My Corner of the World

For my students, and others interested in learning English

June 17, 2012
by barbsaka

Rainy Season

It’s rainy season now in Kyushu.

Rainy season

Image: kimubert

Today it’s not rainy at all. It’s very sunny and hot! During rainy season, the hydrangeas bloom. They’re called agisai in Japanese. There are many different types of hydrangeas!


Here’s a video about the ajisai train, in Hakone, Japan.


How about you? Does your country have a rainy season? What’s your favorite thing about rainy season?

March 8, 2011
by barbsaka

The Play (a book report by Yuriko)

The play

Biff, Chip, Wilf, and Wilma went to school. They were in Mrs. May’s class.

One day, Mrs. May told them the story of the Wizard of Oz. The story was about Dorothy and her dog. There were going to meet a witch with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. It was an adventure story.

On another day, it was playtime but there was a storm. The children couldn’t play outside. So, they played the Wizard of Oz. Mrs. May liked the little play.

The cast of the play was:

Wilma as Dorothy

Chip as the Tin Man

Wilf as the Lion

Biff as the Witch

Wilf’s mum and dad helped Mrs. May. The mums and dads liked the play. “What a good play!” they said. The children liked the play, too. They gave Mrs. May some flowers.

It was time to go home. There was a storm. “It’s just like the play!” said Chip.

Note: The Play is Stage 4 of the Oxford Reading Tree, by Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta (Oxford University Press).

February 15, 2011
by barbsaka

The Castle Garden (a book review by Sachi)

In a lesson, Anneena wants to write a play like a fairy tale. She started a play. The title is “The Castle Garden.”

Long, long ago and far, far away was a castle. The castle had a large garden with smart grassy paths and neat flower beds. In the castle lived King Charley and Princess Tara. King Charley said to Tara, “It’s time you had a husband.”  But, Tara doesn’t want a partner.

The king arbitrarily sent a lot of invitations to dukes, princes, and kings. He did this because he wants to decide on Tara’s husband and besides, he wants to be a richer king. Princess Tara was cross. “This is a silly plan. The king’s plan is much too fast,” she said. From the invitations a lot of kings and young men came up to the castle with treasures and valuable things for her.

The castle’s parking lot was always full.

However, she never wanted anything like expensive carpets, hand crafted silks and gold and silver chests.

She ran into the garden. Gardener Carl, who was working there, listened to her story. He understood her anger. “I have always loved you but you could never love me. I’m a gardener. I have no chance,” said Carl sadly. “I love you, too,” said Tara. “We will tell my father at once.”

She said a nice speech to King Charley. “Look at these seeds, Father. They mean more to me than gold, silk, and carpets.”

“Wait and see” is the last message from Anneena.

I like this story. The young girl Tara is a smart princess. She has good eyes and a pure mind. We need those things now, too. I believe Tara and Carl will get married with the nation’s blessing.

Note: The Castle Garden is Stage 6 of Floppy’s Phonics, part of the Oxford Reading Tree, by Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta (Oxford University Press).

February 15, 2011
by barbsaka

A Day in London (a book review by Reiko)

A day in London 1

Gran came to stay. She brought presents for the children, little golf clubs, a keyboard.

She said, “Let’s have a band!” The band made a lot of noise and the children had a good time.

She takes the children to London by car. “Look after Gran! Try to stop her from getting into trouble,” said Mum.

They go to Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and the Waxworks. The Waxworks has wax models of famous people. Gran dropped her bag. She bent down to pick it up and bumped into the waxworks. They began to fall over. She picked up the models and put the heads back on, but they looked strange. The heads are not right. Gran apologized to the watch woman. “I’m very sorry,” said Gran. “Never mind, Gran. We know you didn’t mean to knock them over. Thank you for a great day.”

This story is very interesting. I like it because Gran is a very cheerful, lively and fun-loving person. She is easygoing, but a little careless. She is a forward-thinking woman, I think.

If you read this book, you will like it.

Here are the places that Gran and the children go:

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

London Tower Bridge

London Tower Bridge

Madame Tussauds Waxworks

Madame Tussauds Waxworks

Photos are from Wikipedia Commons.

Note: A Day in London is part of Stage 8 of the Oxford Reading Tree, by Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta (Oxford University Press)

January 25, 2011
by barbsaka
1 Comment

Gran’s New Blue Shoes (a book review by Shinobu)

A Day in London

In this story, Gran needs a new pair of blue shoes for a very special occasion. For a very special occasion?

The special occasion is that Gran is going to meet the Queen. But, before meeting the Queen, the heel on her new blue shoe comes off. Can’t she meet the Queen?

Don’t worry! Who should help Gran but the Duke! She is very lucky. In the end, Gran can meet the Queen.

This story was very amusing to me. If Gran were a young lady, this story would seem just like Cinderella!

Note: Gran’s New Blue Shoes is part of the Floppy’s Phonics series, which is part of the Oxford Reading Tree, published by Oxford University Press.

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