Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №12/2010

Books in My Life

Открытый урок в 8-м классе

Цели и задачи:

Образовательные: обобщение полученных знаний о типах книг, английских, американских и российских авторах, библиотеках мира по теме “A Treasure House of Information”.

Развивающие: расширение кругозора.

Воспитательные: воспитание культуры общения, развитие познавательной активности.

Практические: формирование и развитие навыков монологической и диалогической речи; активизация лексики; аудирование незнакомого текста; расширение лексического запаса; активизация грамматических навыков в письменной речи (герундий).

Оснащение урока: учебник английского языка для 8-го класса В.Н. Богородицкой, Л.В. Хрусталёвой, учебник английского языка для 7-го класса О.В. Афанасьевой, Rising Star: An Intermediate Course, Macmillan; аудиомагнитофон, слайды (наглядные пособия), раздаточный материал.


I. Introduction. The Song (“The Miracle” by Queen).

Teacher: Good morning, students. Sit down, please. Today we’re going to speak about books. Books are different in subject and in form. By subject, they can be romance, history, adventure, autobiography, science fiction and humor; by their form, they maybe short stories, novels, poetry and plays. Now I want you to think about the problem of teenagers’ reading. We’ll sum up everything we’ve learnt on the topic “Books in My life”.

II. Teacher: For years, teachers and parents have been worried about comics, the cinema, television and now the Internet. “They all stop children from reading,” they say. However, it now seems that children read more than ever. Reading habits have changed because there is a now lot of competition between hard books and other media, but it seems that reading is still popular.


hard (about books, documents etc.) бумажный (т. е. не электронный)

If you agree with this opinion, how can you reason it is true?

– Take, for example, the Harry Potter books. These books have been amazingly popular all over the world. They have been so much loved in Britain that people have queued for hours outside shops just so that they could buy a copy of the book on the publication day!

What explains this popularity?

– Well, most readers seem to enjoy a good story with comedy and suspense. Moreover, like many heroes, Harry Potter lives in a world of his own. The books do indeed tell us of everyday life, but Harry and his friends escape from it into a magic world. Perhaps that is why the books are so popular.

What language does Joanne Rowling use in the dialogues?

– A colloquial style which shows us the common English people’s way of thinking. In Rowling’s narration, neutral language is merged with modern speech patterns. All this gives us a real picture of the modern English language.


narration повествование, ход рассказа

to merge сливать воедино, соединять (о художественных стилях, языках)

III. Teacher: Now I would like you to answer my questions so that I could know your reading tastes.

1. Why do people read? (for information, for fun, to while away the time)

2. In what language do you read more: Russian or English?

3. Do you agree that young people do not read much these days?

4. At what age did you begin to read novels?

5. Do you prefer reading books by foreign or Russian writers?

6. What is your attitude to popular science fiction?

7. Do you like to read detective stories?

8. What types of books do you know?

Put each type of book into one of the two categories:

a) fictionb) non-fiction
detective storiesromances (love stories)
science fictionnovels
biographieshumorous stories

9. Why is it exciting to read different kinds of books?

10. What English writers are the most famous around the world?

IV. Teacher: Now link each book type with the writer’s title. For instance, an author of a novel is a novelist.

novel → novelist;

poem → poet;

short story → short story writer;

humorous story → humorist;

play (drama) → playwright (dramatist);

fairy-tale → storyteller (if telling orally) or fairy-tale writer (if writing)

a) Fill in the table with the names of writers you remember.

a novelistLeo TolstoyCharles Dickens
a poetAlexander PushkinRobert Burns
a short-story writerAnton ChekhovO’Henry
a playwrightAlexander OstrovskyWilliam Shakespeare
a fairy-tale writerAlexey N. TolstoyOscar Wilde

V. Teacher: Let’s focus on some points of our discussion. What does the story’s success often depend on? (On how well the characters are depicted?) Readers are usually interested in a book if they can respond to its characters.

What are the general ways in which a writer unfolds the personality of a certain character?

– Through the character’s actions;

– Through the character’s thoughts and speech;

– Through a physical description of the character;

– Through the opinions of other characters.

Look at the covers of books by some British and American authors showing some of their characters. Do the pictures give you any idea about their personalities? What can you say about them?


