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ISSUE 49 2019

The e-zine which stirs your soul, tickles your imagination and inspires positive education

Dear reader, One of my heroes is the amazing Dr Tererai Trent, whose powerful story deeply touched my heart a couple of years ago. It inspired me to create the lesson plan “It is achievable” which students and teachers have described as pure motivation. So when her book “The awakened woman” was published, I could not wait to dip into its pool of knowledge. Not only does the author tell her incredible story of manifestation but she also shares many pearls of wisdom. In chapter 4 Dr Trent kindly calls on our bravery to write our stories because it is liberating and informative. However, what provoked me to dedicate a whole issue to the Power of Storytelling was her claim that stories have a healing effect on us. Tererai says: “Telling our stories is an antidote to the chronic misalignment, or sickness, that we experience in a world full of silences.” The author gives numerous scientific facts which prove that by telling our story, we “turn on our body’s innate self-repair mechanisms” and also help the nervous system to relax. I believe that every student carries a powerful story within and my role as an educator is to help him/her release it. This issue brings to you a great variety of lesson plans, activities and tips which enable you to unleash your students’ creativity and turn them into potent storytellers.



What is your favourite storytelling tool?

e c i r P a y s u r a M 2


INSIDE 06 Is the Art of Storytelling still alive? 11 Spice up your English lessons 12 Stories take students on a never-ending journey 16 Improve your English F*A*S*T 18 Laughing Haircut- Lesson plan 29 Storytelling- Speaking Activities 32 Using an image to create a story 33 Let's Write Laughing Haircut 34 2 storytelling activities 39 Josie's corner 43 Emotional Intelligence 54 Growing with Gratitude 65 Easy English 73 Kids' corner 74 Fun with English

Lesson plan by Max Neil Maximchuk

1 Amphora, 2 storytelling activities By Marusya Price

Frank & Russie’s Little Big Magical Adventures Chapter 2


Sapna Sehgal, The Teaching Cove When my 15-year-old tutoring student who had difficulty communicating in English last year answered a speaking prompt at a lesson using an expression, a phrasal verb, and the conditional tense we had studied the class before (without me asking for any of those!). So proud.

Phyllis Klughaupt Becker I was testing 12th graders for the Oral bagrut, asking typical interview questions to students I had never met before. When I asked them to tell me about a time they felt really proud of themselves, their answers blew me away! No one had ever asked them about those special moments but each one left the interview/test on a high; re-feeling their special memory. I felt amazingly close to them afterwards. Some of their comments included things like: “I was asked to play a role in a class play that was completely not me. I was sure I would mess up but everyone complimented my performance. I felt I could be anyone I chose to be and became much more confident.� Another helped a neighbor. No one knew, but he often did favors for an elderly neighbor like fixing something or getting something from the store. Another made a stunning ceramic vase that the teacher had left on display in school and he had never even brought it home. Another was proud of how she was really there for her mother going through a hard time. Amazing teens..proud of acceptance letters into special army units, proud of their projects, proud of their efforts. My own faith in our future was restored!


I was asked to play a role in a class play that was completely not me. I was sure I would mess up but everyone complimented my performance. I felt I could be anyone I chose to be and became much more confident.

Elena Higginbottom Last year, when one of my students (a

If you want to have your views published

private class with a 10yo kid) with

in Inspirational English,

ADHD began to get As and Bs instead of Fs in the school.

Allison Hester One of my students was so engaging and polite. I always give stickers at the end. He didn't want stickers. He asked me where I was from....I showed him map of where I live. He said.m, "you are a good teacher, I want to visit you". Made my day.

answer our next issue's question:

What is your best time-saving teaching tip? Send your answer to: info@englishwithrussie.co.uk

Tatiana Ostrovska I have a student who is very shy and finds it hard to participate in group activities. Last week we did a video skype lesson with a teacher from the UK and her students. One of the English pupils sais he loves playing the violin and asked if there was anyone who could play this musical instrument. To my surprise, my student stepped up and shared that his mother is a violinist and teaches him in her spare time. I saw how passionate he was when talking about his hobby. I could not recognise him and felt so proud of him for being brave and stepping out of his comfort zone.

Marusya Price I was doing a lesson on endangered species with one of my 12-year-olds. I asked her to find some information about an animal which is becoming extinct. To my amazement, not only had she done some research but she also created a beautiful poster to make other students aware of the problem.

Image credit: Sissy Ma





continue to write for this online

magazine and other such projects for many differing reasons, my deeprooted passion for the job at hand however is the one recurring constant. When I think of where this passion comes from I am instantly transported back to my grandmother’s house and to two of my uncles Davey and Ronnie. As they were not the best of singers when ´Spin the Bottle´ time came round at the family parties rather than treat everyone to a lot of worryingly flat notes they gathered together a whole load of words and had us all spellbound by the wonders of storytelling. I sat down to write this piece not too many minutes ago and already I can feel my heartbeat increasing and a surge of positive energy sweeping through me at the thought of hopefully producing something for Inspirational English that all you avid readers will enjoy. We are who we are in the main because of our early years when we are at the impressionable age to absorb everything around us, and although once I finally flew the nest and moved from Edinburgh to London, my use of words, creatively speaking, centred entirely on the business of songwriting. I had a medium level of success at this by having three of my songs released on record, then I wrote some songs for a band I formed then the same with a second band, a few of which were also released on record. One day, in my guise as a musician, my manager told me about a theatre producer friend of his who was looking for new writers and asked if I would like to write something he can give him. And so the new experience of the world of using words and words alone opened up to me, and to say I was smitten was a serious understatement.

“The art of storytelling can be likened to not giving up when digging for a precious stone and in the end finding one.” I need to now track back to those impressionable days in Edinburgh and beyond as one of the repeating features was how I spent a lot of my time in the company of groups of males who were able to tolerate my endless tales of whatever it was that occupied the space in my head. I recall how during these countless oratory moments I developed a sense of when it was time to get to the end of whatever it was I was banging on about, the punchline, and how fortunate I was, thanks to my uncles to have developed the skills of how to do just that. This effectively seems to have set some sort of precedent as so many times in my life as I moved hither and dither as a musician I had the good fortune to spend time in the company of some wonderful storytellers. I called this piece what I did because this very question is posed from time to time whilst I´m in the company of a varying group of friends at a table in the main square where I live in the village of Los Montesinos near the town of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca. It’s a worrying time when one of the group who´s vying for more attention than is agreeable stems the flow by boldly uttering ´Yep! … the art of storytelling is dead!´ a hard edged line of negativity that generally springs me into immediate action by responding with ´and in this particular instance my friend you have killed it!´ Lingering for a moment in the area of negativity, before the world had the printing press topical news was delivered around and about by what were known as Wandering Minstrels, and because the news was mostly dark and frighteningly scary at times , it was dumbed down by adding a melody. One of the most poignant examples of this was the nursery rhyme ´Ring a Ring a Roses´ which tells the tale of the Great Plague of London in 1665.

