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Now finish reading the story. Does the ending make you smile ? Why ?

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  1. Additional reading
  6. As you can see it varies very much in spelling and structure from the English you are reading, but you certainly recognize it as English of Caxton to whom we owe so much.
  7. Attending a job interview
  8. Do you think the narrator is going to commit a crime ? Go on reading and you will find out.
  9. Finish reading the first half of the story. Prepare to explain what exactly is happening to the teacher.
  10. Finish reading the story. Decide how you find the ending — unexpected or quite predictable.
  11. Finish the sentences explaining why this or that device is useful.
  12. Go on reading. In your opinion, is there anything that makes Needle a peculiar ghost ? What is it ?

Just then there was another sound. It was a soft swishing noise as if Aladdin’s hand was rubbing his magic lamp. Obediently the genie appeared.

Mr. Emerson stood up at the bottom of the fire escape. Carefully he smoothed the curl on top of his head. He adjusted the chain across his vest. The class didn’t know what to do — so it did nothing.

Mr. Emerson looked around the circle of staring faces.

“Congratulations. You’re a very alert class. I confess I didn’t even hear the fire drill bell myself.” The smooth golden voice went on. “But soon after this young man left, I started timing you.” His hand dropped casually on top of Pete Robbins’s bristly head. Pete groaned.

“From then until the last one was out” — Mr. Emerson looked at Piggy now — “it only took you four-and-a-half minutes. That’s excellent. You were so quiet and orderly, too. Mr. Bostrum will be pleased. Now, if you’ll all march back upstairs, we’ll see if you’re as smart at your studies.”

Without a single word, the fifth grade marched.



Answer the following questions.


1. What added a new shade to the girls` excitement that October day?

2. Why was it a sort of advantage to have a fire escape in the classroom?

3. What predictions did the students make about their new teacher?

4. What was the idea behind the “Great plan”?

5. Would the students have been as much impressed if Mr. Emerson`s appearance had been ordinary?

6. Does the author give any clues indicating Mr. Emerson`s awareness of the events in progress?

7. Why did the prank seem to be a success?

8. Did Mr. Emerson chose the right line of conduct?

9. Who do you think played the best trick?

Find all the words with the help of which the author describes Mr. Emerson, the newcomer to the school. Every little detail matters, doesn’t it? What do you make of him?

Let us describe the characters of the story with the help of their remarks. Find out whom this remark belongs to and make a brief description of their character.

1. “But it will be worth having a new teacher to be one of the rooms with the fire escape.”

2. “And maybe mean, too.”

3. “You are a very alert class. I didn’t even hear the fire drill bell myself”.

4. “As many as can before she figures out. May be she doesn’t even know about the slide yet”.

Study the way the author describes the test the students put their teacher to. Notice the actions and the moods and comment on the ways they are depicted.

1. “She sounds old, don’t you think?”

2. “Boy, he must be sort of dumb”.

3. “Now if you’ll all march back upstairs, we’ll see if you are as smart at your studies”.

Let us focus on style. Read the definition of a stylistic device and find its examples in the story.

An allusion is a brief reference to a person (a famous historical, literary or movie figure), event, place or a work of art. A literary allusion is a reference to another literary text that is famous enough to be understood by competent readers. Writers use allusion to enrich their works.

Describe your first day at University. Did it live up to your expectations? Can you recall your feelings and impressions? Be ready to put them on paper.

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