English Challenge 07

I.  Scenario

A. Medieval Times Dinner Theater – Link / Scenario and Questions /

B. Excerpt to Read and Record

Narrator Angie is an American college student who has volunteered to take a couple of international exchange college students out for a night on the town.  She is taking them to a dinner theater show in Orlando, Florida, USA, called “Medieval Times”.  Mei Lin is from China and Yuri is from Russia.  It is 9:00 pm and night has fallen.  They have just bought their admission tickets and entered the main entrance hall.
Narrator The audience goes in and settles into their assigned seats.  Angie, Mei Lin, and Yuri are lucky.  Their seats are right in the middle section of the arena where the viewing is the best.  They sit, order drinks, and wait for dinner to arrive.  The “King” is at one end of the arena sitting in a throne.  He stands up and begins talking.
King Hear ye, hear ye!  Welcome one and all to the King’s Tournament!  Today we’ll hold games of combat and skill to determine which of my knights is the best!  Enjoy your feast and cheer for your chosen championLet the gaaaaaaaames begiiiiin(He then sits down and turns to talk with his queen.)
Narrator Trumpets blow as the six knights ride out onto the field on horses and stop in front of their respective sections.  The Red Knight stops in front of our section and raises his lance high in the air.  We all stand and cheer, yelling loudly.  The knights then ride to one end of the arena and wait side by side for the tournament to begin.  Servers start moving through the audience delivering beverages and the night’s dinner.
King For our first contest, the knights will compete in hitting a small ring hanging in the air.  The tip of their lance must penetrate the ring to score a point.  Each knight gets only one try.
Narrator The Black-and-White Knight goes first.  He spears the ring with his lance – point!  His section of the audience cheers loudly!  Some knights miss, but our Red Knight scored a point as well.
King The next contest will be swordsmanship.  The knights will pair off and fight each other.  First sword contact against the body wins the fight.  The winners will then fight each other until only one winner remains.
Narrator The sword fights commence.  The first three winners are the Green Knight, the Red Knight, and the Yellow Knight.  Green and Yellow then fight; Green loses.  Finally, Yellow and Red fight.  Yuri and Mei Lin yell really loud, jumping up and down.  Their enthusiasm affects others around them and the Red section is cheering like crazyMotivated by the cheers, the Red Knight achieves victory!  Everyone is now enjoying their dinners while the knights set up for the next contest.)
Yuri This meal is really good!  I can just imagine my ancestors eating like this in the past!
Mei Lin I like the Red Knight!  He fights with such great skill, and he looks so regal in his red armor.  I hope he wins.  The King and Queen look so…  (suddenly, pandemonium erupts)
Yuri Wait!  Something’s happening.  Look!  There are a bunch of black knights riding in on horseback, shouting and swinging swords!  One of them has just kidnapped the Queen!  The good and bad knights are fighting!  Wow!  Look at the ferocity of their attacks.  Look!  The Red Knight is riding towards the Black Knight with the Queen.  Yes, he knocked the Black Knight off the horse!  The Queen is running towards the King.  They’re reunited!  The other black knights are defeated.  Now it’s just the Red Knight against the evil Black Knight.
Narrator The Red and Black Knights fight ferociously for several minutes, hacking and slashing at each other with their swords.  Finally, the Red Knight vanquishes the Black Knight.  The crowd cheers loudly.  The King honors the hero for saving his Queen.  And all live happily ever after.  The show ends and our students head home.)

D. Comprehension Questions

  1. What kind of entertainment are the guests going to see?
  2. Describe the arena area.
  3. Explain what a knight is, and describe his general appearance.
  4. What determines which knight you should cheer for?
  5. Describe how the knights compete with each other, including how a winner, or champion, is picked.
  6. What kind of meal were the guests served?
  7. List all performers and named guests in this scenario.
  8. Who won the King’s Tournament?
  9. This champion was also honored for doing something above and beyond winning the tournament. Describe why he was honored.