It is very easy to blame social media for the sorry state the art of storytelling is most certainly in, and although it has made a very real contribution, in truth it has been on the decline for a wee while now but the fact that Marusya has chosen this subject to fill the latest issue of Inspirational English is testament to an awakening of the way we communicate with each other. Storytelling is one of the main reasons why the comedians of today who talk about everyday subjects rather than jokes have become so popular and this is based entirely in the fact that we all enjoy hearing stories, especially ones we can relate to. Today’s male and female comedians are effectively the modern equivalent of the Wandering Minstrels, and in fact a relative few actually use musical accompaniment to enhance their performance. I recently ran a creative writing class for most of year and the main thing I learned from this time was the level of resolve you need to be able to find the deep-rooted pleasure of the written / spoken word, as well as a lot of patience and belief to keep on keeping on. The art of storytelling can be likened to not giving up when digging for a precious stone and in the end finding one.

p u e c i p r S u o Y h s i l g En ons s s le

From party games to board games, from TV show to card games, Larissa Albano adapts any playful activity to meet learners’ needs. The talented English teacher shares her knowledge and experince with educators all over the world through the workshops that she runs. For further information or to book your workshop, contact Larissa at:


By Jeanne Bourne



HOMER TO Hans Christian Anderson, from Scheherazade to Shakespeare and all the way through history to JK Rowling, storytellers have long been honored for their gifts. And for good reason too. Stories can take us back in time on marvelous adventures, transport us to exotic places, introduce us to people we never imagined and even make us believe in magic. EFL teachers can and should use stories to communicate, entertain, and, of course, teach nearly anything from grammar points to vocabulary to syntax. ROM


FL TEACHERS ALREADY have so many items on their checklists to tick, but using stories in the classroom and motivating students to read (in and outside class) should be a priority. As Dr. Seuss says, “

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”


ESEARCH ACTUALLY PROVES the many benefits of reading, such as a longer life, less stress and anxiety and more. Read this and this. I realize I’m preaching to the choir here, so let’s have a look at some excellent sources for finding books on-line and some ideas for using stories in the classroom.


Resources Storynory

East of the web

offers a huge collection of audio stories along

features stories to read online (there are no

with the transcripts.

illustrations or audio). Some of the stories have questions and activities in the teacher’s


section and online word games.

is my absolute favorite. Actors give dramatic book readings and the book’s illustrations are


brought to life. If this site doesn’t hook your

offers a wide variety of audio books which you

young students on reading, I don’t know what

can download chapter by chapter and also


read along. Under the ‘Readability’ tab you can choose books at the K-12 grade levels.

At English e-reader you can read books online, download the text or audio. There is a wide selection and a wide variety of classics and others.

Magic Keys has a variety of illustrated books to read. Some of the books also have audio.


Loyal Books has a collection of over 7,000 audio book titles that can be streamed or downloaded. These

has a variety of resources and activities. You

books are in the ‘public domain’, which means

do have to sign up, but after that you have

no one owns the rights to them anymore.

access to free e-books (for 3-11 year-olds),

They are classics, ranging from ‘The Art of

storytelling videos and much more.

War’ to the works of Aristotle, but also children’s classics like ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Little

YouTube has countless videos for every level and

Women’ and ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’.

interest. Just type “stories for esl/efl learners” in the search box along with the level and

Open Culture and Project

you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Gutenberg also both have a similar list of free audio streaming or downloading of public domain books.


Activities for younger students For young children, just reading and relishing stories is motivating enough. Spending time on and with stories and books shows students that you believe it is a worthwhile activity. With the sites above, you can prepare a few comprehension or extension questions beforehand, but I don’t like to make listening to or reading the stories into a ‘test’. In the beginning, at least, using stories in class should simply be an enjoyable activity meant only to open students’ minds and ears and show them the wonders of stories.

Activities for older students Speaking


• Assign roles for dramatic

• Ask students to read the

• Finding books of the right


story or book of their

level and of interest to all

• Start a class discussion

choice outside class and

the students in a class is a

about the general theme

prepare a presentation or

challenge. The important

of the story.

book report to present.

thing is for students to

• Ask students what they

Check out these ideas

understand the gist, not

would have done if they

from Isl Collective.

every single word. I would

had been in the story’s

• After reading or listening

avoid word for word


to a story, ask students to


Some considerations

think of an alternative ending. 15

Available on Amazon now 16

LAUGHING HAIRCUT by Max Neil Maximchuk


It’s time for a haircut. But what to do with that unruly hair? Maybe the best thing is to fork out the extra money and place yourself in the hands of the experts.

by Max Neil Maximchuk

line My hair goes its way and I go mine. It’s an understanding we’ve reached over the years. Sometimes I was resentful because my hair almost always seemed to get its way and I was the one who had to adjust or accept but sometimes life is like that. I’ve been told that this matrimony between hair and person is similar for others and this brings some consolation to me. So rather than continuing to fight a losing battle 5 I gave in more often. It was either that or lose my relationship with my hair altogether and I didn’t want to be hairless. Even with all the problems, I could still see some silver lining in it. In spite of our differences, I really like my hair. The colouring of it, the feel of it, even more than the look of it. When it’s worn long I can feel its frequent sensual brushing against my neck and shirt collar. I have tried persuading it to follow some particular pattern, like having a part line here, or to please not reach so 10 skyward there. As I said, it makes its own mind up about these things. Short of a heavy gel or grease application, I know that no matter how many times the hair stylist shows me how my freshly cut hair looks at different angles from the handheld mirror, it will not last a moment once I step out that door leading to the street. A gentle puff of wind is all that is needed and long before I get home or to whatever destination, my hair will be pointing to a multitude of directions simultaneously. If I meet somebody 15 familiar to me, one of the first words after the initial greeting could very well be asking me why I didn’t bother to brush my hair after getting up. In Winnipeg there was this hair salon on Portage. It claimed fame as the place to go for many of the local and visiting celebrities. It was more expensive but they were reputed to work miracles. So I tried it. There was a person not unlike a maître d’ who showed me where to wait until my appointed team was 20 ready. The latest trendy magazines were artfully spread out on the designer table before me and soon I was interrupted from my reading to be escorted to a place to exchange my shirt for a fashionable nearly floor length cloak which protected the rest of my clothes from stray hairs.

maxenglishcorner.com a selected story from the Harvey Skidoo Tree Collection LAUGHING HAIRCUT by Max Neil Maximchuk ©2019











maxenglishcorner.com a selected story from the Harvey Skidoo Tree Collection LAUGHING HAIRCUT by Max Neil Maximchuk ©2019


