1. I need to ask you for your help, and I will do something nice for you in return.  You scratch my … and I’ll scratch yours.

a.foot            b.neck  c.back

  1. Annie’s got a real sweet … . Yesterday she ate the whole bar of chocolate.

a.tooth         b.taste  c.mouth

  1. During the first years of their marriage, they were head over … in love with each other.

a.feet            b.legs    c.heels



  1. B
  2. B
  3. B
  4. A
  5. B
  6. C
  7. B
  8. A
  9. B
  10. C
  11. A
  12. C