Text A Writing Three Thank-You Letters Alex Haley
Pre-reading tasks 1. Listen to the song and think about why are people busy coming and going on holidays? 2. List your favorite holidays and do the ranking then tell us how you usually celebrate your favorite holidays.
Thanksgiving--- general information Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. For many Americans, it’s the most important holiday apart from Christmas. It’s a day for family to have a reunion. Schools, offices and most businesses close for Thanksgiving and many people make the whole weekend a vacation. (to be continued)
Thanksgiving--- general information Thanksgiving is a time for tradition and sharing. Even if they live far away, family members gather for a reunion at the house of an older relative. All give thanks together for the good things that they have. Thanksgiving is associated with the time when Europeans first came to North America.
Almost 400 years ago, the Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was difficult. Without fresh food, many of them died. In the following spring, the American Indians taught them how to grow corn.
In the next autumn, bountiful crops of corn, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so they held a big feast to thank God and the Native Americans.
(continued) A traditional dinner with foods that come from North America features Thanksgiving. Wild turkeys, pumpkins,corn on the cob, sweet potatoes (also called potato-yams) make up a list of typical food on this day.
Idiom--- to talk turkey Meaning--- it refers to speaking frankly, discussing hard facts or getting down to serious business. Origin--- A colonist and a native went hunting and they agreed to share what they got equally. At the end of the day, there were four crows and four turkeys in their bag. The colonist tried to partition the spoils by saying “here’s a crow for you” to the Indian, then keeping a turkey to himself, giving another crow to the Indian, and so on. At this point the Indian very reasonably protested, saying “you only talk crow for Indian. Now let’s talk turkey.”
Pilgrims The 102 English people who sailed to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Weakened by the seven-week crossing and the need to establish housing, they came down with pneumonia and consumption (tuberculosis). They began to die -- one per day, then two, and sometimes three. They dug the graves at night, so that the Indians would not see how their numbers were dwindling. Later,they got help from the Indians and established Plymouth colony.
Native Americans They were living in North America for many hundreds of years before Europeans reached the continent. For a long time, white people called them Indians. Today, many people don’t like this name since it is based on a mistake made by Columbus who thought he had landed in India when he arrived in America.
About the Author Alex Haley was born in New York on August 11, 1921 and was the author of the widely claimed novel Roots. Haley began writing short stories while working at sea, (He served in Coast Guard for 20 years). After he retired from military service, he launched his career as a freelance writer. Roots,which stimulates the interests in Africa and in black genealogy,was published in 1976. It is compared to Harriet Beech Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and has received many rewards. Haley died on Feb 10,1992, of a heart attack.
Holidays in Western Culture St. Valentine's Day falls on February 14. It is a day for sweethearts.
April Fool's Day falls on April 1st. It is traditionally a day to play practical jokes on others, send people on fool's errands, and fool the unsuspecting.
Easter Day (Sunday) falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. It is regarded as “a salute to spring” or “marking re-birth” of Christ
Rabbit is the symbol of Easter Day because it is believed to have multiple births. Christians consider eggs to be “the seed of life” so they are symbolic of resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Mother’s Day falls on the 2nd Sunday in May. It is a time of commemoration and celebration for Mom. It is a time of breakfast in bed, family gatherings, and crayon scribbled "I Love You"s.
Halloween falls on October 31. On this day, dozens of children dressed in costumes knock on their neighbors' doors and yell "Trick or Treat" when the door opens. Pirates and princesses, ghosts and popular heroes of the day all hold bags open to catch the candy that the neighbors drop in.
Language Study under way: in motion or operation The national educational reform is already under way. 全国教育改革已经启动 。 A debate on whether it is proper to keep pets is under way. 人们正在争论是否应该饲养 宠物。
Language Study rack ： 1.a frame for holding bombs. 架子。 2.make sb.painful 折磨，使痛苦 e.g. He had to rack his brains to solve that complicated problem. 绞尽脑汁： rack one’s brains
Language Study load: (v.) put goods onto a vehicle How long will it take to load the machines onto the truck? load: (n.) amount of weight carried by a vehicle After getting paid, she left, promising to return the next week for a new load of wash. (Other forms: unload, overload,reload, n+load of …)
Language Study in quest of: seeking, trying to find He went to America in quest of liberty. 他去美国是为了追寻自由。 He visited many people who were present when the accident happened in quest of the truth of his son’s death. 为了查找儿子的真正死因，他拜访了许多当时在事发 现场的人们。
Language Study reverse: exchange the positions 调换位置 e.g. He reversed the judgment and set free the prisoner. in reverse order 次序颠倒的 preserve 保存 保藏 deserve 应受，应得
Language Study Turn over: think about, consider. e.g. Even when she didn’t say anything you could see she was turning things over in her mind. I sat quietly, turning over the problem.
Language Study sincere: not pretending, honest she is sincere and quite without affectation. 她非常真诚，绝不造作。 It is my sincere belief that 我确信 ------ Sincerity n. 同义： true, genuine, unaffected 反义： insincere, false, artificial
Language Study swallow : to suppress an emotion He swallowed his anger and spoke quietly. swallow hard : make a movement in the throat because of you are nervous. He swallowed hard as he turned over the examination paper. ( 他紧张地翻开考卷.)
