UNIT 7 The Fun They Had

					                        UNIT 7            The Fun They Had

Teaching Objectives
Enable students to understand the theme, the gist and the implications of the article;
Enable students to know how the article is organized;
Enable students to get some knowledge about the general grammatical rules and functions
Enable students to be aware of the relationship between the theme and the rhetoric means;
Sensitize students to the stylistic features of the text.

Main tasks for this lesson
The theme of the article
Structural analysis of the article
Introduction to some grammatical knowledge
Important language points

Teaching Methods and Teaching Aids
Tapes; reading; asking and answering; discussion; explanation; homework, etc.

Time allotment for this lesson
2 lessons for tape listening & group reading and discussion
2 lessons for detailed explanation of important language points of the article
2 lessons for the exercises

Additional Information about The Author and Text
      Isaac Asimov, the author of the text, is an American biochemist and author. He
was born in the former USSR on January 2, 1920. He was taken to the United States
at the age of 3 and brought up in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Columbia
University in 1939, and got his Ph. D. in the same university in 1947. He taught
biochemistry at Boston University, but he is most widely known for his science fiction.
Some of his best-known works are I, Robot, published in 1950 and The Foundation
Trilogy, published in 1951 -1953.

Text Explanations
Text I
     This narrative story centers around a very old book about school and involves
two main characters -- Margie and Tommy. The text can be divided into three main
parts. The first part, the first paragraph, serves as the background of the story. The
second part, from Paragraph 2 to Paragraph 30, is the major portion of the story, with
a conversation between the two leading characters running through most of it. This
part tells us that Margie, a girl who is aged 11 in 2157, always hates school because
her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours and put her
homework and test papers in the slot. And through the talk with Tommy, Margie gets
to know about the kind of school where human beings served as teachers hundreds of
years ago. The last part, covering the last five paragraphs, tells us something about the
schoolroom and the mechanical teacher. Besides, it describes Margie's psychological
activities: how wonderful the old school was and how fortunate the school kids were
and what great fun they had. This part also reveals indirectly how children in the
future may dislike school with a mechanical teacher only and how they wish to have
human teachers teaching them.
             1 ) What does the narrative text tell us?
             2) From the text what can we see about education in the distant future'?
      Al: The text tells us that Margie, a girl who is aged 11 in 2157, always hates
school because her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours
and put her homework and
test papers in the slot. It also tells us how she is envious of kids who studied together,
experienced great fun, and had human teachers hundreds of years ago.
      A2: From the text we can gain a general picture of future education: The
television screen contains as many as a million books. Words just move the way they
are supposed to on a screen.
Instead of having human teachers, children have only mechanical teachers. They have
to learn at regular hours and put their homework and test papers in the slot. The text
indirectly tells us that children in the distant future wish to have human teachers
instead of mechanical ones and hope to study as kids did hundreds of years ago.

Paragraph 1 Analysis
This paragraph, which serves as the background of the story, tells us the exact date on
which the story occurs, the name of the leading character, and the real book around
which the story evolves. The following questions may be raised:
       1 ) When did the story happen?
       2) What did Margie write in her diary on the night of May 17, 2157?
Al: The story happened on May 17, 2157.
A2: On the night of May 17, 2157, Margie wrote in her diary, "Today Tommy found a
real book !"

Language Work
1. head
(1) lead; be at the front of; be at the top of
        The president's car headed the procession.
        She will head the cast.
      This canyon heads the list of natural attractions.
(2) be in charge of; take charge of
      The Commission of Inquiry headed by the president of the Board of Trustees is
investigating the case.
      The sales director heads a team of 20 representatives.
2. diary (a book containing) a daily record of the events in a person's life
       Did you keep a diary while you were traveling in Europe?
                   Are you reading my diary again?

