Streets full of heroes
Unit overview
Unit key features Organizing suggestions
Passage 1 is an account of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York. It is taken from a best-selling book by a Passage 1 may need more time as senior fireman who only just survived its style may be unfamiliar and the attack. The style is dramatic and challenging to Ss. Passage 2 informal in order to catch the thoughts Passage 2 may demand more Eleanor Roosevelt: First of those involved in the frightening background information but is Lady of the World events. Passage 2 is from a magazine more straightforward. tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt, once the First Lady of the United States. Passage1 Last man down: the fireman's story (a) Predicting (b) Understanding writer's style (c) Using quotations Use Passage 1 for skills (a) and (b). Use Passage 2 for skill (c). Help Ss to relate the two different styles to their purposes: recreating dramatic events and paying tribute to someone. Use speaking activities to: brainstorm ideas practise description Ask Ss to keep informal notes as they work through the unit, listing heroes of different types as they come to mind, noting useful quotations on heroism, and keeping a track of their ideas. This will help them as they approach the later more demanding tasks.
Reading skills
Speaking skills
Describing characters Creating a dramatic style Using a rhetorical question to express discontent Having sensitivity to gender issues Guided writing: Using quotations Unit task: Writing a nomination for an unsung hero
Writing skills and tasks
Cognitive skills Reading across cultures Heroes in Western literature
Understanding that the way we express Ask Ss to imagine the passages written or encode content affects its meaning in different styles Comparing concepts across cultures This is a look at how the concept of hero has changed in the West over the centuries. Ask Ss to compare old, modern, local, literary and film / comic book heroes. Make Ss reflect on heroism.
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Unit 6 Streetsfullofheroes
Teaching suggestions and answer keys
Starting point
Teaching tips The opening discussion and poem introduce the idea that heroes do not have to be exceptionally important historical figures; we are all capable of being heroes in the right circumstances. Teaching steps Tell Ss to begin their definition "A hero is someone who …" They will need to try to bridge any contradictions in their ideas on this complex topic. 1 Check () the statements you agree with. Heroes are people who: √ 1 show great courage when it is most needed soldiers who surprise people with their bravery
√ 2 have the courage of their own opinions those who fight social ills, such as slavery √ 3 put the safety of other people before their own various types of rescuers √ 4 put the interests of their country before their own patriots / soldiers dying for their cause √ 5 are not interested in being rewarded for their actions the anonymous hero who leaves the scene after rescuing others √ 6 always do their duty people who day after day, like nurses, perform a service for others √ 7 have personal qualities which are superior to those of most people great leaders √ 8 are usually just ordinary human beings mothers, fathers, the disabled etc
Now work in pairs. Check your answers and work out your own definition of hero . A hero is someone who selflessly endures hardship, in the short or long term, for a good cause. 2 Work in pairs and read the poem. Who are we and they ? Teaching tips To understand the poem Ss need to know that the poet was commissioned to write some verses to be put as public art on the exterior walls of a new hall of residence for students. A few words are placed under each window so that anyone passing the building can read the poems as they walk along.
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Streetsfullofheroes Unit 6
This particular poem is spoken by the words themselves (we mere words). As they look down on the street they see many people passing (they). Some are just walking along while others are working. They are an ordinary mix of people, some of whom are more respectable than others (saints). But the words know that all these people have the potential (possibilities) to be great. Some may be artists of different types (romantics); some may struggle to improve life through social and political means (freedom fighters) and others through their ideas (intellectuals). The poem recognizes the heroism in everyone and thus tries to inspire us to be great.
Active reading (
1 Work in pairs and discuss the questions. 1 How many emergency services can you think of? Fire / ambulance / police / coast guard services. 2 What different skills do emergency workers need? Specific skills, speed, medical knowledge, decisiveness, courage, reliability etc. 3 What's the main job of a firefighter? Putting out fires. 4 What else may they have to do in an emergency? Rescue people caught up in emergencies and give emergency medical aid. 5 What personal qualities are important in an emergency? Ability to take decisions, calm, speed, efficiency. 2 Look at the title, the date and the first line of the passage. What do you think It in the first line refers to? The 9/11 terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center towers. Now read the extract from the book Last Man Down and check your answer. Teaching tips If Ss read through the passage before the class, its dramatic power might be brought out by Ss taking it in turn to read one sentence at a time. Ss will, however, need to follow one another quickly and read their sentences with some feeling. For example, Dead solid still will only be effective if read fairly slowly with heavy stresses. Alternatively, this could be attempted after a closer look at the passage's meaning and style. T will need to decide when to read the Postscript. As it clarifies much in the passage, it is probably best to be read at the same time unless T wants Ss to put the situation together with fewer clues.
