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1. Do the quiz about American Presidents.

a) Match the names and descriptions of the presidents.

1. Harry S. Truman 2. Ronald W. Reagan 3. John Adams 4. John F. Kennedy 5. Richard M. Nixon 6. Theodore Roosevelt 7. Thomas Jefferson 8. George Washington 9. Abraham Lincoln 10. George W. Bush a) He ordered to drop the atomic bomb on two Japanese cities. b) He was nick-named the “Great Communicator” by the media. c) He was the youngest elected president. d) He was connected with the “Watergate Scandal”. e) He signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves. f) He was the first president to live in the White House. g) He was appointed to write the Declaration of Independence. h) The second president whose father was a president, too. i) The name Teddy Bear came from this president. j) The first American president.

b) Look at the portraits of the American presidents mentioned in the previous exercise. Can you identify them? Then, describe their appearance.

c) Fin answers to the following questions based on exercise 1a).

1. When did Abraham Lincoln sign the Emancipation Proclamation?

2. How did the name Teddy Bear appear?

3. Why did Ronald Reagan have such a nickname?

4. What do you know about the “Watergate Scandal”?

5. What Japanese cities were the atomic bombs dropped on?

6. What presidents, besides the Bushes, were father and son?

7. Why Adams, not Washington, was the first president to live in the White House?

8. How old was John Kennedy when he was elected President?


2. Read the texts about four great American presidents. Work in groups of four. Study the information about one president and summarize it in your own words for the group.

George Washington

Before the United States won independence from British rule, George Washington was a farmer in the colony of Virginia. He served as a military leader in the Revolutionary War. The colonists trusted him because he did not want power for himself. He wanted all the states and the people to work together as one. He wanted the government to serve the people well.

Washington said that power should belong to institutions, not to men. He also said that people could understand the U.S. Constitution in many ways, not just one. He did not think that the United States should have strong ties with other countries.

George Washington was the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1796. He is often called “the Father of Our Country.”


Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson could do many things. As a young man, he was a farmer and a lawyer in Virginia. He was also a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, and an architect. He designed his own home, called Monticello. He could communicate in French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, and Greek.

Many of Jefferson’s ideas became basic principles of the government of the United States. For example, he believed that “all men are created equal” (are born the same and should receive the same treatment under the law). He also said that power must come from the “consent of the governed” (the voters, not leaders). He wanted free elections, a free press, and free speech.

Thomas Jefferson held many important government jobs. He was Ambassador to France, Secretary of State (under George Washington), Vice President (under John Adams), and the third President of the United States, from 1801 to 1809. As President, Jefferson bought the huge Louisiana Territory for the United States from France.


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln grew up in Kentucky in a log cabin. He couldn’t go to school, so he taught himself. He became a lawyer. Friends called him “Honest Abe.” As a delegate from Illinois, he served in Congress from 1847 to 1849. Lincoln was against slavery and gave some famous speeches about his ideas when he was running for the Senate.

In 1861 Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth President of the United States. He wanted the states of the Union to work together as one country, but he had to lead the North against the South in the Civil War. Some people thought Lincoln was too strong as President because he used power that the Constitution did not give him.

President Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. He had a plan to bring the South back into the Union after the Civil War, but he couldn’t carry out the plan because he was assassinated. In 1865 an actor called John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln.


John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was President for only three years, from 1961 to 1963, but his personality and ideas changed America. He was both the first Roman Catholic and the youngest President in the history of the country. He set clear goals for America. For example, he promised that the United States would land a man on the moon before 1970.

Kennedy supported the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr. and fought for civil rights, fair housing, and programs to stop poverty. He asked Congress for more money for education and medical care for elderly people.

Kennedy was against Communism. For example, when the Soviet Union put missiles in Cuba, he sent U.S. ships to surround the island. But he believed that the best way to fight Communism was not by sending armies but by attacking poverty and injustice. He organized the Alliance for Progress to help the countries of Latin America. He started the Peace Corps and sent Americans to over sixty countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. These young volunteers worked and lived with the people, built schools, and taught farmers more modern methods.

