Culture USA. The USA some facts and figures

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1 Culture The USA some facts and figures Canada Boston The Pacific San Francisco Las Vegas Los Angeles Denver Chicago USA New Orleans New York Philadelphia Washington The Atlantic Mexico 1 Quante cose sai sugli Stati Uniti? Fai questo rapido quiz. Quiz True False 1 The Pacific Ocean is west of the USA. 2 Mexico is east of the USA. 3 75% of people in the USA are over 18 years old. 4 Dime is another name for a dollar. 2 T4.15 Ascolta e leggi il testo per controllare se hai ragione. 3 Geography i K The USA is a big country. It is 4,800 km from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. From the north (the Canadian border) to the south (the Mexican border) the distance is 2,400 km. Time The USA covers six time zones from New York to Hawaii. Chicago is one hour behind New York; Denver is two hours behind New York; Los Angeles is three hours behind New York; Anchorage in Alaska is four hours behind New York; Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands is five hours behind New York. Climate There are big differences in temperature across the USA. The climate in Alaska in the north is arctic, but in the south in Florida it is tropical. i k Population The population is 285 million. 25% of Americans are under 18 years old. 12% are over % are white. 18% of Americans speak another language (not English) at home. Government The president, senators and representatives govern the USA from the capital, Washington. This is in the district of Columbia between the states of Maryland and Virginia. Currency Americans use dollars. There are 100 cents in one dollar. There is a one-dollar bill (a note) and a one-dollar coin. There are three other coins: the quarter (25 cents), the dime (10 cents) and the nickel (5 cents). 2

2 3 T4.16 Ascolta e leggi. Sei capace di abbinare queste città alle descrizioni? A B Chicago San Francisco Los Angeles Las Vegas New Orleans Boston Philadelphia New York This city is on the west coast of the USA in California. It has 43 hills and the famous Golden Gate Bridge. This city is on the edge of Lake Michigan. It s famous for its modern architecture and it has one of the world s tallest buildings the Sears Tower D E F People call this city The Big Apple.You can see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty here. A terrible hurricane destroyed this city in It s the home of Mardi Gras and it s in a part of the USA called The Deep South. It s on the Gulf of Mexico. This city is in the Nevada desert.the main street is called The Strip.The Strip is 6 km long. It s famous for its casinos. 37 million people visit the city every year. Some hope to win a lot of money. C This city is very old. It s on the east coast on Massachusetts Bay. It s a centre of history and culture. It was an important place at the start of the American Revolution. G This is Pennsylvania s largest city.the Founding Fathers (the first leaders of the independent United States) wrote the Declaration of Independence here. It was the first capital of the USA. H This city is in California. It s the home of Hollywood and Disneyland. Portfolio Quante cose sai dell Italia? Prendi appunti per ognuno di questi titoli. Geografia Governo Clima Valuta Popolazione Adesso pensa ad alcune città italiane e scrivi dei dati che le riguardano. La classe riesce a indovinare di che città si tratta? 3

3 Culture Monuments and places of historic interest 1 T4.17 Osserva le foto di alcuni monumenti americani. Cerca di dirne il nome. Poi ascolta e leggi. Abbina le foto ai testi. 1 The Statue of Liberty A The Statue of Liberty was the first thing immigrants to the USA saw when they arrived in New York. The statue is on New York Harbor*. The flame in the statue s hand is a symbol of liberty and freedom and the rays on her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents. The statue was a gift to the USA from the French in It celebrated 100 years of American Independence. The model for the woman was the sculptor s mother, Marie Bartholdi. The Statue is 93 m high and there are 354 steps to reach the top. 2 Mount Rushmore B Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is both a mountain and a monument. It is a monument to American history. The faces of four former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are carved into the side of the mountain. The enormous faces in the rock are m high. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, started work with his team in He died before he finished, but his son, Lincoln, continued his work. Around two million visitors every year go to see this famous and extraordinary monument. The Golden Gate Bridge 3 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is 2.7 km long and it rises 227 m above the water. The Golden Gate Bridge is very strong and can survive 165 km/h winds. This is because its legs go 30 m down into the sea bed. 40 million vehicles cross it each year that s 118,000 a day. The original paint lasted 27 years, but now workmen paint the bridge all the time and it takes four years. Then they start again. It s orange and it s called the golden gate because it crosses the Golden Gate a channel of water between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. 4 4 C 5

