Natalia Fomenko Elena Lubnina
English Language Office,
American Embassy in Moscow
““Lessons in Kindness” atLessons in Kindness” at
Result:Result: Book ofBook of
How it all began… 2008.How it all began… 2008.
Elista Summer CampElista Summer Camp
Project StepsProject Steps
I.I. Work with “keyWork with “key
II.II. Writing yourWriting your
own story.own story.
III.III. Drawing picturesDrawing pictures
to the stories.to the stories.
IV.IV. Making a filmMaking a film
after the stories.after the stories.
Story-Writing at SchoolStory-Writing at School
Story-writing in an EL course plan:Story-writing in an EL course plan: choosechoose
the topic, plan 3(4) lessons for productivethe topic, plan 3(4) lessons for productive
Prepare key stories:Prepare key stories: find sample stories tofind sample stories to
introduce the problem / topic.introduce the problem / topic.
Teach the students to write a story.Teach the students to write a story.
Edit the stories:Edit the stories: make a book of stories /make a book of stories /
edit the stories on the school website / etc..edit the stories on the school website / etc..
Post writing:Post writing: make films after the students’make films after the students’
Teaching WritingTeaching Writing
1.1. Lead-in: present a/- key story/-ies toLead-in: present a/- key story/-ies to
introduce the problem. Homework.introduce the problem. Homework.
2.2. Key-stories presentation. DiscussingKey-stories presentation. Discussing
similar situations in students’ lives.similar situations in students’ lives.
3.3. First writing (home story, “spider”, legs,First writing (home story, “spider”, legs,
free writing) . Discussion. Homework.free writing) . Discussion. Homework.
(4). Publication. Films.(4). Publication. Films.
What’s the Result?What’s the Result?
improves Ss’improves Ss’
knowledge ofknowledge of
draws Ss’draws Ss’
attention to theattention to the
problems andproblems and
helps solvehelps solve
motivates Ss tomotivates Ss to
read, write andread, write and
speak English.speak English.
ACCESS student’sACCESS student’s
My mother has taught me to take care of Nina, my younger sister, and that we should
always be ready to help each other in difficult times.
One day my sister came home in tears. “Nina, what’s the matter with you? Why are
you crying?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she said. “Something has got into my eye. Everything is OK,
“I can see that something is troubling you.”
Finally she said, “Someone hurt me today.”
“Tell me about it.”
Then she told her story. “During the break the boys were laughing loudly. I
asked them to be quiet but then they were rude to me, saying it was silly for me to tell
them how to behave. I know they wanted to show everybody that they were cool.”
I listened. I wanted to help her so much, because I am happy to have a little
sister who trusts me. “I think those boys wanted to attract your attention. They don’t
know that classmates must be tolerant and respect each other,” I explained.
I. Understanding the story. Tell your partner what the lesson is in the story.
II. Vocabulary. Explain these words to your partner.
A. Difficult B. the break C. trusts
III. Now you Talk
1. Discuss a time when you felt hurt by your classmates.
2. Talk about a time when you saw school children being rude to each other.
3. Describe your relationship with a sister or brother or cousin.
IV. Now you Write
•Write about a relationship between sisters or brothers. 2. Write a summary of this story.
3. Write a description of the two sisters. Add details.
IV. Grammar Practice. Change the adjectives in bold to the comparative. Practice saying
Example: He was careful with money. He was more careful with money.
•Nina was the young sister. 2. The boys were rude to her. 3. They said it was silly to say
something. 4. My sister thinks I am trustworthy. 5. They must be tolerant toward her.
IV. Role Play
1. Two sisters: They argue about who decides which TV program to watch.
2. Naida and mother: They discuss how Naida should treat Nina.
3. Two sisters: They meet on the playground where some boys are being mean.
4. Nina and two boys: They argue on the playground.
5. Teacher and one boy: She tells him to be kinder.
And What is Next?And What is Next?
