Did you know that the London Bridge is now in Arizona? The original bridge over the River Thames opened in 1831. In the 1960s, English officials discovered that the bridge was sinking. It couldn't support increased car traffic and needed replacing. Robert McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, bought it for 2.4 million dollars. In 1967, the bridge was moved brick by brick and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City.
If you could buy any famous landmark and have it moved, which would you choose and where would you move it? Explain your choices.
The final battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. British General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, effectively ending the War for Independence.
• with effect; in an effective manner
• actually but not officially
Which meaning of effectively is used above?
Use effectively in a sentence of your own.
actually but not officially
When clocks became widely used in the 19th century, people began setting their clocks to a standard time based on where they lived. They followed the rising and setting of the sun to set their clocks. We still do the same thing. The world is divided into time zones based on when the sun rises and sets in geographical areas. When it's 6:00 p.m. in New York City, it's only 3:00 p.m. in Los Angeles because these two cities are located in different time zones. Using a standard time in different time zones helps make social and commercial communication, such as scheduling meetings and appointments, more uniform.
What problems do you think would result from not having standardized time? Would there be any benefits? Explain your answers.
In 1797, a Frenchman named André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded successful parachute jump using a chute without a rigid frame.
• stiff and difficult to bend
• very strict and difficult to change
Which meaning of rigid is used in the sentence above?
Write a sentence using the other meaning of rigid.
Which meaning of rigid is used in the sentence above?
The first meaning listed in the definition: stiff and difficult to bend.
Did you ever notice that hurricanes have names? The United States started using women’s names for hurricanes in 1953, and added men’s names in 1979. According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricanes receive short, distinctive names starting with each letter in alphabetical order. This prevents confusion between storms. After all, during hurricane season, several storms can form simultaneously in the Atlantic Ocean.
Have you ever experienced a natural disaster? If yes, write about your experience. If no, write about what you think it would be like.
Describing his Island trilogy, author Gordon Korman said, “Here were six shipwrecked kids who were in real danger of dying every minute. That’s not the time to be cracking jokes. So it’s not humor that keeps the reader turning pages; it's suspense and fear.”
A page-turner is an exciting book, one so interesting that you want to keep turning the pages to learn what happens next.
Have you ever read a page-turner? Write a few sentences about that book. Include the title, the author's name, a brief summary, and why you found it exciting.
Basketballs were not always orange; until the late 1950s, they were brown. Paul “Tony” Hinkle, a college basketball coach, thought the brown ball was too difficult for spectators to see. He worked with Spalding, a ball-making company, to select the bright orange color.
Do you like to play or watch basketball? Explain why or why not.
The United Nations (UN) was formed to promote international peace. Created in 1945, the UN has helped assuage poverty, hunger, genocide, and disease around the world.
• make less severe; lessen the intensity; relieve; calm
Use assuage in a sentence of your own.
The first music video played on MTV on August 1, 1981. It was for a song called “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. But the idea of a video with music goes all the way back to an experiment in the lab of the American inventor Thomas Edison. In 1895, Edison's invention called the Kinetophone showed moving pictures and played sound from a phonograph. The machine never became popular.
Do you have a favorite music video? Describe what you like about it. If you don’t, describe your favorite song and write about what you think the video should be like.
Diwali [Dee-wah-lee] is one of the biggest holidays celebrated in India. The Hindu celebration is also known as the Festival of Lights. During Diwali, Indians light small clay lamps and place them around their homes. They also light fireworks and eat sweets.
Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil, although in each region of India it is associated with different Hindu gods. Today, Indians of all religions celebrate Diwali.
signify transitive verb
• be a sign of
• be of importance; matter
Which definition of signify is used in the sentence above? Write your own sentences using signify as a transitive and intransitive verb.
In the sentence above, signify means be a sign of.
People wear costumes and masks on Halloween as a fun holiday tradition. But masks have served many different purposes over time. Prehistoric hunters used masks as camouflage so they could sneak up on animals. Ancient Greeks used masks as a part of their theatrical productions. In Italy, masquerade balls became popular during the Renaissance (1400-1600). These parties allowed people of different social classes to interact with each other because they could conceal their true identities.