Another person led me to a place where the preliminary work was carried out, specialists in relaxing the client, washing and rinsing out the hair, and getting everything prepared for when the star cutters turned their attention to the latest client. Now sitting in a swivel chair in front of a long stretch of mirrors, I could watch the choreographed activity from different parts of the room. The ingratiating laughs, the exaggerated exclamations, the off-colour comments, the juicy gossip, the sometimes bizarre combinations of bold colours of clothes and hair, all welcomed you into this theatre of arts. You couldn’t help feeling part of it and that, with all this expression and creativity, well, maybe something could be done with your hair after all. A man started in my direction but twice hands pulled on his shoulder along the way, distracting him temporarily. A comment was made, a joke exchanged. He seemed popular, capable and confident and he was headed my way. He introduced himself as Doug and easily asked what we had in mind today. I told him that I didn’t have anything in particular set in stone but there were some general guidelines I’d appreciate him following (no special colouring or shaving, for example). I discussed with him the stubborn streak my hair holds fast to and how this might affect our options. He nodded understandably, obviously having encountered this sort of thing countless times. My time with him wouldn’t be all that challenging and those objectives could easily be accomplished. He immediately set to work and we made light conversation. It quickly became apparent that we both had a good sense of humour and at that moment of our crossing of paths, we both seemed to be especially predisposed to exploring it a little further. He combed and snipped as we exchanged even funnier anecdotes. There were times that we came across something in a story, or maybe it was just the way it was said, that was so funny he had to put the comb and scissors down. Once some form of control and decorum returned we attempted to continue with the task of my hair being styled. But the taste one feels in such a full release is hard to give up and soon we were back at it, one providing good audience for the other, prompting and inspiring each other to even more hilarious nuances, turns of speech, even fresh new jokes. The session lasted much more time than it would have otherwise taken, but we both felt good after so much expenditure. It was like a good workout, but now, the eyes no longer crying, the stomach without its contractions or the protective hands covering it as you were doubled over, we could relax and look deeply into the mirror to inspect the final product. I have to admit I was still not completely over the effects of all that laughter. I would have liked almost anything, being in such good spirits. I gave that reflective person in the mirror a cursory glance and perhaps feeling a little embarrassed after laughing so much, was eager to pay the bill and leave. I opened the door to a very windy day and proceeded for a content walk home. Once in my apartment I decided to have another closer look at what Doug the Stylist had done. The wind and the walk home gave me a different perspective and there was no amount of water or rigorous combing and brushing that could have had much effect on the monstrosity I saw on top of my head. Some people have an innate understanding of the few and simple laws of nature, and some have to learn the hard way. There aren’t many but that afternoon I learned through experience that never, but never, do you engage the person cutting your hair in hilarious conversation.

LAUGHING HAIRCUT Lesson Plan This guide is a set of suggestions of what you can do with your students regarding the story Laughing Haircut. A summary of the steps to this lesson plan is as follows: 1) Set the scene - - A few lead-in questions to orientate the students Choose one of the questions suggested to get the students talking about some ideas that will appear in the story. . 2) Introduce the story - - Have the students read various parts of the beginning of the story and answer the questions described below to help orientate them. Tell them that they don’t need to understand all the vocabulary in order to answer the questions or understand the story sufficiently to get something out of it. 3) Read the rest - - Let the students finish the story, then answer the three questions on the student handout. 4) Vocabulary look - - A quick look at some of the vocabulary appearing in the story which could be useful when speaking about it in the discussion. Get the students to do most of the explaining (or guessing) of the meaning. 5) Post story discussion - - Place the students in small groups (3 or 4) or in pairs and have them participate in discussing one of the suggested themes. All the discussion topics are also on the Student Handout.

NOTE: It is recommended that the language level of the students is at a minimum in the early stages of Advanced (they have already completed level B2 in Europe) or a very strong upper intermediate.

1. Set the scene A: Choose 1 (


) for an opening class discussion

•STORIES 1- What different forms can stories be communicated in? (Not romance or adventure but novels (or books in general), video games and songs, for example) Try to elicit as many as you can. Here are some more possibilities: movies, poems, mime, theatre, jokes, excuses, anecdotes about your or others’ lives, paintings, hieroglyphics, comics, music, dance, TV or radio programmes, news Write these on the board as the students come up with them.

2- Can you pick three or four of the most influential mediums, ones that can have direct influence on someone’s life and may inspire or set off changes that wouldn’t have happened otherwise? This is very subjective. Perhaps have your students discuss this in pairs or small groups and later ask them what they think. Have them explain why or justify their choices first while speaking in the groups and later to the class. 21

Invite the others to add their opinions, sometimes giving support or arguments against. •HAIR 1- What kinds of hair (on top of the human head) can you identify? Elicit and write on the board what the students offer. You could start them off with ‘straight’. . Also some styles such as

Some possibilities: Other possibilities:

2- Referring to what is written on the board, ask your students what maintenance might be needed. They can discuss this in pairs before telling you. Give them an example or two to start them off: Example 1: dyed hair - - in a very short time you can see the new hair growing which has a different colour than the rest Example 2: Afro or spiked punk - - it is difficult to keep the original shape Students can comment on somebody’s dislike for their balding or their curly (or not curly) hair and what they can try to do to counter it (growing their hair long and combing it in a different way, for example) or that they like having long hair but it’s much more difficult to maintain. Or somebody wants to have short hair but their partner likes it long. Or how wigs often look false. Or for some people, their hair is completely unmanageable. Any comments that bring out likes & dislikes associated with the characteristics and consequences of having hair in one particular way. Have the students discuss the problems and possible solutions.

2. Introduce the story

Part 1

•Give the students a copy of the story. •Have them read the italicized part and the first paragraph (until the end of line 6). Give them 1 minute to do so. If they finish early, they can read that part again. •QUESTION FOR THE CLASS: How does the person feel about his hair? He feels his hair is too ‘independent’ in that it doesn’t do what he would like it to do. He wishes it were more manageable but he has come to accept the situation. •QUESTION FOR THE CLASS: What ways do you think he tries to keep it under control? (the answer isn’t in the first paragraph but serves as a brief introduction to the next one) Any reasonable answers are good here, such as always keeping it short or in one particular style.


2. Introduce the story

Part 2

•Tell the students to read the next paragraph (until the end of line 16). •Tell the students to cover up that second paragraph and in pairs answer these two questions: 1- What are two things he likes about his hair? its colouring and how it feels, especially when it’s a bit long and he can feel it brush against his neck and shirt collar 2- What’s the problem? His hair always wants to point in a lot of different directions. It won’t stick to one style. •After two minutes, have them check their answers by looking at the second paragraph •Ask one student for one answer to the first question, another student for the second thing he likes about his hair, and a third student to say what the man’s problem was. •Ask the class for some possible solutions.

3. Read the rest •Tell the students to read the rest of the story. While they are reading, you can give each student the handout of questions which accompany the reading. The students don’t read the questions until later. (This activity isn’t for exam practice, so they can get into the story first, then have a look at the questions.)

•When they have finished reading, they can answer the questions the best they can. They should do it individually, then check their answers with another student when they are done. Later confirm their answers by eliciting from the class what they have.

Q1: What helped the client feel confident about the stylist’s abilities? Find at least 3 reasons in the text. (lines 17- 18) The stylist worked in a very reputable place. (line 30) All the expression and creativity happening inside the salon helped him feel that something could be done. (lines 31-33) The stylist seemed very popular, capable and confident. (lines 37-39) The stylist easily understood the problem and wouldn’t find solving it very challenging.

Q2: Without looking at what you have read, can you describe what happened while the man was getting his haircut? (Imagine you were sitting in the next chair and witnessed it all. What would you say you saw if later describing it to a friend?) Try to give as many details as possible. Tell the students that this is for speaking only. No writing is necessary. Later somebody will be asked to say it to the class, so they should practice in pairs. First one student says it, and the other helps. Then change. 23

Q3: What did the client think of the haircut in the salon, and later at home? How can you account for the difference? in the salon (lines 54-55): He only took a quick look in the mirror and nothing bad stood out. at home (line 58-60): It looked terrible! why the two perspectives were different •(lines 54-55) The client was a little embarrassed about laughing so much and didn’t look carefully • (line 56 & 57) Everything superficially looked alright in the salon, but the walk home in a strong wind got rid of that image. When at home he was able to take a closer look.

