Урок англійської мови в 11 класі шкіл з поглибленим вивченням англійської мови

Level upper-intermediate



-         to make students practice using vocabulary on the topic;

-         to develop their skills in giving opinions, pros and cons;

-         to check the students’ skills of listening comprehension;

-         to teach the students to extract specific information from the text;

-         learn more about the traditions and customs of marrying in Great Britain and compare them with those of the Ukrainian ones

Equipment: the textbook by Karpiuk O.D. English Study for the 11th Form;

a story for listening:  True Love by Barry and Joyce Vissel ( Chicken Soup for the Soul);  materials for discussion from Soars John and Liz. Headway. Upper-Intermediate; a text for reading: Traditional British Wedding Customs (resources of the Internet); a tape with three pieces of lovely music and the song  Love Is All Around (from the famous English film “ Four Weddings and a Funeral”)


        I.           GREETINGS


T: Today our lesson will be devoted to the questions, most young people are concerned about. Well, you’ll have to guess the topic of it yourselves. Listen to three pieces of music, share with us what feelings and emotions it arouses in you and try to guess what the topic of our lesson will be.

   ( Music: 1. And I Love Her (The Beatles), 2. Hop-hop-hop (Verka Serdiuchka)

3. Wedding March (by Mendelssohn)

T: I hope, you have recognized all the three pieces of music. You’re welcome

to speak about your impressions and guessing.

The expected answers by the pupils:

P1: The first song by the Beatles is very poetic and charming. Listening to it we can’t but think about LOVE. And I must admit, this song is closely connected with the third piece- The Wedding March by Mendelssohn, which is often played when young people get married. So, I think the lesson will be devoted to the problems in young families.

P2: The second song “ Hop-hop-hop” is sung by a popular Ukrainian actor Andriy Danylko, or rather Verka Serdiuchka. To the best of my knowledge, this song is often sung at weddings. So, my idea is: the lesson will be about a wedding party. Etc.

T: Well done. I only want to add that we’ll divide the lesson into two logical parts: first, we’ll speak about love and then about marriage and customs and riots, connected with weddings.


a) Pre-listening tasks.

T: Before listening to the story “ True Love” from a lovely book “Chicken Soup for the Soul” I want to attract your attention to some words which may appear to be unknown to you:

         Hunchback, merchant, misshapen, Frumtye, repulse, bride, humpbacked

b)T: First of all I want you to define what TRUE LOVE is.

c) Now try to guess what the story can be about.

d) Listening to the story.


     Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well-known German composer, was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short statue, he had a grotesque hunchback.

     One day he visited a merchant in Hamburg who had a lovely daughter named Frumtye. Moses fell hopelessly in love with her. But Frumtye was repulsed by his misshapen appearance.

     When it came time for him to leave, Moses gathered his courage and climbed the stairs to her room to take one last opportunity to speak with her. She was a vision of heavenly beauty, but caused him deep sadness by her refusal to look at him. After several attempts at conversation, Moses shyly asked, “ Do you believe marriages are made in heaven?”

     “ Yes,” she answered, still looking at the floor. “ And do you?”

T: We make a pause here, and now try to guess what the end of this story is.

Pupils make their suppositions and endings of the story.

 T: Listen to the final part of this story. Does it correspond to your ideas and thoughts? What actually happened to the main characters?

     “Yes, I do,” he replied. “You see, in heaven at the birth of each boy, the Lord announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my future wife was pointed out to me. Then the Lord added, “But your wife will be humpbacked.”

     “Right then and there I called out, ‘Oh, Lord, a humpbacked woman will be a tragedy. Please, Lord, give me the hump and let her be beautiful.”

     Then Frumtye looked into his eyes and was stirred by some deep memory. She reached out and gave Mendelssohn her hand and later became his devoted wife.

Barry and Joyce Vissell

T: Now that we’re through with listening, tell us if you were right or wrong with your guessing. If you couldn’t guess, what prevented you from doing it?

e) Post-listening tasks.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Is ugly appearance a tragedy for a person? Who suffers more: males or females? Why?
  2. Do Love and Happiness always  come to the beautiful and handsome?
  3. Was Moses right in acting like that? Why did the young woman accept his proposal?
  4. Is it easier for a man or  woman if they are far from being handsome to get married? Why?