The person I admire most is…

He/She is the one who…

Moreover, she/he has… (complete the sentence by noting what this character has done).

Another of his/her great qualities is…

Finally, I admire him/her because…

Characteristics of People

a man of honour

a bold fighter

a strong personality

a person of romantic and loving nature















Speaking about books we often want to characterize them. This is how you can do it.

Good books can be:

funnytrue to life

Bad books can be:

poorly writtencrude

VI. Teacher: Well done. Thank you. I appreciate your answers very much. And now look at the screen. Can you guess what we are going to speak about?

You are absolutely right. About the history of books. And now you will read the text quickly and check your answers.

The History of Books

Writing has existed as long as five thousand years. (1)_________________________ Then a new problem raised its head – what to write on? The earliest books were written on wooden tablets or pieces of bark. Such tablets were found in Greece and Rome. In ancient Babylon, people wrote on clay tablets. Papyrus, sheep and goat skins were used for a long time. Centuries passed. Then, the Chinese gave us paper. Though paper has been known in China since the 1st century, the secret of papermaking came to Europe much later.

Books were quite common in ancient Rome: we know that there were many booksellers and the first public library was founded there about 39 BC. (2)_________________________ By the time of the Middle Ages all books were handwritten and often beautifully decorated.

The invention of printing was a really great event in history. (3)_________________________ In Europe there were several people who can be called the inventors of printing. The best-known is Johann Gutenberg (1397–1468) from Germany. (4)_________________________ These letters were made into words, ink was put on them and then the words were pressed onto a sheet of paper. In this way words were pressed on paper and a book was made. (5)_________________________

Printing spread quickly over Europe and by the end of the 15th century there were more than 200 presses in European countries. The first printing press in England was set up by William Caxton (1422–1491) at Westminster in 1476. (6)_________________________ When grown-up, he became a great merchant himself. He left England and went to Germany where he saw the new way to make books. When he had learned everything about the art of printing, he returned to London and began to print books himself.

The man who invented the art of printing in Russia was Ivan Fyodorov (1510–1583). His press in Moscow worked from 1563 to 1565. (7)_____________________ In 1574, he printed the Azbuka which helped people to learn the alphabet and taught them how to read.

bark кора

clay глина

1. Read the article again. Seven sentences have been removed from the text. Choose from sentences A–H the one which fits each gap 1–7. There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

A Then he had to move to other cities and work there.

B When William was a boy, he was sent by his parents to work for a merchant in London.

C The first people to invent printing were the Chinese.

D It took a long time to make the wooden letters.

E At first people invented pictures, later alphabetic writing appeared.

F He printed books in every country.

G Only the rich could buy books or make their slaves copy books from important libraries.

H He cut pieces of wood into the shape of letters.

Answers: 1. E; 2. G; 3. C; 4. H; 5. D; 6. B; 7. A. F is extra.

VII. Complete the dialogue and act it out.

A: Can you help me with the test in history?

B: Of course, no problem.

A: __________________________________?

B: _________ on wooden tablets or pieces of bark.

A: Did people use any other instruments to write on?

B: _______________________________________.

A: Can you tell me__________________________?

B: It was China. ___________________________.

A: Really? How interesting. I’ve never heard about it before. ______________________?

B: Books were quite common in ancient Rome _______________________.

A: I have one more question. When and where was printing invented?

B: _______________________________________.

A: By whom was the first printing press set up in England?

B: __________________________________.

A: And what about Russia? What was our history of printing like?

B: ____________________________________.

A: Thank you very much for your help.

B: You are welcome.


What were the earliest books written on?

– The Greeks and the Romans wrote on wooden tablets. In ancient Babylon, clay tablets were used for writing. Papyrus, sheep and goat skins were used for a long time. Centuries passed. Then the Chinese gave us paper.

– Though paper has been known in China since the 1st century, the secret of papermaking came to Europe much later.

Where in the world did people have books in ancient times?

– Books existed in ancient Greece and Babylon. Books were quite common in ancient Rome: we know that there were many booksellers and the first public library was founded there about 39 BC.

When and where was printing invented?