Language Study Gratitude: being thankful; thankfulness (followed by to sb./for sth.) e.g. What she felt for David was not love but gratitude. I am full of gratitude to you for helping me. express one’s gratitude to sb.for sth. 因为某 事对某人表示感谢。 out of gratitude 出于感激。
Language Study Statement: sth.that is said, esp. formally and officially. The trade union issued a statement opposing racial discrimination. issue a statement 发表一项声明 state v. 同义： account, declaration, announcement
Language Study on sb’s behalf: for sb.; in the interests of sb. He delivered a speech on behalf of all graduates on commencement day. Please don’t give up the opportunity on behalf of me.
Language Study impress: 1).fix in sb’s mind; make the importance of sth very clear to sb. impress upon/on sb.that; impress sth.upon/on sb The teacher tried to impress on his students the necessity of being honest. 2). Cause sb. To feel admiration or respect. im- 动词前缀，用于 b,m,p 前
Language Study diminish: become lesser or smaller The past year has seen the value of our car diminish substantially. Time, which strengthens friendship, diminishes love.
Language Study expose :leave uncovered; make accessible to People living near the nuclear power station may have been exposed to radiation. His parents are worried that he might be exposed to the kind of people they disapprove of. expose ---to/be exposed of 使 --- 受到， 使 --- 朝向 --- ， 使接触
Language Study assemble : bring or call together into a group The students assembled solemnly on the playground. My grandparents had assembled all the members of the family for this year’s picnic.. (compare: resemble) 同义： collect, cluster. 反义： dismiss, dissolve
Language Study considerate: thoughtful of the regards or feelings of others Friendly and considerate, he invariably consults with inferiors before making decisions. inconsiderate (compare: considerable)
Language Study accord: grant; be in agreement Government at all levels should accord priority to reporting cases of SARS honestly. What he did does not accord with what he said. 搭配： bring---into accord 使一致，使符合 in accord with 与 --- 一致 派生： accordance n. 一致，和谐。 accordant 一致的，和谐的
Language Study successive : following one after the other After three successive defeats, he decided to withdraw from the match. Chinese female table tennis team has taken off the gold medal in five successive world championships.
Language Study alternate (v.) : to happen or exist one after another He alternated working in the office with long tours overseas alternate (adj.) He plays golf on alternate Sundays.
Language Study humble (v.) : to cause someone to realize he is not as imports as he thinks he is. The result of the speech contest humbled him. humble (adj.) not arrogant ;low in rank he came from a fairly humble, poor background. 、 be humble about 对 --- 谦虚
Language Study undergo: vt.go through, experience e.g. No one can force you to undergo a medical examination.
Language Study Appreciate: vt. recognize the quality or significance of, value e.g. You cannot fully appreciate foreign literature through translation work. I appreciate your keeping it a secret.
Language Study bring back: cause to return to the mind e.g. The lyric always brought back fond memories of my childhood.
Language Study being: n. a living thing, esp. a person human being 人类 for the time being 暂时，目前 come into being 产生，形成
Text organization Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four On thanksgiving Day 1943, as a young coastguardsman at sea, the writer came up with the idea of expressing his gratitude to people who had helped him before. The writer wrote three thank- you letters to his fater, the Rev. Nelson and his grandmother. The writer got three letters in reply. The writer wishes everyone to find the good and praise it.
Text Analysis ship hold cabin afterback deck coastguardsman sailor seaman shipmate put to sea be underway be at sea
Do you remember the text in Book 1, All the Cabbie Had Was a Letter? Quite often we take for granted people who are nice to us, then we realize all too late that we have never expressed our appreciation, just like the cab driver. At other times, when we are far away from the holiday rush, we are able to recall the true significance of a holiday- a time to say how much we value others. The author of this text did exactly that.
Talking about This essay reminds us to give thanks to those who helped us. It’s true that we may be grateful to a stranger who tells us the directions in the street, but we often forget to express our gratitude to the milkman, the elevator operator, our teachers, friends or parents --- all who oblige us in one way or another. Discuss with your neighbors what refrain you from doing so? Who has given you the greatest help? What have you done or will do in return?
Appreciate the Essay As a veteran writer, the author displays a good command of the language. For example, in Para 18 he vividly presets us a picture of earnest soldiers when the mail bag arrived. Verbs like pound, cluster, shout, and push indicate that they can’t wait to get their own mails.
Mark Twin’s comment on praise Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment”. To give the praise costs the giver nothing but it can produce considerable results on the receiver. This coincides with what the author said in the essay “Find the good-- - and praise it.” What do you think of this statement?
Reminder An ounce of praise is worth a pound of scolding. Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. Our praise are our wages.---Shakespeare Therefore don’t hesitate to praise or thank others, since it will not only bring joy into other people’s life,but add happiness into our own life.
Translation Amid the atmosphere of Thanksgiving, rather than joining his friends in celebration of the holiday, George was immersed in the diary left to him by his father, who died at sea after he completed two successive trips around the world. The diary brought back every moment George had spent with his father and many of the specific thins his father did on his behalf.
Translation George’s father used to impress on him the need to undergo all kinds of hardships in quest of excellence. He also taught him that nothing in the world could be taken for grated. Even today, George still remembers how his father would quote Aesop’s famous saying “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls" and tell him to accord the greatest importance to it.
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