Students’ age range: 16-18
Topic: READING COMPREHENSION: HOW RICH ARE WE?
Description: Pre-reading activities
By reading the title of the text and by looking at a picture of a tree with bills instead of leaves the students predict what the reading will be about. Also, they answer some questions such as where the story takes place, when it happens, who are the characters of the story. The answers are copied on the board without confirming any one of them.
Afterwards, the teacher asks them to match some words with their definitions.
____Speechless a. the line that forms the apparent limit between earth and sky
b. a small body of still water
d. silent, mute
e. journey, voyage
f. rural districts
h. garden, field
While reading activities
1. The teacher asks the students to read the story How Rich Are We, by an unknown author, and to confirm the ideas they had about it.
How Rich Are We?
One day a father and his rich family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "Very good Dad!" "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Yeah!" "And what did you learn?"
The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have a whole horizon." When the little boy was finished, his father was speechless. His son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how 'poor' we are!"
Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude towards life -- you've got everything! You can't buy any of these things. You may have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc.; but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing! ( Author Unknown) http://www.jokearchives.com/inspire/howricharewe.html
2. The students have to read the story again. They will work in pairs, and then they will answer the following questions:
1. What is the main purpose of the author for writing this story?
2. What do you think the question in mind of the author were when he/she wrote the story?
3. What facts, experiences, or data the author uses for supporting his/conclusions?
4. What are the main conclusions in this story?
5. What are the key concept(s) we need to understand in this story?
6. What are the main assumption(s) underlying the author’s thinking?
7. What consequences are likely to follow if people take the author’s line of reasoning seriously?
8. What consequences are likely to follow if people ignore the author’s reasoning?
8. What is the main point(s) of view presented in the story?
3. After the students have answered the questions, they join another pair and they work in groups of four for sharing and commenting their answers.
Follow up activities
1. One student per group shares the answers with the whole class. Respectfully the rest of the class discusses about the answers and expresses their points of view with arguments.
2. When the discussion is over, the students have to summarize the story using their own words and to complete the expression I used to think, now I think….
3. Some summaries and complete expressions are shared with the complete class.