Unit 8 Text A The Highs of Low Technology
I. Teaching Objectives
1. To make clear the writer’s purpose to write the text and the ideas about the value of things that
are slow and simple.
2. To grasp the key words and phrases.
3. To master the skills of writing and reading in this unit.
1) To develop a passage with the question-answer technique.
2) To predict an author’s ideas in reading materials. II. Teaching Content
1. Lead-in Activities
2. Text Organization
3. Skill Learning in Writing and Reading
4. Language Points( key words, phrases and difficult sentences)
5. Grammar Focus (The noun/ pron. + of which structure) 6. Guided Practice (exercises, oral practice and group work)
III. Teaching Process
1. Warm-up Questions
1) Comment on the statement: “Here it take all the running you can do to stay in the same
place.” after listening to the material from Through the Looking-Glass. 2) How has technology changed our life? (by presenting some pictures concerning the high
3) What do you think of the change?
2. Text Organization
Part I (Para 1) Different attitudes towards the old-fashioned bicycle: the author regards it as a
wonderful bike while her family refers to it as “ a piece of junk.”
Part II (Para 2) People’s warm reactions to the author’s old bicycle.
Part III (Para 3) The author’s unsuccessful efforts to try to interpret people’s reactions.
Part IV. (Paras.4-6) The author’s analysis of the advantages of the old bicycle.
Part V (Para 7) Conclusion: we should respect things that are simple and manageable.
(merits of the low technology) 3. Skill Learning in Writing and Reading
1) Question-answer technique
Present a puzzle of your won, then use the question/ speculation/ answer to ponder it .
Take Text A for example:
The first tow paragraphs build a puzzle: the old bike is taken as a piece of junk but it receives
warm comments from the people. ? In Para.3 the author asks herself a question and forms tow
possible answers in order to solve the puzzle. ? In Paras.4-6 she presents the answer that she
2) Making predictions by anticipating the general direction the author is going.
4. Language Points
1) The Highs of Low Technology---The Advantages of Low Technology (the title)
high ---n. something that is high; a high point or level
low technology ---simple, unsophisticated technology
2) refers to it as— speak about sb./sth. as ...; call sb. Something (para.1)Examples:
He always refers to his wife as “the old woman”. This kind of art is often referred to as “minimal art” （极简抽象艺术）
3) garage sale---(AmE) a private sale of used furniture, household appliance, personal articles,
clothing, tools, and other items, held in the garage or other part of a seller’s home. Things there are
usually very cheap and of no great value. (para.1)
4) cherish & appreciate (para.1)
cherish implies special love. Appreciate connotes understanding and admiration. 5) What intrigues me,… (para.2)
intrigue---vt. excite interest or curiosity.
Anything colorful intrigued the little boy.
The idea seems to intrigue him.
6) …which is nowhere more apparent than in the bicycle world. (para.2)
nowhere — ad. not anywhere; in/at/to no place
Example:My keys are nowhere to be found.
7) It’s a real conversation piece. (para.2) Paraphrase---It is rally a topic of conversation .
conversation piece— sth. that stimulates conversation between people
Her collection of Victorian dolls provided a conversation piece for her guests.
8) the lure of mass bicycle consumerism (para.3)
Paraphrase---the influence of advocacy of large-scale consumption of bicycles; the temptation to
buy new bicycles
lure---n. attraction; temptation
Lure suggests sth that always attracts and often deceives yet does not necessarily leads one into evil
or danger. Temptation often suggests the desire to do or have, through pleasure or gain, sth one
knows one should not do or have.
She was attracted to Hollywood by the lure of the silver screen.
I know I shouldn’t eat chocolate cake when I’m dieting, but I find it hard to resist the temptation.
9) …for riding something so old when I could be fussing with gears and having a presumably easier
time of things. (para.3)
Paraphrase ---…for riding such an out-dated bicycle when I could be excitedly riding a bicycle with gears and having a possibly more comfortable experience with life.
fuss with sth.--- be excited about and rush around doing sth. Unimportant.
It irritates me the way she’s always fussing with her hair. have a(n) easy/ hard time of ---have a(n) comfortable/ uncomfortable experience with
For the rest of the trip he had an easy time of it.
She had a hard time of it with the birth of her second baby.
10) touch / strike a chord— call up someone’s feelings; affect or stir someone’s emotions (para.3)Examples:
The issue of food safety touches a chord with almost everyone.The report touched a chord in the
11) A time when people thought in terms of settling into a cushioned seat, stopping the movement
with their heel and traveling a bit slower than we are traveling now. (para.4)
think in terms of ---consider
You should be thinking in terms of paying off your debts.
He is thinking in terms of leaving.
settle into a seat--- take a seat and sit comfortably.
stop the movement with one’s heel---stop a bicycle by applying one’s heel to it.
12) coast along the streets (para.4)
Paraphrase---ride a bicycle along the streets in a smooth and effortless manner.
coast along---move along or make progress without much effort.
While I struggled and labored, my sister just coasted along with top grades in all subjects.
13) My bike is built or taking time. (para.4)
Paraphrase--- My bike is made for riding at a leisurely speed.
take one’s time---use as much time as is needed ; do not hurry.