4 The Empire State Building D Before the World Trade Center,** this building was the tallest in New York. It has 102 storeys. It s 448 m high. The cost of the building was nearly $25 million and it took over 3,500 workers to build it. President Hoover opened it officially in May, He pressed a button in Washington DC and this turned on the lights in the whole building. The White House E The White House is important because the president of the USA lives and works there. The official address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. In 1800 John Adams became the first president to live there. The president works in the famous Oval Office and he/she can agree to the new laws from Congress, or he / she can stop them. There are 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms and 6 floors. There is also a tennis court, swimming pool and cinema. The Capitol F When people in Washington DC talk about the Hill they mean Capitol Hill, the home of the US Senate. It s a beautiful, classical, white building with a dome and it s over 250 years old. Congress meets there. Congress is the American parliament and it makes new laws and important decisions. There are two parts of Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 435 representatives and 100 senators and they represent all the states of the USA. *harbor (US) = harbour (UK) **center (US) = centre (UK) 6 2 Leggi queste frasi e abbinale a un monumento del testo. 1 It is a statue of a woman. 2 It is 448 m high. 3 It s in South Dakota. 4 It is over 250 years old. 5 The official address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 6 It s orange. 7 It cost $25 million. 8 It was a gift from the French. 3 Rispondi a queste domande. 1 Where is the Statue of Liberty? 2 How many steps are there to the top? 3 How many people visit Mount Rushmore every year? 4 Which presidents can you see at Mount Rushmore? 5 What happens at Capitol Hill? 6 Where does the president of the USA live and work? 7 How long does it take to paint the Golden Gate Bridge? 8 Who opened the Empire State Building? Portfolio Pensa all Italia e rispondi a queste domande: Quale pensi sia il monumento più famoso d Italia? Dove si trova? A quando risale? Che cosa sai sulla storia di questo monumento? Prendi degli appunti su questo monumento e poi riferisci alla classe. Sono tutti d accordo? 5

5 Culture Hollywood and the history of American cinema 1 T4.18 Osserva la linea del tempo della storia del cinema americano. Inserisci il testo mancante nella posizione corretta sulla linea del tempo. Poi ascolta e controlla le tue risposte The original sign, now famous across the world, was an advert for land for sale. It said Hollywoodland. Early 1920s Late 1920s In these years, most films were in black and white, but a few were in colour. The first talkies (films with sound) also appeared. 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s The big studios began to make blockbusters, with big stars, special effects and big soundtracks (music). They spent millions of dollars on these films. The most famous blockbuster of this period was Jaws. This was also the start of Stephen Spielberg s amazing career. He was responsible for many famous films: ET, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and many more. Star Wars was also a famous blockbuster of this period. 1990s today 6

6 A These years were the Golden Age of Hollywood. New film studios, such as Warner Bros and Paramount, controlled actors lives. Famous actors of this time were John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. These were the years of spectacular musicals. Walt Disney, one of the most famous directors of all time, started making films. He won 39 Oscars and was famous for his fantastic cartoons. He made his first cartoon film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in B Now most of the film studios are outside Hollywood. There is a new trend in film-making, CGI (computer-generated images). This produces films with incredible special effects, like The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Shrek. C The story of Hollywood began when people in New York realised that California was a good place for making films. The weather was good, there was a lot of beautiful scenery and land was cheap. D Universal Studios and United Artists were the first studios. They made the first films. The first films were silent and were often comedies. Charlie Chaplin was a famous actor at this time and made many popular films, such as The Kid (1921). E The Golden Age came to an end when television became popular and the cinema lost its attraction. Other countries started to have film studios, but Hollywood was still the centre of the film industry. 2 Rispondi a queste domande. 1 What was Hollywood s original name? 2 Where is Hollywood? 3 Why was Hollywood the ideal place to make films? 4 What are talkies? 5 Which years were the Golden Age of Hollywood? 6 How many Oscars did Walt Disney win? 7 Why did the cinema lose some of its attraction in the 1950s? 8 Which word describes films such as Jaws and Star Wars? Portfolio Rispondi a queste domande. Che genere di film ti piace? Qual è il tuo film preferito in assoluto? Perché? Chi è il tuo / a attore / attrice preferito / a? Pensa a un bel film che hai visto di recente. Prendi degli appunti sull argomento del film. Di se ti è piaciuto o no e perché. Poi riferisci le tue informazioni alla classe. 7

7 Native Americans 1 Rispondi a queste domande. Poi leggi il testo per controllare se hai ragione. 1 Who were the first Americans? 2 Where did they come from? 3 What languages did they speak? Culture 1 The first Americans came from Asia. They walked across the Bering Strait thousands of years ago, when the strait was still land. They were hunters. These Native Americans were in lots of different groups, called tribes. The most famous tribes were the Sioux, the Apache, the Cherokees, the Navajo, the Black Foot and the Cheyenne, but there were about 150 tribes. Each tribe spoke a different language. 2 When the first Europeans arrived, the Native Americans helped them. At the first Thanksgiving meal, the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated with the Native Americans. As more Europeans arrived, there was a fight for land. The new Europeans wanted more land and they took it by force from the Native American tribes. The Europeans didn t like the culture and traditions of the Native Americans. They tried to destroy their way of life. 3 The tribes learnt to fight the white men with guns. One famous Apache chief was called Geronimo. He fought against the US army in Arizona. At the battle of Little Bighorn 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors and their chief, Sitting Bull, killed General Custer and around 230 of his soldiers. The final battle was in 1890 at Wounded Knee, in South Dakota. US soldiers killed around 200 Native American men, women and children from the Sioux tribe. 4 Now there are about two million Native Americans in North America. They belong to 550 tribes and they speak 150 Native American languages, but many Native Americans speak English now. About one million Native Americans live on reservations. There are still some special laws for Native Americans, for example, most Americans must have a licence if they want to hunt or fish in the countryside, but Native Americans can hunt and fish when and where they want. 8

