You'll be reading or listening to a story by Roald Dahl. You can decide to either listen to and read the story at the same time (see the video below) or just read from a pdf document . That's up to you.
Match the words or expressions with the definitions:
It's read by a native teacher so it's good for listening and pronunciation (minutes 8.00 to 23.15 for the story itself but you can watch until the end for a good summary and some interesting analysis).
Here's the pdf document in case you prefer to read the story on your own!
A. Put the events in order:
B. Do the following activities:
C. Do the following online actitivities:
D. Questions for group discussion:
1) How did the man explain that he had no money?
2) "I bet he prays like mad for rainy days." What does this sentence mean? Why does that sentence conclude the story?
3) What difference do you think it would have made to the story if the umbrella man wasn't an old man, but for example a teenager instead?
4) Do you think the way the umbrella man looked played a role in the story? Why?
5) What would you do if you were in the mother's shoes?
6) How would you describe the mother?
7) How would you describe the daughter?
8) What do you think the moral of the story is?
9) How important is the setting in the story?
10) What did you like/dislike about the story?
E. What do you think are the main themes of the story?
Read the following quotes. Do you agree?
"The theme of the story the Umbrella Man would be "deception and not always trusting first impressions" because when you first meet someone they may not always reveal their true personality." (https://prezi.com/09f7d2xvqorr/the-umbrella-man/)
"The theme of ‘The Umbrella Man’ is the gullible (=easily persuaded to believe something; credulous) nature of people. Dahl's story describes how a man is able to manipulate even skeptical people such as the mother of the narrator who, she declares, is a "suspicious person". (https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-theme-umbrella-man-by-roald-dahl-588097#:~:text=The%20theme%20of%20%22The%20Umbrella,full%20length%20of%20her%20nose.)
F. Food for thought
Watch the following video. Have you ever felt manipulated by somebody?
Make a list of the 10 signs of manipulation mentioned in the video.
G. Write an essay giving your opinion on the following question (140 - 190 words):
Are appearances always deceptive?