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UNIT 12
THOMAS EDISON
Objectives
After learning this unit, you are expected to be able to:
1. identify significant details;
2. identify noun clauses.

Pre-reading Activities
In small groups, discuss the following questions.
1. What does electricity mean to you?
2. What does electric light mean to you?
3. When did people begin to use electricity?
4. Who invented the electric light?
5. Why is electric light important?
6. What do you think would happen if electric light was never invented?

Reading Activities
Identifying Significant Details
In reading, it is important to identify the significant details that support the point a
writer is making. A basic strategy for doing this is to ask yourself two questions:
How does this detail relate to the main idea?
Does this detail support the main point, or is it icing on the cake?
Ask these questions as you read a paragraph in sorting significant from less
significant
details. You can refer to unit 7 on how to identify significant details.

Reading Selection
Read the following passage.
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his invention of the electric light. Without
him, the world might still be a dark place. However, the electric light was not his
only
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invention. He also invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and over
1,200
other things. About every two weeks he created something new.
Thomas A. Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, on February 11, 1847. His family moved
to Port Huron, Michigan, when he was seven years old. Surprisingly, he attended
school for
only two months. His mother, a former teacher, taught him a few things, but
Thomas was
mostly self-educated. His natural curiosity led him to start experimenting at a young
age
with electrical and mechanical things at home.
When he was 12 years old, he got his first job. He became a newsboy on a train that
ran between Port Huron and Detroit. He set up a laboratory in a baggage car of the
train so
that he could continue his experiments in his spare time. Unfortunately, his first
work

experience did not end well. Thomas was fired when he accidentally set fire to the
floor of
the baggage car.
Thomas then worked for five years as a telegraph operator, but he continued to
spend much of his time on the job conducting experiments. He got his first patent in
1868
for a vote recorder run by electricity. However, the vote recorder was not a success.
In 1870,
he sold another invention, a stock-ticker, for $40,000. A stock-ticker is a machine
that
automatically prints stock prices on a tape. He was then able to build his first shop
in
Newark, New Jersey.
Thomas Edison was totally deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other, but
thought of his deafness as a blessing in many ways. It kept conversations short, so
that he
could have more time for work. He called himself a "two-shift man" because he
worked 16
out of every 24 hours. Sometimes he worked so intensely that his wife had to
remind him to
sleep and eat.
Thomas Edison died at the age of 84 on October 18, 1931, at his estate in West
Orange, New Jersey. He left numerous inventions that improved the quality of life all
over
the world.
Adapted from: Goodstein, A. & Walworth, M. (1979). Interesting Deaf Americans. Washington, DC:
Gallaudet University.
Revised by Vivion Smith and Ellen Beck

Questions
Answer the following questions.
1. What details from the paragraph support the main idea of paragraph 1?
2. What details from the paragraph support the main idea of paragraph 3?
3. Thomas Edison did things in this order:
A. he became a telegraph operator, a newsboy, and then got his first patent
B. he became a newsboy, got his first patent, and then became a telegraph
operator
C. he got a patent, became a telegraph operator, and then became a newsboy
D. he became a newsboy, a telegraph operator, and then got a patent
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4. Edison considered his deafness:
A. a disadvantage
B. a blessing
C. something from a priest
D. a necessity
5. Of all the inventions, __________ was probably the most important for civilization.
A. the vote recorder
B. the stock ticker
C. the light bulb
D. the motion picture camera
6. The main idea of this passage is
A. Thomas Edison was always interested in science and inventions, and he invented

many important things.


B. Thomas Edison could not keep a job.
C. Thomas Edison worked day and night on his experiments.
D. Deaf people make good inventors because they can focus without the distraction
of
spoken conversation.

