Unit 1 Look it up!
Here are two articles from an encyclopaedia.
Da Vinci, Leonardo
Leonardo da Vinci (1452--1519) was an Italian painter, inventor, musician, engineer and scientist.
Da Vinci was born in the countryside. From an early age, he showed great intelligence and artistic ability. As he grew older, he learnt to do many different things. His paintings are very famous, and one, the Mona Lisa, is perhaps the most famous painting in the world. He also had many inventions. For example, his notebooks include some interesting drawings of flying machines. (See Art)
Dinosaurs lived on Earth more than 60 million years before human beings. They lived everywhere on Earth. Some dinosaurs were as small as chickens. Others were as big as ten elephants. Some could even fly.
Many dinosaurs ate plants. However, some dinosaurs liked to eat meat.
Dinosaurs lived on Earth for more than 150 million years. Then, suddenly, they all died out. Nobody knows why. However, we can learn about them from their fossils. (See Earth history)
Unit 2 The king and the rice
A long time ago, there was a king in India. The king's favourite game was chess.
One day, a wise old man came to the palace and the king challenged him to a game. The king promised the old man, “You can have any prize if you win the game.”
The old man said, “If I win the game, I'd like one grain of rice for the first square of the chessboard, two for the second, four for the third, and then double the amount for each of the rest of the squares.”
“Is that all?” asked the king. “Wouldn't you like gold or silver instead?”
“No, just rice,” replied the old man.
The king and the old man played the game for a long time. Finally, the old man won. So the king ordered his men to collect a bag of rice. He put one grain on the first square, two on the second, and so on. The king quickly realized the problem -- even with all the rice in the country, he would still not have enough rice to put on all the squares!
Unit 3 Computer facts
Smaller and better
In the 1940s, the first computers were bigger than cars. Now computers are becoming smaller and better.
Some computers are tiny. You may be unaware of them. There is probably one inside your TV or washing machine. You depend on computers more than you realize.
What can we do with computers?
We can use computers to calculate. They can calculate at a faster speed than we can and almost never give wrong answers. We can also type and draw things with them. In addition,
computers can do important jobs like operating railways and flying planes and spaceships.
Is a computer clever than me?
The answer is “No”. Your brain can produce new ideas but computers cannot. However, one day computers may be able to do a better job than human beings. For example, they may be better than doctors at doing their job.
What will happen to us if computers can do all our jobs? Will we have nothing to do? Computers may change our lives, but will they make them better?
Unit 4 Great inventions
Great inventions change the world. They help people live a better life. The following are three of the most important inventions in history.
The wheel is perhaps the great invention in history. After its invention, travelling became faster and more comfortable. A few thousand years ago, people started to use wheels on carriages. In the early 19th century, the first trains began to carry passengers. At the start of the 20th century, cars became popular. Without the wheel, we would not have these inventions.
Alexander Graham Bell invented one of the first practical telephones in 1876. Since then, people have been able to speak each other over long distances. Today millions of people across the world own mobile phones. They allow people to keep touch with earn other anytime, anywhere.
The light bulb
Thomas Edison developed the first practical light bulb in 1879. Before the invention of the light bulb, people had to use oil lamps, gas damps or candles to see at night. With light bulbs, people can do as many things in the evenings as they can in the daytime. Can you imagine living without them?
An exchange visit is educational and interesting!
A group of British students from Woodpark School in London are visiting Xinhua Junior High School in Beijing on an educational exchange.
“I was very nervous at first,” says Sarah. “However, my host family are really friendly. I'm glad to be a guest in their home. I've learnt to use chopsticks, and they're teaching me a little Chinese!”
The students spend the weekdays studying with Chinese students. At the weekend, they tour around Beijing and visit places of interest with their host families.
“It's been a fantastic experience so far,” says Eric. “I've learnt a bit of t'ai chi, and I really enjoy it. We've already learnt a lot about Chinese culture and history. The teachers have introduced us to Chinese painting as well. We've also tried to paint some pictures ourselves! I haven't had much success yet, but I'll keep trying.”
“I've made many new friends,” says Sarah. “I plan to keep in touch with them when I return home. We'll see one another soon because they'll come over to the UK for the second part of the
exchange next month. I can't wait!”
The Trojan Horse
The captain stood on the high wall of the city of Troy. “The Greeks have gone and we've won,” he said. “They've tried to capture our city for ten years. Now they've given up and sailed away!”
“But look over there,” a soldier said.
“They've left a huge wooden horse.”
“Ah, yes,” the captain said, “it's too big. The Greeks didn't want to take it with them. Get some he1p and pull it into the city.”
That night, in the main square of the city, all the Trojans celebrated. They sang, and danced around the horse, and made jokes about the stupid Greeks. “I haven't laughed like this since my childhood,” the captain said. After the party, they locked all the gates of the city and then all went to sleep.
By midnight, the main square was empty, except for the huge horse. Suddenly a secret door opened on the side of the wooden horse. The horse was full of Greek soldiers! They quietly climbed out of the horse, one by one.
The soldiers opened the main gates. The Greek army entered the city.
For ten years, the Greeks could not capture the city by fighting. In one night, however, they succeeded in capturing it through a clever trick.
Unit 7 Memory Corner
Henry, Pau1a and Millie write for the school newspaper. They have written the short articles below to help students improve their memory.
A great way to help you remember something is to imagine a picture of it in your mind. If you make the picture big, strange or silly, you will remember it better. For example, to remember the word “smiles”, we can imagine there is a “mile” between the first letter and the last letter. This makes it the longest word in the world. Remember: a picture is worth a thousand words.
A good method for remembering the spelling of a word is to make a short sentence with each letter of the word. For example, if you want to remember how to spell the word “because”, you can use the sentence “Big elephants can always understand small elephants”.
You will forget something very quickly unless you understand it well. For example, you may have trouble remembering the list of steps in the water cycle. However, it is easier to remember these steps if you understand how the water cycle works.
English: fun for life
English Week at Rosie Bridge School
Last week, students at Rosie Bridge School worked hard to make their English Week a big success.
There was an English book fair in the library and a treasure hunt. Some students put on an English play. Other students took part in an English singing competition.
There was also a speaking competition. The students had to speak on a topic in English for two minutes.
We spoke to the winner, Henry. “I'm so happy that I won,” he said. “I advise people to speak slowly. If they want to be good public speakers, they'd better speak clearly and confidently.”
We also spoke to several other students about English Week. One of them was Amy.
“I really enjoyed English Week. It gave me a chance to learn new words. In my opinion, every school should have an English Week. It's well worth doing,” she said.
On the last day of English Week, the head teacher gave a speech to the whole school. He gave students some suggestions on how to improve their English. “You should communicate in English with your friends whenever you can. You should read English books and magazines, and watch English television programmes. Above all, you should enjoy English!” he said.