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A New Interpretation of the Topic "My House" Due to the Notion "Artificial Ecosystem"

Updated on September 6, 2018
Mykola profile image

Mykola has teaching experience in French and English for 35 years. He is interested in excursion as the method of teaching.

Key Words

House, home, animals, insects,garden, plants, the science of culture, home economics, environmental psychology, ecosystem, artificial ecosystem, urban ecosystem, ecologizing

House and Home, meanings

1 We also talk of re-homing pets (e.g. cats & dogs) that need a new home , i.e. a place to live where they will be cared for. – TrevorD Jul 23 '13 at 13:52 2 A house is a building. A home is a place. – Preston Fitzgerald Jan 27 '14 at 20:41 And there are homing pigeons, and homing beacons. So "home" is a verb too, whose meaning is related to the noun "home". Also note that "house" as a verb is pronounced like "Houz", not "Hous". "Housing" also has the "z" sound, not the "s" sound. – swbarnes2 Jan 27 '14 at 22:31 add a comment up vote 18 down vote

Home has a much more personal meaning. One could say "New York is my home", which implies they feel comfortable everywhere in New York. It also implies that the speaker spends most or all of their time there; My office is my home implies both I spend much of my time in my office as well as I am comfortable in my office. This is exemplified by the phrase Home is where the heart is.

House, on the other hand, is a literal. It is grammatically identical to apartment, condominium, and other nouns for a place of living.

Differences in usage include I will go home versus I will go house, in which go home is an expression meaning to return home. Saying I will go to my house is more natural than I will go to my home because one's house is a literal, defined place, but in contrast home is more nebulous.

Essential Terms

  • An ecosystem consists of a community of organisms together with their physical environment.
  • Ecosystems can be of different sizes and can be marine, aquatic, or terrestrial. Broad categories of terrestrial ecosystems are called biomes.
  • In ecosystems, both matter and energy are conserved. Energy flows through the system—usually from light to heat—while matter is recycled.
  • Ecosystems with higher biodiversity tend to be more stable with greater resistance and resilience in the face of disturbances, disruptive events.
  • An artificial ecosystem meets all the criteria of a natural ecosystem but is made and controlled by humans. It is created to mimic a natural ecosystem but often is less complex and with a very low genetic diversity. Orchards, farmlands, a garden and man-made reservoirs are some examples of artificial ecosystems.

    Artificial ecosystems have some characteristics of natural ecosystems but are created and maintained by human beings. Artificial ecosystems are much simpler than natural ecosystems and are by far the most familiar surroundings in human experience. “Cultural landscapes” are large-scale ecosystems that have been modified by human beings. Agriculture is an artificial ecosystem essential to sustain the human population. Urban ecosystems are usually hybrid ecosystems that combine artificial and natural elements on a regional scale.

    The term “built environment” covers anything constructed by humans. Buildings exist to protect people, but some buildings are associated with health risks; the major risks have long been recognized and are governed by building codes. Office buildings are sometimes associated with health problems, usually in the form of a particular set of nonspecific symptoms featuring mucosal irritation and fatigue (called the “sick building syndrome”). Houses also have a variety of health and injury hazards.

Home economics, essential terms

The content of home economics comes from the synthesis of multiple disciplines.

This interdisciplinary knowledge is essential because the phenomena and challenges of everyday life are not typically one-dimensional. The content of home economics courses vary, but may include: food, nutrition, and health; personal finance; family resource management and planning; textiles and clothing; shelter and housing; consumerism and consumer science; household management; design and technology; food science and hospitality; human developmentand family studies; education and community services, among others.

The capacity to draw from such disciplinary diversity is a strength of the profession, allowing for the development of specific interpretations of the field, as relevant to the context.