Take your time — there’s no rush. He’s certainly taken his time in answering my letter.
14) And I don’t feel that way about things these days. (para.4)
Paraphrase --- And I don’t feel I have control over most things these days.
15) feel small --- feel ridiculous, ashamed or humiliated. (Also: look small) (para.5)
Talking to him makes me feel small.
He is always trying to make me look small in front of my girlfriend.
16) feel inadequate---feel lack of abilities or confidence (para.5)
He makes me feel totally inadequate.
I always feel inadequate when faced by a difficult problem.
17) be at ease with sb/sth--- be completely relaxed, confident and comfortable when dealing with sb/sth. (para.5)
The little boy is at ease with strangers.
He was ill at ease with things he didn’t understand.
18) I have a sneaking suspicion that may people feel the same way. (para.6)
Paraphrase ---I’m not sure but I suspect that many people have the same feeling as I do.
a sneaking suspicion---an unproved and vague feeling of suspicion
If you have a sneaking feeling about someone or something, the feeling embarrasses you, for
example, because it is caused by the realization that someone else was right and you were wrong, or
because it is the opposite of what you normally feel about them.
I have a sneaking suspicion that he stole my wallet.
I have a sneaking feeling that she’s right. His book leaves one with a sneaking admiration for his shameless commercialism.
19) pioneer-village attitude---way of thinking of early American settlers and country people who used to have a simple, self-sufficient life. (para.7)
5. Grammar Focus
noun / pron. +of which
1) The noun / pron. +of which structure is used to introduce an attributive clause to add information. It is mainly used in the formal written language.
He mentioned a book the title of which I don’t remember.
It’s the third in a sequence of three books, the first of which I really enjoyed.
That building, the interior of which is rather better than the outside, was designed by the same
2) Nouns/ Prons. For quantity or amount are often used in the structure, such as “many”, “much”,
“most”, “few”, “little”, “all”, “some”, etc. Examples:
The device consists of three cogs, each of which has ten teeth. th century. This is a selection of American short stories, most of which were written in the 20The library announced a gift of 44 letters, 43 of which are in the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln.
3). The noun/pron.. in the structure can occur as part of a complex preposition such as “in support
of”, “by means of”, “as a result of”, etc.
On entering the turbine, the gases pass through nozzles, by means of which they are directed
through a ring of blades.
The company suffered a drop in sales last month, as a result of which profits declined by 10% over
the month before last.
4). When the antecedent is a word for people, “whom” is used in the structure instead of “which”.
They have four children, all of whom are now at school.
I will now introduce the candidate in support of whom I wish to speak.
6. Guided Practice
1) Answer questions: (Page 236) ( Group Discussion)
a) When you live in the city, having your own car is …
b) One area of life where I prefer low technology is …
c) The area of life where I think we really need innovation is…
2) Ask several students to retell the text by using their own words.
7. After-class Assignment
1) Review Text A
2) Do exercises:
Structure (Ex. X, p. 238)
Cloze (Ex. XI, p. 239)
Translation (Ex. XII, p. 240)
3) Structured Writing (p. 243) Text B Why I’m Not going to Buy a Computers
1. I’m hooked to the energy corporations---I’m dependent on the power plant ,the oil company, etc.
2. cottage industry---a system of production during the Industrial Revolution where workers made
products, such as clothes, usually at home, for someone who agreed to sell them; a small business
that is run from someone’s home, esp. one that involves a craft, such as knitting or pottery. Here the
author compares his way of writing at home with simple tools assigned by his wife to a cottage
3. dependence on strip-mined coal---dependence on electricity generated by burning coal from the
4. I do not admire computer manufacturers much more then I admire the energy industries.
---I disapprove of computer manufacturing as much as I disapprove of energy production.
Do no admire is used as a mild way of saying “ object to”. (not ) much more than ---as much as; in the same way that.
5. I don’t see that computers are bringing us even one step nearer to anything that does
matter to me--- I find that nothing computers are doing makes the least contribution to what is
really important to me.
6. economic justice---the (principle of) equal material distribution among members of a society.
Some means of providing economic justice include social welfare, minimum wages, etc.
7. But the cost would not be just monetary.---But there would be other costs besides the cost I money.
( Cost means the amount of money that is needed in order to buy something, but cost also means
the loss that is involved in trying to achieve something. Here the word is used in both meanings).
8. Thus… what would be replaced would be not only something, but somebody. ---In this
way…the computer would take the place not only of something — the typewriter but also of
somebody — my wife who is also my critic, my closest reader and my fellow worker.
9. Let’s be scientific about this.--- Let’s be matter-of-fact on this problem 10. work that is demonstrably superior to Dante’s --- work that is obviously better than that of Dante
11. They are as follows---They are as listed below
As follows is used to introduce a list o people or things or a description or explanation of the way
something is done.
The contents are as follows:…
The amount of benefit you are entitled to will be worked out as follows.
Grammatically speaking, as follows is a clause, in which as is a pronoun that functions as the
subject and follows, the verb predicate in the present third person singular.
12. provided (that)… ---on the condition that…
I will agree to go provided (that ) my expenses are paid.
She was prepared to come, provided that she could bring her daughter.