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A new life on a new land
Activity 1

A new life on a new land

The Luck of Roaring Camp

Roaring Camp is a settlement of gold seekers in 1850 in which a new and unexpected event is going to happen.
There was commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement. [...] Deaths were by no means uncommon in Roaring Camp, but a birth was a new thing [...] it was the first time that anybody had been introduced ab initio. Hence the excitement. [...]
The assemblage numbered about a hundred men. One or two of these were actual fugitives from justice, some were criminals, and all were reckless. Physically they exhibited no indication of their past lives and character. The greatest scamp had a Raphael face, with a profusion of blonde hair; Oakhurst, a gambler, had the melancholy air and intellectual abstraction of a Hamlet; the coolest and most courageous man was scarcely over five feet in height, with a soft voice and an embarrassed timid manner. [...] The strongest man had but three fingers on his right hand; the best shot had but one eye.
Bets were freely offered and taken regarding [whether] the child would survive [and] bets as to the sex and complexion of the coming stranger. [...]

The Luck of Roaring Camp, Bret Harte, 1868.


Read the text. Then, click on your path!


Workbook p. 68
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Present the text.

What sort of people make up this community?

Does that surprise you?

Useful vocabulary: The people living in Roaring Camp seem to be…
It looks normal / astonishing...
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What type of text is it?

Which “event” is about to happen?

Why is it so important?

Useful vocabulary: I assume / suppose / guess...
The unexpected event is… It must be…

Let's talk this out!

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Share your findings with your classmates.

a. Figure out what life must have been like in Roaring Camp.

b. Discuss what this much awaited event means for the community.

Your time to shine!

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Imagine a conversation between the men in this excerpt.
Useful vocabulary: I don’t quite agree with you when you say…
I wouldn’t say that… I would say that… It may mean / represent…

Grammar in progress

Auxiliaire modal + V-en

a. Repérez dans le texte les formes correspondant à cette structure.

b. Comment traduit-on ces phrases ?

Exercices p. 146 Précis grammatical p. 277 et 279

Phonology tip

  • Les mots en -ion sont accentués sur la syllabe qui précède le -ion.
    Ex : commotion
  • Relevez ceux du texte puis écoutez‑les.
  • Phonology tip

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