For the 6-th form

                                            by  N.K.Markina

                                              Topic№1

                                               CLIMATE

        Climate is the weather a certain place has over a long period of time. It has a very important influence on plants, animals and humans and is different in different parts of the world.

        Russia is the largest country in the world. It lies on a huge territory from the Pacific Ocean to the centre of Europe and the climate in the north, east, south and west is different. The coldest place on the planet is in the north of Siberia, while in the south there is a lot of sunshine. The taiga zone has long hard winters and short summers.

         But recently the climate has changed a lot in our country. Some scientists think the world is becoming hotter. Sometimes there is little snow in January and it sometimes rains. We will never forget the summer of 2010 when the temperature was about 40 degrees above zero and it was impossible to breathe in big cities. The forests around Moscow caught fire, and as a result there was a lot of smoke in the air. We took it into our bodies through our noses and mouths and it can make us sick.

        Many people say that it is so because of the greenhouse effect. It works like this. Sunlight gives us heat. Some of the heat warms the atmosphere, and some of the heat goes back into  the space. Nowadays the air surrounding the earth has become much warmer because the heat can't go back into space.

        People have produced a lot of carbon dioxide. This gas works like glass in the greenhouse. It lets heat get in, but it doesn't let much heat get out. We produce it when we burn things. Trees take this gas from the air, and produce oxygen. But in the last few years, people have cut down and burnt big areas of rainforests. Huge territories of forests in Russia were destroyed by fire in the summer of 2010.This means there are fewer trees, and of course more carbon dioxide.

        These changes can be dangerous for people, for our fragile planet .All this makes people worry. Many scientists study this problem and have helped to find ways to stop it. We must take care of our planet.


    QUESTONS.

    1)   What is climate?

    2)   Is the climate the same in different parts of the world?

    3)   What can you say about the climate in Russia?

    4)   What do you know about the greenhouse effect?

    5)   Why doesn't all the heat go back into space?

    6)   Why does the atmosphere become warmer?

    7)   How can the greenhouse effect influence the climate on the planet in future?

    8)   Do you think our planet needs protection?

    9)   Why are trees very important?

     

                                                 Topic№2
                                               Environment

           The word environment means simply what is around us. You know a lot of
    interesting things about the air, the sun, the sky, the clouds, the rain, about seas, rivers and oceans. All these things are part of our environment. Plants, animals and people need clean land, clean water and clean air. But people are doing harmful things to our land, water and even air. You can imagine what happens to a living thing if its environment is not clean.
           Nowadays we understand how important it is to solve the environmental problems
    that endanger people's lives. The most important problems are:
     Water pollution, air pollution, nuclear pollution...
     Noise from cars, buses, planes..
     Destruction of wildlife and the countryside beauty..
     Shortage of natural resources (metals, different kinds of fuel..)
     The growth of population.....
           We are worried about water pollution. There is no ocean or sea which is not used
    as a dump. Britain alone dumps 250,000 tons of industrial waste straight into the North Sea. This poisons and kills fish and sea animals. The first alarm came from Japan. Some sixty people died because they had eaten polluted fish.
           Many rivers and lakes are poisoned too .Fish and reptiles can't live in them. There
    is not enough oxygen in the water. In such places all the birds leave their habitats and many plants die. If people drink such water they can die too. It happens so because factories and plants produce a lot of waste and pour it into rivers. So they poison the water. After the water is used it becomes poison which goes back into rivers, lakes and seas.
          We love rain. Rain helps our plants to grow big and strong. But sometimes the
    rainwater is not as clean as it could be. Chemicals get into the air and mix with the rainwater, making acid rain. The acid water runs into the rivers and lakes. The rivers and lakes become so acid that fish cannot live there. Sometimes we like to swim. But if there are chemicals in the water, it is not save enough for swimming.
           More and more often people are told not to be in direct sunlight, because
    ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer. Normally the ozone layer in the atmosphere protects us from such radiation, but if there are holes in the ozone layer radiation can get to the Earth. With the help of sputniks our scientists discovered two large holes in the ozone layer. One is over the North Pole and the second over the South Pole, over Antarctica. Many scientists think that these holes are the result of air pollution.
    Some people pollute the air by smoking. Too much smoke in the air can hurt our
    lungs.
           Nuclear power stations can go wrong and cause nuclear pollution. This happened
    in Windscale in Britain and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. Nuclear pollution cannot be seen but its effects can be terrible.
           To make the air clean we need good filters at nuclear power stations, at factories and plants and also in cars and buses.
           Both clean water and clean air are necessary for our health. If people want to survive they must solve these problems quickly. The planet Earth is our common home. Everything is connected on our earth. If something goes wrong in some part of the world, everybody suffers. Man is beginning to understand that his environment is not just his own town or country, but the whole earth. That's why people all over the world think and speak so much about ecology.




