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  1. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading BR_MAIN Warm-up Questions Listen and Think Background Information Free Discussion

  2. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_1.1 Warm-up Questions 1. What associations does the word “Christmas” bring to you?

  3. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_1.2 2. How do people in the West usually celebrate Christmas? 1) Christmas — the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus, celebrated by most Christians on December 25th 2) generally observed in many countries as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts or greetings 3) an occasion for family reunions 4) festive atmosphere in streets and shops: advertisements with Santa Claus and holly wreaths; shop windows beautifully decorated; “commercialized” holiday atmosphere; fountains with a background of bright and colorful lights

  4. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_1.2 5) festive atmosphere at home: Christmas tree decorated with tinsel, candles and gifts, mistletoe hanging in the rooms; holly wreaths placed on doors; Christmas parties, Christmas dinner (turkey or goose), stockings hanging at the foot of children’s beds for Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, to put gifts into them

  5. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.1 Listen and Think Directions: Listen to the song. Who is asked to come home for Christmas? Do you think the singer is happy? Bells will be ringing the sad, sad news Oh what a Christmas to have the blues My baby’s gone I have no friends To wish me greetings once again Choirs will be singing “Silent Night” Christmas carols by candlelight Please come home for Christmas Please come home for Christmas

  6. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.2 If not for Christmas, by New Year’s night Friends and relations send salutations Sure as the stars shine above For this is Christmas, yes, Christmas my dear It’s the time of year to be with the one you love So won’t you tell me you’ll never more roam Christmas and New Year will find you home There’ll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain And I’ll be happy, happy, once again There’ll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain And I’ll be happy, Christmas, once again

  7. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.3 Background Information 1. About the author Floyd Dell (1887-1969) — versatile and prolific writer and editor for several newspapers and magazines Floyd Dell (1887-1969), U.S. novelist and radical journalist whose fiction examined the changing mores in sex and politics among American bohemians before and after World War I. Dell grew up in an impoverished family and left high school at age 16 to work in a factory. Moving to Chicago in 1908, he worked as a newspaperman and soon was a leader of the city’s advanced literary movement. He became assistant editor of the Friday Literary Review of

  8. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.4 the Evening Post in 1909 and editor in 1911, making it one of the most noted American literary supplements. As a critic, he furthered the careers of Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser. A socialist since his youth, he moved to New York in 1914 and was associate editor of the left-wing The Masses until 1917. Dell was on the staff of The Liberator, which succeeded The Masses, from 1918 to 1924. His first and best novel, the largely autobiographical Moon-Calf, appeared in 1920, and its sequel, The Briary-Bush, in 1921. Homecoming, an autobiography, was published in 1933. His other novels

  9. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.5 on life among the unconventional include Janet March (1923), Runaway (1925), and Love in Greenwich Village (1926). His nonfiction includes Were You Ever a Child? (1919), on child-rearing; the biography Upton Sinclair: A Study in Social Protest (1927); and Love in the Machine Age (1930), which presented his views on sex. Little Accident, a play written with Thomas Mitchell and based on Dell’s novel An Unmarried Father (1927), was successfully produced in 1928. Dell joined the Federal Writers Project and moved to Washington, D.C., in the late 1930s as an official for the project. He continued in government work after the project ended, until his retirement in 1947.

  10. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.5 2. Origin of Christmas The birth of Jesus Christ was being celebrated in Rome by the year 336 A.D.; afterwards the feast was celebrated in other Christian churches throughout the world. Why was it celebrated on December 25th? No date for the birth of Jesus can be found in the New Testament, which is concerned more with the question “Who is Jesus?” than the date of his birth. Early Christian speculation about his birth date was influenced by the symbolism of the changing seasons, then popular in religious thought, which paid careful attention to

  11. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.5 the equinoxes and solstices of the sun. Christian scholars speculated that Jesus was conceived at the spring equinox (March 25th) and therefore was born on December 25th, the date of the winter solstice. In many of the Christian churches, March 25th is still the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus. Possible impulse for the feast of Christmas may have come too from the establishment of the pagan feast of the “Unconquered Sun-God” by the Emperor Aurelian in 274 A.D. to be celebrated on December 25th, the day of the winter solstice in Rome and throughout the empire.

  12. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.5 In response, Christians could celebrate the feast of the “Sun of righteousness”, Jesus Christ, who called himself “the light of the world”.