Kennedy was a man for the future. He worked to stop the testing of nuclear weapons. But on November 22, 1963 he was assassinated.



4. Can you name synonyms of the words which are in bold type in the texts?

5. Make nouns from the following verbs.

To rule, to govern, to treat, to elect, to speak, to support, to educate.


6. Complete the gaps with correct prepositions.

1. to belong ________ sb

2. to communicate ____ French

3. to receive the same treatment _____ the law

4. Vice President ______ John Adams

5. to run _____ the Senate

6. to fight ____ civil rights

7. to ask Congress _____ more money

Did you know? 25 of the 43 presidents, including the current President Obama, were members of the bar and qualified to practice as lawyers. (Obama is known as the 44th President, but only 43 people have been President. Cleveland is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24 presidents.)


7. You are going to listen to the text about George Washington.

a) Vocabulary. Complete the sentences with words from the box.

untrained defeated respected by confessed battles victory fame unanimous

1. If you told someone you did something wrong, you ___________________.

2. If you are beaten, you are ___________________.

3. When people have a good opinion of someone else, he or she is ______________ them.

4. When everyone agrees on a decision, the decision is ______________________.

5. If you have no practice doing a job, you are _____________________.

6. The vents in which two armies fight are called __________________.

7. People who are famous or well known have _________________.

8. When an army wins, it is called a ___________________.

b) Comprehension. Listen to the text and write T if the sentence is correct or F if the sentence is false. Correct the false sentences.

1. Congress named George Washington president in 1775.

2. The American army was bigger than the British army.

3. The British soldiers were better trained than the American soldiers.

4. The American won all their battles, including the battle of New York.

5. The American soldiers had a party on Christmas night in Trenton.

6. George Washington was not interested in fame or money.

7. The story about the cherry tree says that when young George cut down his father’s cherry tree, he told his father a lie.

8. George Washington was unanimously chosen the first president of the USA.

8. You are going to listen to the text about Thomas Jefferson.

a) Vocabulary. Complete the sentences with words from the box.

talents library declaration expedition architect author doubled retired

1. If something became two times bigger than it was, it ___________________.

2. A ____________ is a room or building for books.

3. A person who writes a book or document is an _______________.

4. Someone who can do some things without having to learn them first has __________________.

5. A person who has worked for many years and then stopped is _________________.

6. An __________________ is a long and carefully organized trip.

7. A ______________________ is something very important you say or write.

8. A person who makes the drawings for a building is an _________________.

b) Comprehension. Listen to the text and answer the following questions.

1. What talents did Thomas Jefferson have?

2. How many books did his library contain?

3. How did the territory of the USA change after Jefferson bought a land from France (the Louisiana Purchase)?

4. What did Jefferson do after he retired?

5. When did Thomas Jefferson die?

6. Who else died on the same day?

9. You are going to listen to the text about John F. Kennedy.

a) Vocabulary. Complete the sentences with words from the box.

wealthy tragedies sickly survive. faith triumphs elegant sorrow

1. Very sad events that shock people are called __________________.

2. When people or things have beauty and style, they are ___________________.

3. When you have a lot of money, you are ___________________.

4. When you are sad, you feel __________________.

5. Important victories are called ________________.

6. When you believe in something, you have _____________ in it.

7. If you are weak, unhealthy, and often ill, you are ________________.

8. If you continue to live after an accident or war, you _______________.

b) Comprehension. Look through the text on page 24. Listen to the story about John F. Kennedy and make notes about facts from his life that have not been mentioned in the text.

10. Which President is each sentence about?

1. The farmer and lawyer from Virginia was also a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, and an architect, and he knew many languages.