                                                    Topic№3
                                                   ENGLAND
     

           The United Kingdom is very small compared with many other countries in the world. However there are only nine other countries with more people, and London is the world's seventh biggest city. When you travel about the country you can see how the scenery changes right in front of your eyes. Highlands turn into lowlands, forests and hills turn into meadows and plains very quickly. It's hard to believe, but in Great Britain one can find practically any type of scenery. Often what people first notice about Britain, especially if they arrive by plane, is the green of the fields, hedges and trees. Britain is an unusually beautiful country!

           We want to take you on an exciting journey through the whole country from Scotland and Northern Ireland to England and Wales. We'll begin our journey with England, the largest part of the UK, visiting its regions: the Southeast, the Southwest, East Anglia, the Midlands and the North of England.

           The Southeast is a highly populated region of England; there is a lot of industry near  the Thames and there are a lot of roads and motorways. London, the capital of the UK, and such historical cities as Windsor, Dover and Brighton are situated here. When people travel to Britain by sea or air they usually arrive in the Southeast, for this is where the main passenger ports and airports are. Heathrow Airport, one of the world's busiest airports is about 33 km west of central London. However, there is still attractive countryside in the Southeast. The County of Kent, situated here is known as the garden of England. The Southeast is famous for its resorts, Brighton is, probably, the best known of them.

           The Southwest is the region where the main activity is farming. Although there are some very big farms, most of them are small family farms where dairy products are produced. The Southwest used to be known for its pirates. The romantic past makes it a popular place for artists, writers and holidaymakers. The two principal cities of the region are Bristol and Bath. If you want to see the famous Stonehenge, one of the most  remarkable historic places in the UK, you should also come here. The most westerly point of Great Britain "Land's End" is also in the Southwest.

           East Anglia is very flat and it is another farming region. It has beautiful cities, such as Cambridge, with fine historic buildings. The part of East Anglia called the Fens consists of miles of flat land with almost no trees or hedges. It used to be partly covered by the sea and now produces good harvests.

           Oliver Cromwell, an English general and politician (1599-1658) who was leader of the army against King Charles I in the Civil War and later became Lord Protector of England, was born in the Fens area. East Anglia is isolated from the rest of Britain because of its position away from the main national roads and because of its shape: it is more than half surrounded by the sea.

           The Midlands, known as the heart of England, is the largest industrial part in the country. The most important industrial cities are Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, which is one of Britain's big ports, and Birmingham. The two famous Midlands cities, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford are connected with English culture: Stratford is the birth¬place of the great William Shakespeare and Oxford is famous for its university.

           The North of England has some of the wildest and loneliest parts of the country, but also some of the busiest industrial cities. Here you can find deep Valleys, rivers and waterfalls, hills and mountains. This part of the country is rich in coal which is important for the region's industry.

           The main attractions of the North of England are certainly the Lake District, the cities of York and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Many tourists come over especially to look; at the ruins of Hadrian's Wall, a stone wall built across the North of England by the order of the Roman ruler Hadrian to defend the Northern border of Roman Britain from the Scottish tribes.


                                                            Topic №4
                                                     The Royal London

           Many places in London are closely connected with the Crown. There are royal palaces, royal parks, roads and streets where beautiful ceremonies are held. The most important building is Buckingham Palace (the Palace), which is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. The Mall, a wide avenue used for royal processions runs from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace through St. James's Park.

