Let Us Read

17. Learn to read these words, 57.

18. Read the text and say what facts mentioned in it you have never heard before.

Country And People

(after Terry Tomsha and Teresa Cox)

There are fifty states in the United States of America. Two of these states, Alaska and Hawaii, are not connected to the other states. You can see it on this map. The US is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west, by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico in the south. In the north are Great Lakes.

The US is a large country with many natural wonders. It goes from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Hawaii in the Pacific, and from cold, snowy northern Alaska to sunny Florida in the southeast. The US has almost every kind of weather. Also, it has many kinds of land rocky coasts, dry empty deserts, big rivers, wide plains and grasslands, lakes of all sizes, high mountains, great forests, sunny beaches, lands of endless winter.

More than 250 million people live in the US. But the country is very big, so there is still a lot of open space and natural scenery outside the cities. Americans have tried to save many of the most beautiful wild areas of the United States. There are a lot of parks, forests and wildlands where you can enjoy the beauty and power of wild America. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and Yellowstone are among the most famous.

58. Many rivers cross the United States. But the greatest is the mighty Mississippi. Native Americans called it the father of waters. It begins quietly in the north of the country and ends in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly four thousand miles1 (6400 km) away. On its journey to the sea, the Mississippi travels through several states, and becomes larger and more powerful, it brings water to farmlands. And the Mississippi has been an important waterway since early times, when native Americans travelled on the river in canoes. Among other big rivers are the Colorado and the Missouri. The Colorado River rises in the Rocky Mountains or the Rockies that stretch from Alaska down almost to the south of the country. Another big mountain chain is the Appalachians in the east also running from north to south.

The Grand Canyon is one of Americas main tourist attractions. It is so big that you must go there yourself to feel its true size and beauty. The Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon over millions of years. Slowly, the river cut down through hard rock. Today, the canyon is one mile deep and 200 miles (320 km) long. Its interesting that there are different kinds of plants and animals on opposite sides of the canyon. The south side is dry and desert country. The north side has tall forests. The canyon looks different at different times of day, and in different seasons and weather. At sunrise and sunset the red, gold, brown, and orange colours of the rocks are especially clear and bright. In winter, the canyon is partly covered with snow. You can walk down into the Grand Canyon, or you can go down on the back of a mule.2 a mile =1,6 kilometre But be careful to carry enough water because inside the canyon, it is very hot much hotter than at the top.

The United States is a young country. Its written history is only a few hundred years old. It is sometimes, in fact, called the New World. Over the last four hundred years millions of people have come to start a new life in this New World.

Americans are not afraid of new ideas. They built the first skyscrapers and they put the first man on the Moon. They like to be modern. They like exciting, modern cities, new houses, and new cars. At the same time, Americans love old things. They like to visit historic houses and museums. They build old pioneer houses and remember the days of the Wild West. Americans are interested in old traditions, but they are good at making new traditions too.

The people of the United States are a mixture of many different nationalities. Every American schoolchild learns that the United States is a big melting pot of countries. In a melting pot, different metals are melted together to make a new metal. The United States is like a melting pot for people. In the past, people from many different European countries came to the US and made one country out of many. In one city you can find people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents came from China, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and every European country. These different people brought to their new land a wonderful mixture of customs and traditions. The Germans brought Christmas trees. The Irish brought St. Patricks Day celebrations. The Scots brought Halloween.

1 a mile =1,6 kilometre
2 a mule

19. Now you have learnt some more facts about the USA. Could you answer the questions?

  1. Where is the US situated?
  2. What is it washed by?
  3. What is the typical weather of the country?
  4. What is the scenery of the country?
  5. What is the population of the country?
  6. What are the most famous places to enjoy the beauty and power of wild America?
  7. What mighty rivers of the USA do you know?
  8. What big mountain chains can you name?
  9. What attracts people to the Grand Canyon?
  10. Why do people say that the US is a young country?
  11. What do the authors of the text say about Americans likes and interests?
  12. How do you understand the phrase The US is a big melting pot?

20. Make an outline of the text, compare your outlines and choose the best, put it up on the blackboard and try to remember as much as you can on each point.

* * * * * Let Us Talk * * * * *

21. Work in pairs. Ask questions on the points below and answer them.

the number of states in the US
the waters the US is washed by
the kinds of land the US has
the size of the Grand Canyon
the New World
the days of the Wild West

the number of people living in the US
the greatest rivers in the US
the biggest mountain chains in the US
the big melting pot

a mixture of customs and traditions

22. Look at the map of the US, find the places mentioned in the text and speak about them.

23. Get ready to speak about the following:

  1. the US geographical outlook;
  2. the US scenery and its wild beauty;
  3. the US as a melting pot.

24. Choose the place in the USA you would like to visit and explain to your group why it attracts you. (If you need some extra information, look it up.)

25. Choose one of the beginnings of ex. 3 and make up a story. Tell your story to the class. Let us Write

26. Do ex. 1, ex. 2, ex. 3, ex. 6, ex. 8, ex. 15 in writing.

27. Write a letter to your friend. Imagine that you have been to a) the Grand Canyon, b) the Mississippi River. Describe one of these places in your letter.

28. Express the same in English, use past perfect.

  1. .
  2. .
  3. , .
  4. , .
  5. , .
  6. , .
  7. . , .
  8. , .
  9. , .
  10. , , .

29. Look at the words (p. 228) again and get ready to write a spelling quiz on them.

a farmland, grasslands, wildlands, great-grandpar-ents, a canoe, endless, a waterway, mighty, to rise (rose, risen), to stretch, a shore, a beach, a desert, a chain, an attraction, a skyscraper, a mixture, to melt, a melting pot, the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Colorado, the Appalachians, the Rocky Mountains (the Rockies)

* * * * * Let us listen and Discuss * * * * *

30. Listen to the tape, (33 59, and say whose words they are:

  1. Is it true that I was born on the shores of Lake Michigan?
  2. Is it true that Mummy was born in Ireland, in a small village on the coast of the Irish Sea?
  3. It was a very small village then without any attractions...
  4. Why are you asking me all these questions?
  5. When Granny told me all those things while I was with her, I couldnt understand how we had all met...

31. Describe the place where a) Dicks mother was born; b) Dicks greatgrandmother had a farm.