Home Economics

House and Home


Home Audit, Ressources

Government Agencies Seattle City Light: (206) 684-3800 Puget Sound Energy: King County: EPA ENERGY STAR®, – go to “Home Improvement” section. Northwest ENERGY STAR®: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): State of Washington (energy codes): City of Seattle (energy codes): Residential Energy Services Network (HERS): Air Sealing & Insulation Sealing and Insulating, ENERGY STAR®: – type in “air sealing” in search box. Weatherstripping and Caulking, U.S. DOE – – type “weatherstripping” or “caulking” in search box. Home Remedies for Energy Nosebleeds, Fine Homebuilding: Making Sense of Caulks and Sealants, Fine Homebuilding: All About Insulating Your Home, PSE: Insulation, U.S. DOE - Asbestos Puget Sound Clean Air Agency: – type in “asbestos” in search box. Windows and Doors Efficient Windows Collaborative: Heating & Cooling An Introduction to Residential Duct Systems, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Best Practices Guide for Residential HVAC Retrofits, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Heat and Cool Efficiently, ENERGY STAR®: Radiant Barrier Attic Fact Sheet, U.S. DOE: Ventilation Home Ventilating Institute: Hot Water U.S. DOE: – type in “hot water” in search box. Appliances ENERGY STAR®: – type in “appliances” in search box. Lighting Seattle City Light’s Twist & Save program: Northwest ENERGY STAR®: Plug Loads Survey of Plug Loads: This guide was developed by Seattle City Light and the Seattle Department of Planning & Development's City Green Building Program. Printed jointly by the City of Seattle and King County Green Tools.

Traditional Lesson "My House"

Lesson 1a: my home Time: 60 minutes

Aims: · To build the learner’s house and room topic vocabulary, and to develop the learner’s ability to say what is in a room or house. This session provides plenty of opportunity for the learner to talk about his or her own house and to, therefore, personalise the new vocabulary.

Objectives: Your learner will be able to: · name different types of housing (flat, terraced house, semi-detached house, cottage) and say what kind of house he or she lives in. · name the different rooms and parts of a house (bedroom, kitchen, hall, study, attic, toilet, bathroom, dining room, living room). · say what there is in a room (using there is and there are).

Preparation You will need: · a few large pieces of A3 paper for writing words and phrases on (which the learner can keep at the end of the lesson) · a drawing or photograph of your own home · a rough plan of your own home · the property section of a newspaper · Worksheet 1 types of houses · Worksheet 2 rooms in a house with pictures cut up · Worksheet 3 rooms in a house words cut up and shuffled · Worksheet 4 prepositions worksheet cut up and shuffled.

Consider: · The types of housing you discuss in this lesson should include housing which is relevant to your learner and the area he or she lives in. If this type of housing is not included on the resource sheets, add it to the lesson. · This lesson assumes a certain degree of literacy on the part of the learner. If your learner is unable to read, introduce the new vocabulary orally using the images on the resource sheets and focus on helping your learner to recognise a few (rather than all) of the written words per session. 3 © 2015 British Council House and home: my home – teachers’ notes Introduction: (5 mins) · Show (or draw) your learner a picture of your home and tell your learner a little about it, for example: ‘This is my house. It’s an old house and it’s cold in winter! There are two bedrooms’. Encourage your learner to tell you a little about his or her house. This will enable you to establish how much topic vocabulary he or she is already familiar with. · Show your learner some pictures of houses/flats from the property pages of a local newspaper. Encourage your learner to tell you which he or she likes and to give reasons for his or her preferences, where possible.

Activity 1

Activity 1: different types of houses (10 mins) · Focus your learner’s attention on the pictures of the houses on Worksheet

1.Read the names of the different types of houses aloud and ask your learner to repeat. Drill pronunciation, where necessary. If your learner lives in an area which has different types of housing, teach any additional, relevant vocabulary. Ask your learner which type of house is most like his or hers. If none of them are similar, establish what kind of house your learner lives in and write this down. Ask your learner if he or she can point out the doors, windows, roofs and garden on the worksheets. If your learner is unable to do this, try pointing to the parts of the house yourself and ask your learner to provide the words. Label the different parts of the houses (or ask your learner to do this if he or she is able to do so).

