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English Lesson Plan on Gore Vidal

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THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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Gore Vidal was famous for speaking his mind on the hottest issues in America and around the world. He was a prolific novelist, essayist and screen and stage play writer. He also ran for the US Senate. He was related to former US President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Vidal was a strong critic of the George W. Bush administration.

Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. in New York in 1925. His father worked in the US Air Force and his mother was an actress. He disliked his first name and changed it to Gore when he was a teenager. He was raised and educated in Washington D.C. and spent a great deal of time learning from his grandfather, Democratic Senator Thomas Gore.

Vidal's writing career began when he was nineteen. The book 'Williwaw' was about his experiences in the military. In 1948, aged 22, he wrote his ground-breaking 'The City and the Pillar', which shocked many Americans. It was the first American novel to focus on homosexuality. The New York Times refused to review his next five books. This established Vidal's reputation for his outspokenness.

For six decades Vidal wrote commentaries on American politics and society. He has a huge following of admirers, including critic Martin Amis, who said Vidal "is learned, funny and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating." Vidal was a member of the World Can't Wait organization, which demands the impeachment of George W. Bush for crimes against humanity. He died in August 2012.

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.


SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2

 

 

1.

hottest

a.

reviewer

2

prolific

b.

brought up

3.

critic

c.

most topical

4.

teenager

d.

lots

5.

raised

e.

youth

6.

a great deal

f.

productive

Paragraphs 3 and 4

 

 

7.

ground-breaking

g.

image

8.

novel

h.

pioneering

9.

reputation

i.

reports

10.

commentaries

j.

prosecution

11

learned

k

book

12

impeachment

l

intelligent

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

1.

speaking his

a.

learning from his grandfather

2

He was related to former

b.

mind

3.

a strong critic of the

c.

outspokenness

4.

He disliked his first

d.

humanity

5.

spent a great deal of time

e.

of admirers

6.

the first American novel to focus

f.

George W. Bush administration

7.

The New York Times refused to

g.

on homosexuality

8.

Vidal's reputation for his

h.

US President Jimmy Carter

9.

He has a huge following

i.

name and changed it to Gore

10.

crimes against

j.

review his next five books


LISTENING GAP FILL

Gore Vidal was famous for _________________ on the hottest issues in America and around the world. He was _________________, essayist and screen and stage play writer. He also ran for the US Senate. He is _________________ US President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Vidal was _________________ the George W. Bush administration.

Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. in New York in 1925. His father _________________ Air Force and his mother was an actress. He _________________ and changed it to Gore when he was a teenager. He was _________________ in Washington D.C. and ______________ of time learning from his grandfather, Democratic Senator Thomas Gore.

Vidal's _______________ when he was nineteen. The book 'Williwaw' was about his experiences in the military. In 1948, aged 22, he wrote _______________ 'The City and the Pillar', which shocked many Americans. It was the first American _______________ homosexuality. The New York Times refused to review his next five books. This established Vidal's _______________ outspokenness.

For six decades Vidal wrote _______________ American politics and society. He has a huge _______________, including critic Martin Amis, who said Vidal "is learned, funny and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even ________________ illuminating." Vidal was a member of the World Can't Wait organization, which demands the impeachment of George W. Bush _______________ humanity. He died in August 2012.


CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Gore Vidal was famous for speaking his brain / mind on the hottest issues / tissues in America and around the world. He was a prolific novelist, essayist and screen and stage play writer. He also ran to /  for the US Senate. He was related to former US President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Vidal was a strong critic / criticism of the George W. Bush administration.

Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. in New York in 1925. His father worked in /on the US Air Force and his mother was an actress. He disliked his first / last name and changed it to Gore when he was a teenager. He was risen / raised and educated in Washington D.C. and spent a great / greatly deal of time learning from his grandfather, Democratic Senator Thomas Gore.

Vidal's writing / written career began when he was nineteen. The book 'Williwaw' was about his experiences in the militia / military. In 1948, aged 22, he wrote his ground-breaking 'The City and the Pillar', which shocked many Americans. It was the first American novel / novelty to focus on homosexuality. The New York Times refused / refusal to review his next five books. This established Vidal's reputation for his outspokenness.

For six  / sixty decades Vidal wrote commentaries on American politics and society. He has a huge follower / following of admirers, including critic Martin Amis, who said Vidal "is learned / learning, funny and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating." Vidal was a member of the World Can't Wait organization, which supplies / demands the impeachment of George W. Bush for crimes against humanity. He died in August 2012.


