Section A Birth of Bright Ideas Objects
Students will be able to:
? understand the main idea and structure of Section A;
? learn to develop paragraphs by using exemplification as illustrated in Section A;
? master the key language points and grammatical structures in the text;
? conduct a series of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities related to the
theme of the unit; use new words and phrases to talk about some text-related topics.
? Get to know how the unconscious mind helps to give birth to brilliant ideas.
? Learn to benefit from the ways of increasing creativity.
?Understanding and using the key words, phrases & expressions, patterns of Section A;
?Understanding the main idea and structure of the text;
?Mastering the device for developing an article by exemplification; using comparison
and contrast to develop a paragraph.
?Understanding some reading skills---reading for the key ideas in sentences.
? Understanding the structure of the text and the way to develop it;
? Mastering the device for developing a paragraph by exemplification.
st?1 period: Leading-in & reading activities
ndth?2 -4period: Text analysis ( the key language points & structure )
th?5th-6period: Writing tasks
th?7 period: Checking on students‟ learning tasks
(Exercises in Section A & reading activities of Section B & C )
Step 1 Leading-in
1). Where do good ideas come from?
a. When we consider the question seriously, we will finally work out the solution.
b. When we always have something in mind, it seems that the solution will never come
into mind, but when we are not thinking about it, it suddenly arrives like a gift from
2). Have you ever experienced a mental blank?
3). What do you usually do in such situations?
Capture the fleeting
Expand our world
Keep a normal life, but unconsciously we are still having something we have been thinking about at present on mind.
2. The teacher sums up, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” said Enistein. Yet education has for too many years ignored this fact. Now, much research work has proved it is just the case. And in this unit, you will meet many examples of imaginative thinking which show that famous people do not succeed without this essential quality. In Section A of this unit it will tell us some stories about how inspirations come from the unconscious.
Step 2 Reading activities
?Reading for general idea
Questions for thinking about
1) What is the story mainly about?
Inspirations come from the unconscious.
2. How does he make clear his story?
By giving examples, Exemplification (举例法„Main idea‟ supported by „examples‟)
?Reading for some details
Questions for discussing
1. Where do good ideas come from according to the author? What does “the
unconscious”mean to psychologists?
Good ideas come from the unconscious. Psychologists use the term to describe mental
processes which are unknown to the individual.
2. Is it just the great creative personalities who have experienced the sudden arrival of a
No. All of us have experienced the sudden arrival of a new idea, but it is easiest to
examine it in the great creative personalities.
3. What state was Richard Wagner in when he arrived at the hotel?
He was sick and could not sleep for noise without and fever within. 4. Did Wagner have an easy time with composing the opening to “Rhinegold”?
No. He had been occupied with the idea of the “Ring” for several years, and for many
months had been struggling to make a start with the actual composing. 5. What did he recognize in his mind when he fell into a sleeplike condition?
The rush and roar of water had become music and the orchestral opening to the
“Rhinegold” had at last taken its shape within him.
6. What does the Wagner story tell us?
The unconscious mind at the moment of creation knew nothing of the actual process
by which the solution was found. A niw concept may suddenly explode into
7. In what way is the example of Henri Poincare different from that of Richard Wagner?
In the example of HENRI Poincare, we see the conscious mind actually watching the
unconscious at work.
8. What point do you see in the example of Descartes?
Dream plays an important role. Descartes was able to make the discovery with the
help of his dream.
1. Richard Wagner (1813--1883)(the greatest composer of German opera, made a major
addition to nature of opera through his writings about and the creation of music drama. Music drama combines singing, orchestra, verse, story, drams and spectacle. Wagner‟s works include “The Ring of Nibelung”, a set of four operas based on historical German stories.
2. The Rhinegold, the first of the four operas in the “Ring” cycle, exemplifies Wagner‟s theory of music drama in its purest form.
3. Spezia: is an industrial port and Italy‟s chief naval station in northeast Italy. Wagner visited here in 1853 when he left his exile in Switzerland to which he had escaped during World War II.
