This is a lesson for English learners. Read the quotes, go over the new vocabulary, and do the activity at the end of this lesson.

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An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. 

Bill Vaughan, an American author

New Vocabulary:


optimist: someone who believes that good things will probably happen.

Example: Amy is an optimist, and she is sure that they can avoid selling the house.

see (someone) in: to welcome a visitor and help them arrive at the right place.

Example: Can you please see in our guest? His room is on the second floor.

see in the New Year: to celebrate the beginning of a year by staying awake until midnight on December 31st.

Example: We are going to see in the New Year in beautiful Paris.

pessimist: someone who believes that bad things will probably happen.

Example: Don’t be such a pessimist, everything will be okay.

stay up: to stay awake instead of going to sleep.

Example: Tonight we let the kids stay up.

“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.”

Jonathan Huie, an American author

New Vocabulary:

celebrate: to do something special because it is an important day.

Example: How will you celebrate your wedding anniversary?

(em dash): a short line (in the width of the letter M) used to show a short break and separate parts of a sentence.

Example: Many left the city—it no longer had any jobs left.

cows eat grass

for: because of some reason.

Example: I don’t eat meat for several reasons.

dinner date

precede: to come before.

Example: On our date, a pleasant dinner preceded the movie.

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

Brad Paisley, an American country singer and songwriter

New Vocabulary:

a writer

blank: completely empty.

Example: I stared at the blank sheet of paper.

“You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.”

James R. Sherman, an author

New Vocabulary:

brand new: completely new.

Example: We got a brand new apartment.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States

New Vocabulary:

a guy smoking

vices: bad habits.

Example: His only vice was smoking.

look up

at peace: in a state of friendship.

Example: I feel at peace with the world.


find: If a time finds you in a situation, it means you are in that situation, at that time.

Example: The afternoon found us talking and having fun.

Founding Fathers: the group of men who started the United States as a country and wrote its constitution. (A Constitution is an important document with the basic laws of a country. It describes what the government can and cannot do, and it protects the rights of the people.)

Example: Benjamin Franklin is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.


End of Sample Lesson

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