50-minute English Lesson
In this English for listening story, some trees persuade a young lumberjack to rethink his idea and not chop them down.
Read the story
English for Listening: Talking to the Trees
Jim was a young boy who didn’t like housework. He lived with his parents in a small home close to a quiet farming village. His mother cooked meals on a wood stove. Jim’s job was collecting firewood. Walking to the woods and collecting branches took a long time. He didn’t like that.
One day, he decided to chop down a tree. His family would have plenty of firewood and he could save time. If he didn’t go to the forest every day, he could spend more time playing with friends.
The next day, he went to the forest with an axe. He saw a coconut tree and decided to cut it down. Just before he started chopping, the tree spoke. It asked, “Why do you want to cut me down? I give you coconuts to eat.”
Jim listened and thought the tree was right. He decided not to cut it down.
Further down the path, he saw a big apple tree. Just as he was about to cut, the tree spoke to him. It said, “Please don’t cut me down! If you do, you won’t have any apples to eat.”
That tree was also right. So he left it alone and continued down the path.
Jim kept looking, but every tree seemed to offer something more valuable than firewood. He thought it was wrong to destroy a tree just so he could be a little happier.
Satisfied with his decision, he picked up some branches lying on the ground and returned home. Along the way, he realized that trees could continue to support his family over the long term if he left them alone.
Listen without reading
English for Listening: tree story
Here is the listening file for this lesson.
Audio file: 1:51 min
Story length: 275 words
Did you understand the story?
Let's check with a True-False quiz.
English listening lesson: Gap Fill
Listen to the English story and fill in the blanks.
Jim was a young boy who didn’t like __________ . He lived with his __________ in a small home close to a quiet farming __________ . His mother cooked __________ on a wood stove. Jim’s job was collecting firewood. __________ to the woods and collecting __________ took a long time. He didn’t like that.
One day, he __________ to chop down a tree. His family would have __________ of firewood and he could __________ time. If he didn’t go to the __________ every day, he could __________ more time playing with friends.
The __________ day, he went to the forest with an axe. He saw a __________ tree and decided to cut it down. Just before he __________ chopping, the tree __________ . It asked, “Why do you want to cut me down? I __________ you coconuts to eat.”
Jim __________ and thought the tree was right. He __________ not to cut it down.
Further down the __________ , he saw a big apple tree. Just as he was about to cut, the tree spoke to him. It said, “Please don’t cut me __________ ! If you do, you won’t have any apples to eat.”
That tree was also __________ . So he left it alone and __________ down the path.
Jim kept __________ , but every tree seemed to __________ something more valuable than firewood. He thought it was wrong to __________ a tree just so he could be a little __________ .
Satisfied with his __________ , he picked up some branches __________ on the ground and returned home. Along the way, he __________ that trees could continue to __________ his family over the long term if he left them __________ .
ESL discussion questions
Talk about the English for Listening story.
- What is the story’s setting?
- Why did the boy want to chop down trees?
- Retell the story from the perspective of a tree.
- What are the pros and cons of the using firewood for fuel?
- What message does the story teach?
- Do you agree with the message?
MATCH THE WORD OR PHRASE ON THE LEFT WITH THE CORRECT SYNONYM.
ESL listening activity: anagrams
MOVE THE LETTERS. MAKE A WORD FROM THE ESL LISTENING STORY.
Write the five sentences. Put the words in the correct order.
- home / parents / small / village / to / a / his / in / lived / close / with / He / a / farming / quiet
- down / to / tree / a / day / he / chop / decided / One
- right / and / Jim / was / tree / listened / thought / the
- stove / meals / cooked / a / on / His / wood / mother
- coconut / it / to / down / saw / a / tree / decided / cut / He / and
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Watch a video and take notes
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- Watch the video.
- Take notes.
- Make a list of at least five facts.
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English for Listening worksheet
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Click to see the answers for this listening and reading lesson.
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