Paragraphs 2-31 ::
      These paragraphs may be considered to constitute the second part of the narrative
text. This
part is the longest and most important portion of the story, with a somewhat long
conversation between the two leading characters running through most of it. This part
informs us that Margie, a girl who is eleven years old in 2157, always strongly hates
school, for her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours and
place her homework and test papers in the slot. And
through the talk with Tommy, a boy who is 13 in the year of 2157 and who is familiar
with the book about school hundreds of years ago, Margie gets to know about the kind
of school where human beings served as teachers centuries ago. The following
questions may be raised for discussion:
                1 ) What is the conversation concerned with?
                2) Why does Margie hate school?
         Al: The conversation was concerned with a very old book about the old kind of
school with human teachers that existed centuries ago.
         PO,: Because the mechanical teacher gives her frequent tests. She has to put
her homework and test papers in the slot. She always has to write them out in a punch
code. They made her learn
when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculates the marks in no
time. It is always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday. And she
has to learn at regular hours.
3. crinkly - having many thin folds; (of hair) curly
                        My shirts were all crinkly when I got them out of the suitcase.
                        Her hair is a bit crinkly, which makes her look much prettier.
4 .and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way
they were supposed to -- on a screen. and it was very amusing to read words that were
motionless instead of moving the way they ought to -- on a screen be supposed to ,.
( 1 ) have a duty or responsibility to do sth.
                     Everybody is supposed to bring a bottle to the party.
                     You are not supposed to smoke in here.
(2) be generally considered to be; have the reputation of being
                     I haven't seen it myself, but it is supposed to be a very good film.
5. screen
       ( 1 ) a surface on which a cinema film is shown
                     We sat at the front, very close to the screen.
                     She first appeared on the screen ten years ago.
       (2) the front glass surface of an electrical instrument, esp. a television on which
pictures or information appear
             Using this apparatus, you can change the text on screen.
             This popular show will be back on your screens again next year.
6. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, 1 guess. When you
      have finished reading the book, you merely cast it away, I believe. through
   ( 1 ) in at one side, end, or surface, and out at the other; all the way
                     The guard at the gate wouldn't let us through.
                     Does this train go right through to London?
   (2) from the beginning to the end; to completion
                       Have you read the letter right through?
                       You should read the article through before you translate it.
              throw away : get rid of ( sth. not wanted or needed); discard
                     You should throw away all those junks.
                     Don't throw those used trousers away. You can still wear them when
7. plenty
              (1) pron. a large quantity or number; enough or more than enough
                       "Do you need any more money? .... No, we have $ 200 and
that's plenty."
                       If you want some chairs, there are plenty more in here.
              (2) ad. quite; to quite a large degree; very
                       I am plenty hungry. I need to have a big meal at once.
8. scornful : showing contempt for; showing strong and sometimes angry disrespect
              sb. or sth. that is regarded as worthless
                       His scornful laugh greatly embarrassed me.
                       His scornful dismissal of the democratic process showed that he
                         did not support it.
9. What's there to write about school? !: This is a rhetorical question, which calls for
      no answer. A positive rhetorical question is negative in meaning. The rhetorical
      question here means: There is nothing at all to write about school.
10. mechanical
                (1) of or moved, worked, or produced by machinery
                         That factory manufactures a variety of mechanical products.
                         Being a mechanical genius, that man is at home in mechanical
          (2) done without thought or feeling; (done) from habit rather than will
                       He was asked the same question so many times that his answer
                         became mechanical.
                       He greeted me in a mechanical way by using mechanical
11. sorrowfully : sadly; in a sad manner; feeling or showing sadness, grief or
              over loss or wrong-doing
                      The woman cried sorrowfully for her misfortune.
                      The little woman said sorrowfully that she had been deceived.
12. send for the County Inspector : ask sb. to request the County Inspector to come to
              the mechanical teacher
              inspector : an official who inspects something
                      A ticket inspector got on the train.
                      As a tax inspector, he is highly responsible for his work.
13. dial : the face of an instrument, such as a clock, showing measurements by
means of
              pointer and figures; the wheel on an old-fashioned telephone with
               numbered holes for the fingers, which is moved round when one makes a
               telephone call
14. slot : a long straight narrow opening or hollow place, esp. in a machine or tool
                      Put a coin into the slot of tile vending machine, and you can get a
cup of coffee.
                      There is a mail-slot in thc door and you can put a note or letter in
15. a punch code : a computer system of words, letters, numbers, etc.
16 .... the mechanical teacher calculated the mark in no time. : ... the computer
which served
               as a teacher immediately worked out the mark.calculate : find out or
            make a firm guess about ( esp. an amount), esp. by using numbers
                      They use a computer to calculate the cost of wages as a percentage
                          of the company's income.
                      The government has to calculate the likely effects on revenues of a
                       big drop in the oil price.
               in no time : very quickly; immediately; at once
                      We will have that leak fixed in no time.
17. disappointed : (about, at, in with) unhappy at not seeing hopes come true
                      Since he lost the election, he has become a disappointed man.
                      He was deeply disappointed at losing the race
                      My parents will be disappointed if I fail the exam.
                       I was disappointed to hear that they were not confing.
18. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether.: She had been
               they would move or carry the mechanical teacher to another place once
      for all. Here the teacher was a computer, which was large and black and ugly,
      with a big screen on which all the lessons are shown and questions asked.
19. superior
               (1) of a higher rank or class; better in quality or value
                       Of the two books, this one is superior to that one.
               (2) of high quality
                       This is a very superior make of car.
                        Superior goods are very popular among the customers.
20. stupid - In the text, the word stupid, which is used as a noun, means a stupid
person, a
               silly or foolish person. However, the word stupid is normally used as an
      adjective, and as such it means "silly or foolish, either generally or in
                        A stupid person has stupid ideas and behaves stupidly.
                        It was stupid of you to turn it upside down without closing the
                        I think you were stupid not to accept his offer.
21. loftily - haughtily; in a manner that shows one is better than other people
                        When I asked for help, he just smiled loftily and turned away.
                        That man behaves loftily and tums down any request for help.
22. pronounce -
               (1) make the sound of a letter, a word, etc.
                        In the word "knew," letter "k" is not pronounced.
                        How do you pronounce your name?
               (2) declare, esp. officially or after consideration
                        The doctor pronounced the man dead.
                        The priest said, "I now pronounce you man and wife."
23. regular -
               ( 1 ) happening or appearing with the same amount of time or space
                     between each one and the next; not varying
                        His pulse is not very regular.
                        Plant the seeds at regular intervals.
               (2) happening, coming or doing something again and again at the same
                        times each day, week, month, etc.
                        We keep regular working hours.
                        Mr Smith is a regular customer of the small store.
24. smart -
               (l) neat and stylish in appearance
                        You look very smart in that new shirt.
                        What a smart new suit you have!
               (2) clever, quick in thinking
                        If he is as smart as he says, why did he fail in the test?
                      He screamed out a warning not to touch the electric wire.
27. adjust - change slightly, esp. in order to make right or suitable for a particular
purpose or
                        You can adjust the color on the TV by turning this knob.
                        He adjusted himself very quickly to the heat of the country.
28. fit - be the right size or shape; be suitable for
                        This dress does not fit me.
                        Will your key fit the lock?
                      Your theory .fits all the facts.
29. nonchalantly - indifferently, coldly, not feeling excited
                      He reacted nonchalantly to my suggestion.
                      He treated me nonchalantly when I visited him.
30. whistle - make a high clear sound by forcing air through a narrow hole formed by
the lips
              to make music or as a signal to draw attention, or by forcing air or steam
                 through a whistle
                      She whistled to her dog and it came running.
                      The referee whistled and the game began.
                      The old steam train whistled as it approached the station.
31. tuck - take the edge or end of a garment, a piece of material, etc. and put or push it
              a desired or convenient position, usu. a narrow space; put esp. sth. flat
into convenient
              narrow space for protection, safety, etc.
                      Tuck your shirt into your trousers.
                      He had a hook tucked under his arm
                      The countrywoman tucked the money into the top of her sock for
                                   the sake of safety.