4. Vocabulary look •These 5 items are in the story. If the students know what they mean, they think of how they can explain them, especially in terms of how they relate to something in the story. If they aren’t familiar with them, they look at the sentences and the context they are in and try to figure them out. * unruly (in the forward) * to fork out (in the forward) As in to fork out some money, to fork out 20 dollars, to fork out a lot * a puff (line 13) Compare a puff of wind and to puff on a cigarette Also: to be huffing and puffing after going up the stairs; ‘Puff the magic dragon’ * ingratiating (line 27) * a nuance (line 47)

•After going over the pronunciation, give the students a few minutes to do the task. (They can confer in pairs if they like.) Then ask different individuals to communicate the meaning.


5. Post Story Discussion Put the students into pairs or small groups. Encourage the students to explore the theme as much as they can and to use the recently covered vocabulary.

• Suggested themes for discussion – choose one or more:

All are on the Student Handout

1 Try describing each other’s hair (and if there are any bald or balding people, how it was or may have been before). Then taking turns, imagine you are an artistic hair stylist. What changes do you recommend to the others in your group?

2 Here’s something to try. Think of a joke or a funny story and see if you can get the others in your group to laugh. Then analyze what happened and why it was or wasn’t funny.

3- Have you ever been in a situation where the anecdotes and further comments created a scene and you couldn’t stop laughing? Were the jokes or anecdotes really that funny?

4- Do you think jokes and stories have an impact on people, perhaps even influencing their actions and thoughts?

5- Some people learn about life more through experience than common sense. How do you learn?

About Max Neil Maximchuk The author of the story and the accompanying activities which teachers can use in class comes from the small but interesting town of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada. Growing up there and later exploring beyond its boundaries has led him to numerous adventures and experiences which have shaped the many perspectives he holds and occasionally writes about. He has found his calling in teaching and deeply exploring this challenging profession has led him to even more rich and fulfilling adventures. You can find other stories with lesson plans at http://maxenglishcorner.com/


Student Handout A few questions Q1: What helped the client feel confident about the stylist’s abilities? Find at least 3 reasons in the text.

Q2: Without looking at what you have read, can you describe what happened while the man was getting his haircut? (Imagine you were sitting in the next chair and witnessed it all. What would you say you saw if later describing it to a friend?) Try to give as many details as possible. (Speaking only) Q3: What did the client think of the haircut in the salon, and later at home? How can you account for the difference?

Vocabulary look These 5 items are in the story. If you know what they mean, think of how you can explain them, especially in terms of how they relate to something in the story. If you aren’t familiar with them, look at the sentences and the context they are in and try to figure them out.

• unruly (in the forward) • to fork out (in the forward) • a puff (line 13) • ingratiating (line 27) • a nuance (line 47)


maxenglishcorner.com LAUGHING HAIRCUT from the Harvey Skidoo Tree Collection © MEC 2019 Student handout


Your teacher will tell you which one(s) to talk about

1- Try describing each other’s hair (and if there are any bald or balding people, how it was or may have been before). Then taking turns, imagine you are an artistic hair stylist. What changes do you recommend to the others in your group? 2- Here’s something to try. Think of a joke or a funny story and see if you can get the others in your group to laugh. Then analyze what happened and why it was or wasn’t funny. 3- Have you ever been in a situation where the anecdotes and further comments created a scene and you couldn’t stop laughing? Were the jokes or anecdotes really that funny? 4- Do you think jokes and stories have an impact on people, perhaps even influencing their actions and thoughts? 5- Some people learn about life more through experience than common sense. How do you learn?

What would you have ! each of these URISin MAdone situations, assuming you had the same motivational factors?

maxenglishcorner.com LAUGHING HAIRCUT from the Harvey Skidoo Tree Collection © MEC 2019 Student handout



FCE/CAE The Power of Storytelling I'd like you to imagine that your English teacher has asked you to take part in an international contest called The Power of Storytelling. There will be representatives from over fifty countries and you are aware that you need to prepare a powerful story which will help you win. The winning entry will be published in the e-zine Inspirational English. Talk to your partner about what makes a story powerful and discuss how appropriate the types of story underneath are. Then choose one type of story that you will prepare for the contest.

An ingenious story

Your personal story

An inspirational story about a national hero

A popular folklore tale

1. What is your favourite story? 2. Who told you stories when you were little? Did they disguise their voice to make the story sound special?

Make up a story about...

g n i k a Sp e Parts 3&4

3. Which area in your country could become a good breeding ground for a history book? 4. What makes a story memorable?


In her book "The awakened woman" Dr Tererai Trent writes that telling stories is an antidote to sickness that we experience in a world which is full of silences. The writer claims that we can heal our body and soul by filling those silences with our voices. Have you read or heard a story which has had a healing effect on you?

Image credit: www.rawpixel.com


USING AN IMAGE TO CREATE A STORY Images are often used as a writing prompt in class. Here’s a lovely short story that one of my students wrote a few weeks ago provoked by the picture below.

ON THE GARDEN PATH When I walked into the path of a beautifully-decorated garden, which is like a tunnel, I saw butterflies fluttering their wings and flying around. The walls and ceiling of the path were full of red flowers and green leaves, giving me a dreamy and refreshing feeling. The way seemed to be endless with more and more plants and vine covering the walls of the path. Then, suddenly, I saw a place where the tunnel ended, so I rushed in the tunnel, determined to meet new people on the other end of the path. First, I met an old man. He said: “Oh, hi young boy!” I replied, “Hello.” Then he said, “I’m the person who represents cleverness. I’m very smart. Do you want me to help you?” I was surprised by the man’s appearance, so I awkwardly said, “No, er thanks.” After that I met a self-conceited and arrogant man. He said, “I’m the strongest person in the word! I once used my fists and killed a grizzly bear! But my right arm was broken. Also, I used my bare feet and broke iron fences, except that my left foot’s toes were all broken.” I shivered as I walked away from him. Shortly I met a woman, she said, “I am honest. Today, I confess that I play too many video games. Yesterday, I admit I read a comic book for too long!” Finally, a boy stood in front of me and said, “I am stupid! 1+1=3!” After this supernatural encounter with all different kinds of people, I knew that I was in the garden of characters, where all the different character traits exist, and people act the trait realistically. From that trip, I learned a lot about human’s character. Cleverness is a good thing, being arrogant would lead to bad consequences, being honest would let people trust you and being silly would just make you look dumb. What an insightful trip.



e t i r w s ’ t e L Write a short story (100-120 words) using the picture on the right. Begin with the following sentence: “Where did mum hide those biscuits?” Peter thought.

Use at least five of the words below: Ladder, bigger, stick, secret, tin, eager, disappointed, crack, moved, curious, stretch, peek, nosy, inquisitive, tiptoe, anticipate, excited, alone, shaky


Write a short story (100-120 words) with the title

The Worm that Turned


1 2 Language level: B1 + Learner type: Teens and adults Time: 60 min Activity: Speaking, Listening and writing Topic: Storytelling Materials: provided images Created by: Inspirational English

I. Show a picture of an amphora. Ask the students if they know the English word for it.


II. Ask what they associate an amphora with. Amphorae were used for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine

III.Display the pictures in the classroom. Divide the students into small groups. Ask each group to choose five pictures and create a story in which the amphora tells its story. Allow them to take notes but not write the whole text. Give them enough time to prepare their stories (about 15 min). Then the students sit in a circle (if possible), making sure that the students from each group sit next to one another. Start with Group 1 and ask them to tell their story to the class. Explain that each student has to take part in the story-telling activity. The other students listen and need to find out which pictures the group has used in the story. Then the activity continues with Group 2, and so on until all groups share their stories. Finally, the students vote for the best story. 34


Tasks 1 and 2 are the same.

