Category Archives: The Janitor activities

Comprehension activity for The Janitor (Chapter 3)

Look again at the Janitor (Chapter 3) and choose either so or because to complete the sentence (There is a clue in the punctuation to help you!)

1. Mr Green gave the taxi driver twenty pounds, so/because the driver gave him eight pounds in change.

2. The taxi driver said ‘good luck’ so/because Mr Green had a new job.

3. Mr Green saw a chimney, so/because he began walking towards it.

4. Mr Green was able to open the boiler room so/because there was a key in its lock.

5. Mr Green switched on the light in the room beside the boiler so/because it was dark inside.

6. Mr Green wasn’t very unhappy so/because the room was clean.

7. Mr Green didn’t eat immediately so/because he felt sleepy.

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Comprehension activity for The Janitor (Chapter 7)

Read The Janitor (Chapter 7) again and put these sentences into the correct order

a) The small bird flew away

b) His usual dream ended

c) The boiler began to work

d) He went to look for a telephone

e) He pressed some buttons

f) He thought about Sally, his favourite bird

g) He woke up

h) Black smoke rose into the air

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Comprehension activity for The Janitor (Chapter 10)

Read Chapter 10 again. Are the following statements true, false or not given?

a. Detective Inspector Duncan is a policeman.

b. Detective Inspector Duncan told the sergeant that they found Mr Green a few hours ago.

c. The doctor saw Mr Green before Detective Inspector Duncan did.

d. The headmistress saw Mr Green before the sergeant.

e. The headmistress came to the school because she saw smoke from the chimney.

f. Someone called Malcolm Thane works for Birnam County Council.

g. The headmistress knows who was in the school with Mr Green.

h. The inspector knew that Mrs Allen liked to wear long, silver earrings.

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Grammar activity for The Janitor (Chapter 10)

1. When talking about a finished action in the past in relation to the present, we can use the past time marker ‘ago’. The time that has passed between now and that action ending in the past is given as a duration (= a length of time).

For example, the year is 2012. I lived in Japan until 2010. (=I stopped living in Japan in 2010 = the time between the action finishing and now is two years). Therefore, I can say ‘I lived in Japan two years ago‘.

2. Find an example of the above in this extract from The Janitor (Chapter 10).







3. Use ‘ago’ in these examples

a. She met him on Tuesday. Today is Friday.

b. They went to the cinema to see a movie in June. Now it is August.

c. He left school in 2000. It is now 2012.

d.  She called him at 6pm. It is now 6.45pm.

e. They filled their car with petrol on the 20th. It is now the 27th.

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Picture activity for The Janitor Chapter 2

Find the objects in The Janitor( Chapter 2)

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Picture activity for The Janitor Chapter 1

Find these objects in The Janitor (Chapter 1)

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Picture activity The Janitor Chapter 10

Find these objects in The Janitor Chapter 10

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The Janitor Chapter 10 Alphabetical word list

a bill                =A letter that says you must pay money (e.g. a water bill, a gas bill,an electricity bill).

a blanket        =Something that we cover ourselves with on a bed to keep us warm

a boiler           =A device/machine for making hot water

a corridor       =An area that connects one part of a building with another

a cycle             =A bike

a fake              =Something made to look real, but not real.

a flat               =An apartment/a place where people stay.

a helmet         =Something we wear on our heads to protect them e.g. a cyclist wears a helmet

a hum             =A low (sometimes deep) sound

a janitor          =Someone who works at a school. This person does repairs or cleans.

a joke              =Something we say in order to make others laugh

a machine      =A thing that needs power to do/make something e.g. a washing machine cleans clothes)

a neighbour   =Someone who lives close to you.

a shovel          =A tool for digging holes with

a siren             =It makes a loud sound on police cars, ambulances and fire engines

a sofa              =A kind of chair for sitting on

a tone             =The noise that tells you a telephone is working

a vet                =A doctor for animals

an account     =If you have money in a bank, it is in an account.

an object        =A thing

burned           =Damaged or destroyed by fire

clear                =clean, without dirt, see through

completely     =100%, all

dark                =Not bright, without much light

darken            =Become less light

darkness        =The noun form of ‘dark’

disappear       =become nothing/no longer seen

distance          =The noun of ‘distant’ (far away)

distant            =far away

dull                 =Not bright or shining

earrings          =Jewellery for the ears

favourite        =The one that you like best

feathers          =The things that cover a bird’s body

flew                 =Past tense of ‘fly’

footsteps        =The noise we make when we walk

heart attack   =A serious problem with the heart

held                =Past tense of ‘hold’

hungry           =Wanting/needing food

ill                     =Sick/unwell

imagine          =Make a picture of something in your head that is not really there

immediately   =At once, without waiting.

jewellery        =Things made from gold, silver and valuable stones that people wear e.g. rings and necklaces

laughter         =The noun of ‘laugh’ (the sound we make when we find something funny)

leaves (noun) =These are green and grow on plants/trees

license plate   =Cars usually have two of these (one at the front, one at the back). They help us identify cars.

medicine        =A drug to help someone who is sick

my fault          =I am responsible for something bad that happened

pause              =Stop for a moment/wait

pigeon             =A type of bird that is common in the UK

playground    =An area in a school where children play

pretend          =Imagine/say that something is true when it isn’t

probably        =’Perhaps’, ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’

recognize       =To know (from an earlier time)

repair             =Fix, make something work again

rose (verb)    =The past tense of ‘rise’ = go up (in the air)

scream            =Shout in a very loud voice

secure             =Safe.