Paragraphs 31-35            Analysis
                  These paragraphs, the last part of the text, tell us something about the
schoolroom and the mechanical teacher. Besides, Margie's psychological activities are
also described. She was thinking about how nice the old school was and how the
school kids must have loved it in the old days; she was meditating on how fortunate
they were and what great fun they had. What's more, this part reveals indirectly how
children in the distant future dislike school with a mechanical teacher only and how
they wish to have human teachers teaching them. The questions below may be put
              1 ) What do you know about the schoolroom and the mechanical
              2) What was Margie thinking about?
      Al' The schoolroom was right next to Margie's bedroom, and the mechanical
teacher was always on at the same time everyday except Saturday and Sunday. It
asked Margie to insert her
homework and test papers into the slot.
      A2: She was thinking about the old school they had when her grandfather's
grandfather was a little boy. "All the kids from the whole neighborhood came,
laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going
home together at the end of the day. They
learned the same things, so they could help one another on the homework and talk
about it.
And the teachers were people. Margie was thinking about how the kids must have
loved it in
the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had."
32. light up -
               (1) ignite; (cause to) start to burn; give light to
                        The fire won't light up.
                        The stage was lit up by several powerful spotlights.
               (2) cause to become bright with pleasure or excitement.
                        Suddenly, a smile lit up her face when she heard the news.
                        Her face lit up with joy when she saw him coming.
33. arithmetic - the science of numbers; the adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing,
               of numbers; calculation by numbers
                       The little girl got full marks in the arithmetic quiz.
34. fraction - (in mathematics) a division or part of a whole number
                       The boy is very good at adding fractions.
                       The girl does not know how to do these fractions.
35. insert - put or place sth. in (to) sth. else
                       He inserted a key into a lock, unlocked the door, and opened it.
                       Several amendments have been inserted into the contract.
36. proper -
               ( 1 ) right, correct, suitable
                        She is too ill to be nursed at home; she needs proper medical
                        attention at a hospital.
               (2) (paying great attention to what is) socially correct or acceptable
                        That short dress is not really proper for this formal occasion.
37. sigh - an act or sound of sighing
                       We all heaved out a sigh of relief when we heard that we were
38. neighborhood - a group of people and their homes forming a small area within a
             place such as a town; community
                       We live in a neighborhood with a school nearby.