4. Henri Poincare: A great French mathematics and theoretical science professor at the Sorbonne (University of Paris), had a highly original influence on the development of pure and applied mathematics. He also worked on functions that changed celestial mechanics, helped pioneer algebraic (代数拓扑学) topology and co-discovered the special theory of
relativity. For further introduction to his works, please visit
5. Descartes: French Philosopher, Mathematician and Scientist. One of the most influential thinkers in history, Descartes is considered the founder of both modern philosophy and analytic geometry (分析几何). He based his theory that the world is made up of mind and matter on a concept that came to him in a dream. For further information, check out the web page at http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/d/descarte.htm.
Step 3 Detailed study of the text
Words and phrases
1. No satisfactory way exists to explain how to form a good idea.
Meaning， There is not a way good enough to explain how to find or develop a good idea.
2. No satisfactory way exists……
satisfactory: a . good enough to be pleasing, or for a purpose, rule, standard, etc.
This heater is satisfactory; it does give enough heat.
The design of the kitchen is satisfactory: the refrigerator is not next to the stove and
there is enough space。
3. You think about a problem until you‟re tired, forget it, maybe sleep on it, and then flash!
Meaning: You have been thinking about a problem until you are tired forget it and
leave it undecided and then suddenly some idea comes to your mind.
4…forget it, maybe sleep on it…(para.1)
sleep on sth: leave sth. undecided or unattended or until later time
He will sleep on the matter and tell us the decision later.
5….and then flash!
Flash: vi .
1) ( of an idea ) come suddenly
These lines from Shakespeare just flashed into my mind.
2) appear or pass suddenly
The car flashed by so quickly that I could not see the car number.
The policeman flashed his I.D. card at me, but I could not read his name.
6. of course , all ideas don‟t occur like that but so many do, particularly the most important ones.
Meaning; not all ideas, of course, come as gifts, but many of them do, especially some big ideas
that come to your mind unexpectedly.
occur : vi . come to mind
It suddenly occurred to him that this was something he should never do. 他突然想到这种事情他根本就不应该做。
7. They burst into the mind, glowing with the heat of creation.
Meaning. These ideas come to the mind suddenly and show clearly they are good, creative ideas.
glow: v. produce light and heat without fire
Some natural matter can glow in the dark.
有 些 自然物质能在黑暗中闪光。
glow with: show redness or heat with feeling etc.
My father‟s face glowed with satisfaction when he saw my college grades.
8. How they do it is a mystery but they must come from somewhere.
Meaning. How these ideas come to your mind is a mystery; no one can understand it . But they must have come from somewhere , an unknown force.
mystery: n. something that is not fully understood.
Many people have tried to solve the problem but without success; it is a mystery that the girl found the solution to it in just a minute.
9.This is reasonable , for psychologists use this term to describe mental processes which are unknown to the individual.
Meaning. The explanation holds water as psychologists use this special term to describe the patterns going on in our mind, which are not known by human beings.
process: n. a connected set of actions or events that produce continuation or slow change
Scientists have now discovered more about the processes of sleeping and dreaming.
10. creative thought depends on what was unknown becoming known.
Meaning. Creative thought comes if one can change what was unknown into something that is known.
depend on : happen according to ; count on
The success of the factory depends on the workers.
Depending on how much he sells, his earnings will increase.
11…. It is easiest to examine it in the great creative personalities , many of whom experienced it in an intensified form and have written it down in their life stories and letters.
Meaning. Many of the highly creative persons had experiences of this sort and felt its
effects strongly, as you can find it their life stories and letters, so their case is easiest to study
12….. the great creative personalities…..
personality: n .
1) a person who is well-known to the public
please note that it is countable noun in this case.
A number of local personalities were present.
2) the quality or condition of being a person
I like Jack because he has a friendly personality.
13…. In an intensified form.
intensify: v. make or become stronger
Efforts to reach the injured man have been intensified because of a sudden turning for
the worse in the weather.
The enemy‟s breakthrough intensified as there was no hope for their reinforcement.