T: If you look attentively around the room you will read a short proverb and a quotation stuck to the wall which will be handy for our discussion with a ‘microphone’.

Love  knows no boundaries.     The love we give away is the only love we keep.

Elbert Hubbard

T: There on the blackboard you can see some questions which you are sure to cover in your short speech, relate it to the story above:

1)    Do you believe in love at first sight?

2)    Why do people speak so much about love?

3)    Si vis amari, amo .(Latin) If you want to be loved, love yourself.

4)    How do you understand that it is love that you feel?

5)    How does love begin? How does it end?


a) T: Before listening to the song “Love Is All Around You” from the British film “Four Weddings and a Funeral” complete it in your handouts with the words below.

     Everywhere, someone, face, feeling, bed, toes, always, way, end, things, love


I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my 1)…

      Love is all around me and so the 2)… grows.

                                                         It’s written on the wind, it’s 3)… I go.

                                                         Oh, yes, it is, so if you really 4) …me,

                            Come on and let it show you know  I love you, I 5)… will.

   My mind’s made up by the 6)… that I feel.

                                                         There’s no beginning, there’s no 7)…

                                                         ‘Cause on my love you can depend.

        I see your 8)… before me as I lay on my 9)…

                                    I kind’a get to thinking of all the 10)… you said, Oh, yes, I did.

                   You give your promise to me and I give mine to you.

  I need 11)… beside me in everything I do,

Oh, yes, I do.

b) Work in pairs. Discuss with your partner and find out whether you’ve inserted the proper words into the proper blanks.


Keys: 1. toes, 2. feelings, 3. everywhere, 4. love, 5. always, 6. way, 7. end,

8. face, 9. bed, 10. things, 11. someone

c) Listening and singing. T: Now listen to the song, checking your answers, sing it and relax.

VI. BRAINSTORMING. T: Throughout the history of mankind the man tried to answer the question, what LOVE is. And still nowadays we don’t have the most perfect definition. Maybe, today we’ll manage to find the right answer to this question.

P1: Love is a strong feeling of personal attachment between a male and a female.

P2: Love is tender and compassionate affection… etc.

T: Let’s discuss and choose the most interesting and original definition and make a conclusion…

T:…’Love’ is a perfect bridge to the second part of our lesson, as we are going to speak about marriage and wedding. As for myself, I strongly believe that love holds up the family and the whole world.


T: Tell us what the word ‘marriage’ is associated with.

T: Today we’ll speak about only one aspect of marriage—the wedding.

VIII. READING. Work in small groups of four. Each group is given a different text.

a)     Scan the given text for information.

b)    Discuss it in small groups.

c)     Make a list of British customs and superstitions associated with weddings.

d)    Make a comparative analysis with those of the Ukrainian ones.

e)     Each group makes a presentation of the results of the work.


     There are many customs and superstitions associated with weddings. In the past a wedding was seen as a time when people were particularly susceptible to bad luck and evil spirits. Many originated or are modifications of customs which began many centuries ago.

      Some, such as the bride wearing something old, something blue …, or not being seen by the groom in her wedding dress before the ceremony are known throughout the country and many other parts of the world. Others may be regional or even maintained within families from generation to generation.

     They are maintained in the belief that they will bring good luck and happiness to the couple at a time when their lives are changing, hopefully for the better.


     In the past when the marriage proposal was a more formal procedure, the prospective groom sent his friends or members of his family to represent his interests to the prospective bride and her family. If they saw a blind man, a monk or a pregnant woman during their journey it was thought that the marriage would be doomed if they continued their journey as these sights were thought to be bad omens.

      If, however, they saw nanny goats, pigeons or wolves these were good omens which would bring good fortune to the marriage.

       During Medieval times in Brittany the man proposed by leaving a hawthorn branch at the door of his beloved on the first of May. By leaving the branch at the door she accepted his proposal. She made known her refusal by replacing the hawthorn branch with a cauliflower.


     It was thought unlucky for a woman to marry a man whose surname began with the same letter as hers. The sentiment was summarized in the following rhyme:

To change the name and not the letter
Is to change for the worst and not the better

The bride should not practice writing her new name before the wedding. This is thought to bring bad luck by tempting fate.


