Країнознавство США І семестр - Плани-конспекти уроків - Ю. Г. Горбунова 2016

Дидактичні матеріали до спецкурсу «Країнознавство США». Плани-конспекти уроків
Lecture and practical training «Washington — the capital of the USA»

Aims and objectives:

- to introduce and practice vocabulary and grammar;

- to develop skills in reading and speaking;

- to expand student's knowledge.



Greeting. Introducing the topic

T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic «Washington — the capital of the USA».

Warm up

Task 1. Answer the questions.

1. What do you know about the history of Washington?

2. What places of interests do you know in Washington?

3. What do you think about this quotation: «Washington is the most powerful city in the world»?



Task 2. Complete the information about Washington.

Identity, mathematical, democracy, encampment, compromise, delegate, employees, updated, Florida Avenue, established, agricultural

Washington, DC is unique among American cities because it was ... by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. From the beginning it has been embroiled in political maneuvering, sectional conflicts, issues of race, national ... , compromise and, of course, power.

The choice of Washington’s site along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers resulted from a ... between Alexander Hamilton and northern states who wanted the new Federal government to assume Revolutionary War debts and Thomas Jefferson and southern states who wanted the capital placed in a location friendly to slave-holding ... interests.

George Washington, the first president and namesake of the city, chose the site and appointed three commissioners to help prepare for the arrival of the new government in 1800. In 1800 the federal government consisted of 131 ... . Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed the city as a bold new capital with sweeping boulevards and ceremonial spaces reminiscent of his native France. Benjamin Banneker, a self- taught African-American ... genius, provided the astronomical calculations for surveying and layout of the city. The full development of Washington as a monumental city, however, did not come until a hundred years later when the McMillan Commission ... its plan to establish the National Mall and monuments that most visitors to Washington now know.

After the Civil War, Washington did grow, eventually absorbing Georgetown and the surrounding farms and rural areas beyond L’Enfant’s original plans for the city. The initial boundary of Washington City was ... , originally called Boundary Street. The first neighborhoods were those that grew up around the Capitol (Capitol Hill), the Center Market (Downtown), and the White House (Lafayette Square).

Wars and national events have always resulted in the growth of the Federal government and increases in population. During the Civil War, Washington was an armed . with soldiers bivouacked everywhere and public buildings serving as hospitals.

As the capital of the world’s most powerful ... , it is ironic that residents of Washington lack full self government. Limited self government was only restored in 1974 after nearly 100 years with an appointed commissioner system. Representation in Congress is limited to a non-voting ... to the House of Representatives and a shadow Senator. 1964 was the first Presidential election in which Washington residents were able to vote. While elected and appointed officials come and go, giving the city its reputation as a transient community, many of the city’s residents have called Washington home for multiple generations. Their stories give Washington its distinctive character as both a national and local city.

Task 3. Complete the sentences.

1. Washington, DC is ... .

2. From the beginning it has been ... .

3. George Washington is ... , who ... .

4. During the Civil War, Washington ... .

5. After the Civil War, Washington ... .

6. The initial boundary of Washington City ... .

7. The first neighborhoods were ... .

8. 1964 was ... .

Task 4. Match.

1. George Washington

a) provided the astronomical calculations for surveying and layout of the city

2. Pierre Charles L’Enfant

b) chose the site and appointed three commissioners to help prepare for the arrival of the new government

3. Benjamin Banneker

c) updated the plan to establish the National Mall and monuments that most visitors to Washington now know

4. McMillan Commission

d) designed the city as a bold new capital with sweeping boulevards and ceremonial spaces

Task 5. Read and match.


A The Capitol

B Statue of Freedom

C The Library of Congress

D The White House

E The National Mall

F Monument to George Washington

G Monument to Tomas Jefferson

H Monument to Abraham Lincoln

I The Smithsonian Institution

J The National Aquarium

Check out Washington’s most popular places of interests. There’s no better place to soak up some culture. Whether you prefer history or modern art, you will find here.