  13. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_2_1.5 3. Some words related to American monetary system: a penny a dime a nickel a quarter (一分) (一角) (五分) (25美分)

  14. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Before Reading_3_1 Free Discussion 1. Try to know your classmates’ dreams or hopes and write some best wishes for your classmates. 2. The hero of the story is a little boy. What do you think the story tells us about? Write down two or three things you anticipate about the story.

  15. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_main Skimming Part Division of the Text Further Understanding

  16. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_1_1 Skimming 1. Rearrange the following sentences in chronological order. (1) On the way to Sunday school the child had pressed the envelope against the coins until he could tell what they were. (2) The superintendent asked everybody to bring some food for the poor children next Sunday. (3) Taking his small bag of potatoes to Sunday school, he looked around for the poor children but was disappointed not to see them.

  17. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_1_2 (4) The child knew why he had taken only a little bag of potatoes to Sunday school that fall and why there had been only pennies in his little yellow envelope. (5)A bag of popcorn, and a lead pencil, for the child. (6)The child’s father pretended he hadn’t known it was Christmas Eve, because he hadn’t been reading the papers. He said he would go downtown and find out. (2)-(1)-(3)-(4)-(6)-(5)

  18. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_1_3 2. What type of writing does the text belong to? What are the features of this type of writing? Find out such features in this text. The text is a story, belonging to narrative writing. A typical narrative usually consists of the following elements: setting, character, event, climax, and ending. Setting — the boy’s home at Christmas Character — a little boy Event — A little boy, who at first had no idea what poverty meant, gradually began to realize that his family was very poor.

  19. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_1_4 Climax — At Christmas Eve the boy realized that his family was very poor. Ending — The boy learnt to face reality.

  20. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Global Reading_2 Part Division of the Text Directions: The text is divided into 6 parts. Please write down the main idea for each part. Main Ideas Parts Paras The boy brought food and money to Sunday school for poor children as he was told. 1 1~5 Christmas was approaching, but no mention of Christmas at home made the boy frightened and anxious. 2 6~10

  21. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_1_4 Parts Paras Main Ideas On Christmas Eve the boy asked his parents about Christmas but their response was queer. 3 11~14 The boy became aware of his family’s plight. 4 15~20 The boy felt the cold emotion of renunciation. 5 21~25 Meagre presents in a stocking were found on Christmas morning, but the boy no longer desired anything. 6 26

  22. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_1 Further Understanding True or False • When the superintendent said that these were hard times, he meant only that many poor children weren’t getting enough to eat. ( ) F What he meant was that the country was having an economic depression. The government had difficulties providing more job opportunities for the workers, so a lot of people did not have enough to eat or wear.

  23. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_2 2. The writer’s father was really quite a joker because whenever they had potato soup, he would behave as if he were surprised and would say that potato soup was nourishing. ( ) F He was pretending to be in a good mood so that his son would eat the potato soup, without complaining or feeling fed up with it. 3. The writer’s father was at home all day every day, because he was out of work. ( ) T

  24. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_2 4. No clues are given to the reader to suggest that the boy was poor before he realized it himself. ( ) F Many clues are given from the very beginning. The following sentences contain some of the clues: 1) That fall, before it was discovered that the soles of both my shoes were worn clear through, I still went to Sunday school. (Para. 1) 2) My mother gave me a small bag of potatoes to carry to Sunday school. (Para. 2) 3) It (i.e., the potato soup) was so good that we had it every day. (Para. 2)

  25. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_3 4) My father was at home all day long and every day now. (Para. 2) 5) They weren’t dimes but pennies. (Para. 4) 6) I didn’t go back to school that fall. (Para. 6) 7) My father cut insoles out of cardboard. (Para. 6) 8) We didn’t take a Sunday paper any more. (Para. 7)

  26. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_3 5. The boy’s father lied more than once to his son because he took delight in fooling his son. ( ) F The boy’s father lied to his son out of his love for him. Being out of work, he was in great mental torment. He would have liked very much to buy his son a lot of presents for Christmas, buy him a new pair of shoes, send him to a good school, and give him enough to eat. But he was jobless. He pretended to be funny and lied to his son so as not to upset the boy.

  27. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_3 6. The boy’s parents remained indifferent to their son’s feelings. They even asked him to go to bed early on Christmas Eve. ( ) F The boy’s parents actually loved the boy very much. They thought that by being asked to go to bed early, their son would forget about the Christmas tree and all, and he would sleep away his unhappiness.

