To tell activities in the past
Generic Structure of Recount
- Orientation: Introducing the participants, place and time
- Events: Describing series of event that happened in the past
- Reorientation: It is optional. Stating personal comment of the writer to the story
Read the text well, then answer the questions below!
Benjamin Banneker was born in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1731. His mother was a free black. His father was a freed slave.
At the time, the American colonies were heavily engaged in the slave trade from Africa. Around the time Banneker was born, about 37,000 enslaved people arrived in the colonies. Free black people such as Banneker were rare. Free blacks also faced the risk of being kidnapped and sold as slaves.
Young Benjamin Banneker showed remarkable skill in mathematics and mechanics. He did not regularly go to school because of his work on the family farm. But he did briefly attend a local Quaker school. Quakers are a religious community who believe in racial equality, an unusual idea at the time.
The mechanics of machines greatly interested young Banneker. He showed his mechanical abilities by building an accurate clock made of wood, at the age of 22. Some say it was the only clock of its kind in the Americas. The device continued to run for many years until it was destroyed by fire.
Banneker also used his mathematical knowledge to calculate the time of a solar eclipse. That knowledge was also useful in calculating longitude and latitude, methods for finding a place’s position on the globe.
As a young man, Banneker developed a working relationship with a surveyor named Andrew Ellicott. Surveying is the measuring and mapping of land. It was an important task in a young country where land records needed to be made. Many influential men, including George Washington, worked as surveyors.
In 1791, Ellicott was given the task of surveying land for the new federal district that would become the capital of the United States. Ellicott hired Banneker to help him. They worked to set accurate boundaries for the District of Columbia. Banneker is credited with positioning the starting point at Jones Point in Alexandria, Virginia.
Banneker put his abilities to use in other ways, too. He began publishing an almanac in 1792. Almanacs are books containing a wide range of information. They often include times and dates for astronomical events, like sunrise and sunset and for high and low tides. It was the kind of information that farmers or fishermen around the Chesapeake Bay would need and use.
In addition, Banneker’s almanac gave times for meetings of the courts, including the Supreme Court, as well as essays and other interesting writings.
(Mario Ritter wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kelly J. Kelly and Kathleen Struck were the editors.)
- How was Benjamin’s father before he was born?
- Why was his life risky?
- How did Benjamin get his remarkable skill in Mathematics and Mechanics?
- Why was racial equality an unusual idea?
- How did people know his ability in mechanics?
- What are needed to find the missing ship?
- What is surveying needed for?
- What can we get from Almanac?
Find three words which relate to one another from each group of letters below! The words are taken from the text.
Read the text well, then do the instructions below!
Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi was India’s most important political and spiritual leader. He is honoured in India as Father of the Nation. His non-violent protests led to independence for India from the British. His beliefs and actions have inspired civil rights movements across the globe. He is an icon of world peace. His birthday, 2nd October, is commemorated worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi was born in Gujarat, Western India, in 1869. He grew up surrounded by religious traditions of compassion, vegetarianism, and tolerance for all people. He got married at the age of 13. When he was 19, he went to London to study law. He returned to India to practice as a lawyer but was hampered by British officials, so he accepted a job in South Africa.
In South Africa, Gandhi faced discrimination and hardship wherever he went. He was treated as a third-class citizen by white people. This awakened in him questions about social justice and the role of the British in India. He returned to India in 1915, ready to put to work the concept of passive resistance he developed in South Africa.
Between 1916 and 1945, Gandhi campaigned tirelessly to set India free from British rule. He started by leading protests against British taxes and landlords, and walked across India encouraging non-cooperation with the British. He was arrested and imprisoned for creating unrest. Gandhi’s fame spread all over the nation. He was assassinated in 1948. Two years later, India became an independent republic. (Taken from Penguin Dorsier)
- Write Gandhi’s experiences in order!
- Tell what you can learn from what Gandhi’s toil!
Find the word in the text which is related to the explanation below!
(Explanation is taken from Encarta Dictionary)
- Relating to the soul or spirit
- To honor the memory of somebody or something in a ceremony
- Using physical force to injure someone or damage something
- Unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion or gender
- Series of events like speeches that are intended to persuade voters to vote for a specific politicians or party
- Relating to belief in religion, the teaching of religion or the practice of a religion
- To restrict the free movement or progress of somebody or something
- Refusal to accept or comply with something
- To encourage somebody to greater effort, enthusiasm, or creativity
- Sympathy for the suffering of others, often including desire or help
- The acceptance of the differing views of other people. e.g. in religious or political matters
- To kill somebody, especially a political leader or public figure
- Amount of money paid to government and used to run the government
- Fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made
- Social or political discontent or protest that disrupts the established order