1. This monument is a white marble obelisk about 170 meters high. Visitors may climb the stairs or ride the elevator to the top for a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding area.

2. This building consists of museums of similar units in the areas of science, technology, history and art. Several of its museums are on the Mall. This building’s best-known scientific bodies include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space museum.

3. The US Congress meets in this building. Visitors may attend congressional sessions to watch legislators in action. It is one of Washington’s most magnificent buildings. It is constructed of white stone and marble and crowned by an impressive dome. It is set in a small park around which are a number of impressive government buildings.

4. It is sometimes known as the «Nation’s Front Yard» is the open space and parklands envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant’s plan, which was commissioned by George Washington. Running from the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac to the Capitol Building it includes the 2,000 American elms which line the Mall and the 3,000 internationally renowned Japanese cherry trees which grace the Tidal Basin.

5. It stands at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Every four years the parade for the newly inaugurated president travels the historic route along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to this building. It has been the home of every president with the exception of George Washington. It consists of 132 rooms and tourists may visit only portions of the ground floor and first floor. Its grounds are open to the public only once a year for the annual Egg Roll held on Easter Monday. It has been the official residence of the president of the US since 1800.

6. As for this memorial, all his famous speeches inscribed on the walls.

7. This memorial is a circular, colonnaded marble structure topped by a beautiful dome. Inside stands a heroic statue of this president which can be seen through the Memorial’s four openings. Quotations from his most famous writings are inscribed on the walls.

8. It is the nation’s public place. You can find there the 70 tanks house sea turtles, American alligators, sharks, piranha and 1,200 other specimens of marine life.

9. It is a bronze monument, which stands on top of the dome of The Capitol.

10. It is situated in a small park of The Capitol, it is the largest library in the world.

Task 6. Read and discuss the quotations of famous British and American people.

1. Washington is no doubt the boss town in the country for a man to live in who wants to get all the pleasure he can in a given number of months. (Mark Twain)

2. Were it not for the parks and monuments and great federal buildings that break up the monotony, downtown Washington would be a visual and architectural disaster. (Jonathan Yardley)

3. Taken altogether, Washington as a city is most unsatisfactory, and falls more grievously short of the thing attempted than any other of the great undertakings of which I have seen anything in the United States. (Anthony Trollope)

4. It is sometimes called the City of Magnificent Distances, but it might with greater propriety be termed the City of Magnificent Intentions. (Charles Dickens)

5. Washington was a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm. (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

Task 7. Read and discuss «Fun-to-know facts» about Washington.

✵ The highest point in Washington is Mount Rainier. It was named after Peter Rainier, a British soldier who fought against the Americans in the Revolutionary War.

✵ The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.

✵ Washington is home to three National Parks, nine National Forests, and 100 State Parks.

✵ Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.

✵ Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.

✵ It is against the law to walk about in public if you have a cold.

✵ In Lynden, Washington dancing and drinking in the same establishment is prohibited.

✵ In Washington it illegal to pretend that one’s parents are rich.

✵ A badly worded law in Washington states that when two trains come to a crossing, neither shall go until the other has passed.

✵ A law in Washington states: «It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.»

✵ In Washington you may not buy a mattress on Sunday.

✵ In 1979, the square dance was designated as the official Washington state dance.

✵ There are over 40,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 8,000 lakes in Washington.

✵ It is against the law to spit on a bus.

✵ Long Beach, Washington is home to the world’s largest frying pan.

✵ The Washington State Ferry System is the largest Ferry System in the US and the state’s number one tourist attraction.

✵ People cannot buy meat of any kind on Sunday.



Task 8. Answer the questions.

1. How can you describe the periods of development of Washington?

2. What places in Washington would you like to visit?

3. What interesting facts about Washington can you name?

Home assignment

What fact was the most interesting and striking for you? (Use Internet sites: en. wikipedia.org./wiki/Wiki; www.wiki.com)

Additional material to the topic «Washington — the capital of the USA»

Task 9. Read the text below. For questions (1-3) choose the correct answer (a, b, c or d).