           All together there are ten royal parks in and around London which are owned by the Crown. They are open to the public free of charge. Each park has its own character. Hyde Park, for example, used to be a hunting forest. Regent's Park was also a hunting place and is now home of London Zoo, and an open-air theatre which gives performances of Shakespeare's plays in summer.

           Though nowadays the Queen reigns but does not rule, the Royal Family plays a very important role in the country. In the history of Britain there were certain Kings and Queens whose names are specially remembered in the country and are well- known in the whole world. One of them was King Henry VIII (1491-1547). Most people remember him only because he had six wives. But in fact he was a very important monarch. Under him Britain became independent of the Roman Catholic Church, it got richer and more powerful.

           In 1534 Parliament named Henry head of the Church of England and gave the King all the power in the country.

           Henry's daughter, Elizabeth (1533-1603) became the Queen in 1558. She never married and is remembered as a very popular and strong queen. She is known for saying "I know I have the body of a weak and feeble1 woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King ...". During her reign England became very important in European politics, the Spanish Armada was defeated, arts and especially the theatre developed, and the country became very powerful.

           Another strong queen was Queen Victoria (1819- 1901), whose monument you can see in front of Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria came to the throne as a young woman in 1837 and reigned until her death in 1901. She ruled for the longest period in the English history, for 64 years! Victoria married a German, Prince Albert, but he died at the age of forty-two in 1861. That was a great tragedy for Queen Victoria. She left London and never lived in the city where she had been so happy with her husband and nine children (five sons and four daughters).

            But there are places in London that remind us of their love. One of them is the Royal Albert Hall -a very large concert hall where the best musicians of the world perform classical music. In front of the Albert Hall there is a monument to Prince Albert built by Queen Victoria. Another place is the Victoria and Albert Museum (V & A) with its rich collections of paintings and other works of art. The family life of Queen Victoria touched people's hearts. But this is not the only reason why Queen Victoria became very popular.        During her reign Britain became a rich industrial country with a developed trade, an empire with a lot of colonies. Queen Victoria's great-great-granddaughter, Elizabeth II, is on the British throne now. The Queen's title in the United Kingdom is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc. etc. etc.


                                                      Topic№5
                                             William Shakespeare   

           William Shakespeare was born to John and Mary Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1564. His mother was a daughter of a farmer; his father was a glove-maker. Will went to a grammar school and had quite a good education. He loved reading.

              While still a teenager, at the age of 18, William married Anne Hathaway, a farmer's daughter some years older than himself. He had three children, Susannah, the eldest, and then twins - a son, Hamnet, and another girl Judith.

           There is no information how William earned his living during these early years, maybe he helped his father in the family business.

           In 1587 Shakespeare went to work in London, leaving Anne and his children at home. There is no explanation why he did it. Some people say that the reason was his love of poetry and theatre. In the summer months companies of players often came to small towns and in 1587 five different companies came to Stratford. William and his friend Tobby always went to see the plays. William loved to talk to the actors and to listen to all their stories of London. Once the Queen's Men came to Stratford in June and William and Toby went to see the play. It was a funny play for Toby but William said it was a stupid play with not a word of poetry in it. Tobby suggested Will writing a play himself.

          William was reading and writing, but he wasn't happy with his life. He said that Stratford was too small, too slow, too boring for him. He wanted to get away and so he did.

           But there is another story which says that he had to run away from law because he had killed some deer belonging to a rich man.

           In London Shakespeare began to act and to write plays and soon became an important member of a well-known acting company. Most of his plays were performed in the new Globe Theatre built on the bank of the River Thames.

           In 1613 he stopped writing and went to live in Stratford where he died in 1616.

           Four hundred years later his plays are still acted -- not only in England but in the whole world.



                                                          Topic№6
                                                        SCOTLAND     


           Scotland is a country in the United Kingdom to the north of England. Its symbol is a thistle; its patron saint is St. Andrew. The country is divided into Highlands and Lowlands. Most of the industry is concentrated in Lowlands, in the Clyde Valley. Glasgow is its largest and busiest town, Edinburgh is its capital. Glasgow and Edinburgh are the two great centres of Scotland. There is only 45 miles between them, and it will take you about an hour to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh by train but the cities are very different.