14….and have written it down in their life stories and letters.
write down : record in writing
After two months‟ intensified course, he could write down the teacher‟s lecture in English.
15. One can draw examples from genius in any field…
genius: n. a person of exceptional natural ability
Richard Wagner is a genius.
16. all truly creative activities depend in some degree on these signals from the unconscious…
in….degree: to the limit of ; somewhat
Production of fruit and vegetables has also risen in varying degrees.
He was not in the slightest degree interested.
1) something that suggests something else exists or is going to happen.
Japanese leaders saw the visit as an important signal of support.
2) a gesture, sound or action which is intended to give a particular message.
Stop when the signal light is red.
She made a signal with her arm for a left turn.
17….and the more highly insightful the person, the sharper and more dramatic the signals become.
Meaning. If the person is more insightful, then the signals become sharper and more obvious.
Please pay attention to the structure “ the more…. the more….. ”
The sooner you start , the more quickly you will be finished.
The more people you know , the less time you have to see them.
18. and more dramatic the signals become.
dramatic: a. very obvious, sudden, exciting or not expected
The lives of the earliest foreigners who settled in America must have been dramatic and exciting.
19. take the example of Richard Wagner composing the opening to “ Rhinegold ”.
Meaning. Look at Richard Wagner writing the beginning part of Rhinegold as an example.
compose: v. create or produce ( a written or musical piece )
The piece of music is composed for the celebration of the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in China.
opening: n. the beginning part
This is a natural opening for a narrative.
20. Wagner had been occupied the idea of the “ Ring ” for several years.
Meaning: for several years Wagner busied himself with the idea of composing the “ Ring ”.
be occupied with: be busy with sth
She was occupied with the cleaning of the big house.
I‟m afraid that you won‟t be able to see the doctor for he is fully occupied with appointments this afternoon.
21. … and for many months had been struggling to begin composing.
struggle: vi. Try hard to do sth
struggle for a living 为生活而奋斗
struggle to one‟s feet 挣扎着站起来。
22….could not sleep for noise without and fever within.
Please notice that both “ without ” and “ within ” are used as adverbs here.
without: ad. outside
The dog remained shaking without.
within: ad. inside
A voice within told him what to do .
He looked calm without but anxious within.
He was at peace without and at war within.
23. …. In the afternoon flung himself on a couch intending to sleep.
fling: vt. Throw with force
He flung his shoes at the dog that would not leave his door.
24. then the miracle happened…
miracle: n . act or event that cannot be explained by known laws of nature.
It is a miracle that the small child lived through the earthquake.
25. … his unconscious mind had been seeking for so long…
seek for: make a search for; look for
He has been seeking for a new place to live for several months, but he has not found
anything he can afford.
26.falling into a sleeplike condition, he suddenly felt as though he were sinking in a mighty
flood of water.
Meaning: he seemed to fall into a sleeplike condition. Suddenly he felt as if he were sinking
in a violent ocean.
as though: as if
Please notice that “ as though ” or “ as if ” is often followed by a clause in subjunctive
Why is she looking at me as though she knew me? I have never seen her before in my
She looks almost as if she were drunk.
26….. the rush and roar soon took musical shape within his brain.
Meaning: the image and sound of the rush and roar of the violent ocean became clear in a
musical form in his brain.
take shape: develop or start to appear in such a way that it becomes fairly clear what its final form will be.
After several days‟ discussion, their project began to take shape.
27. he recognized that the orchestral opening to the “ Rhinegold ”, which he must have carried about within yet had never been able to put into form, had at last taken its shape within him.
Meaning. He realized the orchestral opening to the “ Rhinegold ” had finally been formed in
his mind . before this , the music must have existed in his ( unconscious ) mind, but he had never been able to express it in a clear form.
28. …. Yet had never been able to put into form.
Put into form: express in clear form
Now that you understand the problem, you have to think about how to put it into form to make yourself understood.