      Although most weddings now take place on a Saturday it was considered unlucky in the past. Fridays were also considered unlucky particularly Friday the 13th. The famous old rhyme advises a wedding in the first half of the week:

Monday for wealth
Tuesday for health
Wednesday the best day of all
Thursday for losses
Friday for crosses
Saturday for no luck at all

Advice on which month to marry in is given by the following rhyme:

Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden and for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

. The Summer as a whole was considered a good time to marry and this is partly to do with the sun’s association with fertility. In Scotland one popular custom was for the bride to «walk with the sun» to bring her good. She would walk from east to west on the south side of the church and then continue walking around the church three times.


Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe

The rhyme originated in Victorian times although some of customs referred in it are much older.

The «something old» represents the couples friends who will hopefully remain close during the marriage. Traditionally this was old garter which given to the bride by a happily married woman in the hope that her happiness in marriage would be passed on to the new bride.

«Something new» symbolizes the newlyweds’ happy and prosperous future.

The «something borrowed» is often lent by the bride’s family and is an item much valued by the family. The bride must return the item to ensure good luck.

The custom of the bride wearing «something blue» originated in ancient Israel where the bride wore a blue ribbon in her hair to represent fidelity.

The placing of a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe was to ensure wealth in the couples married life. Today some brides substitute a penny in their shoe during the ceremony as silver sixpences are less common.



It is thought unlucky for the bride to make her own wedding dress.

It is also unlucky for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before until she arrives at the ceremony.

     The bride should not wear her entire outfit before the wedding day. Some brides leave a final stitch on the dress undone until it is time to leave for the ceremony when the outfit is completed.

WEDDING DRESS COLOUR Most brides today marry in white which symbolizes maidenhood. This tradition started by the rich in sixteenth century. The tradition was given a boost by Queen Victoria who chose to marry in white instead of silver which was the traditional colour of Royal brides. Before the white dress brides wore their best dress. The colour was a matter of preference. The following is a traditional rhyme offering advice on dress colour:

Married in White, you have chosen right,
Married in Blue, your love will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Brown, you will live in town,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.

     A green dress is thought to be unlucky unless the bride is Irish. The old expression that a woman has a ‘green gown’ was used to imply promiscuity, the green staining being due to rolling in grassy fields.


PRIVATE Traditionally, brides have been thought to be particularly vulnerable to evil spirits and many of the customs and traditions associated with weddings are to provide protection. The veil was originally worn by Roman brides. It was thought that it would disguise the bride and therefore outwit malevolent spirits.

The veil became popular in Britain in the eighteen hundreds. In this country it is associated with modesty and chastity.

In some Eastern ceremonies the bride is veiled and the groom is not allowed to see the bride’s face until after the wedding ceremony.

In some Jewish weddings there is a ritual where the groom ensures that the bride is his intended before placing the veil over her face. PRIVATE


      Flowers have always been used for decoration at weddings.

      Some people choose the flowers at the wedding on the basis of their symbolic meaning. For example orange blossom has always been associated with weddings because it signifies purity and chastity.

     Peonies are avoided by some as they represent shame; azaleas represent temperance: roses symbolize love and snowdrops represent hope.

     A combination of red and white flowers is avoided by the superstitious because they stand for blood and bandages.

     However, people from different regions may attach other meanings to the same flower. For example lilies symbolize majesty to some but are thought unlucky by others because of their association with death.

     The groom often chooses a flower for his buttonhole which also occurs in the bride’s bouquet. This is a vestige of the time when a Knight would wear his Lady’s colours to display his love


     When the bride is ready to leave the house for the wedding ceremony a last look in the mirror will bring her good luck. However returning to the mirror once she has begun her journey will result in bad luck.

     Seeing a chimney sweep on the way to a wedding is though to bring good luck and it is still possible to hire one to attend wedding ceremonies. Other good luck omens when seen on the way to the ceremony include lambs, toads, spiders, black cats and rainbows.

     Seeing an open grave, a pig, a lizard, or hearing a cockerel crow after dawn are all thought to be omens of bad luck. Monks and nuns are also a bad omen. This may be because the are associated with poverty and chastity. They are also though to signal a dependence on charity by the newlyweds.

     Bad weather on the way to the wedding is thought to be an omen of an unhappy marriage, although in some cultures rain is considered a good omen. Cloudy skies and wind are believed to cause stormy marriages. Snow on the other hand is associated with fertility and wealth.


