Saturday, July 05, 2014

Jack and the Beanstalk for ESL Teachers

[In an effort to keep track of useful materials--so I can find it again when I need it--I'm going to start including links to stuff that I've had good luck with using in class. I'm going to index it, along with my own materials, over here and here.   The above link is to materials that I've used in a Young Learner reading exercise.]
The above website is something I've used as a supplement to reading "Jack and the Beanstalk" with Young Learners.  The reading text that I used in class was the original text of the story, now in the public domain, and taken from wikisource--link here.  Although the original text of the story is not graded for ESL learners, I found it worked well enough in my class--particularly if I read it out loud to them with a dramatic voices (while they follow along on their own copy), they were more or less able to follow the story line.  Then, I used a lot of the material at the above link as a supplement to the original story.  There's a lot of great material at the link above, and between the original story, and all the material at the above link, I was able to fill up a 90 minute young learner lesson quite nicely.

Although I largely left the original source text alone,  I did make some minor adjustments to the it (standardizing verb tenses, changing some of the more difficult vocabulary, fixing minor typos, clarifying a couple ambiguous sentences.)  My adjusted text is below--Google drive, docs, pub.
(On the Google Docs version, I've also included pictures from this website here.)



Jack and the Beanstalk
    ONCE upon a time there was a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white. And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold. But one morning Milky-white gave no milk, and they didn't know what to do.

            "What shall we do, what shall we do?" said the widow, wringing her hands.

            "Cheer up, mother, I'll go and get work somewhere," said Jack.

            "We've tried that before, and nobody would take you," said his mother; "we must sell Milky-white and with the money start a shop, or something."

            "All right, mother," said Jack. "It's market-day today, and I'll soon sell Milky-white, and then we'll see what we can do."

            So he took the cow's halter in his hand, and he started off. He hadn't gone far when he met a funny, looking old man, who said to him: "Good morning, Jack."

            "Good morning to you," said Jack, and wondered how the man knew his name.

            "Well, Jack, and where are you off to?" said the man.

            "I'm going to market to sell our cow here."

            "Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows," said the man. "I wonder if you know how many beans make five."

            "Two in each hand and one in your mouth," said Jack, as sharp as a needle.

            "Right you are," said the man, "and here they are, the very beans themselves," he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking beans. "As you are so sharp," he said, "I don't mind doing a swap with you—your cow for these beans."

            "Go along," said Jack. "Wouldn't you like it?"

            "Ah! you don't know what these beans are," said the man. "If you plant them over-night, by morning they grow right up to the sky."

            "Really?" said Jack. "You don't say so."

            "Yes, that is so, and if it doesn't turn out to be true, then you can have your cow back."

            "Right," said Jack, and handed over Milky-white's halter to him and pocketed the beans.

            Then Jack went back home, and as he hadn't gone very far it wasn't yet dark by the time he got to his door.

            "Back already, Jack?" said his mother; "I see you haven't got Milky-white, so you've sold her. How much did you get for her?"

            "You'll never guess, mother," said Jack.

            "No, you don't say so? Good boy! Five pounds? Ten? Fifteen? No! It can't be twenty?"

            "I told you that you couldn't guess. What do you say to these beans; they're magical, plant them overnight and——"

            "What!" said Jack's mother, "have you been such a fool, such a dolt, such an idiot, as to give away my Milky-white, the best milk-cow in the town, and prime beef to boot, for a set of paltry beans?" Jack's mother hit him.  "Take that! Take that! Take that! And as for your precious beans here they go out of the window. And now off with you to bed. Not a sip shall you drink, and not a bite shall you swallow this very night."

            So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, and he was very sad and sorry, to be sure, as much for his mother's sake, as for the loss of his supper.

            At last he dropped off to sleep.

            When he woke up, the room looked so funny. The sun was shining into part of it, and yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window. And what do you think he saw? Why, the beans, which his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden, had sprung up into a big beanstalk which went up and up and up till it reached the sky. So the man had spoken the truth after all.