The invention of printing was a really great event in history. The first people to invent printing were the Chinese. In Europe there were several people who can be called inventors of printing. The best-known one is Johann Gutenberg (1397–1468) from Germany.

Who set up the first printing press in England?

The first printing press in England was set up by William Caxton at Westminster in 1476. He learned everything about the art of printing when he lived in Germany.

And what about Russia? What was our history of printing like?

The man who introduced the art of printing into Russia was Ivan Fyodorov (1510–1583).

VIII. Проверка домашнего задания.

The development of printing led to opening more libraries. Who were the people who used the early libraries?

The early libraries were used only by scientists.

When did many public libraries appear?

The 19th century saw the appearance of a proper system of public libraries. As everyone knows, a library is a place where information in print and in other forms is collected and arranged to be used by people of all ages and interests. The word “library” comes from the Latin word “liber”, meaning “book”.

When was the first library in Russia set up?

Libraries as private book collections, were introduced in Russia as early as 11th century, the era of Yaroslav the Wise. The most mysterious library of Old Russia was the library of Ivan the Terrible (reigned 1533–1584). It is believed that hundreds of unique and priceless books were kept in secret cellars in the Kremlin and then lost. But if Ivan’s library had ever existed, it was not meant for public use.

In 1795, Catherine the Great founded the first Public Library in St. Petersburg. It was headed by the famous Russian archaeologist and historian Alexey Olenin.

IX. Teacher: And now look at the screen and try to name the great libraries of the world. What are they remarkable for?


Among the greatest libraries of the world we can name the British Museum Library in London, the Library of Congress in the USA, the Beijing Library in China, the State Public Library in Moscow. The world’s largest is the US Library of Congress.

The British Library is the largest public library in Britain. It consists of the Reference Division, the Bibliographical Service Division, the National Sound Archive and the Research and Development Department in London, and the Lending Division in Yorkshire. The collection of books includes medieval manuscripts and primary editions of Shakespeare, Dickens and many others.

The Library of Congress was founded in 1800 in Washington, DC. It holds about 90 million items including a great number of important documents from American history.

The State Public Library in Moscow was founded in 1862 and has a unique collections of books.

What role do libraries play?

Libraries play a very important role in the cultural development of any country. Nowadays, besides books, libraries keep newspapers, magazines, maps, audio and video records, and CDs. They are equipped with computers, to store enormous amounts of information that can be checked immediately. People all over the world desire to learn. They seek knowledge. Libraries have to meet their desire.

X. Read the text and fill in the forms of the Gerund with the necessary prepositions.

The Reading Public

One day instead _________(1) (go) to the museum I went to a bookshop. The shop assistant could not help _________(2) (serve) me though he disliked _________(3) (work) with professors.

Standing in a corner, I had a chance _________(4)(notice) something of an up-to-date manager’s methods.

_________(5) (see) a well-dressed woman the manager hurried to her.

“What book is worth _________(6) (read)?” asked the woman.

“Oh, madam, Golden Dreams is one of the best things by this author. My wife couldn’t help _________(7) (cry) when she was reading it.”

The woman bought the book without _________(8) (hesitate).

Another customer asked Mr. Sellyer to recommend something for him to read during his holiday.

“Yes, Golden Dreams. This is the most humorous book of the season. My wife couldn’t help _________(9) (laugh) all the time while she was reading”. The customer thanked Mr. Sellyer _________(10) (give) good advice and bought the book.

Mr. Sellyer was good _________(11) (sell) books. Golden Dreams was sold as a love story to some customers, as a book to read on a rainy day or as a book for a fine day to some other customers.

I began thinking _________(12) (buy) the book, too and asked my new friend if he really enjoyed _________(13) (read) it.

“Why?” he said. “I haven’t read it”. Do you think me foolish _________(14) (sell) it? What’s the use _________(15) (read) all the books?”

“But those people,” I went on ____________(16)(speak), “won’t they be disappointed when they read it?”

“By no means!” he exclaimed. “They won’t read it. They never do.”

The manager smiled widely. “I am not married, sir.”

