Lesson #2: American Mosaic "Cyrus Cylinder"

Cyrus Cylinder  - This is the first part of an episode of American Mosaic.  The audio and transcript include two other stories as well, but you only need to listen to and read the first part for this lesson.

  1. Listening/Reading

    1. Prelistening:

      1. Do you know who Cyrus is?  Thomas Jefferson?  Could you find the ancient empire of Persia on a map?  Google if you're unsure.

    2. First time listening to the audio.  

      1. Write down any words you think you many need, then listen to the audio here:  

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/audio/Audio/266350.html

      2. Second time - Listen to the audio again.  This time feel free to use the transcript as well.  Note you can double click on any word to see a definition. Take notes and write down any words you had to look up.

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/article/1621819.html

    3. Comprehension - If you understood the text, you should be able to answer the questions below.  If not, refer to the text again.

      1. How did King Cyrus effect the history of the United States?

      2. How was King Cyrus different from the conquerers before him?

      3. According to King Cyrus, what role should the government play in religion?  Why was this important to the Persian empire?

  2. Speaking

    1. Prepare for a conversation with your language partner.  If you're comfortable, write questions about the role religion plays in your partner's country.  Otherwise, ask about important historical artifacts in their country.  What are they?  Why are they important? Etc

    2. Meet with your language partner.  Try your best to only speak in English for 30 minutes.  Of course, be sure to then provide your partner with an equal amount of time to practice our native language as well.

  3. Writing

    1. Write a summary of your exchange with your partner on the Mixxer blog.  Write a description about the role of religion in your partner's country or important historical artifacts.