III. Put the students in groups of three. Hand out worksheet 1 to Student A and worksheet 2 to Student B. Student C will need a blank piece of paper and a pencil/pen to draw with. Give Students A and B 2 min to take a look at the pictures. Make sure that they don’t see each other’s images. Also it is important for Student C not to be able to see the pictures either.

Explain that they have to tell a story called THE AMPHORA in the following order:

Student A- chooses a picture to start with Student B- Chooses one of his/her images to follow up Student C- listens and draws the story The students alternate until they run out of pictures. Explain that Students A and B need to spend at least one minute on each picture. In order for Student C’s drawing to be more accurate, ask the other two students to describe their pictures using as many details as possible- clothes, appearance, setting. When they finish Student C compares his/her drawing with the original pictures. At the end ask some of the groups to share their stories.

NB. If you want to drill a particular grammar construction- Past tenses or reported speech, for instance, please, clarify this before the storytelling begins.

Image credit: www.rawpixel.com



I really believe that my role as an educator is to touch my students’ heart and empower them. For the last six years, I have created a lot of teaching materials but what really stirs my soul is designing lesson plans which aim to empower my students. Yes, I am an English teacher but I tend to use the language to inspire my pupils to become a better version of themselves. This book comprises lessons on topics such as Mindfulness, Happiness, Authenticity, Kindness, Inspiration, Gratitude and Positivity. They are appropriate for students whose level is B1 + and are older than 14 years of age. I have used these lesson plans with all my students and have seen many positive changes in their behaviour and mindset.




Welcome to

Josie’s Poems Stories in poems?


Fifty pairs of shoes, please

A centipede went to a shop To buy a set of shoes. He woke the poor shoe salesman From his pleasant, morning snooze. 'Come on and serve me quickly For I have no time to waste!' The poor young man had such a shock And dashed around in haste. 'Fifty pairs of shoes you want And all in the same style?' The centipede sat comfortably And watched him with a smile. 'A hundred shoes are what I need – Yes, fifty for each side – And bring a nice selection please, To help me to decide.' The salesman brought the boxes down And counted every one. The centipede just sat and smirked. He thought it was such fun. He’d try them on, but then would say 'These shoes are a poor fit,' And: 'Do you have a smaller pair For these shoes hurt a bit?' The salesman thought: 'This is too much,' Yet still he tried to please. The centipede enjoyed his day And did his best to tease. You couldn’t see across the shop For boxes piled in heaps, But then the young man woke at last From his most distressing sleep. He’d had an awful nightmare Which had made him want to scream. How glad he was to realise that It only was a dream.

By Josie Whitehead 40


In a hot summer’s garden, the table was set. There was surely a party to come. A cloud overhead was the only big threat To the kids and to poor harassed Mum.


Some sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and juice; Pork sausages pierced and on sticks; A very large dish full of strawberry mousse Well you’d think that they all would be sick!


Unseen by the children were many small eyes, That watched as the party progressed. From the hedges and trees were many small spies And their faces looked down with interest.


A rumble of thunder, then lightning flashed And the rain! How it started to pour! The half-finished food was just left on the plates And much of it went on the floor.


The cake, thank goodness, was still in the house And the children, of course, were well fed. Outside in the garden the mice and the birds Finished sausages, crisps and the bread.


'What a birthday we’re having, despite the old rain! And we’ve plenty of games left to play.' In the garden the opinions were almost the same: Birthday parties should come every day.

By Josie Whitehead 41


By Gavin McCormack

Emotional Intelligence


ith emotional intelligence a hot topic in the world’s of parenting and education I thought I would put together 26 of the best activities parents, caters and teachers can do to allow children to feel emotional grounded.

The idea is that we build skills within the children in our care to allow them to deal with the problems that world has to offer without crumbling. We want our future leaders to have a good grasp on soft skills such resilience, empathy, research, understanding and cooperation before we even think about taking their education to astronomical heights. 43




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Make sure that your child has perspective of the things that they have. Their family, their health, food on the table. A global perspective is what we need to instil in our children. Travel, read, look. Show examples of how others live and build empathy. Be thankful for what you’ve got, not angry about what you don’t have.



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Build Something

Allowing your child to have a dream, a vision of something they’d like to create. A rocket, a go-kart or a wendy house. Allow them to make that dream become reality by set steps to success. Design, resources, tools, procedure, result. On the way there will be heartache, time constraints, failure. But a whole lot of learning will take place too.

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Understand that our children need real tangible connections. Take them to the part of town they never visit and make friends at the swings. Let them visit the old people’s home to read to the pensioners and get them to feel that they are part of the big wheel we call society. For the sooner they realise their place, they’ll take on the responsibility that goes with that.


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Do the Difficult Stuff

The world isn’t all roses and baby’s faces. There are some difficult things we need to do. Having conversations with someone you’ve hurt to say sorry, cleaning the house before we go for a walk or dealing with death in the family. Talk through the reasons why these things happen, don’t hide them away in a drawer to be revealed later because your children will learn them from somewhere, it might as well be you. Enable your children to take in these difficult moments and build that strength of character. 44


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Take time to plan trips. Have a globe in the house and discuss the world. Where would you like to go? Why? Watch documentaries and dream of travel. At every opportunity get out of the city to where the green stuff is and I’m not talking about a park. I mean nature. Trees, rivers, mud, insects, animals and clear air. All your child to find out about the planet and understand it’s importance in our existence and survival. Let’s cultivate children who save our environment, not destroy it.


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To hold a grudge or anger against another only causes you more stress and tension. We must allow our children to have an understanding of other people’s intentions and perspectives. Once our children can put themselves in another’s shoes they can start to forgive. Yes maybe tommy kicked you at playtime but do you know why? Let’s find out and maybe we can forgive him. The feeling of forgiveness always makes us all feel better.

“A child with solid foundations will grow to be the strongest and tallest tree in the forest but, forget to lay the roots and you’ll find that during one small storm, that tree can easily fall over.”


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Organise family get togethers, picnics and always have dinner around the table with no technology. Allow your child to organise these gatherings, setting the table, calling uncle Tony to ask him over for a picnic or planning the menu. To bring groups together allows you to observe your child in their natural free play stare without the pressures of the unknown. Giving ownership over these events allows them to take some responsibility towards the success (and the cleanup) process. 45


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Children need to understand that these freedoms, liberties and rules have not come easy. From the wars that have been fought to the fact that grandad worked hard to help us buy our first house need to be told and celebrated. This allows children to develop a sense of respect but more importantly allows them to feel that what they do now, will impact those who come afterwards. “What mark are you going to leave on this Earth?”


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Ignore the Naysayers

Children always dream big. Whether it’s becoming and astronaut or saving the Amazon. They always dream big without limitations. We must keep fuelling those dreams by throwing wood on the fire but also explain to our children that there will be sceptics. People said that the internet wasn’t possible, or walking on the moon was a fallacy but they all happened. Tell them to dream big and hold onto those dreams for one day they may be able to make them come true.

K 46

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Know You are Loved

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Just be

The world today is all about that drive for recognition. Likes, shares and comments. Instant gratification takes us away from the sense that to be creative or to restore our sense of well-being, we must have time to just be ourselves, in our own head with our own thoughts. Allow your children to be bored. No television, no tech, no stories, no nothing. Allow them to think, to create, to dream. “From great moments of boredom, come extraordinary moments of clarity and creativity.”