            The beanstalk grew up quite close past Jack's window, so all he had to do was to open the window and give a jump on to the beanstalk which ran up just like a big ladder. So Jack climbed, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last he reached the sky. And when he got there he found a long broad road going as straight as a dart. So he walked along and he walked along and he walked along till he came to a great big tall house, and on the doorstep there was a great big tall woman.

            "Good morning, mum," said Jack, quite polite-like. "Could you be so kind as to give me some breakfast?" For as you know, he hadn't had anything to eat the night before and he was as hungry as a hunter

            "It's breakfast you want, is it?" said the great big tall woman. "Well it's breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here. My man is a giant and there's nothing he likes better than eating boys cooked on toast. You had better be moving on or he'll soon be coming home and will eat you up!"

            "Oh! please mum, do give me something to eat, mum. I've had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, really and truly, mum," said Jack, "I may as well be cooked as die of hunger."

            Well, the giant's wife was not half so bad after all. So she took Jack into the kitchen, and gave him a hunk of bread and cheese and a jug of milk. But Jack hadn't half finished these when....
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
The whole house began to tremble with the noise of someone coming.

            "Goodness gracious me! It's my old man," said the giant's wife. "What on earth shall I do? Come along quick and jump in here." And she bundled Jack into the oven just as the giant came in.

            He was a big one, to be sure. At his belt he had three calves strung up by the heels, and he unhooked them and threw them down on the table and said: "Here, wife, cook me a couple of these for breakfast. Ah! What's this I smell?
Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll have his bones to grind my bread."
            "Nonsense, dear," said his wife. "You're dreaming. Or perhaps you smell the scraps of that little boy you liked so much for yesterday's dinner. Here, you go and have a wash and tidy up, and by the time you come back your breakfast will be ready for you."

            So the giant went off, and Jack was just going to jump out of the oven and run away when the woman told him not to move yet. "Wait till he's asleep," she said.  "He always has a doze after breakfast."

            Well, the giant had his breakfast, and after that he went to a big chest and took out of it a couple of bags of gold, and he sat down and counted his money till at last his head began to nod and he began to snore till the whole house shook again.

            Then Jack crept out on tiptoe from his oven, and as he was passing the giant he took one of the bags of gold under his arm, and he ran off till he came to the beanstalk, and then he threw down the bag of gold, which of course fell into his mother's garden, and then he climbed down and climbed down till at last he got home and told his mother and showed her the gold and said: "Well, mother, wasn't I right about the beans? They are really magical, you see."

            So they lived on the bag of gold for some time, but at last they came to the end of it, and Jack made up his mind to try his luck once more up at the top of the beanstalk. So one fine morning he rose up early, and got on to the beanstalk, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last he came out on to the road again and up to the great big tall house he had been to before. There, sure enough, was the great big tall woman a-standing on the doorstep.

            "Good morning, mum," said Jack, as bold as brass. "Could you be so good as to give me something to eat?"

            "Go away, my boy," said the big tall woman. "Or else my man will eat you up for breakfast. But aren't you the youngster who came here once before? Do you know, that very day, my man missed one of his bags of gold."

            "That's strange, mum," said Jack. "I dare say I could tell you something about that, but I'm so hungry I can't speak till I've had something to eat."

            Well the big tall woman was so curious that she took him in and gave him something to eat. But he had scarcely begun munching it as slowly as he could when...
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
They heard the giant's footstep, and his wife hid Jack away in the oven.

            Everything happened just like it did before. The giant came in, as he did before, said: "Fee-fi-fo-fum," and had his breakfast of three cooked oxen. Then he said: "Wife, bring me the hen that lays the golden eggs." So she brought it, and the Giant said: "Lay," and the hen laid an egg all of gold. And then the giant began to nod his head, and to snore till the house shook.