Washington DC was founded to be the capital of the United States. The first European to explore the area was Englishman John Smith in 1608. Later in the 17th century settlers created tobacco plantations worked by black slaves. The town of Alexandria was founded in 1749 and the town of Georgetown was established in 1751. Both flourished. After the War of Independence (1775-1783) the federal government decided to create a capital. The constitution, which was ratified in 1788 allowed for a federal territory to be created not more than 10 square miles in size. The site of Washington was chosen in 1790 after some wrangling. The Northern states wanted the Federal government to take over debts they had incurred during the war. The Southern states agreed on condition the new capital was located in the South.

In 1791 George Washington obtained land in Virginia and Maryland. Congress decided the new city would be called Washington and it would be in the territory (later district) of Columbia. The same year, 1791 a French architect called Pierre L’Enfant (1754-1825) drew up a plan for the new capital.

In 1792 work began on building the President’s House (later the White House). Many of the people who worked on building the new capital were slaves.

Progress was slow but the US government moved to Washington in 1800. In 1802 Robert Brent was appointed the first mayor of Washington. However by the time war began with Britain in 1812 Washington DC was still taking shape. In August 1814 the British burned many of the public buildings in the town.

1. Which of the following is stated in the text about Washington DC?

a) The site of Washington was chosen to be the capital without discussing.

b) Washington DC was founded by Englishman John Smith in 1608.

c) There were tobacco plantations on the territory of modern Washington.

d) Washington became the capital city by accident.

2. What is TRUE about Washington?

a) George Washington was he first nayor of Washington.

b) Washington was before the War of Independence.

c) Congress decided the new city would be in the territory of Columbia in 1791.

d) The President’s House was built in 1792.

3. Which of the following is NOT TRUE according to the text?

a) The constitution was ratified after the War of Independence.

b) A French architect called Pierre L’Enfant designed Washington.

c) The town of Georgetown was established after the foundation of the town of Alexandria.

d) In 1812 Washington was destroyed by Britain.

Task 10. Read the texts below. For questions (1-6) choose the correct answer (a, b, c or d).


In the early and mid 19 th century Washington DC continued to (1) ... and develop. In 1829 an Englishman named James Smithson left books and minerals and the Smithsonian Institution was founded. In 1835 Washington was (2) ... to Baltimore by railroad. However there was racial tension in the growing city. There were many slaves in Washington as well as free blacks. The tension erupted in the Snow Riot of 1835 when whites attacked blacks. Slavery was (3) ... in the District of Columbia in 1862.

Washington DC boomed during the American Civil War (18611965) and its population doubled to 130,000 by 1870. However Abraham Lincoln was (4) ... in Washington in 1865.

Life in Washington DC improved in the late 19th century. Howard University was founded in 1867. In 1871 President Grant appointed a Board of Public Works to (5) ... the infrastructure in Washington. Washington Monument was completed in 1884.

In 1901 the McMillan Plan was drawn (6) ... for Washington DC and it revised the original plan by Pierre l’Enfant.

Union Station was built in 1908 and in 1910 a height restriction was placed on new buildings to (7) ... the existing cityscape. Also in 1910 the National Museum of Natural History opened. However in the early 20th century Washington (8) ... deeply divided along racial lines. Race riots broke out again in 1919.


a) increase

b) grow

c) add

d) multiply


a) combined

b) tied

c) associated

d) connected


a) abolished

b) destroyed

c) banned

d) ruined


a) dead

b) assassinated

c) eliminated

d) disappeared


a) improve

b) grow

c) increase

d) broaden


a) down

b) up

c) with

d) by


a) remain

b) rescue

c) preserve

d) save


a) has


c) kept

d) remained

Task 11. Read the text below and think of the word which best fits each gap.

Use only one word in each space.