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Unit 6 Streetsfullofheroes
Last man down: the fireman's story Language points
1 Last man down: the fireman's story (Title) The expression last man down, similar to last man standing, refers to the survivor or winner. The last man down from the tower before it collapsed would be one of the bravest. 2 There were about two dozen of us by the bank of elevators ... (Para
  2) A bank of elevators means a set of lifts. 3 Some had their turnout coats off, or tied around their waists. (Para
  2) Turnout coats are the uniform firefighters wear when they turn out for a fire. 4 Others were raring to go. (Para
  2) The expression raring to go is an old form of rearing up, and means being eager to go like a horse. 5 All of us were taking a beat to catch our breaths, and our bearings, figure out what the hell was going on. (Para
  2) To take a beat means to rest for a moment. A bearing is an exact compass reading measured in degrees. To take your bearings is to find where you are. Here it means both physically and mentally. 6 We'd been at this thing, hard, for almost an hour, some a little bit less, and we were nowhere close to done. (Para
  2) To be at this thing is a slang expression which means to work on this mission. The expression nowhere close to done means someone is far from completing their work. 7 Of course, we had no idea what there was left to do, but we hadn't made a dent. (Para
  2) A dent is a mark on a piece of metal as when you bump your car. To make a dent in something is to have an effect on it (imagine beating a piece of hard steel and not making any mark on it). To make a dent here means to achieve something. The firefighters had hardly begun their work. 8 As if we could see clear through the ceiling tiles for an easy answer. (Para
  3) Looking up for the source of the noise was only useful if you could see through the floors above, but it still remained an instinctive reaction. 9 The building was shaking like in an earthquake, like an amusement park thrill ride gone berserk … (Para
  3) The word berserk was originally about ancient Viking warriors who worshipped a bear god (ber). They would go into a terrible rage or madness when fighting. It now means utterly and dangerously crazy. 10 The way it coursed right through me. (Para
  3) To course means to run or flow somewhere quickly. The noise and vibration have a strong physical effect on the writer. 11 I thought about my wife and my kids, but only fleetingly and not in any kind of life-flashing-beforemy-eyes sort of way. (Para
  4) Life flashing before my eyes is a claim made by someone who has near-death experiences, as in an accident, of seeing a slow motion version of the most important events in their lives. Researchers say it may be the reaction of the brain to trauma.
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Streetsfullofheroes Unit 6
12 Or, "We'll all meet at the big one." (Para
  4) After any fire, the fighters use the expression the big one to minimize that fire and suggest there will always be a bigger one coming. It is a brave act of understatement. 13 I never knew how it started, or when I'd picked up on it myself, but it was part of our shorthand. (Para
  4) To pick up on it means to learn it and start using it. It is a slang expression. Shorthand is a system of writing used for taking down fast speech. It uses symbols for common words and can only be understood by people who learn it. Firemen have their own spoken shorthand (as do most professions). To an outsider, the big one would not mean much, but as the writer explains it was rich in meaning to him and his colleagues. 14 I fumbled for some fix on the situation, thinking maybe if I understood what was happening I could steel myself against it. (Para
  5) Some fix is a slang term which means a way of understanding. To steel oneself against something means to prepare oneself to do something unpleasant. 15 A battalion commander for the New York Fire Department, he was on the scene of the disaster … (Para
  6) The Fire Department is divided up into battalions of up to 200 consisting of a number of companies of about 30 firefighters.
Reading and understanding
3 Choose the best summary of the extract. 2 In this dramatic personal account, firefighter Richard Picciotto recalls what he was doing and thinking, just before the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed on 11 September 20
  01. 4 Answer the questions. 1 Where was Richard Picciotto at 9:59 am on 11 September 2001? He was on the 35th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. 2 Who was with him? About two dozen firefighters. 3 What was everybody trying to do? They were resting and trying to work out what was going on. 4 How long had they been in the building? Nearly an hour. 5 What did they do when the noise started? They stood still. 6 What was happening to the building? It was falling down. 7 What did Picciotto start thinking about when he heard the noise? He started thinking about his family, job and the bagels in the kitchen.
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Unit 6 Streetsfullofheroes
8 Did Picciotto have the impression things were happening quickly or slowly? To him, it seems things were happening slowly while in truth they weren't. 9 How did Picciotto get out of the tower? He climbed through the rubble and led his men to safety. 10 How many firefighters lost their lives? Altogether 343 firefighters. 11 Why did Picciotto write Last Man Down? He wrote it as a tribute to his colleagues.
Dealing with unfamiliar words
5 Match the words in the box with their definitions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 to make a fire stop burning (extinguish) the total number of people who have been killed or hurt (toll) an extremely difficult or frightening situation (nightmare) a very sad event that causes people to suffer or die (tragedy) as much as possible (utmost) impressive actions that prove someone is very brave (heroism) happening in a confused way and without any order or organization (chaotic)
6 Complete the paragraph with the correct form of the words in Activity
  5. For a firefighter arriving on the scene of a fire the first few minutes are usually the most (
  1) chaotic. He has to (
  2) extinguish the fire, he also needs to find out if human lives are in danger. When people are trapped inside a building he must act swiftly to prevent (
  3) tragedy, or, ? in the (
  4) nightmare scenario ? to keep the death (
  5) toll to a minimum. Actions like these require the (
  6) utmost degree of (
  7) heroism. 7 Replace the underlined words with the correct form of the words in the box. 1 2 3 4 5 6 He's a very honest, fair and well-behaved sort of person. (decent) I'd like to express my thanks for everything you've done for me. (gratitude) There was a group of cows standing in the corner of the field. (herd) There have been very big increases in food prices over the last few months. (massive) All the people should leave the building immediately when the alarm sounds. (evacuate) She has displayed all the qualities needed for being a leader in her job. (leadership)
8 Answer the questions about the words and expressions. 1 If you are raring to go, are you eager to (a) leave, or (b) start an activity? 2 If you get your bearings, do you (a) lose your way, or (b) find out where you are? 3 If you are nowhere close to done, do you (a) still have a lot more work to do to finish the job, or (b) still f


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