  28. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Globe Reading_3_3 7. Hardly any examples are given to show that the parents were in a state of anguish because of their poverty. ( ) F There are ample examples in the text to show their anguish over their poverty. The following are only some of them. 1) Mother looked distressed when her son confessed that he had written his name on the envelope. 2) When their son spoke of Christmas, there was a strange, embarrassed silence. 3) When the boy said that it was Christmas Eve, his mother’s face was pale and stony and his father pretended to be funny once more.

  29. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article1_S Christmas From Homecoming — An Autobiography by Floyd Dell That fall, before it was discovered that the soles of both my shoes were worn clear through, I still went to Sunday school. And one time the Sunday-school superintendent made a speech to all the classes. He said that these were hard times, and that many poor children weren’t getting enough to eat. It was the first time that I had heard about it. He asked everybody to bring some food for the poor children next Sunday. I felt very sorry for the poor children.

  30. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article2_S Also, little envelopes were distributed to all the classes. Each little boy and girl was to bring money for the poor, next Sunday. The pretty Sunday-school teacher explained that we were to write our names, or have our parents write them, up in the left-hand corner of the little envelopes. ... I told my mother all about it when I came home. And my mother gave me, the next Sunday, a small bag of potatoes to carry to Sunday school. I supposed the poor children’s mothers would make potato soup out of them. ... Potato soup was good. My father, who was quite a joker, would always say, as if he were surprised, “Ah! I see we have some nourishing potato soup today!” It was so good that we had it every day. My father was at home all day long and every day, now; and I liked that. I had my parents all to myself, too; the others were away. My oldest brother was in Quincy, and memory does not reveal where the others were: perhaps with relatives in the country.

  31. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article3_S Taking my small bag of potatoes to Sunday school, I looked around for the poor children; I was disappointed not to see them. I had heard about poor children in stories. But I was told just to put my contribution with the others on the big table in the side room. I had brought with me the little yellow envelope, with some money in it for the poor children. My mother had put the money in it and sealed it up. She wouldn’t tell me how much money she had put in it, but it felt like several dimes. Only she wouldn’t let me write my name on the envelope. I had learned to write my name, and I was proud of being able to do it. But my mother said firmly, no, I must not write my name on the envelope; she didn’t tell me why. On the way to Sunday school I had pressed the envelope against the coins until I could tell what they were; they weren’t dimes but pennies.

  32. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article4_S When I handed in my envelope, my Sunday school teacher noticed that my name wasn’t on it, and she gave me a pencil; I could write my own name, she said. So I did. But I was confused because my mother had said not to; and when I came home, I confessed what I had done. She looked distressed. “I told you not to!” she said. But she didn’t explain why. ... I didn’t go back to school that fall. My mother said it was because I was sick. I did have a cold the week that school opened; I had been playing in the gutters and had got my feet wet, because there were holes in my shoes. My father cut insoles out of cardboard, and I wore those in my shoes. As long as I had to stay in the house anyway, they were all right.

  33. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article5_S I stayed cooped up in the house, without any companionship. We didn’t take a Sunday paper any more, and though I did not read small print, I could see the Santa Clauses and holly wreaths in the advertisements. There was a calendar in the kitchen. The red days were Sundays and holidays; and that red 25 was Christmas. I knew just when Christmas was going to be. But there was something queer! My father and mother didn’t say a word about Christmas. And once when I spoke of it, there was a strange, embarrassed silence; so I didn’t say anything more about it. But I wondered, and was troubled. Why didn’t they say anything about it? Was what I had said I wanted too expensive? I wasn’t arrogant and talkative now. I was silent and frightened. What was the matter? Why didn’t my father and mother say anything about Christmas? As the day approached, my chest grew tighter with anxiety.

  34. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article6_S Now it was the day before Christmas. I couldn’t be mistaken. But not a word about it from my father and mother. I waited in painful bewilderment all day. I had supper with them, and was allowed to sit up for an hour. I was waiting for them to say something. “It’s time for you to go to bed,” my mother said gently. I had to say something. “This is Christmas Eve, isn’t it?” I asked, as if I didn’t know. My father and mother looked at one another. Then my mother looked away. Her face was pale and stony.My father cleared his throat, and his face took on a joking look.He pretended he hadn’t known it was Christmas Eve, because he hadn’t been reading the papers. He said he would go downtown and find out. My mother got up and walked out of the room. I didn’t want my father to have to keep on being funny about it, so I got up and went to bed. I went by myself without having a light. I undressed in the dark and crawled into bed.