8 2 T4.19 Rileggi il testo e inserisci i seguenti titoli di paragrafo nel posto corretto. Poi ascolta e controlla le tue risposte. a Today b Origins c A monument to a Sioux warrior d Conflict e Contact with the first Europeans 3 Conosci già molte parole degli indiani d America perché sono i nomi di stati americani. Sei capace di dire dove si trovano in America? Native American place names iowa = this is the place missouri = town of the large canoes kansas = people of the south wind dakota = friends massachusetts = from the big hill oklahoma = red people michigan = big lake utah = people of the mountains mississippi = father of waters wyoming = mountains and valleys connecticut = next to the long river S 4 Decidi se le affermazioni sono vere (T) o false (F). Correggi quelle false. 1 The Native Americans belonged to two tribes. 2 The Native Americans had immediate problems with the Europeans. 3 The Europeans wanted more land so they took this from the Native Americans. 4 Geronimo was a famous US general. 5 General Custer won the Battle of Little Bighorn. 6 The Native Americans today only speak English. 7 The Black Hills are important and special to the Sioux people. 8 Crazy Horse was the horse of a famous Sioux warrior. 5 The Black Hills in South Dakota are a mysterious, holy place for the Sioux tribe. Now they are the site of the giant faces of four American presidents at Mount Rushmore. But there is a more exciting sculpture. It s the Crazy Horse Memorial. This statue of the great Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, is not finished but it will be the world s largest statue. At the moment, only his face is complete but that s 27 m tall! Portfolio Pensa a un paese che hai studiato o che conosci (ad esempio, l Italia o l Inghilterra). Informati sulle origini e sulle prime popolazioni che hanno vissuto lì. Prendi degli appunti secondo questi titoli: Le origini dei primi abitanti Le lingue che parlavano Invasioni da parte di altre popolazioni Scrivi un breve paragrafo (25 35 parole). Poi riferisci alla classe. 9

9 Culture Education in the United States 1 Quante cose sai del sistema scolastico americano? Abbina le didascalie alle foto (1 3). Ora ascolta e leggi il testo per controllare le tue risposte. 1 A C 2 Students have a big party after Graduation Day. B Cheerleading is a popular after-school activity. Students can choose many electives. 2 T4.20 Ascolta e leggi il testo. Poi rispondi alle domande. The education system in the USA is not a national system. The states are responsible for schools. Most children begin with kindergarten at the age of five or six. In some states you can leave school at 16. In others you have to go to school until you are % of students go to public schools, which are free. Students are at school from about 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most schools have a long summer break of about two and a half months. Students go to elementary school for six years. They stay in a single classroom with one teacher for the day, except for Physical Education (PE), Music and Art. The most important subjects are English and Maths. Students go to middle school (or junior high school) for three years. Each class has a different teacher. The main classes are English and Reading, Maths, Science, Social Science and Technology. They also have to do PE. American students go to senior high school for four years and continue to do a lot of different subjects. To get a High School Diploma the students have to do these subjects: English, Maths, Science, Social Science (History, Government and Economics) and PE. Other courses are electives (subjects that students can choose). 3 10

10 Common electives are: Visual Arts (drawing, painting, photography, film, etc.) Performing Arts (drama, orchestra, dance, etc.) Foreign Languages (French, German and Spanish are common. Latin, Japanese and Chinese are less common.) Athletics (which means various sports such as baseball,basketball and swimming) Computer Skills Shop (including technology, metalwork and car repair) American students also do a lot of after-school activities. Sports, bands and cheerleading are all very popular. The High School Diploma is a very important moment in a student s life. There is a ceremony Graduation Day when students dress up in gowns and mortar boards (special hats). After the ceremony, the students usually have a big party the High School Prom. 1 How long do students stay at middle school? 2 What are electives? 3 When do students start to do electives? 4 Which subjects must students do to get a High School Diploma? 5 Which foreign languages are common at high school? 6 What happens on Graduation Day? 3 Osserva le informazioni sulle scuole americane. Completa la tabella con informazioni sulle scuole italiane. US schools Italian schools Types of school Nursery (under 5) (and age) Elementary (5 11) Middle / Junior high (11 14) Senior high (14 18) Higher education College (18 22) Graduate school (23+) Portfolio Pensa all Italia. Rispondi a queste domande sulle scuole italiane: Quanto dura la giornata scolastica? A che età è possibile abbandonare la scuola? Ci sono esami nazionali? A che età? Gli studenti si specializzano a seconda delle materie? A che età? Prendi degli appunti sulle risposte che hai dato e scrivi un breve paragrafo (25 35parole) sulle scuole italiane. 11

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