Text Comprehension
I. Decide which of the following best states the author's purpose of writing.

II. Judge, according to the text, whether the following statements are true or false.
               1. F. The statement is false because it happened on May 17, 2157 as is
                                stated in Paragraph 1.
               2. T. Refer to Paragraphs 3 and 11.
               3. F. This is a false statement, for the County Inspector must be a
                        computer technician as
                            is depicted in Paragraph 12.
              4. T.      Refer to Paragraph 17.
              5. F.      The statement is not true, for the conversation was going on at
                               Margie's home.
                6. T.    Refer to Paragraphs 33 and 35.
III. Answer the following questions
1. Refer to Paragraphs 2 and 3. A "real book" is a very old book in which stories of a
   school are printed on yellow and crinkly pages.
2.Refer to Paragraphs 3 and 4. They must be using telebook as is mentioned in the
3.Refer to Paragraph l 1. She hates school because she has been doing worse and
worse in
           her tests of geography.
4. Refer to Paragraphs 13. She was disappointed because she had been hoping they
                   take the teacher away altogether.
5. Refer to Paragraph 32. It gave Margie an arithmetic lesson on the addition of
proper fractions.
6. Refer to the whole text. The schools of Margie's days give classes on net assigning
   homework by computer software programs while students in old days went to
   school to attend their lessons given by human teachers. Besides, they were having
   lessons in classrooms experiencing interactiveness, friendliness and team spirit
   instead of taking lessons alone at home as Tommy and Margie do.
IV. Explain in your own words the .following, sentences taken from the text,
   1. Her mother asked the County Inspector to come over.
   2. The mechanical teacher finished the calculation of the mark very quickly.
   3. Tommy looked at Margie with an air which suggested he knew far better about
      school than others.
     4. A teacher, a computerized teacher on net, has to be changed slightly so as Io
be suitable
           for each boy and girl to learn from.