SPELLING 

These jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

ipnseagk his mind

2.

He was a ocliipfr novelist

3.

He was ereldta to former US President Jimmy Carter

4.

a strong ctirci

Paragraph 2

5.

He kdsdliei his first name

6.

when he was a neetrgae

7.

eriads and educated in Washington D.C.

8.

espnt a great deal of time

Paragraph 3

9.

his experiences in the maiytlir

10.

ckesodh many Americans

11.

reeviw his next five books

12.

Vidal's itnoapuret for his outspokenness

Paragraph 4

13.

American picotlis

14.

He has a huge lfwliongo of admirers

15.

a ermebm of the World Can't Wait organization

16.

crimes against uiyathnm


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

an actress. He disliked his first name and changed it to Gore when he was a teenager. He was raised and

( 1 )

Gore Vidal was famous for speaking his mind on the hottest issues in America and around the world. He is a prolific

(    )

novelist, essayist and screen and stage play writer. He also ran for the US Senate. He was related to former US

(    )

Vidal's writing career began when he was nineteen. The book 'Williwaw' was about

(    )

his experiences in the military. In 1948, aged 22, he wrote his ground-breaking 'The City and the Pillar', which shocked

(    )

many Americans. It was the first American novel to focus on homosexuality. The New York Times refused to

(    )

For six decades Vidal wrote commentaries on American

(    )

politics and society. He has a huge following of admirers, including critic Martin Amis, who said Vidal "is learned,

(    )

Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. in New York in 1925. His father worked in the US Air Force and his mother was

(    )

President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Vidal was a strong critic of the George W. Bush administration.

(    )

funny and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating." Vidal was a member

(    )

of the World Can't Wait organization, which demands the impeachment of

(    )

educated in Washington D.C. and spent a great deal of time learning from his grandfather, Democratic Senator Thomas Gore.

(    )

review his next five books. This established Vidal's reputation for his outspokenness.

(    )

George W. Bush for crimes against humanity. He died in August 2012.


SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

hottest    speaking    mind    the    issues    his    on

2.

was    President    related    Jimmy    to    Carter    former    He    US

3.

He    it    changed    and    name    first    his    disliked

4.

Washington    was    and    in    He    raised    educated

5.

spent   deal    learning   grandfather    great   time   his    a    of    from

6.

was    he    when    began    career    writing    Vidal's    nineteen

7.

on    focus    to    novel    American    first    the    homosexuality

8.

Times   refused   next  to    his    review   five  books   The  New    York

9.

admirers    has    huge    of    He    a    following

10.

humanity    against    crimes    for


GORE VIDAL DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Gore Vidal?

2.

Would you like to have met Gore Vidal?

3.

What would you like to know about Gore Vidal and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Gore Vidal?

2.

What questions would you like to have asked Gore Vidal?

3.

What would his answers have been to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________


GORE VIDAL SURVEY

Write five questions about Gore Vidal in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


WRITING

Write about Gore Vidal for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other's work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Gore Vidal. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. GORE VIDAL POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Gore Vidal. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Gore Vidal. Include an imaginary interview with him. Write about what he does every day and what he thinks about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a Gore Vidal expert. Ask him/her three questions about his life. Give him three of your opinions on Mr Vidal. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your "Gore Vidal expert" partner(s) will try and answer your questions.


ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2

 

 

1.

hottest

a.

most topical

2

prolific

b.

productive

3.

critic

c.

reviewer

4.

teenager

d.

youth

5.

raised

e.

brought up

6.

a great deal

f.

lots

Paragraphs 3 and 4

 

 

7.

ground-breaking

g.

pioneering

8.

novel

h.

book

9.

reputation

i.

image

10.

commentaries

j.

reports

11

learned

k

intelligent

12

impeachment

l

prosecution

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

speaking his

a.

mind

2

He was related to former

b.

US President Jimmy Carter

3.

a strong critic of the

c.

George W. Bush administration

4.

He disliked his first

d.

name and changed it to Gore

5.

spent a great deal of time

e.

learning from his grandfather

6.

the first American novel to focus

f.

on homosexuality

7.

The New York Times refused to

g.

review his next five books

8.

Vidal's reputation for his

h.

outspokenness

9.

He has a huge following

i.

of admirers

10.

crimes against

j.

humanity

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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