Activity 2

Activity 2: talking about rooms in a house (10 mins) ·

Focus your learner’s attention on the plan of your home. Tell your learner what rooms you have in your house and then ask your learner: What rooms are there on the first part of the word. 4 © 2015 British Council House and home: my home – teachers’ notes.

Activity 3

Activity 3: matching activity (10 mins)

· Put the cut-up cards from Worksheet 3 in front of the learner. Ask him or her to match the words with the pictures of the rooms. Offer support wherever necessary, and drill the correct pronunciation. Play a game of matching pairs with your learner. Put all the cards face down on the table: the picture cards on one side and the word cards on the other. Take it in turns to lift two cards at a time. If you lift a picture card which corresponds with a word card (for example, the picture of the attic with the word attic) you get to keep the pair. If the cards don’t match then you do not win the pair. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game is the winner.

Activity 4

Activity 4: saying what there is in a room (10 mins)

· Choose one of the room cards from Worksheet 2. Talk about it, using there is and there are, for example: In the bathroom there is a bath. There is a big window and there are some towels. · Write the phrases there is and there are on your learner’s piece of paper. Explain that we use there is when we are talking about one item and there are when there is more than one. Write examples from the room card picture next to there is and there are to show examples of the singular and plural words. · Ask your learner to tell you what there is in the room where you are teaching. Provide vocabulary support were necessary. Write there is/there are down in two separate columns and write down what your learner says in the appropriate columns (or ask your learner to write it down). Read it back together. Elicit the difference between there is and there are. · Let your learner choose one of the room pictures. Ask him or her to talk about it, saying what there is in the room. Again, provide support with unknown words wherever necessary. Differentiation: If your learner is unable to read the words, say the names of the rooms aloud and ask your learner to point to the appropriate picture. Read two or three room words aloud and ask your learner to repeat after you.

· Focus your learner’s attention on the initial letter sounds and the shape of the word. Shuffle the two or three words you have chosen, show them to your learner individually and ask him or her to read them aloud. Learning check: Assess whether your learner can use there is/there are well by asking him or her to tell you what there is in another of the room pictures on Worksheet 2. 5 © 2015 British Council House and home: my home – teachers’ notes

Activity 5

Activity 5: drawing and talking about a plan (15 mins)

· Ask your learner to draw a plan of his or her house or flat. Demonstrate with the plan of your own house or flat from Activity 2. Ask your learner to draw the items that are in each room. Supply your learner with any extra vocabulary that he or she might need. · Ask your learner to use the plan to talk about the house of flat from the plan, and to describe what is in each room in turn. · If possible, use a phone, tablet or computer to record your learner’s description and listen back to the recording. Ask your learner to listen for the house vocabulary that he or she used. Record a second version and listen back to note any improvements.

Differentiation: some learners may not want to or be able to draw a plan. An alternative procedure for this activity would be for you to draw the plan for your learner according to his or her instructions. This could then be used as the prompt for the speaking activity described above.

Traditional video about the house

Addition to the Activity 2

Hi, this is my house.

There’s a big garden and there are some tree chironji.

Downstairs there are three rooms as a living room, a study and a kitchen and there’s a hall. In the living room there’s a piano, a fireplace, and a television.

There’s an armchair and a sofa in the study. There’s a computer and a bookcase. My mum works in the study.

In the kitchen there’s a table, a cooker, a sink, a dishwasher, a fridge, and a freezer.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms and a bathroom. There’s mum and dad’s room, Jessica’s room, Tom’s room and my room. That Jessica’ room it’s very nice. I love my room, it’s the best room in a house with a stereo, a desk.

On the basis of this text and using your home as the analogue to the class-room, describe your own home with gestures and emotional face after watching this video several times.