Structural Analysis of the Text
           Refer to Paragraphs 33 and 35. She was thinking about the old school they
had when her grandfather's grandfather was a little boy. All the kids from the whole
neighborhood came,
laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going
home together at the end of the day. They learned the same things, so they could help
one another on the homework and talk about it. And the teachers were people, not
machines. Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days.
She was thinking about the fun they had.
Vocabulary Exercises
I. Explain the italicized part in each sentence in your own words.
                1. have finished reading
               2. by looking from behind his shoulder
               3. is capable of providing
               4. sent a message asking for the assistance of
               5. disassembled the machine/computer teacher
               6. didn't like/want to
II. Fill in each blank with one of the two words from each pair and note the difference
      of meaning between them.
1. Funny is a very informal word, focusing mainly on whatever results in laughter
   because of oddness, abnormality, or inappropriateness. Interesting refers to
   something that attracts people's attention, usually because it is exciting, unusual and
   deserves their observation and study.
               a. Funny               b. interesting         c. interesting      d. funny
2. Still suggests an unruffled or tranquil state, and often refers to a moment of calm
between periods of noise and movement, and during this moment there is no sign of
activity. Silent simply means becoming speechless or being without noise; it does not
necessarily suggest serenity or motionlessness.
          a. silent                 b. silent                 c. still             d. still
3. Dispute is often used as a transitive verb, meaning to say that something is
incorrect or untrue, to fight passionately for control or ownership of something. Argue
usually refers to a reasoned presentation of views or to a heated exchange of opinion;
very often when used intransitively, it is followed by prepositions like "with,"
"for/against," "about," etc.
            a. dispute              b. arguing            c. disputing         d. arguing
4. Usual is applied to whatever recurs frequently and steadily, referring to natural
happenings as well as to occurrences based on the customs of the community or the
habits of an individual, while regular emphasizes a conformity to the established or
natural order of things, referring to events that happen often, or events that have equal
amounts of time between them, so that they happen at the same time, for example,
each day or each week.
             a. usual                 b. usual                c. Regular            d.
III. Choose a word or phrase that best completes each of the following sentences.
               1. D        2. A       3. B        4. B     5. A        6. C    7. C        8.
IV. Fill in the blank in each sentence with a word or phrase taken front the box in its'
         1. in no time 2. crinkly             3. scornful       4. neighborhood 5. awfully
       6. adjusting         7. tuck            8. nonchalantly 9. punched          10. fit
V. Pill in the blank in each sentence with an appropriate form of the given
capitalized word in
           the parenthesis'.
           1. It's quite pointless to ask him again. He'll never agree.
           2. No, this is not an original; it's a good reproduction, though.
           3. We'd better go by train. The car is too unreliable for such a long journey.
           4. Thanks to your generosity we have now collected the money we need.
           5. Jenny has sent me a very apologetic letter explaining why she didn't do
what she
           6. You must realize that such disobedience cannot be tolerated.

Grammar Exercises
      I.   Note the italicized parts in the following sentences.
               Pay attention to the use of definite, indefinite and zero articles in these
      II. Complete the following sentences with a/an or the.
               1. the, the 2. a             3. a, a, / 4. a               5. the         6. /, the
      III. Put iii the where necessary.
               1. /,/,/   2. /             3. the,/        4. the,/         5. /,/
             6. The            7. /               8. the, the       9. the, /      10. /
      IV. Choose the correct noun phrase from the underlined parts of the following
               1. Light                   2. a noise               3. very good weather         4.
bad luck
             5. president              6. The vegetables 7. war                               8.
All the books
             9. coffee               10. poetry
      V. Make sentences Of your own after the sentence given below, using the "It ...
to do some-
            thing" pattern, i.e. starting each of your sentences with it as the formal
subject, and
        postponing the infinitive phrase used as the real subject.

     Translation exercises
         Translate each of the following sentences into English, using the word or
phrase given in the bracket. Inflect the word or phrase where necessary.
1. Yesterday a government delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs
       arrived in South Africa and began a three-day friendly visit to the country.
2. It is awfully funny and splits your sides with laughter to observe these caricatures
    which satirize social ills.
3. Computers are one of the most useful teaching aids, for all your lessons as well as
    all the questions asked and all the answers provided can be shown on a screen.
4. As soon as his mother fell ill suddenly the day before yesterday, Xiao Zhang sent
    for a doctor, who came and diagnosed and treated his mother.
5. He failed in the college entrance examination last year, but he did not feel
    Instead, he continued to study hard, passed the examination successfully and
    became a student in a famous university this year.
6. There are many English words that this middle school student cannot pronounce
    Therefore, he has to make great effort to learn the phonetic symbols well and
    acquire standard English pronunciation.
7.In this new era marked by knowledge explosion and information explosion, we have
to pursue constant study and take particular care to renew our knowledge. Only thus,
can we become adjusted to the requirements of our specialized work.
8. With his shirt tucked into the top of his trousers and a leather bag tucked under his
                the boy looked just like a boss.
9. Although she is only eight years old, the little girl is already very good at
calculating fractions.
                No wonder her parents feel very proud of her.
10. All the neighborhood have heard about the news, but you haven't. Don't you think
it is
                very strange?

Shared By: