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Computer Mouse

Computer Mouse

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Description:

The students will learn about the creator of computer mouse, practice useful vocabulary and write their own text based on the topic.

 

This lesson is for ESL teaching in Russia. 

 

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Tutorial

the Article

Read the article and answer the questions:

     The computer mouse celebrated its 40th anniversary on December the 8th, 2008. It was in 1968 that computer visionary Douglas Engelbart showed off his new invention to an audience of 1,000 at a technology conference in California. They witnessed the very first public demonstration of the personal computer. Engelbart’s revolutionary ‘pointing device’ was made

of wood and had two wheels built into the bottom. It was originally designed to highlight text on a written document. Engelbart wowed onlookers by demonstrating how text could be selected, copied and pasted. Engelbart said he always wondered why the term ‘mouse’ never changed into a more technical word after it became a commercial success.

     Today computer mice or mouses (both are widely accepted as plurals) are absolutely everywhere. The only real changes to their technology in the past four decades are the transition to laser mice, the right-click button, and the scroll wheel. It looks like mice are here to stay, despite new innovations such as touch screens. Experts say the mouse is still difficult to beat in terms of ease of use and functionality.

     On the mouse’s 40th birthday, computer-device maker Logitech announced it had produced its one-billionth mouse. The Swiss company churns out nearly 8 million mice a month. The pioneer, Douglas Engelbart, has never received a penny for his world-changing invention. His patent ran out before computer companies started mass-producing mice.


 

When was the computer mouse invented?
Who invented it?
What was the first mouse made of?
What was its function?
Which is grammatically correct - “many mice” or “many mouses”?
Has  Engelbart made a fortune  from his invention?


 

Gap Fill

Put the words into the gaps in the text.

     wondered,           celebrated,        device,      success,       penny,        beat,       four decades,

  mass,                 churns out,                  widely accepted                   


 

 The computer mouse1) _______________ its 40th anniversary on December the 8th (2008). It was in 1968 that computer visionary Douglas Engelbart showed off his new invention to an audience of 1,000 at a technology conference in California. They witnessed the very first public  demonstration of the personal computer. Engelbart’s revolutionary ‘pointing 2)_______________’ was made of wood and had two wheels built into the bottom. It was originally designed to highlight text on a written document. Engelbart wowed onlookers by demonstrating how text could be selected, copied and pasted. Engelbart said he always 3)_______________ why the term ‘mouse’ never changed into a more technical word after it became a commercial 4)__________.

      Today computer mice or mouses (both are 5)___________________as plurals) are absolutely everywhere. The only real changes to their technology in the past  6)______________ are the transition to laser mice, the right-click button, and the scroll wheel. It looks like mice are here to stay, despite new innovations such as touch screens. Experts say the mouse is still difficult to 7) _______________ in terms of ease of use and functionality.

      On the mouse’s 40th birthday, computer-device maker Logitech announced it had produced its one-billionth mouse. The Swiss company 8)__________________  nearly 8 million mice a month.

      The pioneer, Douglas Engelbart, has never received a 9)_____________ for his world-changing invention. His patent ran out before computer companies started 10)_____________ -producing mice.




 

The History of Computer Mouse

Computer Mouse Discussion

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a) Did you like reading this article?

b) Do you prefer the plural ‘mouses’ or ‘mice’?

c) What new functions would you like to see on a mouse?

d) How important are the right-click button and the scroll wheel to you?

e) Do you think touchpads,  touch screens and other innovations are better than the mouse?

f) Are you surprised just one company has made a billion mice/mouses?

g) How do you think Douglas Engelbart feels about not receiving any

money from his invention?

h) What other recent world-changing inventions improve your life?

i) Is there anything about the mouse you don’t like?

j) What questions would you like to ask Douglas Engelbart?


 

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a) What did you think when you read the headline?

b) What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘mouse’?

c) What do you think of your mouse?

d) Do you think ‘mouse’ is a good word for the mouse?

e) What other computer visionaries do you know?

f) What do you use your mouse for?

g) When was the last time you were wowed by computer technology?

h) Do you think we simply get used to amazing new technological changes

and so are not wowed any more?

i) What have you always wondered about computers?

j) What word would you choose to replace ‘mouse’?