2.en.32 Christmas reading: “the Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde

So far, we have read many newspaper articles and web pages , but we haven’t read any books in English. In one of our sessions with Liz, we talked about steretypes. We focused on American versus English. The book you will have to read during Christmas is an adaptation of the original. It was written by Oscar Wilde. It draws on the stereotypes of America and English culture and it is also a parody of Gothic novels. We’ll discuss the representation of British and American and the clash between the two cultures as it is presented in the book. We shall also investigate on the writer, Oscar Wilde. How huch do you know about him?

What do you think of this quote? Oscar Wilde was very witty, so he is a never ending source for quote lovers.

During Chritmas vacation, you must read a short adaptation of a classic book The Canterville Ghost. The book is a parody of gothic novels but also a humorous picture of the culture clash between a sixteenth-century English ghost and a late nineteenth-century American family.

Last year we did lots of work with  Onomatopoeia. Do you remember?   if you had to produce a sound track for a gothic novel  you’d need to be able to produce...spooky sounds. Now, with you tube at hand, you would have an endless choice. Maybe you can contribute with some suggestions. But if you had to describe those sounds with words, what would you do? 

wind, especially howling rain, especially blowing
doors grating on rusty hinges sighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds
footsteps approaching clanking chains
lights in abandoned rooms gusts of wind blowing out lights
characters trapped in a room doors suddenly slamming shut
ruins of buildings baying of distant dogs (or wolves?)
thunder and lightning crazed laughter

You can download the text in pdf from hereYou can also read it directly in the site, and do the comprehension question exercises.

The site where this version of the Canterville Ghost is found, English on line grammar 4U,  is also very good to do some revision of verbal tenses and exercises.

I recommend you to do 4 sets of exercises:  simple presentpresent progressivesimple past and irregular verbs (levels 0,1 and 2). After Christmas, we shall start writing short narratives and you cannot make mistakes with these basic tenses.

Post to the blog the time you sit down to do the exercises and feed back on the ones you do. Remember to keep a record of the time it took you to do them.  After Christmas,  there will be a test on the Canterville Ghost. Further information on Oscar Wilde by clicking here.

You might try to read the beginning of the book. But try the original version, not the abridged one. It will  let you catch a glimpse of the irony, wit and richness of Oscar Wilde’s writing. Something which is lost in the abridged version.  In Amazon, you can read the first pages of most books. Let’s see if you manage to read the first page of The Canterville Ghost. Post feedback to the blog. Did you find it very difficult?

1.en.21 Some Halloween homework before the weekend

Most of you have finished your taks with the unfortunate alphabet, well, bad news… Now, it is time for more English Halloween homework 

Do not run away! 

I found  this Power Point about Halloween. There are 14 slides. Have a look at them  and answer the multiple choice questions you will find in slides 8,9,10,11 and 12 .  In the last slide,13, there is a link to a very good page with on-line activities on Halloween. If you find any you really like, post a comment for your classmates to know.

You must answer the 5 questions  (slides 8,9,10,11 and 12 ) , the rest of the activities are optional. As usual, post the answers. There is no need to repeat the same comments on the blog, but you must copy the answers in your notebook.

I know that some of you are a bit lazy, so I include the link to the on-line activities here, in case you feel too tired to get to the last slide, slide 13, or … in case you are superstitious and  you do not want to use any links that appear on page 13.


These activities were done by an English Primary teacher from Tarragona, Isabel Hidalgo.  Saps què te dic 2 wants to thank her for her good job!

Homework: Friday 28th . Apart from the power point slides, you must memorise one of the following poems. 

In this poem, you have to match the questions to the answers and you’ll end up with a nice Halloween poem.

Now, go to this page and listen to another Halloween poem: “A skeleton parade”