            Then Jack crept out of the oven on tiptoe and caught hold of the golden hen, and was off before you could say "Jack Robinson." But this time the hen gave a cackle which woke the giant, and just as Jack got out of the house he heard the giant calling: "Wife, wife, what have you done with my golden hen?"
            And the wife said: "Why, my dear?"

            But that was all Jack heard, for he rushed off to the beanstalk and climbed down as quickly as lightening. And when he got home, he showed his mother the wonderful hen, and said "Lay" to it. And the hen laid a golden egg every time Jack said "Lay."

            Well, Jack was not content, and it wasn't very long before he determined to have another try at his luck up there at the top of the beanstalk. So one fine morning, he rose up early, and went to the beanstalk, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till he got to the top. But this time he knew better than to go straight to the giant's house. And when he got near to the house, he waited behind a bush till he saw the giant's wife come out with a pail to get some water, and then he crept into the house and got into a big cooking pot made out of copper. He hadn't been there long when he heard...
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
...as before, and the giant and his wife came into the house.

            "Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," cried out the giant. "I smell him, wife, I smell him."

            "Do you, my dearie?" says the giant's wife.  "Then, if it's that little rogue that stole your gold, and stole the hen that laid the golden eggs, then he's sure to have got into the oven." And they both rushed to the oven. But Jack wasn't there, luckily, and the giant's wife said: "There you are again with your fee-fi-fo-fum. Why of course it's the boy you caught last night that I've just cooked for your breakfast. How forgetful I am, and how careless you are not to know the difference between live boys and dead boys after all these years."

            So the giant sat down to the breakfast and ate it, but every now and then he would mutter: "Well, I could have sworn I smelled a boy." And he would get up and search the larder, a small room where food is kept, and the cupboards and everything, only, luckily, he didn't think of the big cooking pot made out of copper.

            After breakfast was over, the giant called out, "Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp." So she brought it and put it on the table before him. Then he said: "Sing!" and the golden harp sang most beautifully. And it went on singing till the giant fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder.

            Then Jack very quietly lifted up the lid from big cooking pot made out of copper and got down as quietly as a mouse and crept on his hands and knees till he came to the table, when he crawled up, caught hold of the golden harp and dashed with it towards the door. But the harp called out quite loud: "Master! Master!" and the giant woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp.

            Jack ran as fast as he could, and the giant came rushing after Jack, and the giant would soon have caught Jack, only Jack started to run faster and also changed directions to dodge the giant.  Jack knew where he was going, so he had the advantage. When Jack got to the beanstalk the giant was not more than twenty yards away. Suddenly, the giant saw Jack disappear, as if he had gone down a hole. And when the giant came to the end of the road, he looked down and saw Jack underneath climbing down the beanstalk for dear life. Well, the giant didn't like trusting himself to such a thing like a beanstalk, and so at first he stood and waited, so Jack was able to get further away. But then the harp cried out: "Master! Master! Help me!  Help me!" And the giant swung himself down on to the beanstalk, which shook with his weight. Down climbed Jack, and the giant climbed after him. By this time Jack had climbed down and climbed down and climbed down till he was very nearly home. So Jack called out: "Mother! Mother! Bring me an axe! Bring me an axe!" And his mother came rushing out with the axe in her hand. But when she came to the beanstalk she stood stock still with fright for there she saw the giant with his legs just through the clouds.

            But Jack jumped down to the ground and got hold of the axe and gave a chop at the beanstalk which cut the beanstalk almost in half. The giant felt the beanstalk shake and quiver so he stopped to see what was the matter. Then Jack gave another chop with the axe, and the beanstalk was cut in two and began to fall over. Then the giant fell all the way down to the ground and was killed instantly, and the beanstalk fell down on top of the giant.


            Then Jack showed his mother his golden harp.  And between all the money Jack made showing people the golden harp, and with selling the golden eggs, Jack and his mother became very rich, and he married a great princess, and they lived happy ever after.



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