E. Grammar Questions and Notes

  1. How can you visually distinguish the narrator’s text from the guests’ text?
  2. The knights will compete with one another. What other phrase can be used in lieu of this underlined phrase.
  3. What do you think the expression “in the wild” mean?
  4. The show is about to …  What does “about to” mean?
  5. What does “That’s the spirit!” mean?
  6. What does “to settle into” mean?
  7. “Hear ye, hear ye” is obsolete now and was only used in Old English. What do you think it meant?
  8. Take a guess at what pandemonium means?
  9. Describe the difference between these kinds of attacks with a sword: stabbing, hacking, and slashing.  (look them up if you like)

II.  Song

A. Soledad – Link / Lyrics and Questions /

B. Story


C. Lyrics

  1. If only you could see the tears
  2. In the world you left behind.
  3. If only you could heal my heart just one more time.
  4. Even when I close my eyes,
  5. There’s an image of your face,
  6. And once again I come to realize
  7. You’re a loss I can’t replace.
  8. Soledad
  9. It’s the keeping for the lonely
  10. Since the day that you were gone.
  11. Why did you leave me?
  12. Soledad
  13. In my heart you were the only,
  14. And your memory lives on.
  15. Why did you leave me?
  16. Soledad
  17. Walking down the streets of Nothingville
  18. Where our love was young and free,
  19. Can’t believe just what an empty place it has come to be.
  20. I would give my life away
  21. If that could only be the same
  22. Cause I can’t still the voice inside of me
  23. That is calling out your name.
  24. Soledad
  25. It’s the keeping for the lonely
  26. Since the day that you were gone.
  27. Why did you leave me?
  28. Soledad
  29. In my heart you were the only
  30. And your memory lives on.
  31. Why did you leave me?
  32. Soledad
  33. Time will never change the things you told me,
  34. But after all, we’re meant to be.
  35. Love will bring us back to you and me,
  36. If only you could see.
  37. Soledad
  38. It’s the keeping for the lonely
  39. Since the day that you were gone.
  40. Why did you leave me?
  41. Soledad
  42. In my heart you were the only
  43. And your memory lives on.
  44. Why did you leave me?
  45. It’s the keeping for the lonely
  46. Since the day that you were gone.
  47. Why did you leave me?
  48. Soledad
  49. In my heart you were the only
  50. And your memory lives on.
  51. Why did you leave me?
  52. Soledad

Questions for the Students

  1. What happened to his love?
  2. Who or what is soledad?
  3. He keeps ask her, “Why did you leave me?”  Does this question strike you as odd?
  4. What does Nothingville represent?
  5. What would he give to have her back with him?
  6. What does he believe can reunite them?
  7. What single, primary emotion do you think pervades this song?


A. Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection – Link / Excerpt & Questions /