A year has already passed since I began using theA year has already passed since I began using the
book “Lessons in Kindness” both in seniorbook “Lessons in Kindness” both in senior
Grades in my gymnasium and with the studentsGrades in my gymnasium and with the students
in ACCESS school. Now I can say this book is onein ACCESS school. Now I can say this book is one
of the best school books ever published. Beforeof the best school books ever published. Before
this book was introduced we dealt only with thethis book was introduced we dealt only with the
textbooks the authors of which tried to influencetextbooks the authors of which tried to influence
upon the children and make them take theupon the children and make them take the
material studied in the way they saw it. Thematerial studied in the way they saw it. The
children had to believe them for granted. Butchildren had to believe them for granted. But
here is quite another pair of shoes. Created byhere is quite another pair of shoes. Created by
the students of one and the same age,the students of one and the same age,
representing different cultures, religion,representing different cultures, religion,
nationalities these stories have become a goodnationalities these stories have become a good
motivating factor for learning English. Childrenmotivating factor for learning English. Children
are curious about the events described in theare curious about the events described in the
stories which happened to their coevals and theystories which happened to their coevals and they
read the stories with great interest.read the stories with great interest.
Besides they learn about the problems notBesides they learn about the problems not
from grown ups but from the students whofrom grown ups but from the students who
are of their age and have mostly the sameare of their age and have mostly the same
problems. The world is large but theproblems. The world is large but the
problems are the same. Reading theseproblems are the same. Reading these
stories, analyzing the actions of the heroes,stories, analyzing the actions of the heroes,
thinking about their own reaction if theythinking about their own reaction if they
were in the place of the heroes andwere in the place of the heroes and
discussing their own deeds they learn todiscussing their own deeds they learn to
respond properly to such situations. Therespond properly to such situations. The
stories teach the students to be kind andstories teach the students to be kind and
benevolent to people. I have participated inbenevolent to people. I have participated in
6 teachers’ professional development6 teachers’ professional development
seminars and distributed more than twoseminars and distributed more than two
hundred books between the teachers of thehundred books between the teachers of the
schools in the city and republic and theyschools in the city and republic and they
use them successfully at the lessons of homeuse them successfully at the lessons of home
reading and in extracurricular activity.reading and in extracurricular activity.
The Authors get the BookThe Authors get the Book
Presenting the Book at thePresenting the Book at the
Teachers’ ConferenceTeachers’ Conference
Presentation of the Book to thePresentation of the Book to the
Teachers of English fromTeachers of English from
Different Countries of the WorldDifferent Countries of the World
at the Professional Developmentat the Professional Development
Seminar in Hawaii PacificSeminar in Hawaii Pacific
University in summer, 2009.University in summer, 2009.
Foreign TeachersForeign Teachers
About the BookAbout the Book
Sandra McKay supervisedSandra McKay supervised
our seminar in Hawaii Pacificour seminar in Hawaii Pacific
University in 2009. TheUniversity in 2009. The
teachers from ourteachers from our
International group and sheInternational group and she
were the first to whom Iwere the first to whom I
introduced the book. Today Iintroduced the book. Today I
got the following letter fromgot the following letter from
Hi Misha,Hi Misha,
Attached is a review of theAttached is a review of the
book written by threebook written by three
experienced ACCESS teachersexperienced ACCESS teachers
from Uruguay. They werefrom Uruguay. They were
extremely impressed with theextremely impressed with the
Sonya Alvares Rosario Geraldes
After looking at Accessing English through Students’
Stories, we believe that the book is suitable for
ACCESS students in different parts of the world.
In our opinion, this book is the result of an excellent
combination of several factors: an engaging program,
the positive and natural energy of adolescents, and
committed teachers and materials developers. Only
this perfect combination could have presented this
book as a result.
Stories written by real students are usually appealing
to them; in this case, the 51 stories provide examples of
how students can progress in their learning of the
language. The topics proposed promote general
cultural values and foster understanding as the author
states in the introduction. These features help
students become more tolerant and respectful citizens.