During the First World War the population of Washington DC rose steeply. In the 1920s the city flourished and the Lincoln Memorial (1) ... built in 1922. Freer Art Gallery opened in 1923.

(2) ... the rest of the USA Washington DC suffered in the depression of the 1930s. (3) ... the Supreme Court was built in 1935 and the Federal Reserve Building was built in 1937. In 1941 the National Gallery of Art opened. Then during World War II the population of Washington soared again. (4) ... Pentagon was built in 1943.

In 1963 Martin Luther King made his famous «I have a dream» speech in Washington DC. (5) ... he was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 Washington exploded into rioting.

In the late 20th century Washington DC continued (6) ... develop. The Kennedy Center opened in 1971 and the Hirshhorn Museum opened in 1974. In 1976 the Metrorail System opened. So (7) ... the National Air and Space Museum. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1982. The US Holocaust Museum opened (8) ... 1993. Also in 1993 the National Postal Museum opened. The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1995. The FDR Memorial opened in 1997 and The National WWII Memorial opened in 2004. Meanwhile the International Spy Museum opened in Washington in 2002.

Task 12. Read the text below. Choose from (A-J) the one which best fits each space (1-8). There are two choices you do not need to use.

A one of his staff officers at Valley Forge

B one of the nation’s most impressive

C who was an astronomer and mathematician

D it was a natural midpoint

E each donated land to form the federal district

F the seat of government was transferred

G the US Congress met in several cities

H why America had chosen this swampy locale

I the headquarters of many international organizations

J around which Japanese cherry trees flower each spring


Washington D.C. is a «district» created by the Congress of the United States in 1790 as the nation’s capital. In the early years, (1) ... , including Philadelphia, New York and Princeton, before committing to a permanent seat of government in 1790. George Washington personally selected the site of the nation’s permanent capital in 1791, and Congress agreed because (2) ... that would satisfy both northern and southern states. Maryland and Virginia agreed to cede land to create the District of Columbia, and an area «ten miles square» (26 sq km) was laid out. Virginia’s portion south of the river was returned to that state in 1846.

President George Washington commissioned French architect Pierre L’Enfant, (3) ... , to design the new city. But, soon after construction began, L’Enfant was fired and replaced by city surveyor Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker, a freeborn black man (4) ... . Parts of L’Enfant’s vision for the layout of the city can still be seen today, including the Washington Monument.

Work started on the ornate Capitol in 1793, and (5) ... from Philadelphia to Washington on 1 December 1800. But, construction of the first phase of the Capitol was not completed until 1826. President John Adams was the first resident in the White House, moving into the unfinished building in 1800.

Two hundred years ago, the world wondered (6) ... as its capital. It took its first hundred years for Washington to evolve from bumpkin backwater status to an international hub of power, diplomacy, and beauty. Today, Washington fully commands center stage.

Washington D.C. plays a unique role both in national and international life. It is the only major planned city in the United States and (7) ... . The central northwestern portion of the city, surrounding the Mall, is the focus of governmental activity and is defined by the structures housing the various units of government: the Capitol, on Capitol Hill; the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; the Supreme Court; the Library of Congress; the State Department; the Justice Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and many more. Interspersed among these buildings are the Washington Monument; the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials on either side of the Tidal Basin, (8) ...; and the imposing neo-Gothic facade of the Smithsonian Institution. The Pentagon complex lies across the Potomac in Virginia adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.

Task 13. Match the places of interest (A-F) to their descriptions (1-6).

A Library of Congress

B Washington Monument

C White House

D National Air and Space Museum

E Georgetown Neighborhood

F Lincoln Memorial

G Washington National Cathedral

H National Mall

I United States Capitol

J Jefferson Memorial

1. The US government likes to separate church and state, so it doesn’t have a formal national cathedral, but if it had one, it would have to be the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, which is considered the spiritual home of this nation. This Neo-Gothic structure is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford were held here. Worship services are free, but admission is charged to tour the rest of the cathedral.