Dream House

The House of Future

This text may be used as a dialogue in activities 3,4 or 5.After watching this video several times try to learn by heart this dialogue with all necessary gestures and an emotional facial expression.Also you can abridge the dialogue at your will.

Announcer: What happen if you've got a house from the past out you want turn into a

house of the future? So, I 'm here with Dan Taylor in this lovely old Victorian house that I believe you've come a little bit of work on.

Dan:Yeah, absolutely I mean this is part of the BR eak which is the buildings research establishments and this is one of about 70 buildings on the site that's really looking at how we can improve energy and energy usage through our buildings and this particular project that we've worked on is a demonstration really to bring to life all of the things that you can do in an ordinary home to really make it more energy efficient.

A. So we have talked about smart meters before Dan book. But I don't know that that this is the first time I've seen one of these boxes in the rule.

D.Yeah, so, yeah, i mean it's what you've here is a gas smart meter and an electric one. They connect directly to this little thing which is in-home display. This is really that the foundation if you like for us the smart home because it's got an accurate base of all the consumption you're using and it begins to show you how much you're using and give you tips about how you can bring it down.

A.And then there is another box so that's behind you as a fuse box.I recognize that I've got one of them.

D. Yes, it's a fuse just again that would do a traditionally being your cupboard but but this one is a bit different that again is would sit by your your fuse box so again hidden away out of sight normally here it's not. This is actually a voltage optimizer basically..

A. If you've got are those boxes it can save you some money? D.So typically you know your your appliances in the house will operate between 220and 240 volts. Now the most efficient ways for them to operate it around 220 and that will save you money as I say up to 10% of electricity bills...

The Ecoconcept Map of the House

Home audit

If you’re not ready to hire a professional to conduct an energy audit, but want to learn about your home’s energy efficiency to make changes for the better, you are in the right place. Below you will find a comprehensive checklist to complete your own free home energy audit. (Expect it to take you about half a day to complete) Most people find that with this DIY checklist they can make a few small improvements and save big on their energy bill each month.

How to use this guide: Print this checklist and bring it with you as you conduct the audit. Mark a description of what you found and note any concerns.

Before You Begin: Materials:

  • Ladder
  • Eye Goggles
  • Dust Mask
  • Gloves
  • Pen/Pencil and Paper for Notes
  • Calculator
  • Tape Measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Wooden chopstick or plastic knitting needle to probe insulation
  • Candle or Incense stick to detect air leaks
  • Flashlight

Step One: Air Leaks: Go to each room in the house and areas described below. Once potential problem areas are identified, use your lit incense stick or candle to observe air movement in or out. Most air leaks can be solved with simple solutions. Weatherstrips around your windows or doors, caulk between window gaps, and spray foam in the basement/attic/crawl space can solve most of your problems.

□ Front Door

□ Back Door

□ Garage Door

□ Other Doors

□ Chimney

□ Living Room Windows

□ Kitchen Windows

□ Dining Room Windows

□ Bedroom Windows

□ Bathroom Windows

□ Other Room Windows:

□ Foundation Leaks

□ Check all Vents first Floor

□ Check all Vents second Floor

Step Two: Insulation: Insulation Keeps heat in during the winter and out during the summer. Go to the walls, attic and basement (the perimeter of your house) and note the type of insulation and the R-value. The higher the number, the more effective the R-Value. To check the walls in your living spaces, remove your outlet switch covers (turn off the electricity via fuse box first, of course). Windows have a maximum R-value of 3 or 4. If your windows are single-pane they probably have an R-value of 1 and are a big source of heat loss. While replacing your windows can make a big difference in your energy bill, it is also expensive. Consider insulated shades or plastic storm windows as a cheaper alternative.

□ Attic Floor

□ Attic Hatch

□ Basement Walls (your basement walls will only be insulated if you have a heated basement; if your basement is not heating, the ceiling should be insulated)

□ Hot water Pipes

□ Furnace Ducts

□ Exterior Wall 1

□ Exterior Wall 2

□ Exterior Wall 3

□ Exterior Wall 4

□ Living Room Windows

□ Kitchen Windows

□ Dining Room Windows

□ Bedroom Windows

□ Bathroom Windows

□ Other Room Windows:

Step Three: Furnace: Poorly insulated furnaces and un-sealed ducts can waste up to 50% of the heat produced!