  35. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article7_S I was numb. As if I had been hit by something. It was hard to breathe. I ached all through. I was stunned — with finding out the truth. My body knew before my mind quite did. In a minute, when I could think, my mind would know. And as the pain in my body ebbed, the pain in my mind began. I knew. I couldn’t put it into words yet. But I knew why I had taken only a little bag of potatoes to Sunday school that fall. I knew why there had been only pennies in my little yellow envelope. I knew why I hadn’t gone to school that fall — why I hadn’t any new shoes — why we had been living on potato soup all winter. All these things, and others, many others fitted themselves together in my mind, and meant something. Then the words came into my mind and I whispered them into the darkness. “We’re poor!”

  36. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article8_S That was it. I was one of those poor children I had been sorry for, when I heard about them in Sunday school. My mother hadn’t told me. My father was out of work, and we hadn’t any money. That was why there wasn’t going to be any Christmas at our house. “We’re poor.” There in bed in the dark, I whispered it over and over to myself. I was making myself get used to it. It wasn’t so bad, now that I knew, I just hadn’t known! I had thought all sorts of foolish things: that I was going to Ann Arbor — going to be a lawyer — going to make speeches in the Square, going to be President. Now I know better. I had wanted (something) for Christmas, I didn’t want it, now. I didn’t want anything. I lay there in the dark, feeling the cold emotion of renunciation. (The tendrils of desire unfold their clasp on the outer world of objects, withdraw, shrivel up. Wishes shrivel up, turn black, die.It is like that.)

  37. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article9_S It hurt. But nothing would ever hurt again. I would never let myself want anything again. I lay there stretched out straight and stiff in the dark, my fists clenched hard upon Nothing ... In the morning it had been like a nightmare that is not clearly remembered — that one wishes to forget. Though I hadn’t hung up any stocking there was one hanging at the foot of my bed. A bag of popcorn, and a lead pencil, for me. They had done the best they could, now they realized that I knew about Christmas. But they needn’t have thought they had to. I didn’t want anything.

  38. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article1_W Christmas From Homecoming — An Autobiography by Floyd Dell That fall, before it was discovered that the soles of both my shoes were worn clear through, I still went to Sunday school. And one time the Sunday-school superintendent made a speech to all the classes. He said that these were hard times, and that many poor children weren’t getting enough to eat. It was the first time that I had heard about it. He asked everybody to bring some food for the poor children next Sunday. I felt very sorry for the poor children.

  39. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article2_W Also, little envelopes were distributed to all the classes. Each little boy and girl was to bring money for the poor, next Sunday. The pretty Sunday-school teacher explained that we were to write our names, or have our parents write them, up in the left-hand corner of the little envelopes. ... I told my mother all about it when I came home. And my mother gave me, the next Sunday, a small bag of potatoes to carry to Sunday school. I supposed the poor children’s mothers would make potato soup out of them. ... Potato soup was good. My father, who was quite a joker, would always say, as if he were surprised, “Ah! I see we have some nourishing potato soup today!” It was so good that we had it every day. My father was at home all day long and every day, now; and I liked that. I had my parents all to myself, too; the others were away. My oldest brother was in Quincy, and memory does not reveal where the others were: perhaps with relatives in the country.

  40. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article3_W Taking my small bag of potatoes to Sunday school, I looked around for the poor children; I was disappointed not to see them. I had heard about poor children in stories. But I was told just to put my contribution with the others on the big table in the side room. I had brought with me the little yellow envelope, with some money in it for the poor children. My mother had put the money in it and sealed it up. She wouldn’t tell me how much money she had put in it, but it felt like several dimes. Only she wouldn’t let me write my name on the envelope. I had learned to write my name, and I was proud of being able to do it. But my mother said firmly, no, I must not write my name on the envelope; she didn’t tell me why. On the way to Sunday school I had pressed the envelope against the coins until I could tell what they were; they weren’t dimes but pennies.

  41. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article4_W When I handed in my envelope, my Sunday school teacher noticed that my name wasn’t on it, and she gave me a pencil; I could write my own name, she said. So I did. But I was confused because my mother had said not to; and when I came home, I confessed what I had done. She looked distressed. “I told you not to!” she said. But she didn’t explain why. ... I didn’t go back to school that fall. My mother said it was because I was sick. I did have a cold the week that school opened; I had been playing in the gutters and had got my feet wet, because there were holes in my shoes. My father cut insoles out of cardboard, and I wore those in my shoes. As long as I had to stay in the house anyway, they were all right.

