Our Teacher's Story
Karina Melkumyants, 12, Kazan


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It was our first day at school after summer holidays. All the students were dressed up and looked pretty. After the line-up we went to the classroom where our teacher, Irina Petrovna,
introduced the new boy to us. But the reaction was bad; our boys and girls started laughing at him, because he was not like us.

His name was Lasha and he was born in Kazakhstan. He had five sisters and had a dark skin color. One boy said, Lasha is dirty; look at his skin.

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It was very rude, but my classmates didnt want to think about that. They thought it was fun being rude to someone different. Then our teacher told us that we must be more polite to Lasha. Nobody listened to her, but they listened when the teacher shared her story:

I was a 7th grade student when a new girl, Aygul, from Kazakhstan came to my class. Nobody wanted to be friends with her. But I spent time with her and we became best friends. I learned about the Kazakh culture. One summer, I went with Aygul to Kazakhstan to see Ayguls relatives. Aygul was a smart girl and got a gold medal for her excellent studying. Most people are great and we need to give them a chance to show it.

After this story we asked Lasha to forgive us. Soon we understood that Lasha is wonderful and now everyone wants to be friends with him.

P.S. Im telling you my secret: without Lashas help I wouldnt know mathematics well.


I. Understanding the Story
What do you think is the main idea of the story?
1. One must give everyone respect.
2. Aygul was a nice girl.
3. People from Kazakhstan are all nice.

II. Vocabulary
Apply the words by answering the questions.
1. dressed up: When or why do you get dressed up?
2. reaction: Why did the students react in such a way?
3. shared: Why is it important to share (things or stories)?
4. culture: Describe something about the culture of your area.
5. relatives: Who are your relatives? And what is their relation to you?

III. Now you Talk
1. Describe a time when you were rude or someone was rude to you.
2. Why are people from different nationalities intolerant of each other?
3. Which people would you have a hard time getting to be friends with?

IV. Now you Write
1. Describe a time when you saw someone being rude because of a difference.
2. Summarize Irina Petrovna's story.
3. Write a letter from Lasha to his cousin in Kazakhstan.

V. Grammar Practice
Change the present tense verb to past, then turn the past tense sentence into a question.

It is the first day of school.
Past: It was the first day of school.
Question: Was it the first day of school?

1. The boy is rude.
2. They think it is fun to tease Lasha.
3. They don't want to be friends with her.
4. The teacher tells a story.

VI. Role Play

1. Two girls: They criticize Lasha.
2. Teacher and Lasha: After class, they talk about Lasha's first day in school.
3. Lasha and his father: At home, they create a strategy to solve his problem.
4. Lasha and two boys: They talk about sports.
5. Teacher and her friend Aygul: They remember when they first met.