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Основными целями урока являются расширение данной темы для класса гуманитарного профиля, расширение словарного запаса по теме, развитие навыков аудирования.

The objectives of the lesson and skills development:
  1. to express and to justify a different opinion;
  2. to appreciate some facts from the history of the house development;
  3. to listen for gist and special information;
  4. to elicit cross-cultural information;
  5. to present facts for further use in the language work;
  6. to practice listening to a dialogue;
  7. to practice predicting;
  8. to enlarge vocabulary on the topic;
Visual aids: pictures of different national houses, pictures of the houses showing the evolution of the houses, cards for individual work, cassette and others.

The plan of the lesson:
  1. Why do people have houses?
  2. The evolution of houses’ construction.
  3. National aspects of the houses.
  4. A house to buy.
  5. How to build a small wooden house?
  6. My home is my castle.
  7. The plan for the future work.
The procedure of the lesson:

Warm up.

The teacher declares the topic of the lesson and suggests the students to discuss the following question: Why should people have a house or any type of shelter?

Possible answers:
  1. People have houses because they need protection against snow, rain generally from bad weather.
  2. Many years ago people needed shelter to escape from bitter and ferocious animals. The reason is an actual one in many countries of Asia, Africa.
  3. Houses are the protection from the Sun.
  4. The houses people live in tell us a lot about their cultural level. I mean people can self-express with the help of the construction of a house, the interior of a house and so on. People surround themselves with the things they like.
  5. People need houses to run household. Living is impossible without cooking, sleeping and doing many other important things.
  6. People need houses to create a family.
  7. People need houses to have a rest, to stay alone, to separate from the world for a while and etc.

The other question is: the evolution of the houses. Some students began to research this problem some time ago and today they tell us about it. If you’d like you may ask them questions. (The stories are abridged).

Student one: I wan t to tell you about primitive forms of shelter which people began to built many years ago. The main aspects that influenced these form were climate and protection from animals. Ancient people lived in caves. These were "ready” homes. Then people began to construct houses. At that time the greater part of our planet was covered with thick forests. Even in those days men found the ways of using woods as a building material. In some places they tied together the tops of several trees and covered them with the skins of animals. In other places they covered them with leaves and grass. The primitive people’s houses were tents or hunts. Primitive building required no tools. Some houses were made of sticks straw and clay. American Eskimo’s house "igloo” was made of ice. I think it is the most amusing type of houses. Russian log-houses were made of wood without nails.

Student two: Another step in the development of housing construction were palaces and castles. People began to use stone widely to build their houses many centuries ago. The invention of tools permitted the cutting of stones and timber. Palaces and castles had got complicated architecture. They were protection not only from weather and animals but from enemies too. There were a lot of wars that time. A classical medieval palaces (picture). A wooden Russian palace (picture). Here you can see the Asian style in building palaces (picture). Of course, only rich people could let afford such palaces. They were not only the means of protection but also the examples of luxury and the talent of their architects.

Student tree: Another step in building was many-storied houses. But they are not so modern as it may seem. About 4000 years BC the Egyptians possessed great constructional know-how. They built simple houses by present standards (picture). The most modern houses have got primitive forms. They are like large boxes. But the population is growing and more and more houses are demanded. That’s why houses have begun to grow not in width but in height. The masterpiece of modern architecture is skyscrapers, which were started to build in the USA in 1960s. Modern houses have got all modern conveniences: hot and cold running water, central heating, and electricity. The main disadvantage of them is that they are much alike. Do you remember a famous Russian film "The irony of fate”? The hero of the film confused the houses because of their similarity.


Another question that is to be discussed in the connection with the main topic is national aspects of the houses. They say "So many countries, so many customs”. It is so. And houses depict difference in lifestyles.

Possible answers:
  1. Japanese have got separate traditional teahouses for tea ceremonies that are very popular in Japan.
  2. There is a lot of water in some Asian and African countries especially in jungles. So many houses are built on piles there. And or course it is difficult for stragers to penetrate in them.
  3. Traditional log-house in villages are made of wood and decorated with woodcarving. A Russian saying, "to dance from the stove” that means "to begin from the beginning” has got very practical meaning. The construction of a house has always been started with a stone stove. Each house has got wooden tableware. In every house there was a "red corner” with icons. Each house has got some additional constructions like "seny”, "podpol”. "Sveytyolka” means a light room and etc.
  4. Yakut house is called "balagan”. But it is not a Yakut word but a Persian one. The position of naara-beds in a Yakut house has got life meaning. For example, near the entrance there are beds for not very important guests. The warmest and coziest beds are for noble guests.
Lesson Break.

I think you know that the fireplace is traditional in an English house. The English like to sit around it and dream. So we are going to have a rest and dream a little. I am reading you a poem "The picture in the fire” and you will listen to it. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the poem.

The lamps now glitter down the street
Faintly sound the falling feet;
And the blue evening slowly falls
About the garden trees and walls.