There are people who love you, need you and rely on you. In the classroom children will save seats for each other, invite discuss friends to join their club and hold their hands. Make sure that you encourage this. These friendships and circumstances allow for unique bonds to take hold allowing children to feel their place in the class and the school. Most of all let the children know that you love them and you only want what is best for them.


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Listen (actively)

It is so important for children to have a chance to have a voice that is heard and more importantly responded to. Make a place in your daily routine where children can have a voice or opinion, such as group or circle time. Model active listening where a response is given based directly on the statement made. Modelling active listening allows for children to understand that there is a time to respond to another’s voice and that is when they have finished talking. Adults can leave obvious gaps in their speech to allow children to understand the meaning of the word conversation.


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Make something

There is an old saying I’m sure you have heard before; “What is work to an adult is play to a child.” Children love to mimic their parents and teachers. To us, sweeping the floor is a mindless, boring chore that we have to undertake, but to a child this is a fun game for them to pretend to be like you. With this in mind, whenever there are repairs to be done in the home – a shelf to build, a cupboard to assemble or a car to fix – allow children to lend a hand, even if it is just to pass you the tools or hammer in a nail. The sense of achievement and teamwork they will get from this small act will stay with them for many years.


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Nourish your Body and Soul

The old saying ‘We are what we eat’ and as children start to make choices for themselves it’s important that they understand what fuels the body. What foods and drinks will help us sustain this state of health? Allow children to come shopping and make decisions about what goes in their lunchbox. Allow them to not only choose their food, but allow them to make it. If they bought it, chose it and prepared it, there’s a better chance that they will eat it. And along the way a lot of learning will surely take place. And once your body is healthy, your mind will follow. Model healthy lifestyles to your children and these healthy routines will last a lifetime.



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Take time to point out the smaller things in life. When you see a caterpillar crawling on a leaf, grab the magnifying glass and take a closer look. Take time to smell a flower and discuss its scent but most important of all take time to observe yourself and how you are? Are you taking time out, down time, are you having enough rest? Eating healthy etc. don’t forget your child will follow your lead, if you sit down to read each afternoon with the television switched off, so will they. Model the behaviour you wish to view in your child.


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Plant something

It’s the greatest lesson there is. Grab a seed and some soil and plant it. Then sit back and watch it grow. Give your children the job of watering it each day, measure it, take a photo each day. Talk about the fundamentals for life and healthy growth. Change the seeds position if need be, alter it’s environment. Then relate the seed to a human being. If things are not going well, let’s change something. Children need to know that they are connected to nature and as a human being we cannot live without the wonders that nature provides for us. Ultimately our key to success is our environment and we must take time to make it perfect for our existence.


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Question Everything

Tell your children to question everything they read, everything they hear, everything they see. Empower them to ask the question “What is the intention behind that advertisement? That article? That statement? Critical reflection and analysis of other people’s intentions will allow our students to understand their own intentions. Why did I say those things? Why should I help dad with the laundry? Why am I working so hard at school? Once children can understand their intentions, we can start to open the doors to so many exciting initiatives so long as we have the right intentions. To start the ball rolling in your classroom inform your students that you’d like to have reasons why they have produced some kind of work or project. What was their intention? If the intention was to impress the teacher then you need to reset and rethink. When there’s not someone there to impress will their motivation still be the same? Self motivation for the right purpose is something we could all do with a “revision class” on. 48


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No matter how technology evolves to make reading more accessible there’ll never be anything better than the feeling of a real book. The smell of the paper, the feel of the pages, the handwritten notes in the back of the book, the shifting of weight from left to right as you progress, the knowledge that you can pass the book on after reading or store in on your bookcase for a later date. To allow your children access to books is an essential part of schooling. Reading together, sharing a book, laughing together and having a book club. If there’s a library near you then make it your mission to go there once per week. It’s a resource that so many can only dream of. But like the mobile library in the photo, where there’s a will, there’s a way!!!

“Feeling comfortable in your own skin and bones is essential for the well-being of our children.”


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Stretch (mind and body)

Take time each day to stretch your body. Do some light exercise to warm up and get the blood flowing. It can be a simple as 30 star jumps in the morning or before bed. Then take time to stretch the body to relax the muscles and improve flexibility. Feeling comfortable in your own skin and bones is essential for the well-being of our children. And don’t forget to stretch your mind by asking the big questions in life. Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? What will happen when I’m older? Sit, stretch, and discuss.


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Try Something New

We want to encourage children to be accepting in life. Accepting cultures, faiths, beliefs etc. but it starts by encouraging our children to accept the simple things in life such as change. Encourage your children to try that new food, to walk the path less trodden or to sit with the lonely boy in class. Yes they may hate it, and it won’t always be easy but at least from the attempt to try something new, we encourage a certain level of openness. From mistakes comes great learning and you never know, they might just love it. 49


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Technology is part of our lives now and there’s no going back. From the GPS in our cars to browsing the Internet. It’s part of us. But the question I often get from parents is “How much time should we allow our children to browse at home?” Eliminating technology completely would be something I would not recommend, but having specific times when technology is allowed seems to be the best option. “A technology window” is something I suggest to families. “Between 4-5 pm the iPad is allowed, but it not to be used 1 minute before and as soon as that clock ticks 5 pm it’s off, regardless of where you are or what your doing!” As a parent do not compromise on this. It’s also important to note that technology should not be used as a “keep quiet” activity. It must be meaningful, otherwise what’s the point? You may as well allow them to be bored, which will ultimately spark their creativity. When children are bored they become creative. • Limit technology to certain times, • Know what they are doing, • Have them in sight • Don’t use it as a “keep quiet”


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If you’re making a decision in the home or classroom put it to the vote. Promote democracy and debate. Everyone hates to feel that they are being told what to do. Allow children to voice their opinions, concerns or thoughts and then put it to the vote. Children between the age of 6 and 12 are very astute to fairness and equality. Make it fair, promote the democratic process and reap the rewards of calm and content decision making.



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It has never been more important for us to allow our children to be bored. Let them have nothing to do. No gadgets, toys or television. Let their mind wonder, let it create, invent and imagine. For it is these moments of creative thought that allow our children to imagine the unknown. Let them think, dream and imagine. Over stimulation gives our children no chance to have clarity of mind. Let them look at the sky, watch a bird eating seeds or a bumble bee hover in the garden. Let the world enter their brain in the most organic way possible.


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Express Gratitude

We must consider what we are thankful for. What is it that we have that we are grateful for. Health, love, warmth, food, clean water, freedom, family. Encourage our children to be thankful for these things and never take them for granted. Once we become complacent, we can take these things for granted and we never truly know when they can be taken away from us. Constantly remind our children and ourselves that we are indeed very lucky to have what we do.



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Say “Yes”

As the teacher you are merely the facilitator of the child to bridge the gap between them and the knowledge. You are not a font, but a simple bridge. You have an amazing wealth of knowledge, experience and power in the room. Use it wisely to inspire and excite your class and be sure about your answers to all questions for they will hold them dear. When the children in my class ask me: Do you think I can do it? Can I take this project home? Can I show this to another class? Can I work with my friends? Can I work alone? Do I have time to finish it? Is this good enough? Can I sit where I like? Can I learn something new? Do you mind if I complete some research on a topic that I like? Can you leave me alone, I’m busy? Can you help me? Can I tell you something? Are you ok? Do you like your job? Do you think I’d make a good teacher? Should I pack my own lunch tomorrow? Did I try hard today? Are you proud of me?