□ Check Furnace Filters

□ Check Insulation

□ Duct sealant

Step Four: Water Heater: Water heaters account for about 15-30% of your home energy use, so it’s important to make sure you are using that energy efficiently. Use a meat thermometer to check that the water temperature is between 120 and 130 degrees.

□ Hot water pipes insulated

□ First 5 feet of cold water pipes insulated.

Your Home Audit, Electricity

Do you know the reading on your electric meter?

See results


Do you know the temperature setting of your thermostat?

See results


Does your shower have a low-flow shower head?

See results

Faucets, Pipes

Do any faucets or pipes in your house leak?

See results


Do you recycle plastic on a regular basis?

See results

The Principles of Ecologizing of the Lesson "My House"

The purpose of Ukrainian Program of foreign languages (secondary school, ed.2005) "to learn the foreign language as the treasure of culture and social information" permits to interpret newly in senior classes the topics "My house", "My city", "Leisure", "Health", etc.

It will be interesting to use the approach of science of culture (i.e.culturological), essential moments of which are observed in the works of American scientist Lesley White.

The ideas of L.White

L.White, one of the founder of this science develops the idea of "a cultural determination' of events in the society and behaviour of the individual.

The emergence of the man and human society leads to the transformation of direct natural relations of the organism with environment by the culture on the basis of material production

The Trinomial formula of L.White

Moreover, culture is represented for thew Man in form of notions, which are trancferred by the language's signs. Going out this statement, L.White proposes trinomial formula of human behaviour such as:

organism of the Man· cultural stimuli=behaviour

As long ago as Hippocratus underlined influence of environment on those who lived there in his famous work "About air, water, and locality"

Man and Biosphere

Man and Biosphere
Outdoor Environments
Indoor environments
City, ecocity
cafe, restaurant
leisure on Nature
school, universities
park, forest, sea, ocean etc
plant, factory

Addition to the Activity 1, Solar Energy

Window in the Ecohouse


Allergic to Humans

"Many animals are allergic to Humans", states the German newspaper Leipziger .Volkszeitung.As reported there, the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAA) recently announced that "human company causes typical allergy symptoms,, such as skin rashes or constant sneezing, in 1 pet out of 20" .

The causes in most cases, are said to be fallen human skin scales and the excreta of the dust mites that feed on them. If a pet keeps scratching or licking itself or plucking its fur out when it does not have flees, its owner has an indication that the pet is allergic to humans, and improvement in symptoms after a change of environment or in the absence of the pet's owner would be further evidence.

This text may be used for dictation in one of the lesson's activities.

Domestic Pets

Text""We are Inseparable Friends"

This text may be used in the activity 3 of our lesson "My house" in form of the soliloquy-

"Tracy is my guide dog, a ten-year-old black Labrador retriever. Thanks to her I can get around quite normally. When Tracy was only eight month old,she was tested to see if she would qualify as a guide dog.. She proved to be calm, easy to teach, and not easily frightened by sudden loud noises. Afterward, when she was mature enough, she was sent to a training school for guide dogs.At this school Tracy learn to do what is required of a guide dog, , namely to help her future master find doors, stairs, gates, pathways. After about five months of training she was ready for work. Each morning Tracy gets me out of bed so I can feed her.Then we get ready for work. During my lunch we go for a walk. In the evening , after returning home from work, the best part of our day begins. This is when Tracy guides me out in the house-to-house preaching work and to the homes where I conduct Bible studies.

One day I had left Tracy at home and was walking with a friend. We were talking happily when suddenly I fell to the ground... My friend had forgotten that I am blind, and she didn't warn me about the curb. This would not have happened with Tracy at the side.