2. The colonists trusted this farmer from the colony of Virginia because he did not want power for himself.

3. This young Roman Catholic was President for only three years because he was assassinated in 1963.

4. He served as a military leader in the fight of the colonists for independence from British rule.

5. This honest man taught himself and became a lawyer and a Congressman from Illinois.

6. He was against slavery but wanted the states of the North and the South to work together as a nation.

7. Many of his ideas (for example, about equality, “the consent of the governed,” free press, and free speech) are basic principles of the government of the United States.

8. He was an Ambassador, Secretary of State, and Vice President before he became the third President of the United States.

9. He was a man for the future, and one of his goals was to land a man on the moon before 1970.

10. As the sixteenth President, he used power that was not given by the Constitution when he led the northern states in the Civil War.

11. He did not think the United States should have strong ties to other nations.

12. He bought the Louisiana Territory for the United States from France.

13. He is often called “the Father of Our Country.”

14. His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, but he was assassinated before he could bring the South back into the Union.

15. He supported civil rights, fair housing, and programs to stop poverty, and he wanted more money for education and medical care for elderly people.

16. He tried to stop Communism with the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps and was against nuclear weapons.

11. Find out the answers about the following questions.

1. Why did Abraham Lincoln get the nickname of Honest Abe?

2. How many U.S. presidents have been assassinated? How many assassination attempts against presidents have there been?


12. Which of the four Presidents said or wrote these famous quotes? Discuss the meanings of the quotes and explain them in simpler language.

1. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

2. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

3. “It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

4. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”


13. Find other famous quotes by Presidents of the United States. Read them in class and discuss their meanings.

14. Do you believe in coincidence? Read this information about two great U.S. presidents. Which coincidence(s) amazed you most?

· Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

· Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.

· Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

· John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839. Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

· Both Presidents were shot on a Friday, in the presence of their wives.

· Both presidents were shot in the head from behind.

· Both were assassinated by Southerners who held extremist views.

· Both assassins were known by their three names.

· Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and fled to a warehouse. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theater.

· Both assassins were murdered before they could be brought to trial.

· Lincoln was killed in Ford’s Theater. Kennedy met his death while riding in a Lincoln convertible made by the Ford Motor Company.

· Both were succeeded by Southern Democrats named Johnson.

· The first name of Lincoln’s private secretary was John, the last name of Kennedy’s private secretary was Lincoln.

· The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.


15. Although there were some coincidences between the two presidents – Lincoln and Kennedy, there were a lot more differences between them. Work in groups of four and name some of these differences (according to the texts above and some other sources that you have read).



16. Read the information below. Find one more interesting fact about any American president and tell your group about it. Then, choose the three most interesting facts.

Interesting Facts

· George Washington wore false teeth. They were made of ivory and not wood as many people thought.

· Thomas Jefferson was the first president to shake hands instead of bowing to people.

· On the eve of Union victory early in April 1865, Lincoln described a strange dream to his wife and a good friend. In the dream, he said, he was awakened from a deep sleep by a “pitiful sobbing.” Getting up, he followed the wailing sound to the East Room, and there he found a catafalque, surrounded by mourners. On it he saw a still figure shrouded in funeral garb, the face covered. “The President,” one of the soldiers standing in the honor guard whispered to Lincoln, “…..killed by an assassin.” Within two weeks, Abraham Lincoln had been shot by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theater. In the East Room, Lincoln’s body lay on a catafalque surrounded by mourners…

· John F. Kennedy was the only president besides George Washington who did not want to take salary as a president. He gave his salary to charity.





1. Aikman L. The Living White House. White House Historical Association, 1982. – 151 p.

2. Broukal M., Murphy P. All About the USA: A Cultural Reader (Parts 1-4, with CDs). - Pearson, 2008.

3. Kirn E. About the USA. The Office of English Language Program, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., 1989. - 127 p.

4. Sokolik M.E. Rethinking America. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle, 1999. – 224 p.

5. Internet resources:











Date: 2015-02-28; view: 4519

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