  42. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article5_W I stayed cooped up in the house, without any companionship. We didn’t take a Sunday paper any more, and though I did not read small print, I could see the Santa Clauses and holly wreaths in the advertisements. There was a calendar in the kitchen. The red days were Sundays and holidays; and that red 25 was Christmas. I knew just when Christmas was going to be. But there was something queer! My father and mother didn’t say a word about Christmas. And once when I spoke of it, there was a strange, embarrassed silence; so I didn’t say anything more about it. But I wondered, and was troubled. Why didn’t they say anything about it? Was what I had said I wanted too expensive? I wasn’t arrogant and talkative now. I was silent and frightened. What was the matter? Why didn’t my father and mother say anything about Christmas? As the day approached, my chest grew tighter with anxiety.

  43. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article6_W Now it was the day before Christmas. I couldn’t be mistaken. But not a word about it from my father and mother. I waited in painful bewilderment all day. I had supper with them, and was allowed to sit up for an hour. I was waiting for them to say something. “It’s time for you to go to bed,” my mother said gently. I had to say something. “This is Christmas Eve, isn’t it?” I asked, as if I didn’t know. My father and mother looked at one another. Then my mother looked away. Her face was pale and stony. My father cleared his throat, and his face took on a joking look. He pretended he hadn’t known it was Christmas Eve, because he hadn’t been reading the papers. He said he would go downtown and find out. My mother got up and walked out of the room. I didn’t want my father to have to keep on being funny about it, so I got up and went to bed. I went by myself without having a light. I undressed in the dark and crawled into bed.

  44. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article7_W I was numb. As if I had been hit by something. It was hard to breathe. I ached all through. I was stunned — with finding out the truth. My body knew before my mind quite did. In a minute, when I could think, my mind would know. And as the pain in my body ebbed, the pain in my mind began. I knew. I couldn’t put it into words yet. But I knew why I had taken only a little bag of potatoes to Sunday school that fall. I knew why there had been only pennies in my little yellow envelope. I knew why I hadn’t gone to school that fall — why I hadn’t any new shoes — why we had been living on potato soup all winter. All these things, and others, many others fitted themselves together in my mind, and meant something. Then the words came into my mind and I whispered them into the darkness. “We’re poor!”

  45. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article8_W That was it. I was one of those poor children I had been sorry for, when I heard about them in Sunday school. My mother hadn’t told me. My father was out of work, and we hadn’t any money. That was why there wasn’t going to be any Christmas at our house. “We’re poor.” There in bed in the dark, I whispered it over and over to myself. I was making myself get used to it. It wasn’t so bad, now that I knew, I just hadn’t known! I had thought all sorts of foolish things: that I was going to Ann Arbor — going to be a lawyer — going to make speeches in the Square, going to be President. Now I know better. I had wanted (something) for Christmas, I didn’t want it, now. I didn’t want anything. I lay there in the dark, feeling the cold emotion of renunciation. (The tendrils of desire unfold their clasp on the outer world of objects, withdraw, shrivel up. Wishes shrivel up, turn black, die. It is like that.)

  46. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article9_W It hurt. But nothing would ever hurt again. I would never let myself want anything again. I lay there stretched out straight and stiff in the dark, my fists clenched hard upon Nothing ... In the morning it had been like a nightmare that is not clearly remembered — that one wishes to forget. Though I hadn’t hung up any stocking there was one hanging at the foot of my bed. A bag of popcorn, and a lead pencil, for me. They had done the best they could, now they realized that I knew about Christmas. But they needn’t have thought they had to. I didn’t want anything.

  47. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article1_S_up… … up in the left-hand corner of the little envelopes. What does “up in the left-hand corner” mean? in the upper left-hand corner

  48. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article1_S_memory… … memory does not reveal where the others were: … Paraphrase this sentence. I can’t remember where the other children were.

  49. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article2_S_only she… Only she wouldn’t let me write my name on the envelope. Why wouldn’t the mother let him write his name on the envelope? Being poor, she had only pennies to put in the envelope. She thought it was very humiliating if people found that her son had only pennies to offer. She thought this was face-losing.

  50. Before Reading Global Reading After Reading Detailed Reading Article2_S_i had … I had learned to write my name, and I was proud of being able to do it. Can you infer about the boy’s age from the sentence? Most probably he was about five or six years old and he was in the first grade at an elementary school. He was only able to write his own name, which shows that he was beginning to learn how to read and write.