29.As a contrast, we may consider a famous story : the discovery by Henri Poincare , the great French mathematician ,of a new mathematical method called the Fuchsian functions. Meaning :We may consider a famous story ,which is very different from the other examples .This story is about how Henri Poincare , the great French mathematician, discovered a new mathematical method called the Fuchsian functions.
contrast: n. (with between) unlikeness or difference shown by comparing objects or people There is a great contrast between summer and winter.
If you compare the weather here with the weather in my country, there is not much contrast. 如果把这里的气候与我国的气候作一个比较(两者差别不大。
30: … spent an hour or two trying a great number of combinations, but he arrived at no result.
Meaning: … spent a couple of hours trying various combinations, but he made no success.
spend ( time ) doing sth: pass the time doing sth
He spent an hour each day exercising.
Now more and more city adults spend their free time to improve themselves at school or college.
Compare: spend ( time ) on sth
He doesn‟t spend much time on his homework.
31. …. a great number of combinations, but he arrived at no result.
combination: n. something that results from two or more things ( esp. chemicals ) being combined.
This project is a good combination of science and art.
It took them a long time to arrive at a very difficult decision.
32. one night he drank some black coffee, contrary to his usual habit , and was unable to
black coffee: coffee without milk and sugar
black coffee 清咖啡
milk coffee 加牛奶的咖啡
strong / weak coffee 浓 / 淡咖啡
contrary to : opposite to
He passed the examination , contrary to what I expected.
Contrary to all advice he gave up his hob and left for the south.
33；many ideas kept surging in his head…
keep ( on ) doing sth: continue doing sth
keep smiling! 保持微笑！
You shouldn‟t keep thinking about it.
surge: vi . move ( as if ) in waves
Memories surged in his mind.
34. … he could almost feel them pushing against one another.
against: prep. In the direction of and meeting
The rain beat against the window.
Waves were striking against the shore.
35. … until two of them combined to form a stable combination
Stable: a . firm; without movement
People guess that the price of oil should remain stable for the rest of the year.
I am happy to learn that my father‟s health is making slow but stable progress.
36. when morning came, he had established the existence of one class of Fuchsian functions.
Meaning: when morning came, he had proved the existence of one group of Fuchsian
Please note that the word “ come ” is not only used to talk about a person‟s or an animal‟s
action but also an event or time.
The time has come for us to move on.
There will come a time when a crisis will occur.
What comes after?
It often happens that success comes after many failures. 经过过多次失败后才获得成功是常有的事。
My work comes first.
37….. he had established the existence of one class of Fuchsian functions.
Eistence: n. the fact or state of existing
This is the oldest steel bridge in existence.
Some people think that it is difficult to prove the existence of unconscious mind. 有人认为
38. here, we see the conscious mind observing the new combinations being formed in the unconscious…..
observe: vt . see and notice sth. or sb; watch sth. or sb carefully.
The police observed the man break into the store.
His job is to observe the movements of clouds and the changes in temperature.
39…. the Wagner story shows the sudden explosion of a new concept into consciousness.
explosion: n . a sudden bursting out
We are living in an age of knowledge explosion; we have hardly had the time to learn the new concepts.
concept: something formed in the mind; a thought or idea
The text doesn‟t explain the concepts very clearly.
40.a third type of creative experience is exemplified by the dreams which came to Descartes at the age of twenty-three and determined his life path.
Meaning: at the age of twenty-three Descartes had the dreams that determined his life path. These dreams were good examples to support a third type of creative experience. exemplify : vt. Show by example
The room‟s style exemplifies his ideal of beauty and plainness.
41. Descartes had unsuccessfully searched for certainty, first in the world of books, and then in the world of them.
Meaning: Descartes had not been successful in searching for life with no doubt to it; he first searched for it in piles of books and then from crowds of people. Search for: try to find; look for
They searched for the missing boy everywhere, but they could not find him. 他们到处
Scientist searched for the cause of the disease.
We often waste our time searching for keys, glasses and other small objects that are in continuous use.
42…..in the world of books; in the world of men
world: n. a particularly area of human activity