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Get enough sleep. Make sure it’s a minimum of 8 hours. No technology in the bedroom and make the process of going to sleep a pleasant one. Don’t make bedtime a punishment, make it a pleasure. “It’s time to rest your body and brain, you’ve been so busy today, come on let me tuck you in and read you a story.”

Practise these 26 emotional intelligence activities and see your children grow as fantastic young humans who are ready to take on the world, and then some.

Find more information about Gavin McCormack's inspiring work on his website: https://gavinmccormack.com.au



are looking for

Do you know any inspiring children,

and we will share their story. Just send

who are making a difference in your

us the story of your nominee (letter,

school or community? Nominate

video, artwork, poem, etc.) and why

someone to become a Hope Hero

they are inspiring to you!

Send your entries to: kaitlin@kidsunite4hope.org info@englishwithrussie.co.uk 53










visit https://www.growingwithgratitude.com.au/ for more resources to use with your students


Chapter 2 …we suddenly feel quite dizzy and start to vanish bit by bit. When I see Russie again, she looks at me very puzzled. We are both curious where the ring has taken us this time. “Teacher, where are we? Do you think we´re still in England?” I look around and I can´t help noticing how beautiful it is. There are green rolling hills all around us. There are hardly any trees but I spot lots of small purple bushes and see Russie smelling their lovely flowers. “I think that´s heather, Frank,” Russie concludes after her careful examination. “I recognise the woody scent. Heather is a very popular plant in England, especially in Yorkshire.” My teacher has been interrupted by somebody´s laughter. We both look in the direction where the noise is coming from and see a fair-haired girl and a tall boy running towards us. Their clothes seem quite different from

ours. The girl is wearing a long red oldfashioned dress, whereas the boy is wearing shabby trousers and his shirt has been stitched at a few places. “Hey, we haven´t seen you around here before,” the girl says, “you can´t be local?” Bewildered Russie wonders what to say. It´s obvious we have travelled to another era again. A few minutes later she mumbles: “I think we may have got lost. We have been walking for ages,” I can see that my teacher is struggling to come up with a sensible explanation. Of course, she can´t say we´ve used a magic ring. Nobody would believe her. The girl doesn’t seem to have noticed our confusion so she continues cheerfully: “Oh, Dickon and I have just been to see his mother who´s kindly given us a few eggs to paint for Easter.” 65

Continued from previous page

Frank and Russie’s Little Big Magical Adventures

At this very moment we notice that she´s

“Frank, did you realise we´ve been

carrying a pretty basket which is full of

transported into the novel “The secret

eggs. Then she adds: “Would you like to


come and celebrate Easter with us? Oh, I´m

I pause for a moment puzzled. I didn´t

sorry I forgot to introduce myself. How

realise the magic ring had this sort of

rude of me!” the girl doesn´t stop bubbling.

power. I remember reading the book a long

“My name is Mary and this is my friend

time ago and was deeply impressed with

Dickon. I live in that big house on the hill.”

the way Mary transformed from a

She points to the west and


agreeable girl to a nice helpful

we can just make out the

young lady. I wonder if Mary

outlines of the grand stately

knows about Collin. I´m


afraid we have to wait

“Oh, it would be lovely to visit

and see what happens

your home. It´s very kind of you to invite us, isn´t it, Frank?” Russie

when we arrive in the house. It takes us about half an hour to

replies and I can see she is making weird

get there and when we arrive, we see a boy

gestures with her hands. She´s trying to tell

in a wheelchair. Many questions flood my

me something but unfortunately, I can´t

mind. Before I get the chance to ask any of

make it out.

them, Mary says:

We follow our new friends on the narrow

“I would like to introduce you to my cousin

winding path which takes us across a

Collin. He´s recovering from an illness and

beautiful meadow.

is still feeling very weak.”

Suddenly my teacher stops and pretends

Collin gives us a smile and we shake hands

she´s tying her shoelaces. I stop to wait for

introducing ourselves. Then Mary

her and then I hear her whisper:

continues: “We met Frank and Russie in the heather meadow. They seem to be lost so I thought

Continued from previous page

Frank and Russie’s Little Big Magical Adventures

they could spend Easter with us. What do

flowers.” Mary explains. “Oh, let´s not

you think, cousin?”

forget our gardener Ben. Here he is. “

Without any hesitation, Collin nods his

“Morning, Miss. I´ve brought some tulip

head and says: “What a wonderful idea,

bulbs to plant this afternoon.” Ben says

Mary. Shall we show our guests our secret

while walking towards us. Then sees us and


stops. “Who are your friends?” Mary tells

At that moment Dickon butts in:

him how she met us and why she´s invited

“I think our guests might be hungry. I´ll

us to spend a couple of days in the house.

pop into the kitchen and ask Martha for

Ben seems pleased to see us.

some food. Then we can all enjoy it in the

At that moment, Dickon arrives. He´s


brought a


big basket


filled with

even wait


for a

First he lays

reply. He

a picnic


blanket on

into the

the grass


and then he



le, Mary


and Collin

Mary kneels

show us the way to the secret garden.

down and helps him. Russie and I look at

I can´t believe that I am about to see the

each other. We feel grateful that the boy

famous garden. I remember reading the

has brought the food. The last time we had

book and imagining what it looked like. And something to eat was at the library while here I am, standing in front of the secret

listening to Charles Dickens read. For some

door. Mary unlocks it and lets us through.

reason, it seems such a long time ago.

“What lovely rose bushes you have!” Russie “Martha´s got some cucumber admires the view. “The fragrance is out of

sandwiches, sausage rolls and apple tarts

this world.”

for us.” Dickon spreads out the food.

“Dickon, Collin and I spent many an hour

We all sit on the blanket and share the

planting, weeding and watering the

yummy treats. There´s plenty for


Continued from previous page

Frank and Russie’s Little Big Magical Adventures

everyone. Collin invites Ben to join in. It´s

“Look at the beautiful paint that Mrs

interesting how easy it is for all of us to

Medlock has bought for us.” They can´t

talk and laugh together. It seems as if

wait to show us the bright colours. We all

we´ve known one another for a very long

sit on the grass and Mary gives us a brush,

time. Ben tells us some jokes which I can´t

which she has previously brought from the

understand unfortunately because he

house, to paint the eggs.

speaks in Yorkshire dialect. I try to smile,

I find this activity very interesting because

pretending that I´ve found the jokes funny.

we don´t celebrate Easter in China. It´s

“Shall we paint some eggs now? It´s Easter

intriguing to watch the children colour the

this Sunday.” Mary suggests.

eggs in red, yellow, orange and green.

“That would be lovely.

Russie attempts to draw

Where can we get

a little angel on her egg

some paint from?”

Russie asks.

which looks very beautiful. Soon we have

Dickon gets up and

says: “Collin, shall

a full basket of

we ask Mrs Medlock?

She got some


from the market last


“I´ll take them

into the kitchen,” Mary

The two boys head off

to the house.

says, “We´ll

need them on Sunday

Meanwhile, we clear up our dinner and

for the Easter

egg hunt. Would you

take out the eggs

stay and play

with us?”