So it is little wonder that I have come to love her dearly and that we are inseparable friends."

10 Best Air Filtering House plants

The National Aeronautics and Space administration conducted the NASA clean air study to demonstrate the effectiveness of particular plants to purify air as homes become more insulated and efficient they also make it easier to trap indoor air pollutants. Chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia can come from household items and pollute your home’s atmosphere without any visual warning neglecting the quality of the air. You breathe on a daily basis could result in serious consequences. Illness such as allergies, asthma, and frequent headaches are just of few of many inconveniences that come from airborne particles floating around your home. Air pollution is also one of the reasons that can affect your digestive system.

This is top 10 best air filtering houseplants according to NASA:

Snake(Sansevieria trifasciata), Spider plant(Chlorophytum comasum), Bamboo palm(Chamaedorea seifrszss), Dragon tree( Draco lignum), Peace lily( Spathiphyllum wallisii), Lady palmp(Rhapis Excelsa), Golden Pothos(Epipremnum aurem), Boston Fern( Nephrolepis exalta) ,Caiman Lizard ( Dracaena), English Ivy,( Hedera Felix)

After watching this video several times find the description of these plants in accordance with the video.

Room's plants II

Plants as doctors in the house. Give the Title to this Drawing

Carpet and your Health

Carpet and your Health. Addition to the Activity 5.

How much time do you spend in indoor areas covered with carpets? A report in New Scientist magazine suggests that the answer may be a matter of concern, particularly for children. The magazine notes: "Our exposure to most toxic pollutants is between 10 and 50 times higher in indoor environment than it is outdoors."

John Roberts, an environmental engineer, claims that samples of carpet dust from typical homes can contain alarmingly high levels of pollutants. They include:


Reportedly, pesticides carried out into home on shoes and pets paws can increase the pesticides content of carpet dust 400 fold. These pollutants are said to persist for years. Since pesticides and PAHs are semivolative, they evaporate drift about, and then resettle on carpets or other surfaces.

Young children often play on the floor and then put their fingers in their mouth. So,

they are especially vulnerable to pollutants.

Make up a poster about the danger of the indoor carpet.

Unwanted Guest in the House. What is this Species A?

Unwanted guest in the House. What is this Species B?

Guess the Title of the Text

+ Usually I'm brown, gray or black, but I can also be red, green or yellow. I do not have two or four legs, and really, I'm not such a bad fellow

+ I eat lots of insects, many of which carry diseases or are harmful to plants. I wear my skeleton on the outside of my body.

+I change my skin often as I grow older and larger. This process is called molting. I molt 4 to12 times before I'm a full-grown adult. I never change my looks, just my size.

+Scorpions, ticks,mites, and crabs are some of my relatives.

+My eight simple eyes help me see to the front, behind, above,below, and to the sides/

I also have eight legs.

+I have poison fans to paralyze my prey. I suck out their insides and discard their empty shells.

+Most of us spin our own silk which we use to make egg cocoons, construct webs and traps, line our burrows, and wrap up our prey before we eat them.

+When I am born I look just like Mom and Dad - eight eyes, two body sections, and quite a few legs. I don't have any wings or antennae, though.

+There are 50,000 species of my kind. we are very adaptable and live in many different places. Our kind have been around for 300 million years .Now many of us live with you in your house!

+I catch a lot of insects with a trap that I make.

Guess the species B

view quiz statistics

Unwanted Guest in the House. What is this species C?

Elephant and Cockroach(Species C)

1 st generation
2 nd generation
3d generation
4th generation
5th generation
6th generation
Compare the number of years it takes an elephant and a cockroach to produce a 6th generation. (Since an elephant has an average of 3 young every 10 years, and a cockroach has an average of 80 young every half year, it would take elephants 60 years

Environmental quiz

My House is Artificial Ecosystem

Is your House Artificial Ecosystem?

See results

© 2017 Mykola


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