Prefixes and BIcycle ADventures

Hi Everyone,

We started off today with our review of the month of February, which is the shortest month of the year, but one of the most difficult to pronounce. In addition to violets as birth flowers, February’s birthstone is the amethyst. Important events are this Sunday’s Superbowl – Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks, and Groundhog Day. Will we have 6 more weeks of winter??? But, we can look forward to Valentine’s Day on Friday the 14th, and Presidents Day on the 17th. Lastly, the Winter Olympics start on the 7th in Sochi, Russia and wrap up on the 24th.

Prefixes are the letters that are added to the beginning of a word and change the meaning of that word. We started with the word “happy”  and added the prefix “un-” to get “unhappy” the opposite of happy. By recognizing the meaning of a few prefixes we can figure out word meanings and improve our vocabulary. Here’s that list of 15 common prefixes and their meanings and some word examples, and the review practice we did in class  Prefix List and Review

Next, we were off to today’s topic – BIcycle ADventures. We took a quick look at a diagram of a bike and identified major parts from the seat to the frame to the handlebars down to the pedal. Well done everyone! A good way to learn about new things is to use the Visual Dictionary Online at

Bicycling (or biking or cycling) has become more and more popular and we looked at some of the pros and cons of bicycling. The pros were reducing pollution, improved health,and an easy way to exercise and feel good. The cons were it can be dangerous riding on roads with cars, not all cities have bike lanes, and it can be uncomfortable in bad weather. To look at biking from a positive and supportive point of view we watched this video called What is Bicycle Travel  


The video expresses the opportunities and experiences bicycling offers and ended with this  TRAVEL BY BIKE. LIVE MORE.    We compared the message of this video with our lives and learning English.

Next we took a look at an actual bicyclist, Ellie, who rode from Seattle, WA to San Francisco, CA., by herself . Ellie traveled 1,300 miles and we tried to imagine what her trip was like, what she may have experienced. Then we watched Ellie’s video of her trip called An Ode to Bicycle Travel  

Ellie’s trip was not always easy, but the most important thing she learned was trust – trust in herself; trust in others; and trust in “endless possibilities in the unknown”. We all agreed she definitely did  TRAVEL BY BIKE. LIVE MORE.

Finally, we had a few laughs over bikes, biking and bicyclists in our popular culture, and how the image of bicycling is used by companies to sell their products. Two short commercials we watched were this ad from Toyota 


And then this one from Quaker Oats  

We had a brief discussion on how effective bikes and bicyclists are in marketing products.

Now to the words of the day:

can-do (adjective) : having or showing an ability to do difficult things.                                          The bicyclist, Ellie, showed us her can-do attitude as she biked 1,300 miles in the Pacific Northwest. 

jerk (noun) : a stupid person or a person who is not well-liked or treats other people badly       That jerk just bumped into me and kept right on walking down the street.

snag (verb) : to catch and tear something on something sharp                                                       I snagged my new gloves on a nail.         


 Have a great weekend and remember to relax and practice!