“Thank you for

inviting us. We are very

carefully from the

basket. “It´s very kind of

Dickon´s mum to

grateful,” I

respond. However, I am

give you these eggs,

Mary, isn´t it?” I

not sure

whether it is a good idea

try to get involved


for us to stay

here too long.

“Oh, yes, she´s a very

lovely lady and

When Mary

comes back, she´s

has always been very

nice to me. I am

curious to find

out more about us. Of

so lucky that I live with

course, we can´t tell her

them. They helped me a lot after I came

the truth but I blurt out: “Russie is my

here from India.”

English teacher.” At least this is true.

“You lived in India? How exciting!” Russie

“How fascinating, Russie! I go to the local

pretends that she doesn´t know the story.

village school every Tuesday and

“Yes, I lived there with my parents but they

Thursday.” Mary´s eyes start to shine. “I

died and I had to come and live with my

love reading books. I have some in my

uncle,” Mary explains sadly. “Look, the

bedroom. Do you enjoy reading, Frank?”

boys are coming back.” It´s obvious she is

“Yes, though maths is my favourite

not keen on talking about her past.


At that moment Collin and Dickon appear

Then my teacher offers:

in the garden. They seem quite jolly.

“Let´s play a rhyming game together, shall we?


brightly-coloured Easter

Continued from previous page

Frank and Russie’s Little Big Magical Adventures

The children get excited when they hear

Collin looks at us hoping that no one will

the word GAME. “Let me explain the rules,”

come up with another word.

Russie says. “We start with a word, for

“I am the winner, aren´t I?” he jumps off

example MATE, then the person next to

his wheelchair. Reluctantly we admit we

me has to say a word which rhymes with

have lost. Collin grabs Mary´s hands and

it. Can you think of one?

tells her: “Thank you so much for reading

“Late,” I say.

with me. You´ve helped me a lot to

“That´s right, Frank. Well done! Then the

improve my English.”

third person continues with another

I feel that it is time for us to leave. I am so


pleased to see how happy the children are.

“I know one, WAIT. Is that right?” Collin asks.

I remember reading the book THE SECRET GARDEN and feeling sorry

“Of course,” my teacher

for the poor boy.

answers joyfully, “So do

“I think I am a little tired,” my

you understand how the

teacher interrupts my thoughts.

game works?”

“How silly of me. Of course, you

“But who wins the game?”

are.” Mary says, “Let me take

Mary asks. “Is it the one who

you to the spare bedroom and

says the last word?

you can both relax there.”

“Yes, that´s right,” Russie

“That´s very kind of you,”


Russie replies. “But the

“Let´s play it,” Dickon

weather is so nice. May we

replies rubbing his hands.

have a short rest here in the

“That sounds like lots of fun.

garden? I love the smell

Let´s start with the word GAME”


from the wisteria hanging

Mary shouts out:” FAME. Oh, that was

over the wall.”


“Certainly, take your time,” Mary agrees

Then Collin adds eagerly: “NAME!”

and they leave us in the garden.

“SAME”, I add.

Soon my teacher falls asleep but I keep

I look at my teacher. It´s her turn. Will she

thinking about my family. I feel the ring in

come up with another word? I can see

my pocket and wonder if I should put it on.

she´s hesitating for a moment but shortly

I take it out and play with it for a while. I

she cries “LAME”. Thus the game

slip it on my finger and start to feel its

continues and more words are added:

magic working.

DAME, AIM, TAME and finally Collin says

“Where will it take it us now?” I wonder…

CAME. We seem to be stuck now.

“What do you think?” To be continued 69

Read the story and decide if the statements are TRUE, FALSE or there’s NO INFORMATION: 1. Frank has seen heather before. 2. The girl is wearing an orange bonnet. 3. Dickon's mother has given Mary some eggs. 4. Russie is good at sign language. 5. It is Frank who first realises they have been transported into the novel THE MAGIC GARDEN. 6. Collin is not happy that Mary wants to show the secret garden to their guests. 7. Dickon brings some tulip bulbs. 8. Frank struggles to understand Ben's jokes. 9. Martha joins the children when they paint the eggs. 10. Mary goes to school twice a week. Where do you think the ring will take Frank and Russie now? Have you read the novel THE SECRET GARDEN? Who is your favourite character? Why?

Find these adjectives in the story. What do they refer to? woody, shabby, grand, winding, disagreeable, spare Can you write your own collocations with the adjectives?

Let's play the rhyming game. Can you come up with words which rhyme with? Stuck Eight Stone Fright Mice Hidden Make


Across 3. runs with quick short steps 6. impressive or very large 7. confused 8. the pleasant smell that something has 9. in poor condition because they have been used a lot 10. happily

Down 1. decide something as a result of what you have heard or seen 2. rude and unfriendly 4. able to make good judgements 5. speaks in a quiet voice in a way that is not clear



While Angela was sleeping peacefully in her bed, her frie complete. She didn nd Sherry had an ’t want to tell Ange important task to la that she was a fairy magic power. but now it was tim e for her to use her Sherry waited until Andy fell asleep, op ened the window of Luckily, the boy was his bedroom and w fast asleep so she sa alke t by his pillow and fairy closed her eyes lifted her hand to hi d in quietly. and put the followin s forehead. The g dream in Andy’s head.

“Wakie, wakie! It’s time for school” An dy heard his mum’s rubbed them. His m voice. He opened hi um was standing by s eyes slowly and the door, brushing noticed her ginger her hair. At that ve hair and remembe ry moment Andy red that dream he “Breakfast is ready! had had. Andy! Get ready qu ickly”, his mum’s vo “I’ve been such a fo ice interrupted his ol. Why did I bully thou Angela at school? I look her in the eyes fe el terrible now. How ghts. again? I can’t go to school. I feel so asha will I be able to Andy could not bear med of what I’ve do the thought that he ne.” had been such an aw mum that he was not feeling very w ful boy. He was thin ell. His stomach cr king to tell his recalled that he ha amped. To make m d the final English atters worse, he exam this morning so he knew he had to go to school.



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Ex 1 : 1-e, 2-h, 3-a, 4-f, 5-g, 6-b, 7-d, 8-c Ex 2- open-minded, home-made, four-star, French-speaking, full-time, blue-eyed

Across: 2-vanishing, 4-distressed, 6-frown, 8-sobbing, 9-ignore Down: 1-lad, 3-scrutinising,4-director, 5-commotion, 7-quizzically


Image credit back cover, pages 2,13,38,65-70, 78 & 79- Mrs Price page 9 - Peter Taylor page 11-Larissa Albano page 43-51-Gavin Mccormack page 15 & 16- Jeanne Bourne Logo on Pages 19-26 Max Neil Maximchuk Page 39 -Josie Whitehead page 5 & 73- Sissy Ma pages 32-37 www.rawpixel.com

Instagram:inspirational_english_ezine Twitter:@RussieEng Facebook- Inspirational English info@englishwithrussie.co.uk http://www.inspirationalenglish.co.uk/

pages 54-63 Ashley Manuel front cover, p. 4, 6-10,12,18, 28, 31, 42,52, 64, 72 https://spark.adobe.com Designed by Marusya Price


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Inspirational English, Issue 49, 2019  

Issue 49 explores the theme of THE POWER OF STORYTELLING. It brings to you a great variety of lesson plans, activities and tips which enable...

Inspirational English, Issue 49, 2019  

Issue 49 explores the theme of THE POWER OF STORYTELLING. It brings to you a great variety of lesson plans, activities and tips which enable...