Songkran Reading Comprehension

Songkran is the name for Thai New Year and it’s celebrated between the 13th and 15th of April each year. English Teacher Online is proud to present our Songkran Reading Comprehension to help you build vocabulary and talk about this fun Thai water festival.

Directions: Read the story, “Ploy’s Songkran,” and answer the questions below.

Ploy’s Songkran (by Teacher Steve)

“Bang, bang, bang!” I woke to the sound of firecrackers, driving away the evils spirits in our village.

Full of excitement, I took a quick shower and put on my most flowery shirt, ran downstairs and said good morning to all the family. A pot of hot rice porridge was bubbling away on the gas fire in the kitchen so I quickly grabbed myself a bowl.

“Happy New Year,” everyone exclaimed. The kitchen was buzzing with anticipation.

After breakfast, we got in the car and Dad drove us to the temple. I filled a small silver bowl with scented water and carefully poured it over the Buddha statue’s hand and legs.

Grandma and Mum headed into the temple with home cooked food they had brought in ornate food containers. Mum placed them down in front of the monks and everyone put their hands together. I closed my eyes as the monks started chanting and I felt myself fall into some kind of deep trance.

Suddenly, I felt water splashing over my head and I realized that a monk was blessing me with lucky water. That’s when I remembered it was Songkran, nearly time for the biggest water party of the year!

When we got home we all rushed off to filled up our water guns.

Reading Comprehension
  1. What sound woke Ploy up?
  2. What shirt did she wear?
  3. What did Ploy eat for breakfast?
  4. What did she do with the small silver bowl?
  5. What broke her trance in the temple?
  6. What did you do this Songkran holiday?

Please write your answers in the comment section or send them to Steve@EnglishTeacherOnline.Org

 

Your Best Piece Of Writing This Year

As we approach the end of the school year, English Teacher Online would like you to think about the best and worst parts of Grade 5. This week you will write a memoir and edit it into a final piece of writing – your best piece of writing this year.

What is a Memoir?

A memoir is a memory, or rather, the written account of a personal experience of the author. All the memories you have in your head could be turned into memoirs!

Good memoir topics from this year include;

Songkran

Study Tour

Sports Day

Loy Krathong

AMC at the Mall

Scout Camp

Activity Day

Or any other family activity that you have strong memories of.

3 Questions to Help You Write a Memoir

Just think and try to answer the following questions.

1. What is the memory? Write down the activity that this memory comes from.

2. What are the details that made this moment so powerful? Think about the colors, smells, feelings, thoughts and expressions. Try to remember all your senses from that time?

3. What big lesson did you earn from this experience? Or what do you realize now that you didn’t realize then?

If you can answer these questions, you should have enough details to write a good memoir!

How Should I Write A First Draft?

With your ideas and answers to the 3 questions above, you’re going to write about 100 words describing that memory.

Set a timer and write for ten minutes – don’t stop! If you can’t think of something, just dive back into that memory and get it all out on the page.

If you get really stuck, then look over the three questions again.

How Should I Edit and Write My Second Draft?

After taking a short break for milk and biscuits, it’s time to start editing your work.

Here’s a checklist for your edits:

1. If you need more content, go back to the three questions and ask what’s missing.

2. Separate out the good from the bad, and the relevant from the garbage. Don’t be afraid to rewrite a whole paragraph.

3. Fix the grammar.

4. Ask a friend to read the whole thing (or do it yourself) and ask, what’s missing?

5. Add in any missing details, such as the names of the family members or school friends you mentioned?

6. Go back to number 1.

Time to Write the Final Publication!

Take another short break, then come back and edit your 2nd draft.

Ask yourself: “Is this story complete? What would make this story better, maybe more or less words?”

TOP TIP: Many people don’t like to write, but writing is like a muscle – the more you practice the stronger you become.

If you want to get better, try writing for ten minutes EVERY day in a journal or diary!

Learn to have fun and good luck writing your memoirs.

Look back at Grade 5 here.

A History of Robots

The future waits for nobody so English Teacher Online invites you to explore a history of robots. You are encouraged to design your own robot and buy a robot kit to build at home.

A History of Robots

Possibly the first robot was built in the 10th Century BC in ancient China.  A scientist made a mechanical man as a present for the Emperor.

During the Industrial Revolution, many factories began installing machines to do the work of people, such as the “Spinning Jenny”.

However, it wasn’t until after the invention of electricity and computers that robotics could really grow.

The word “robot” was first used in 1921.  It comes from the Czech word “robota” which means “to serve”.  This is because robots are designed to serve humans.

