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Task A-6: Talking about a festival
Your fourth writing task A Summary
Well done These students are invited to read their works to the class.
good description £ My parents retrench the daily expense, so we are not supposed to make a long call, which, they think, is unnecessary and unworthy. 郑创洲
Common problems Irregular verb in past tense Think Sit Swim Choose …
punctuation Improper use of Comma Jenny moved her home into a new one with her daughters, they decorated the house meticulously and grew a lot of roses in the yard.
New rules £ £ £ There should be around 3 sentences you feel most satisfied underlined, or you cannot get high points in the third item of the score. The total number of underlined parts will be restricted to 4. Waves in red ink are used by the teacher to show his appreciation of the good sentences/ phrases in the student’s writing.
November 5 guy Fawkes Night Bonfire Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot
There had been many years of fighting between the Catholics and the Protestants. The Catholics regarded the Pope (in Rome) as the head of their Church, but the Protestants said that the head of the English Church was the King of England. By the time that James I, a Protestant, became King, the Catholics had been treated very badly and were getting very fed up!
A Catholic called Robert Catesby decided to do something about it. He brought five men together and told them his secret plan. One of the men was Guy Fawkes.
Catesby wanted to get rid of the King and his Parliament. He decided to blow them up with gunpowder! In early November, the members of Parliament were going to meet together and the King would be there too, so Catesby and the other men decided that this would be a good opportunity. They rented a house next door to the Parliament buildings, and started to dig a tunnel underneath to get to the cellars! This took a very long time and was very hard work. Later they found a cellar underneath the Parliament buildings which they could rent. Much easier! They moved the gunpowder into the cellar.
More Catholics joined the plotters, but as more men heard about the plot, it became harder to keep it secret. Eventually, someone sent a warning letter to one of the Members of Parliament and the plot was discovered!
£ Soldiers were sent to the rented house and the cellars and found the gunpowder. They also found Guy Fawkes, waiting with matches ready to light the fuse which would make the gunpowder explode. He was arrested and horribly tortured to make him tell who else was involved. All the plotters were found guilty of treason and executed.
A new guy
£ The Members of Parliament were very pleased that they had not been blown up! They made a law that 5 th November would be a day of thanksgiving and celebration. So that is why we have bonfires and fireworks on "bonfire night"!
A Penny for the Guy
No Popery 不要罗马天主教
Input reading: Please to remember the fifth of November
“Please to remember The fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot I see no reason Why Gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot” Sue Finnie, a freelance writer-editor of educational and children’s books, explains how this traditional rhyme is “remembered” in Britain.
Please read the whole article In your handout
Comment The sample writing we provide introduces a festival in England—Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night). With a chanting beginning, the essay first leads us to the grand events of the festival, then flashes back to the origin of the festival and tells the dramatic history vividly, and looks back on the changing attitudes towards the festival in the British society in the past decades, especially the years after the World War II. The profound changes are refracted—rising living standard, narrowing gap between the classes, development of the city traffic, dramatic decrease in space for children’s activities, inflation and so on. The writing style of this essay is worth following, especially the fast pace of narration with jumping rhythm (eg. The historical event is accounted succinctly with a few sentences).
Suggested writing task: Write a composition of at least 300 words describing one festival, either a national or a local one. You can include in your composition the origin or historical background of the festival, the differences between the past and the present celebrations, and the social changes reflected by the differences.
A student’s masterpiece The dragon boat festival Grade 2002 Lin Yiping (林一苹)
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. ” It was likely that Qu Yuan might have felt similar to what Charles Dickens wrote at the beginning of his A Tale of Two Cities over 2000 years later. Though today not many people care how Qu Yuan felt when he jumped into the Miluo River, his name is remembered through the passage of history. In the appetizing smell of Zongzi and the cheers and drumbeats in the Dragon Boat racing, Qu Yuan is commemorated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year, which is also called the Dragon Boat Festival. v
For Qu Yuan, the farsighted statesman and patriotic romantic poet in the Warring States, the chaotic times were the age of foolishness, the epoch of incredulity, the season of darkness, and the winter of despair. His nation, Chu, encountered domestic political corruption as well as the threat from the powerful Qin, which developed rapidly by annexing one nation after another. Qu Yuan insistently warned the king of Chu of its internal and external dangers, reminding the king of Chu to avoid conflicts with Qin and putting forward a series of reform policies. Yet his proposals were ignored, and he was sent into exile around Miluo due to the slander of some corrupt officials. In 278 BC when he heard the news that Chu had been defeated annexed by Qin, he committed suicide by drowning himself in Miluo River. Leaving a poem “Huai Sha” to express his disappointment and indignation towards the incompetent authority and the turbulent times, he ended his life with the downfall of his nation. v
When the news of his death reached the common people of Chu, they set out by boat to the centre of Miluo, desperately vying with each other in searching for his body. Meanwhile they threw rice dumplings containing meat, fruit and other fillings into the river, hoping that the fish would eat the food instead of the body of their beloved patriotic poet. The head of the boat was also decorated with a “Heavenly Dragon” to frighten the fish. Qu Yuan’s body was never found, but the custom of eating the food, later called Zongzi, and the Dragon Boat racing on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month have been handed down, which is said to be the day when Qu Yuan committed suicide. v
Today Dragon Boat race has become a sports event emphasizing teamwork and unity. The Dragon Boat, as it is called, featuring the traditional symbol of a Heavenly Dragon on its head and tail, is usually painted red, green and other bright colors. Before a new Dragon enters a competition, it has to undergo a sacred ceremony “light the eyes”, in which the craftsman paints the eyes of the Dragon. The length of the boat varies; the longest can hold up to eighty men. As soon as the race begins, the boats head forward swiftly like arrows leaving bows. Every boat carries a drummer beating the drum to boost morale, and the cheers of the audience on the river bank add to the impetus. v
While the participation of Dragon Boat race involves only the competitors and their audiences, eating Zongzi, the pyramid-shaped glutinous dumplings wrapped in leaves, is another observation enjoyed by every one. A diversity of flavors has been developed with the passage of time, in which regional difference exerts a slight influence.
Generally speaking people in the north have dates in their Zongzi which therefore tastes sweet, whereas people in the south prefer savory ones mixed with soybeans and meat. Nuts, mushroom, red beans and other fillings also create different flavors. In some places, following the tradition, Zongzi are still thrown into the river on Dragon Boat Festival, but most people feed themselves rather than the fish. Nowadays people tend to be more concerned about food culture than about history, feeling the traditional festival through their taste buds.
The worst of times for Qu Yuan has gone for good, yet the traditions are preserved through thousands of years. On this special day people enjoy their best times, and history remembers his name.
Comment This composition succeeds in imitating the style of the sample writing, which includes the grand events and the origin of the festival, where the changes of time and ethnic features are depicted. Though no ballad is quoted at the beginning, the wellknown saying of Dickens is cleverly related to Qu Yuan. “The worst of times” and “best times” in the last paragraph are echoing with Dickens’ saying at the beginning.
What festival do you like to write about?
Next class will be the mid-term exam: An article of about 300 words