B. Read and Record – Excerpt

  1. So in 2012, I started a company to teach girls to code, and what I found is that by teaching them to code, I had socialized them to be brave. Coding, it’s an endless process of trial and error, of trying to get the right command in the right place, with sometimes just a semicolon making the difference between success and failure.  Code breaks and then it falls apart, and it often takes many, many tries until that magical moment when what you’re trying to build comes to life.  It requires perseverance.  It requires imperfection.
  2. We immediately see in our program our girls’ fear of not getting it right, of not being perfect. Every Girls Who Code (?) teacher tells me the same story.  During the first week, when the girls are learning how to code, a student will call her over and she’ll say, “I don’t know what code to write.”  The teacher will look at her screen, and she’ll see a blank text editor.  If she didn’t know any better, she’d think that her student spent the past 20 minutes just staring at the screen.  But if she presses UNDO a few times, she’ll see that her student wrote code and then deleted it.  She tried, she came close, but she didn’t get it exactly right.  Instead of showing the progress that she made, she’d rather show nothing at all.  Perfection or bust.  It turns out that our girls are really good at coding, but it’s not enough just to teach them to code.
  3. My friend Lev Brie, who is a professor at the University of Columbia and teaches intro to Java, tells me about his office hours with computer science students. When the guys are struggling with an assignment, they’ll come in and they’ll say, “Professor, there’s something wrong with my code.” The girls will come in and say, “Professor, there’s something wrong with me. “
  4. We have to begin to undo the socialization of perfection, but we’ve got to combine it with building a sisterhood that lets girls know that they are not alone. Because trying harder is not going to fix a broken system.  I can’t tell you how many women tell me, “I’m afraid to raise my hand, I’m afraid to ask a question because I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t understand, the only one who is struggling.  When we teach girls to be brave, and we have a supportive network cheering them on, they will build incredible things, and I see this every day.
  5. Take, for instance, two of our high school students who built a game called Tampon Run — yes, Tampon Run — to fight against the menstruation taboo and sexism in gaming. Or the Syrian refugee who dared show her love for her new country by building an app to help Americans get to the polls.  Or a 16-year-old girl who built an algorithm to help detect whether a cancer is benign or malignant in the off-chance that she can save her daddy’s life, because he has cancer.  These are just three examples of thousands, thousands of girls who have been socialized to be imperfect, who have learned to keep trying, who have learned perseverance.  And whether they become coders or the next Hillary Clinton or Beyoncé, they will not defer their dreams.
  6. And those dreams have never been more important for our country. For the American economy, for any economy to grow, to truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half our population.  We have to socialize our girls to be comfortable with imperfection, and we’ve got to do it now.  We cannot wait for them to learn how to be brave like I did when I was 33 years old.  We have to teach them to be brave in schools and early in their careers, when it has the most potential to impact their lives and the lives of others, and we have to show them that they will be loved and accepted not for being perfect but for being courageous.
  7. And so I need each of you to tell every young woman you know — your sister, your niece, your employee, your colleague — to be comfortable with imperfection, because when we teach girls to be imperfect, and we help them leverage it, we will build a movement of young women who are brave and who will build a better world for themselves and for each and every one of us.

D. Comprehension Questions

  1. What is the main theme of this excerpt?
  2. Coding is a process of trial and error. What does this mean?
  3. What insight did the speaker’s friend Lev Brie offer to the speaker?
  4. What does the speaker want you to do to improve what she sees as a problem that needs solving?
  5. Why does the speaker feel that this is an urgent problem that needs solving promptly?
  6. When you hear the word “sisterhood”, what feelings or ideas does it bring to mind?

E. Grammar Questions and Notes

  1. When you see “Take, for instance,…”, what do you expect to see in the remainder of that paragraph?
  2. What does “to cheer someone on” mean?
  3. In this phrase, “and [what I found is] that by teaching them to code”, could we call this a cleft sentence structure? (Y/N)
  4. What do you think “Perfection or bust” means?
  5. What is the difference between “for each of us” and “for each and every one of us”?
  6. Paragraph 2 has this sentence: “Instead of showing the progress that she made, she’d rather show nothing at all.”What pattern defines the structure of this sentence that makes a suitable template for forming similarly-structures sentences?
  7. What is the relationship between “benign” and “malignant”?
  8. List two “who” clauses along with the noun that the “who” refers to.
  9. Paragraph 4 has this fragment: “sisterhood that lets girls know that they are not alone”.Explain the grammar of this fragment (clauses, subjects, verbs, functions).
  10. Paragraph 7 has this pattern: “not for…but for…”What is its usage or function?
  11. Paragraph 2 has this sentence: “If she didn’t know any better, she’d think that her student spent the past 20 minutes just staring at the screen.”In my opinion, there is a verb tense mistake in this sentence. Can you identify it?  Can you explain it?
  12. Try to list five words that I specifically emphasized in my recorded reading of this excerpt, and try to explain why I chose to do so.

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