Now in the falling of the gloom
The red fire paints the empty room:
And warmly on the roof it looks,
And flickers on the backs of books.

Armies march by tower and spire
Of cities blazing, in the fire; -
Till as I gaze with staring eyes,
The army fade, the luster dies.

Then once again the glow returns;
Again the phantom city burns;
And down the red-hot valley, lo!
The phantom armies marching go!

Blinking embers tell me rue
Where are those armies marching to?
And what the burning city is
That crumbles in your furnaces!

Teacher: Tell me please what you think of while looking into a fire?

Listening comprehension.

The text "How to buy a house” is taken from "Headway” (John and Liz Soars, Oxford University Press)

J = Jeremy

L = Linda

J: What do you think of that place? Not bad, was it?

L: Oh, it was lovely, it was really lovely. A very pretty place, a beautiful modernized cottage.

J: Mmm. Not as big as the house we’ve got at the moment, though.

L: No, not as big, it’s true, but it’s in a much better location, with countryside all around, and lovely views from the bedrooms.

J: It’s quite a long way from the station, isn’t it? If we bought it, we’d have to drive to the station, we couldn’t walk.

L: That’s wouldn’t matter. You can walk in summer if it’s a nice day. It’s a lovely walk across the park.

J: I’ll tell you one thing I didn’t like, actually, and that was the low ceiling everywhere, especially in the kitchen.

L: Yes, but I think how expensive it is to heat our house at the moment, and that’s partly because the ceilings are so high. If the ceilings wee lower it would be much cheaper to heat. I mean our gas bills would really go down.

J: I suppose you are right. But the lounge is tiny. You couldn’t get more than five people in it.

L: Yes, you know, but the thing to do with this house is to knock down the wall between the living-room and the dining-room. Then you’d have a good-sized room. And think how cozy it would be on a winter evening, beside that fire. And the kitchen was big, anyway. And nice and bright.

J: Mmmm…. I’m afraid I didn’t like the bedrooms very much, with one on the first floor and another two in that converted loft.

L: Oh, I loved the bedrooms. Particul… well, all the bedrooms. They’re all double bedrooms, and with those views…

J: But the main one , the main one is right next to the street, so that would be very noisy.

L: But the street is not so noisy. I mean, it’s only a lane; it’s not really a busy road. You wouldn’t hear very much.

J: Yes, it’s true. And I suppose the children can have the bedrooms on the top floor.

The stairs are a bit dangerous. I’d have to fix them. And the roof is leaking. If they don’t do anything about that soon, the ceiling will come down. It’s been raining a lot recently.

L: What about the outside? What did you think of that?

J: I thought it was very attractive, with the countryside and then the garden. I bet the courtyard catches the sun. We could eat out in summer.

L: And it’s quite a big garden. And that’s a lovely mature apple tree right in the middle. Lots space for your vegetables. So what do you think?

J: Well, I’m not so sure. I don’t think it would big enough for us.

L: OK. That’s again, then.

The teacher: Please express your opinion if the family will buy this house or not and give the proofs from the text.

Possible answers:

The house is not so big as their own one. I think it is not necessary to buy it.
I think they will buy it because the location if the house is perfect with the countryside around. Fresh air will be good for the children.
And so on.

Language work.

Do you know how to build a small wooden house? The next task is for you practice. Put the sentences in the correct order.

How to build a small wooden house:
  1. to build the walls of the house and to build in the doors, windows, ventilators.
  2. to put glass in the windows frames.
  3. to measure the plot of land or site and make a plan of it.
  4. to work on the water pipes and wires of the house.
  5. to mark the shape of the house on the site.
  6. to draw pictures of what the house will look like when it is built.
  7. to make copies of the plan.
  8. to make the rough woodwork of the house.
  9. to paint and to decorate the house.
  10. to draw the plan of the house on the plan of the site.
  11. to dig away the top-soil and to lay foundation.
  12. to make the ceilings and walls nice and smooth.
(1-3, 2-6, 3-10, 4-7, 5-5, 6-11, 7-1, 8-8, 9- 4, 10-2, 11-12, 12-9)


Today at the lesson we have dealt with practical sides of our houses. But let’s remember an English saying "My home is my castle”. What do they mean? Do you agree with this? Let’s read your compositions "Home sweet home”, in which your have touched upon moral aspects of your homes, what your home means for you. (The students have written compositions beforehand).

The students are reading the extracts from their compositions.

The end of the lesson.

All the questions we would like to discuss are up. But we can make a plan of our further work. For example we could discuss:

The question of animals’ homes. Are animals more rational than people?

The problem of homeless people is worth discussing. How can our society help them?

May be we’ll try ourselves as designers and to solve "the flat question”?

I think it will be interesting to mention all the techniques that we use at home.

Will the houses in the future be the same?

The results of the lesson.

Home task: choose one theme and be ready to give the prospects of it.

Гуринова Наталья Петровна, учитель английского языка

МОУ Гимназия №1, г.Нерюнгри, Республика Саха (Якутия)

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