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Monday, November 22, 2010

List 2.1. Folktales from the Silk Road : The discovery of silk (China)


List 2.  Folktales from the Silk Road
List 2.1.   The discovery of silk (China)                          3rd   level        10-15 minutes


GOAL. To learn a little bit about the Smithsonian museum, a cultural institution which offers a window to the East throughout folktales from different countries.

You will listen to two short stories. Each one getting more information from the passage. The transcript is given with its Key.

WARMING UP. Aiming at knowing the website and what The discovery of silk is about.
TASK1. Click on the webpage ( http://www.asia.si.edu/podcasts/default.htm ) and listen to short passage (1:06) and answer these questions

Q1. The piece opens with the the typical words: “I am going to tell you a story .... long time ago”.
How many characters are mentioned? …………….            Where does the story takes place? ……………….
Q2. What was wrong in the Chinese palace: the  fountain, the mulberry trees or the magic fawl? …………………
Q3. Silk comes from silk worms. Where were the little animals found? …………………….
Q4. Who made the discovery? …………………….      Was it done willingly or by chance? ……………
Q5. The discovery was given ample promotion or kept in secret?   ………………………………….


LANGUAGE PRACTICE.  
Now go for specific words and meanings. Then listen to it again while you read the transcript to check your answers.

TASK2. Read the questions and go for specific words while listen to it again.
Q1. What did the Empress Xiling-shi found in the mulberry trees?  .............................
Q2. Silk worms produce chrysalids (like butterflies) named ………………………….
Q3. What was the reaction between the water and the little creature? ……………………………….    

TASK3. Fill in the blanks in the transcript.
Xilingshi found white worms eating the mulberry leaves and ……………….…….. shiny cocoons. She accidentally ……………..  a cocoon into hot water. As she ……………. with the cocoon in the water, to her surprise, a ………..………., cobweb separated itself from the cocoon. She ………….….. it ..…. and found that one ………..….. thread was ………….…….. itself from the cocoon. She had discovered silk. 





Worksheet List 1.1.   The discovery of silk    KEY



TASK1. Q1. How many characters?  Huangdi & Xiling-shi            
Where does the story takes place? at the yard of the palace of the Chinese Emperor.
Q2. What was wrong in the Chinese palace: the  fountain, the mulberry trees or the magic fawl?
Q3. Silk comes from silk worms. Where were found the little animals? in hot water.
Q4. Who made the discovery? The empress.      Was it done willingly or by chance?
Q5. The discovery was given ample promotion or kept in secret?  

TASK2. Q1. What did the Empress Xiling-shi found in the mulberry trees?  worms eating the leaves.
Q2. Silk worms produce chrysalids (like butterflies) named …cocoons….
Q3. What was the reaction between the water and the little creature? …heat made the web apart .  
  
TASK3. Fill in the blanks in the transcript.
1 spinning + 2 dropped   + 3  played   +  4 delicate   +  5 drew (it) out +   6 slender +  7 unwinding
Xilingshi found white worms eating the mulberry leaves and 1……………….. shiny cocoons. She accidentally 2……………..  a cocoon into hot water. As she 3……………. with the cocoon in the water, to her surprise, a 4………………. cobweb separated itself from the cocoon. She 5………….. it …. and found that one 6………….. thread was  7……………….. itself from the cocoon. She had discovered silk. 




Listen 1.1. Transcript  from    Silk worms
No one knows for sure when silk was discovered according to a Chinese legend, about 2700 B.C. in the garden of Emperor Huandgi. The Emperor ordered his wife, Xilingshi, to find out what damaging his mulberry trees.
Xilingshi found white worms eating the mulberry leaves and shining shiny cocoons. She accidentally dropped a cocoon into hot water. As she played with the cocoon in the water, a delicate, cobwebby tangle separated itself from the cocoon. Xilingshi drew it out and found that one slender thread was unwinding itself from the cocoon. She had discovered silk.
Xilingshi persuaded her husband to give her a grove of mulberry trees, where she could grow thousands of worms that spum such beautiful cocoons. It is said that Xilingshi invented the silk reel, which joined these fine filaments into a thread thick and strong enough for weaving. Some stories also credit her with inventing the first silk loom.
No one knows how much, if any, of this story is true but historians do know that silk was first used in China, the Chinese guarded the secret of the silkworm. Disgrace and death faced the traitor who disclosed the origin of silk to the outside world. Only the Chinese knew how to make silk for about 3’000 years.

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