The activities that accompany the stories provide good
opportunities for learning new vocabulary, practicing
reading and creating starting points for writing. The
sequencing and grading of the activities seem
appropriate for the target audience; these activities
progress from less to more difficult, and they take into
As we were reading the stories, we felt it would be a
good idea to start compiling stories from our own
region. These stories could be examined by specialists
who could develop activities for the publication of a
second book. Eventually, there could be publications
integrating stories from different cultures, which
would give this project an even more global
Clara De la Rosa - MexicoClara De la Rosa - Mexico
First of all congratulants!! I think theFirst of all congratulants!! I think the
ACCESS students from Russia haveACCESS students from Russia have
made a great job. The stories show notmade a great job. The stories show not
only the linguistic and communicativeonly the linguistic and communicative
competence, but the values and attitudescompetence, but the values and attitudes
the adolescents need to comprehend inthe adolescents need to comprehend in
order to make them feel included intoorder to make them feel included into
the society. On the other hand, the ideathe society. On the other hand, the idea
to prepare exercises taking the stories asto prepare exercises taking the stories as
a text is a big step not just to teach thea text is a big step not just to teach the
language, but to motivate your studentslanguage, but to motivate your students
and also the ones who read and takeand also the ones who read and take
them as a lesson. The formers can lookthem as a lesson. The formers can look
for something else, and the latter can seefor something else, and the latter can see
that learning English is possible. Inthat learning English is possible. In
short, you are teaching not only theshort, you are teaching not only the
language, you are forming adolescents. Ilanguage, you are forming adolescents. I
hope my comment can be useful.hope my comment can be useful. OnceOnce
again congrtulationsagain congrtulations to the authors ofto the authors of
the projectthe project!!
Michael Bailey – Belfast, U.S.A.Michael Bailey – Belfast, U.S.A.
I'm writing today to let you know howI'm writing today to let you know how
much I have enjoyed reading andmuch I have enjoyed reading and
watching the videos on your "Lessonswatching the videos on your "Lessons
in Kindness" website. I hope you don'tin Kindness" website. I hope you don't
mind if I include a link to the site onmind if I include a link to the site on
our "Global Classroom" website andour "Global Classroom" website and
encourage our incoming students toencourage our incoming students to
read and view the stories also. Ourread and view the stories also. Our
Global Classroom includes not onlyGlobal Classroom includes not only
Mikhail's class but also students andMikhail's class but also students and
teachers from Vladimir, and Dylym inteachers from Vladimir, and Dylym in
Russia, and also India, Morocco,Russia, and also India, Morocco,
France, Azerbaijan, Japan, Palestine,France, Azerbaijan, Japan, Palestine,
Mali, Algeria and Taiwan.Mali, Algeria and Taiwan.
I believe the stories will resonate withI believe the stories will resonate with
all our students. Each year they marvelall our students. Each year they marvel
at their similarities despite someat their similarities despite some
remarkable cultural differences.remarkable cultural differences.
This is a great project,This is a great project,
congratulations. Sincerely yours, Mikecongratulations. Sincerely yours, Mike
Rajsri Ram Mohan -Rajsri Ram Mohan - Noida-Noida-
Public-Sr-Sec-SchoolPublic-Sr-Sec-School, India, India
Terrific! The stories and the videos
have produced a great impression on
me, my colleagues and students. The
book is nice collection of stories which
happen to us in our everyday life. The
children raise the problem and give
answers how to act either in this or
that situation. The themes of the
stories are actual for India with our
religious and caste prejudice.
Thanks a lot to the editorial board and
the authors. We read, discuss and
speak about the event in the stories
and then write our own stories.
Mikhail, thank you for sending us this
very nice book.
Kadachieva HaibatKadachieva Haibat
Head of the English Philology Department,Head of the English Philology Department,
Dagestan state UniversityDagestan state University
In tense atmosphere of ethnic conflicts,In tense atmosphere of ethnic conflicts,
political clashes, universal indifferencepolitical clashes, universal indifference
and aggressiveness the book "Lessonsand aggressiveness the book "Lessons
in Kindness. Assessing English throughin Kindness. Assessing English through
Students' Stories" can be recommendedStudents' Stories" can be recommended
for bringing up tolerance, mercifulnessfor bringing up tolerance, mercifulness
and mutual respect. Stories written in aand mutual respect. Stories written in a
very intimate, confidential mannervery intimate, confidential manner
inspire interest and involvement of theinspire interest and involvement of the
reader. It's very interesting to observereader. It's very interesting to observe
young authors demonstrate wisdom andyoung authors demonstrate wisdom and
deep insight into human nature. Theirdeep insight into human nature. Their
observations and meditations areobservations and meditations are
notable for their simplicity,notable for their simplicity,
transparency, originality andtransparency, originality and
comprehensiveness. It seemscomprehensiveness. It seems
pedagogically valuable to teach pupilspedagogically valuable to teach pupils
to life and to English through theirto life and to English through their
contemporaries' vision of life.contemporaries' vision of life.