Vocabulary
Below are six sentences taken from the reading selection. Pay attention to
the words in
italic and their usage!
1. He also invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and over 1,200
other
things.
2. His natural curiosity led him to start experimenting at a young age with electrical
and
mechanical things at home.
3. Unfortunately, his first work experience did not end well.
4. Thomas then worked for five years as a telegraph operator, but he continued to
spend
much of his time on the job conducting experiments.
5. Sometimes he worked so intensely that his wife had to remind him to sleep and
eat.
6. He left numerous inventions that improved the quality of life all over the world.
Complete these sentences using the italicized words.
1. The girl seems to ________ me of my ex-girlfriend.
2. We are using the new software that he __________.
3. With 30 years of ____________ in his field, you can call him a legend.
4. His health ___________ so quickly that he was allowed to leave the hospital.
5. He was found guilty of _____________ two murders.
6. Her strange behavior makes my _____________ grows.
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Grammar Focus
Noun Clauses
A noun clause is an entire clause which takes the place of a noun in another
clause. Noun
clauses perform the same functions in sentences that nouns do.
A noun clause can be a subject of a verb:
What Billy did shocked his friends.
A noun clause can be an object of a verb:
Billys friends didnt know that he couldnt swim.
A noun clause can be a subject complement:
Billys mistake was that he refused to take lessons.
A noun clause can be an object of a preposition:
Mary is not responsible for what Billy did.
A noun clause (but not a noun) can be an adjective complement:
Everybody is sad that Billy drowned.
A noun clause has its own subject and predicate. In a sentence it is marked by a
special
introductory word or a noun clause marker. Noun clauses are classified by their
noun clause

markers. Two independent clauses can be combined by changing one of the clauses
to a
noun clause. The choice of the noun clause marker (see below) depends on the type
of
clause you are changing to a noun clause:
To change a statement to a noun clause use that:
I know + Billy made a mistake =
I know that Billy made a mistake.
To change a yes/no question to a noun clause, use if or whether:
George wonders + Does Fred know how to cook? =
George wonders if Fred knows how to cook.
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To change a wh-question to a noun clause, use the wh-word (how, what, when,
where,
which, who, whom, whose, why) or the wh-ever word (however, whatever,
whenever,
wherever, whichever, whoever, whomever):
I dont know +Where is George? =
I dont know where George is.
Statement word order is always used in a noun clause, even if the main
clause is a
question.
not correct:
* Do you know what time is it? (Question word order: is it)
correct:
Do you know what time it is? (Statement word order: it is)
Noun Clause Exercise
Choose one of the answers to complete these complex sentences.
1. I had an accident and took my car to the garage.My husband asked me where
________.
A. is my car
B. my car was
C. my car is
D. was my car
E. is your car?
2. The old lady next door must have a lot of cats. I don't know how many
_______________.
A. cats does she have
B. does she has cats
C. she has cats
D. cats she has
E. cats has she
3. Do you know ____________ from the earth? I have no idea.
A. how far the moon is
B. how far is the moon
C. how the moon is far
D. if how far the moon is
E. whether how is the moon far
4. Your brother is playing his music too loud. I can't hear what ____________ .
A. is saying your brother

B. that your brother is saying


C. is saying your brother
D. your brother is saying
E. your brother says
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5. When I left home, my uncle gave me some advice. He said __________ give up.
A. I shouldn't
B. that shouldn't
C. don't
D. that I don't
E. no
6. Jill didn't want to go to the car show. Her husband insisted that ___________ with
him.
A. she come
B. she came
C. she had come
D. she comes
E. she has come
7. My boss wants this report immediately. He demanded that it ____________ready by
5:00.
A. Is
B. will be
C. be
D. was
E. should be
8. Did he tell you where __________ the report when you finish?
A. should you put
B. you to put
C. you put
D. to put
E. will you put
9. My friend predicted _____________ receive a lot of praise for my work.
A. that I would
B. that I
C. what would I
D. what I
E. me to
10. My friend saw an accident. He told me ____________ at the scene of the accident.
A. if he'd seen
B. what he saw
C. what he'd seen
D. whether he saw
E. that he'd seen
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Writing Practice
Locate and read an article that describes an event, person, or place that interests
you. As
you read, in your mind keep asking questions that help you get at the main idea and
the

details you need to support it. Web the main idea and some supporting details in
your book.
Be ready to share the main idea and details orally.
Detail Detail
Main idea
Detail Detail

Summary
1. To identify significant details you have to relate the details to the main idea and
find out
if the details support the main idea strongly.
2. Noun clauses are clauses functioning as a noun. It can syntactically function as
the
subject, the object, or the complement.
a. What Billy did shocked his friends. (The noun clause as the subject)
b. Billys friends didnt know that he couldnt swim. (The noun clause as the object)
c. Billys mistake was that he refused to take lessons. (The noun clause as the
complement)

Reflection
In this unit, you have learned how to identify significant details and identify
noun
clauses. Put a check on the column based on your self-assessment.
Objectives Achieved More practice
needed
To identify significant
details
To identify noun clauses
For more practice, you can go to the following site on noun clauses.
http://english-zone.com/grammar/noun-clz1.html