2. It is today the largest library in the world. But it had more humble beginnings, being founded in 1800 to house early documents of the United States that were transferred from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. For the first 100 years, it was mainly a reference library for Congress, but today is home to 158 million items that include 36 million books in 460 languages and 69 million manuscripts. It has the largest collection of rare books in North America. The library is open to the public, but potential users are asked to check the library’s list of holdings on online before they come to make research materials more easily findable when they arrive. The main reading room is known as the Sacred Room, and is absolutely stunning.

3. It is an historic district that was established in Maryland decades before the US government was established in Washington, D.C. It became part of the nation’s capital when Congress created the District of Columbia in 1871. Today it is a trendy place to live, work and play. It is home to a top university, several embassies and the Old Stone House, the oldest unchanged building in D.C. Located in northwest Washington, D.C., the area has served as home to such notables as Thomas Jefferson, when he was vice president of the United States; Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner following a War of 1812 battle; and John F. Kennedy, who left his home there to move into the White House.

4. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, it offers plenty of hands-on activities for kids of all ages, from eight to 80. The museum is a treasure trove about America’s air and space programs. Exhibits include everything from the 1903 Wright Flyer to the Apollo 11 moon-landing expedition to exhibits on how scientists are exploring space today. The best part? Admission to the basic museum is free, though fees charged may be charged for features such as IMAX.

5. Its formal style resembles the Pantheon in Rome. This design created a controversy because some felt it looked too much like the Lincoln Memorial. The debate was settled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone in 1939. Located on the National Mall, it features a statue of Jefferson looking toward the White House, and is intended to memorialize Jefferson’s views as a statesman and philosopher. Because Japanese cherry trees had to be torn down for the memorial, it now hosts Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

6. A mammoth statue of the seated president is surrounded by a Greek Doric style temple. The memorial was dedicated in 1922, with Lincoln’s last surviving son, Robert Todd, in attendance. Located at the west end of the National Mall, the memorial is where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous «I have a dream» speech in 1963. It also has been featured in several movies ranging from 1939’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Nixon to an episode of the Simpsons. The memorial is open 24 hours a day, with National Park rangers on hand from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

7. It is probably one of the best-known obelisks on earth. Built during the 19th century, it is a monument to the military achievements of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Standing more than 550 feet (170 meters) high, it is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C. It’s viewable 24 hours a day, though it’s not possible to get to the top for stunning views of the capital. The monument has been closed since it was damaged in an earthquake in 2011. A reopening date has not been scheduled yet.

8. It is where Congress meets. Sessions of the Senate and House of Representatives are open to the public when the bodies are in session. Visitors need free passes, which can be obtained from their congressmen’s office. At the same time, they can also get passes to tour the Capitol building, as guided tours do not include visiting legislators in action. It was one of the first buildings constructed by the fledgling US government following the Revolutionary War. Construction began in 1793, with legislators meeting there for the first time in 1800. Central to this building is the rotunda, which lies under the dome. This is where honored citizens, such as presidents, lie in state.

9. It serves many purposes. It is where the President works and lives with his family. It is also the symbol of the United States to the rest of the world. It is where the President officially meets with leaders of foreign nations and hosts them at state dinners. The site was selected by George Washington, first president of this new nation, but President John Adams was the first to live in it. It was burned by the British during the War of 1812, but later reconstructed. Self-guided tours are available for visitors who plan ahead. They must request a tour through their congressman’s office 21 days to six months in advance.

10. Visitors to Washington, D.C., won’t want to miss a stroll on this place, a greenway that will take them past many of the capital’s important sites. Located downtown, it stretches on the west from the US Capitol building to the Potomac River and on the east from the Jefferson Memorial to Constitution Avenue. Across the streets from the mall, but still considered part of it, are a variety of Smithsonian museums and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. To the east, nearby attractions include memorials to Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield, and the Reflecting Pool. With about 24 million visitors a year, it is the top tourist attraction in Washington.

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