     Bridesmaids were dressed in a similar way to the bride for the same reason as the origin of veil. The bridesmaids were thought to act as decoys to confuse evil spirits and thus protect the bride.



     It is said that the first partner who buys a new item after the wedding will be the dominant one in the relationship. Many brides ensure that they make the first purchase by arranging to buy a small item such as a pin from the chief bridesmaid immediately after the ceremony.


PRIVATE Cutting the wedding cake is now part of the ritual celebrations at the reception. The couple make the first cut together to symbolize their shared future.

Cakes have been associated with weddings throughout history. The Romans shared a cake during the wedding ceremony itself. This was not the rich fruit-cake we enjoy today. It was a plain confection made from wheat flour, salt and water. The Fijians and Some Native American tribes still incorporate cake in the wedding ceremonies.

In Yorkshire a plate holding wedding cake was thrown out of the window as the bride returned to her parental home after the wedding. If the plate broke she would enjoy a happy future with her husband but if the plate remained intact her future would be grim.

The shape of the modern three tiered iced cake is believed to have been inspired by the spire of Saint Bride’s Church in the City of London. It is said that unmarried guests who place a piece of wedding cake under their pillow before sleeping will increase there prospects of finding a partner and bridesmaids who do likewise will dream of their future husbands.

The top tier of the cake is often kept by couples for the christening of their first child. PRIVATE


     Confetti is Italian for sweets which in Italy are thrown over the couple as they emerge from the Church in that same way we use paper confetti. Raisins and nuts may also be used.

     Before the use of paper confetti the married couple were showered with flowers, petals, rice or grains. This was to bestow prosperity and fertility on the couple.


     In the past there have been a number of customs involving shoes which were thought to bring good luck. The best known, which is still upheld, is to tie shoes to the back of the newlyweds’ car. This has evolved from the Tudor custom where guests would throw shoes at the newlywed couple. It was considered lucky if they or their carriage were hit.

     Less well known is for the bride’s father to give the groom a pair of the bride’s shoes to symbolize the passing of responsibility for the daughter to her new husband. A variation of the custom is for the groom to tap the bride on the forehead with one of the shoes to assert his dominance.

     The custom of the bride throwing her bouquet shoulder, described below, was originally performed by her throwing one of her shoes over her shoulder.


     After the reception the bride throws her bouquet back over her shoulder where the unmarried female guest group together. Tradition holds that the one who catches the bouquet will be the next one of those present to marry.

     A parallel custom is for the groom to remove the garter worn by the bride and throw it back over his shoulder toward the unmarried male guests. Again the one who catches it will be the next to marry.


After the wedding the bride must enter the new marital home through the main entrance. It is traditional for the groom to carry the bride over the threshold when they enter for the first time. The reason for this is uncertain. One explanation is that the bride will be visited by bad luck if she falls when entering. An alternative is that the bride will be unlucky if she steps into the new home with the left foot first. The bride can avoid both mishaps by being carried. A third explanation is that it symbolizes the old Anglo-Saxon custom of the groom stealing his bride and carrying her off.


The pupils exchange their opinions on the question whether the wedding customs should become a part of history or they are important to be observed nowadays and why.

X. SUMMING –UP. T: Thank you ever so much for such a great job! You amazed me with your deep knowledge concerning the wedding customs and superstitions of our Homeland. To my mind, you are real experts in love affairs and I believe you will be happy in your future life. I wish your families and you true love  and harmony because where there is love, there is life. I want you to read a Chinese Proverb which will give you food for your thoughts and your souls.

If there is light in the soul,

             There will be beauty in the person.

       If there is beauty in the person,

             There will be harmony in the house.

        If there is harmony in the house,

           There will be order in the nation.

   If there is order in the nation,

       There will be peace in the world.

XI. HOME ASSIGHNMENT.  You’re a playwright. You write a scenario for a love story to be screened.

Write a fragment in details of a wedding ceremony

На конкурс „Панорама творчих уроків- 2005”




Учитель англійської мови спеціалізованої школи з поглибленим вивченням англійської мови №6 м. Лубни Полтавської області

Берлова Людмила Вікторівна,

учитель –методист

випускниця програми ТЕА-2001

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