serious            =Not smiling, thinking about something that is not funny

shook              =Past tense of ‘shake’ (=move about from side to side)

sick                  =Unwell/not healthy

silent               =Without a noise/sound

silver               =A kind of metal, often used for jewellery (not as expensive as gold)

slam                =To hit or throw violently

Some change = Money you get back when you pay too much

spoke              =The past tense of ‘speak’

staff                =Group name for the people who work in a company/office/school

stare               =Look at for a long time

stood               =Past tense of ‘stand’

sweep             =To clean with a brush

the price         =How much something costs

to nod             =To move your head up and down to show that you agree

to point           =the use of your hand/finger to direct someone’s attention to something

to reply           =To answer

to stare           =To look at hard or for a long time.

to wonder      =To be curious about/to want to know more about

whisper          =To say something in a quiet voice

woke up         =Past tense of ‘wake up’

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Grammar for The Janitor (Chapter 9)

1. To make the verb ‘to be’ negative in the past, we add ‘not’. For example, ‘She was there’ becomes ‘She wasn’t there’ (or ‘She was not there’).

To make most other verbs such as ‘eat’, ‘want’, ‘play’ and ‘see’ negative in the past, we must add ‘did + not’. For example, ‘He saw the movie’ becomes ‘He didn’t see the movie’ (or ‘He did not see the movie’). Note the change in the main verb. When we make the sentence negative, the main verb changes from ‘saw’ to ‘didn’t see’: in other words, did + not + bare infinitive.

2. Look at this extract from The Janitor (Chapter 9 and find examples of verb phrases that are negative.


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Comprehension for The Janitor (Chapter 9)

Look at Chapter 9 again and choose the best one

1. Mr Green got off the sofa quickly/slowly.

2. The footsteps did not continue/stop after Mr Green asked a question.

3. The room became less dark/light.

4. Mr Green felt warm/cold when he heard the voice for the first time.

5. Mr Green knew immediately that the person talking to him was joking/serious.

6. Mr Green began to feel a pain in his leg/chest.

7. The voice said the accident was/was not Mr Green’s fault.

8. Seeing the body of his favourite bird made Mr Green very upset/angry.

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Picture activity for The Janitor (Chapter 9)

Find these objects in The Janitor (Chapter 9)

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Grammar activity for The Janitor (Chapter 5)

1. Simple sentences often have one subject, one main verb and one object. For example, ‘She went home’. However, if the subject is repeated and one action follows another, we can make use of ellipsis, which means we can avoid repeating the subject when we talk about another action that the same subject does.

Instead of writing ‘She went home and she fell asleep’ (or ‘She went home. She fell asleep immediately.), we can remove the repeated subject ‘she’. As a result, the sentence becomes: She went home and fell asleep immediately

2. From The Janitor (Chapter 5) find some examples of this kind of sentence.

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Grammar activity for The Janitor (Chapter 2)

1. Prepositions are usually followed by nouns or noun phrases. For example, I live in a large city.

The preposition in this sentence is ‘in‘ and the noun phrase that follows it is ‘a large city

We can add more information to a simple sentence by adding prepositions:

a. I saw an unusual bird.

b. In the afternoon, I saw an unusual bird.

c. In the afternoon, I saw an unusual bird beside my car.

d. In the afternoon, I saw an unusual bird on the grass beside my car.

2. Look at this extract from The Janitor (Chapter 2) and find the prepositions and nouns/noun phrases that follow them

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Grammar activity The Janitor (Chapter 1)

1. Understanding and using referents such as ‘them‘, ‘he, ‘it‘, ‘there‘ and ‘his‘ is important for every skill in language learning.

For example, in the following sentence, the referent is ‘he’.

Mr Green was feeling sad because he had no money. (‘he‘ refers to ‘Mr Green’)

2. Look at the following extract from ‘The Janitor’ (Chapter 1) and find the referents. What are they referring to?

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Comprehension activity for The Janitor (Chapter 8)

Look at The Janitor (Chapter 8) Are the following statements true, false or not given?

1. Mr Green had a total of five keys in his hand

2. The school’s offices were on the ground floor

3. There was no phone on the second floor

4. When Mr Green picked up the red phone, he heard no sound from it

5. There was only one phone on the third floor

6. Mr Green was surprised to see the newspaper

7. The newspaper’s name was The Daily

8. The sound of footsteps was coming from the stairs.

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Grammar activity for The Janitor (Chapter 8)

1. Adjectives and adverbs

Adverbs are often used to describe a verb e.g. He talked loudly. (However, there are some verbs such as ‘feel’ ‘seem’ ‘appear’ ‘sound’ ‘look’ and ‘be’ that take adjectives)

Adjectives describe a noun e.g. Suddenly, there was a loud noise. (= The noise was loud = The loud noise surprised me).

2. Look at the extract from The Janitor (Chapter 8). Find the all the adjectives and adverbs

3. Now choose the correct one (Watch out for d!)

a. He felt sad/sadly when he saw the car hit a bird.

b. There was a bad/badly car crash on the bridge, but luckily no one was hurt.

c. The cat moved slowly/slow out of the way although the car came round the corner quick/quickly.

d.  The teacher spoke very soft/softly. Consequent/Consequently, the students at the back of the class couldn’t hear her although they were listening hard/hardly.

e. You seem rather quietly/quiet today: are you feeling well?

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Picture activity for The Janitor (Chapter 8)

Find these objects in The Janitor (Chapter 8)

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