Answers: 1. of going; 2. serving; 3. working; 4. to notice/of noticing; 5. On seeing; 6. reading; 7. crying; 8. hesitating; 9. laughing; 10. for giving; 11. at selling; 12. of buying; 13. reading; 14. for selling; 15. of reading; 16. speaking

XI. Teacher: Now you will read the text. Then use the word given in capitals at the end of each line to form a word which fits the space in the same line.

People don’t read (1)_______as muchNEWS
as they used to. 
A lot of people buy the paper to read 
about their (2)_________ sport. In fact,FAVOUR
sports (3)_______ have become one ofPERSON
the most popular subjects for (4)______.REPORT
Most people are bored with (5)_______POLITICS
and prefer to read about famous people 
like actors and (6)_______. People areMUSIC
particularly interested in reading about 
the (7)________ lives of pop stars andPERSON
other (8)____________. Nowadays,CELEBRATE
(9)__________will do almost anythingJOURNAL
to get a good story about a star, 
(10)_____________ if there is anySPECIAL
gossip in it. 

Answers: 1. Newspapers, 2. Favourite, 3. Personalities, 4. Reporters, 5. Politicians, 6. Musicians, 7. Personal, 8. Celebrities, 9. Journalists, 10. Especially.

XII. Comprehension

You are going to listen to some young people asking a futurologist questions about the future. Before you listen, discuss these questions with a partner:

Why will we be cutting down fewer trees?

What is online education?


STUDENT 1: Are there still going to be newspapers and books in the future?

FUTUROLOGIST: I think we can expect great changes in the media – TV screens will get larger and larger, and electronic cinema, or e-cinema, will become a part of our everyday life. As for newspapers, well, ecologically speaking, they’re bad news! We can’t really afford to cut down any more trees, can we?

One practical solution might be an electronic newspaper about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. It’ll be made of plastic and it’ll have a tiny microchip inside, holding a huge amount of information. It’ll be much cleaner, too. Wherever you are, when you want to read The Times or your favourite comic or sports magazine, you’ll just take out your little plastic folder, press the chip and read. When you finish, you’ll just close your little bit of plastic and put it back into your pocket. So it looks as if we’ll be cutting down fewer trees in the future – which I think is good news for the trees, don’t you?

STUDENT 2: Will there still be schools?

FUTUROLOGIST: Well, we’re already seeing more and more virtual classrooms where computers link together learners and teachers from all over the world. I think we’ll be seeing more and more of this online education in future. Yes, I definitely think that’s the way things are going, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any conventional schools at all. There’ll simply be more ways of studying, whether you’re learning at home or in class. Thank you.

Are these statements true or false?

1. Newspapers will look very different from newspapers today.

2. We’ll be cutting down more forests in the future.

3. Classrooms will disappear.

Discuss in pairs whether you think the predictions are correct.


Teacher: Now we have seen what an adventure story is the history of writing, how many brains take part in it and how fascinating the future may be. So we can truly say that literacy is a miracle.


“The Miracle” by Queen (lyrics).
Every drop of rain that falls
In the Sahara Desert says it all –
It’s a miracle!
All God’s creations great and small,
The Golden Gate and the Taj Mahal,
That’s a miracle.
Test-tube babies being born,
Mothers, fathers dead and gone,
It’s a miracle.
We’re having a miracle on earth
Mother Nature does it all for us.
The wonders of this world go on,
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon,
Captain Cook and Cain and Abel,
Jimi Hendrix to the Tower of Babel,
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a
miracle, it’s a miracle
The one thing we’re all waiting for,
Is peace on earth, an end to war.
It’s a miracle we need – the miracle, the miracle,
We’re all waiting for today.
If every leaf on every tree could tell a story,
That would be a miracle.
If every child on every street,
Had clothes to wear and food to eat,
That’s a miracle.
If all God’s people could be free,
To live in perfect harmony,
It’s a miracle.
We’re having a miracle on earth
Mother Nature does it all for us,
Open hearts and surgery,
Sunday mornings with a cup of tea,
Superpowers always fighting,
But Mona Lisa just keeps on smiling,
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle
The one thing we’re all waiting for,
Is peace on earth, an end to war.
It’s a miracle we need – the miracle, the miracle of
Peace on earth, an end to war today.
That time will come, one day you’ll see
When we can all be friends.

By Svetlana Myakisheva