The first robot made to work in a factory was called “Unimate”.  It was invented in 1961 for the General Motors car company.

Since then, many more robots have been made.  Lots of car and computer factories don’t use human workers, as they become automated.

Robots can also do dangerous things that humans can’t do.  Robots are built to explore inside volcanoes, or travel to the bottom of the sea.

One day, we might all have robot servants that live in our houses and do all our work, such as cleaning, washing the dishes, and walking the dog.

However, we must be careful.  If robots get too powerful, they might not like being servants anymore.  They might decide to take over the world, like they did in the movie Terminator.

ASIMO

The next generation of robots will be created by you. How are you going to help develop the history of robots?

 

You can ask questions in the comments section, but you may want to keep you best revolutionary idea secret!

If you like this page, please check out our STEM page about learning with robots.

A Night In The Jungle

Following on from Scout Day earlier this year, English Teacher Online invites you to use your creative writing skills to describe an amazing adventure following a night in the jungle.

A Night In The Jungle (edited from Macmillan English 2007)

After trekking all day, we stopped for the night. We put our bags down on the ground. There was a stream at the edge of this jungle clearing where we could get drinking water. Our guide lit a fire and when it was burning, we made beds from the soft moss that was growing nearby.

“We need enough wood to keep the fire burning all night,” the guide said. I jumped up quickly, “I’ll help you find it,” I relied.

We went off into the jungle to find as much wood as possible. The guide explained that we must have some larger pieces of wood. “They last longer and the fire must burn all night. We need the fire to keep away any animals that come near our camp. All animals are afraid of fire, aren’t they?”

It was almost dark by the time we had finished collecting a large pile of wood. We stacked the wood beside the guide’s bed so he could reach it easily during the night. He would be able to pick up the wood and put it on the fire without getting out of bed. We finished our supper and my guide fell asleep.

The jungle was a wall of blackness in the light of the fire. From far away in this darkness I heard the howl of a wild animal. I felt frightened and suddenly my mouth went dry. I really wished my guide would wake up and I wanted to scream. I felt my mouth open wide, ready to scream as loud as possible. I breathed deeply and was just about to scream out in fear, but I couldn’t make a sound. I could see my guide’s face in the firelight, “If I scream he will know that I’m afraid,” I thought to myself.

I clenched my teeth closely together to stop myself from screaming, lay down and closed my eyes. Immediately, I heard a thousand noises, the whole jungle was alive with creatures creeping all around me. I jumped out of bed, pulled out my knife and held it above my head. I was sure I was going to see a wild animal beside the fire. “A tiger, wild jackal, a lion or crocodile?” My mind was racing.

My guide was now laying on his side with his eyes open wide. “You can put your knife away,” he said quietly, “It’s time to go to sleep, isn’t it?” His calm voice made me feel better. I got back into bed and closed my eyes, knowing he was watching, I soon fell asleep.

Your Turn To Be Creative

The next day you wake up bright and early. You see your guide busy in camp. Use these questions to make a writing plan.

How different does the camp look in the daylight?

What does your guide look like?

What are they doing?

How do you greet him/her?

How do you help them?

Write a paragraph and share it in the comment section.

TV Is Not Good For Children Debate

Debates and persuasive writing are important because they enable you to develop skills that can help you make the right choices to live a happy life.

This week English Teacher Online joins in the, TV is not good for children debate and encourages students to think about both sides of the argument.

A debate is a serious discussion of a subject in which many people take part.

Persuasive writing is defined as presenting reasons and examples to influence action or thought. The writer states an opinion clearly and supplies reasons or specific examples that support each opinion.

How To Prepare For A Debate

Choose your side – either for or against. If you agree that TV is bad for children, then you are ‘for’ – if you disagree then you are ‘against’ the motion.

In your teams, make a list of your main points for or against.

Choose 2 or 3 people to work on each point and brainstorm how you are going to present it.

Prepare a short speech giving one concrete argument to help your team win the debate.

Consider counter arguments – what and how others will try to argue back against your speech!

Rejoin your group and compare what you have written. Choose the best parts and make the argument complete.

Come back to the team and discuss your main points. Rank your arguments so you can win the debate.

Remember that many hands make light work, but too many chefs spoil the broth. Make sure you have a leader or voting system that can sort out any team disputes.

Search online to find some more ideas to fuel your TV is not good for children argument here.

Persuasive writing can and should consider both sides of an argument. Try to discuss each point in order and don’t get too distracted by other points.

In the conclusion you can agree, disagree or decide that both sides have merit. Never be afraid to be your own person!

Please share some of your best arguments or questions in the comment section.