What is your favorite costume you have ever worn for Halloween? What made it great? How did you feel when you wore it?
Where do Steven Kellogg’s story ideas come from? Kellogg said, “The ideas … come from lots of different sources, but most of them have their roots in feelings and images that I retain from my own childhood.”
• keep something in one’s memories
• hold in or contain
• hire the services of
Which definition of retain is used in the quote above? Write sentences using the other definitions.
In the quote above, retain means to keep something in one’s memories.
Native South American peoples introduced chocolate to the world. The ancient Aztecs, Mayans, and other Central American peoples believed that cacao seeds had magical properties. They used the seeds to make chocolate and hot chocolate drinks. They also used the beans as currency. Hernando Cortez brought cacao seeds back to Spain after visiting the Aztecs. By the 1700s, chocolate was popular throughout Europe.
What is your favorite chocolate-flavored food? It might be cake, pie, cookies, or candy. Describe the food, how it tastes, and why you like it.
In 1959, Jacques Plante became the first National Hockey League goaltender to wear a full-face mask. Should protective headgear be mandatory or voluntary in other sports?
• required by law or rules
• willing, not forced
• done on purpose and not by accident
What protective sports gear do you wear? Do you think it should be mandatory or voluntary? Use the words mandatory and voluntary in your answer.
The word sneakers was a nickname for the world's first rubber-soled shoes. They were created by the United States Rubber Company in the late 1800s. The rubber soles made them quiet, so it was easy to sneak up on someone while wearing them!
Describe your favorite pair of shoes in detail. Explain what they look like, how they feel, and why you like them.
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the first Vice President and the second President of the United States. He was also a lawyer, statesman, diplomat, political theorist, and a leading champion of independence in 1776.
• the winner of a competition or tournament
• a person who fights or argues for a cause or in support of another person
• support the cause of, defend
Which definition of champion appears in the sentence above? Write sentences using the other meanings of champion.
noun; a person who fights or argues for a cause.
In 1893, the world's first Ferris wheel debuted at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Invented by steel engineer George Ferris, the wheel stretched a whopping 260 feet in diameter. It was as tall as a 23-story building. More than 2,000 people could ride on the Ferris wheel at once.
How would you have felt riding on the first Ferris wheel? Would it have been scary? Fun? Describe the experience as if you were there.
James Truslow Adams, an American historian, first coined the expression “the American dream.” As Adams defined it, the American dream was “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
What does the American dream mean to you? What does it mean to a family member, friend, or a favorite fictional character?
The first successful flying machine was not an airplane. In 1783, the Montgolfiers, two French brothers, invented a balloon powered by burning straw. The first passengers sent aloft in the contraption were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck. The balloon floated for about eight minutes.
Have you ever flown somewhere by plane? If so, tell about your trip, both good parts and bad parts. If not, describe what you think the trip would be like.
In the late 1870s, settlers in the Dakota territory felt inadequately represented by their territorial status. They wanted to join the Union as one or two states. In November 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states respectively. They are numbered in alphabetical order.
• not enough or not good enough
The prefix in- means not. What does adequate mean? Use inadequate or inadequately in a sentence of your own.
Adequate means good enough.
The tradition of carving Jack o'Lanterns comes from Ireland, even though pumpkins do not grow in Ireland. The Irish hollowed out turnips and placed candles inside to scare away the spirit of Stingy Jack. According to the legend, Stingy Jack had tricked the devil on several occasions. When Stingy Jack died, he could not enter heaven or hell. Instead, he was condemned to wander the earth with one burning coal that he placed in a carved turnip to light his way. The Irish called this ghostly figure Jack of the Lantern.
Do you carve pumpkins for Halloween? Describe the kind of face you would like to make on a Jack o'Lantern.
Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 — April 8, 1973) was a Spanish artist. He was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. Picasso was an exceptionally prolific artist. He produced more than 20,000 pieces of artwork in a variety of mediums.
Use context clues to write a definition for prolific. Then use the word in a sentence of your own.