Zinaida MamontovaZinaida Mamontova
English Chair,English Chair,
Teachers’ DevelopmentTeachers’ Development
Institute, MakhachkalaInstitute, Makhachkala
I was given a copy of the book “Lessons in
Kindness” by Mikhail Nokhov while he was
giving a workshop presenting this book to the
teachers of English from different schools of our
republic. All of them were also given copies. I
started reading the book at once and the next
day I asked the teachers to write a short story of
a similar kind. To my great surprise many of
them failed. Then I asked Mikhail to teach them
how to do it and during two days he taught
them. At the end of the seminar we held a
competition for the best teachers’ story. Mind,
that it was held under the impression the book
produced on all of us.
The Teachers Who Use This BookThe Teachers Who Use This Book
School # 13, with advanced
Learning of English
Chutueva Tatiana, School #
13, with Advanced Learning
of English Makhachkala
School 13 with
Advanced Learning of
The book “Lessons in Kindness” isThe book “Lessons in Kindness” is
valuable both in the process ofvaluable both in the process of
teaching English and bringing up ateaching English and bringing up a
young generation of students. Theyoung generation of students. The
idea of bringing up the children in theidea of bringing up the children in the
traditions of doing good to people is atraditions of doing good to people is a
leitmotif of every children’s story. Theleitmotif of every children’s story. The
book widens the students’ notions ofbook widens the students’ notions of
means of communication, motivatesmeans of communication, motivates
them to talk and to discuss problemsthem to talk and to discuss problems
raised in the stories.raised in the stories.
More than that, the students areMore than that, the students are
provided with the material which isprovided with the material which is
similar to the problems they meet insimilar to the problems they meet in
their everyday life. They get thetheir everyday life. They get the
information from their coevals, whoinformation from their coevals, who
are of different cultures, nationalitiesare of different cultures, nationalities
and religion.and religion.
The exercises following the storiesThe exercises following the stories
make them think, digest the materialmake them think, digest the material
read , analyze and start speaking orread , analyze and start speaking or
writing their own stories.writing their own stories.
Such approach helps creating theSuch approach helps creating the
atmosphere of trust, friendship andatmosphere of trust, friendship and
mutual understanding at the lessonsmutual understanding at the lessons
when the students are involved intowhen the students are involved into
creative process of learning,creative process of learning,
experiencing and expressing their ownexperiencing and expressing their own
thoughts in English.thoughts in English.
School 13 with
Advanced Learning of
Sharing the Books with the studentsSharing the Books with the students
from Dylym Gymnasium.from Dylym Gymnasium.
I think the book is great I am
lucky to know Mikhail and to
work with him. My students like
the stories very much. They also
like the activities after the texts,
especially role-playing. The
situations in the texts are
similar to everyday situations
and it is easy for hem to pretend
that they are the main heroes. .
I suppose the project should go
on collecting more stories and
teaching our children to be kind
and tolerant. The book
encourages my students to
express their thoughts and
feelings in English and it makes
me happy. I am, very thankful
to the authors of the project for
providing the teachers with
such a wonderful book.
The teachers willingly use "Lessons inThe teachers willingly use "Lessons in
Kindness" as a classroom resourceKindness" as a classroom resource
for their students regarding issues offor their students regarding issues of
tolerance that are important totolerance that are important to
It encourages them think about their ownIt encourages them think about their own
behaviors and attitudes among friendsbehaviors and attitudes among friends
and strangers. It helps them as they readand strangers. It helps them as they read
and talk about common issues andand talk about common issues and
motivates them to write and share theirmotivates them to write and share their
own stories of tolerance.own stories of tolerance.
For more informationFor more information
regarding "Lessons inregarding "Lessons in
Kindness" go to:Kindness" go to:
“Lessons in Kindness”&“Lessons in Kindness”&
“Lessons in Kindness II”“Lessons in Kindness II”
or toor to