Lesson 2: The Story of Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. As a young child, he lived in a tiny village. He described himself as “a small and rather lonely child.” Indeed, he was shy and studious, often buried in books. He discovered his love of snow and climbing at the age of sixteen, during a school trip to the mountains.

On May 29, 1953, at 11.30 a.m. Hillary and the Nepali Sherpa mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay, were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. They stood there for about fifteen minutes, planted flags of their countries on the peak and shook hands and hugged each other. Norgay made a food offering to the gods and Edmund Hillary buried a crucifix at the top of the world.
Edmund Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust which built schools, and hospitals and rebuilt monasteries in Nepal.

What Edmund Hillary said:
“I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it.”
“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”
“Life’s a bit like mountaineering. Never look down.”

A) Vocabulary: Please make your own sentences with the following words.
Please make sure that the sentence shows that you understand the meaning of the word.

Studious: spending much time in careful studying
Crucifix: a model of Christ on the cross
Motivate: to make someone feel interested and enthusiastic
Extraordinary: surprising, unusual

 B)  Points for Discussion and Homework:

  • Do you know of any successful people?
  • Tell the story of Narendra Modi, who went from being a tea seller to becoming Prime Minister of India, the story of Mary Kom or Dipa Karmakar, who have achieved their dreams in spite of difficulties.
  • Discuss three ways in which one can build self-confidence.
  • What qualities do you think Edmund Hillary had, in order to achieve his goal?

C) Fill in the blanks:Using the present tense, fill in the correct form of the verb in brackets.
Example: My mother ____ tea. (to like)
My mother likes tea.

  1. I ___ football very well. (to play)
  2. Ram ___ English. (to speak)
  3. The earth___ around the sun. (to revolve)
  4. We ___ to watch action movies. (to like)
  5. I ___ 20 years old and my brother ___15 years old. (to be)
  6. Bad driving___ many accidents. (to cause)
  7. The zoo___ many tigers. (to have)
  8. She ___very upset. Did you___ her? (to look, to scold)
  9. He ___a full pizza but I ___ only a slice. (to eat)
  10. She ___tea from the teapot into my cup, while my sister ___ for her cup to be filled. (to pour, to wait)

D) Make sentences in the present tense with the correct form of the following verbs: to visitto climbto haveto beto dreamto thinkand to enjoy.
Example: He is busy. He has no time (to have)

E)   Climb Till Your Dreams Come True

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too.
But always remember
The hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem.
And with faith in your heart
Start upward,
And climb till you reach your dream.

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: