English Exercises > readings exercises

Culture: The USA & New York City

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"Me and My family" - Reading comprehension for Upper elementary and Lower Intermediate students
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The United States of america

Exercise 1
The United States of America is also called �The United States�, �The States�, �America�, or in short �The USA� or �The US�. It has got 50 states. Do you know what states are missing?
Exercise 2
The missing states above are all famous for some cities or tourist attractions. Do you know where these names belong?




New York


Beverly Hills

Big Apple



Empire State

French District

Golden Gate Bridge



Little Havana

Los Angeles


Mississippi river

New Orleans

New York City

Niagara Falls

rodeo riding

San Fransisco

The Everglades

Exercise 3
Complete the crossword puzzle:�look at the map again and try to find out in which states you can find the following cities.
2 3 5
4 6


1) Boston is in the state of ...

2) Honolulu is in ...
3) Seattle and Washington D.C. are located in ....
4) Colorado Springs and Denver�are in ...
5) Philadelphia is to be found in the state of ...
6) Mamphis is located in ...
7) Chicago is in ...
8) Las Vegas is in the state of ...
Exercise 4
What do you see in these pictures that is typically American? Label the pictures!

New york City

Watch the videoclip from the song Empire State of mind by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. The lyrics will help you to understand what the song is about, but don't forget to enjoy the sight of the Big Apple!

Yea I'm out that Brooklyn, now I'm down in TriBeCa
right next to De Niro, but I'll be hood forever
I'm the new Sinatra, and... since I made it here
I can make it anywhere, yea, they love me everywhere
I used to cop in Harlem, all of my Dominicano's
right there up on Broadway, pull me back to that McDonald's
Took it to my stashbox, 560 State Street
catch me in the kitchen like a Simmons with them Pastry's
Cruisin' down 8th St., off white Lexus
drivin' so slow, but BK is from Texas
Me, I'm out that Bed-Stuy, home of that boy Biggie
now I live on Billboard and I brought my boys with me
Say what's up to Ty-Ty, still sippin' mai tai's
sittin' courtside, Knicks & Nets give me high five
Nigga I be Spike'd out, I could trip a referee
Tell by my attitude that I'm most definitely from....


New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York,
New York

Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game
Shit, I made the Yankee hat more famous then a Yankee can
You should know I bleed blue, but I ain't a Crip though
but I got a gang of niggas walkin' with my clique though
Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we sellin' rock
Afrika Bambataa shit, home of the hip-hop
Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back
for foreigners it ain't for, they act like they forgot how to act
8 million stories, out there in it naked
City, it's a pity, half of y'all won't make it

Me, I got a plug, Special Ed "I Got It Made"
If Jeezy's payin' LeBron, I'm payin' Dwyane Wade
Three dice cee-lo, three Card Monty
Labor Day Parade, rest in peace Bob Marley
Statue of Liberty, long live the World Trade
Long live the King yo, I'm from the Empire State that's


Lights is blinding, girls need blinders
so they can step out of bounds quick, the sidelines is
lined with casualties, who sip to life casually
then gradually become worse, don't bite the apple eve
Caught up in the in-crowd, now you're in style
Anna Wintour gets cold, in Vogue with your skin out
City of sin, it's a pity on the wind
Good girls gone bad, the city's filled with them
Mami took a bus trip, now she got her bust out
Everybody ride her, just like a bus route
Hail Mary to the city, you're a virgin
And Jesus can't save you, life starts when the church end
Came here for school, graduated to the high life
Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight
MDMA got you feelin' like a champion
The city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien


One hand in the air for the big city
Street lights, big dreams, all lookin' pretty
No place in the world that could compare
Put your lighters in the air
Everybody say "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah"


Exercise 5
You will have noticed that the song is about New York City and everything the city stands for: the crowded streets, the busy city life, the atmosphere, the lights and billboards...
Read the following descriptions and find out what Alicia & Jay-Z are singing about; you can find all words in the lyrics!

[1]It�s one of the 5 counties in New York. This county is very famous for the attraction park on Coney Island, which has got a huge rollercoaster and a wheel.

[2]A street in the city that is famous for its GAP shop.

[3]Another street in NYC. This street is used in the song as an address that the rapper uses to hide his drugs.

[4]This is a long street in the centre of New York, which crosses Time Square. In this neighbourhood you can find lots of theatres where you can buy musical or theatre tickets.

[5]This is the official nickname of New York City. There�s even a building named after this!

���� [6]This is a neighbourhood in Manhattan, that is fully named "The Triangle below Canal Street". Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert�

����������� De Niro, Beyonc�, Justin Timberlake and even Jay-Z himself, (used to) live here.

[7]This is a neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York, as well. It�s named after a Dutch city, because the first immigrants who came here in 1637 were from the Netherlands. Today it�s an area with a lot of poor black people and a high amount of criminal activities.

[8]This landmark is a big statue, that represents freedom. It was a gift from France, to celebrate the independency of the USA. The statue is located on a small island in front of NYC, where it welcomes everyone who enters the City.

[9] [9]It�s an American football team from the Bronx, a county in NYC. Their biggest contestants are the�Boston Red Sox. The players are the best paid American Football players in the world. Their logo is known in the whole world and printed on clothes and other items. Even when you don�t like American football, you will certainly know their logo�

Exercise 6
New York City has got some other famous building and places. Find out what we are talking about here;

������������ This is a place where lots of tourists come to commemorate the terrorist attacks of 9/11:

������������ This is the centre of New York�s culture. Broadway is right here and more than 50 billboards are hanging in the middle. On New Years� Eve people get together to watch the fireworks:

������������ New York�s most famous bridge is also the longest one in the world:

������������ This is the world�s biggest shopping centre:

������������ This lady is green, has a crown and holds a torch in her hand. The 46 meter high monument is a symbol for the US� independency, that is celebrated on 4th July:

������������ New York�s largest skyscraper has 102 storeys, and gives you a terrific view on the city. The building became famous thanks to the film King Kong, after the gorilla climbs up this building and falls down after a helicopter fight:

������������ This is the financial centre of New York:

������������ At the start of Greenwich Village, there�s a large monument that is placed for the first American president, George Washington. The monument and the square is named after this man:

������������ With its 341 ha it�s probably the most famous park in the USA. It�s green, it�s popular and it has even got an own zoo within. Therefore, it welcomes about 25 million visitors a year:

Finished early?
Enjoy these New York sighseeing tours...