           Glasgow is the heart of industry. It is a centre of business and trade. It is very busy, prosperous, and dirty in some parts and smart in others, it is beautiful and ugly with its large port and busy streets.Edinburgh is rather cold but attractive, very proud but friendly and has a great past. Edinburgh is known as the Athens of the North. It is an ancient city and if you walk around it, you can feel history at every step. Practically every building has a tale to tell.

           The most interesting parts of the city are the Old Town and the New Town. The Old Town lies between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. The Castle hangs over the city like some Disney cartoon — but it is real. The Castle, in fact, is older than the city. No one can say exactly when the first settlers came to live on the huge rock that stands high above Edinburgh. Later they built a castle that used to be a fortress and then a royal pa lace. It looks good in any weather but at night when it  is floodlit it looks just like a castle in a fairy tale. It isnot surprising that the Castle attracts a lot of tourists.

           The Edinburgh military tattoo takes place every August and September and is known throughout the world. For 90 minutes on five or six nights a week, 600 people perform in the square in front of the Castle. The performers play military music and march to it. At the same time as the tattoo, you can go to the famous Edinburgh festival. The festival started in 1947. Every year the best performances from all over the world can be seen in Edinburgh.

           A line of streets, which runs from the Castle to Holyrood House, is called the Royal Mile. Holyrood House is a big royal palace which is the residence of the Queen when she is in Edinburgh. The most picturesque part of the Royal Mile is the Cannongate, which gives a good idea of what the Old Town was like. Closes (narrow passages) lead to lit­tle yards and attractive historical buildings. One of the most modest and yet one of the best known monuments in Edinburgh is a monument to a dog called Bobby. The dog belonged to John Gray. When he died Bobby lived near his grave for twenty-six years. Later Bobby was buried near his master and his statue in the Old Town has become a symbol of devotion.

           The Old Town is a striking contrast to the New Town with its white and beautiful streets lined with trees. Princes Street is the most beautiful street of the New Town has a lot of gardens on one side and it is also Edinburgh's popular shopping centre. Princes Street is connected with the name of the famous writer, Sir Walter Scott. A monument 200 feet high rises among green trees. They call it a poem of stone. It is the Scott Monument. Inside it there is a marble statue of the writer, and of his favourite dog.

           Princes Street lies between the New Town and the Old Town. The modern town is on the lower side, the old one — on the higher. They look at each other across the valley under Scotland's blue sky.

                                                            Topic№7
                                                              Wales
           Wales is a country in the United Kingdom to the west of England. The population of Wales is about two and a quarter million. St.David is the patron saint of Wales, and on the 1st of March, St.David’s Day, patriotic Welsh people wear a leek or a daffodil, both symbols of Wales. The capital of Wales is Cardiff.Cardiff is an industrial city and the main port, which also has a Roman castle, a cathedral, a university, a modern shopping centre. There are other big towns in Wales, too, Swansea and Newport among them.
           Wales is also famous for its castles. They stretch like an iron chain across the country. Visitors often go to see Caernarfon Castle, where Prince Charles became Prince of Wales in 1969. Perhaps the most impressive castle in Wales is Caerphilly, it is still one of the greatest castles of the western world.
           At the same time, there are a lot of places in Wales that haven’t been damaged by tourism, agriculture or industry. Wales is famous for its beautiful scenery: mountains, valleys, waterfalls, streams. The west coast, mid Wales and North Wales are wild and beautiful. Wales has high mountains, including Snowdon, the second highest mountain in Britain.
           In summer, when the sun is shining, Snowdon looks very peaceful and beautiful. A little train runs to the top and the walk is not at all hard. But in winter the mountains can become very dangerous. Climbers are very brave people, they often take dangerous routes nobody used before them. They prepare food, medicines and the equipment and look up the information on the mountain in all kinds of books. But they must be prepared for all kinds of accidents. Every year climbers get lost in bad weather or fall and injure themselves. When this happens, the Mountain Rescue Service has to go out to look for them.
           If you don’t feel like climbing, you can go riding along the narrow rocky path in the Snowdonia National Park, one of the three National Parks in Wales, or go boating on the picturesque Llangollen Canal.
          Llangollen is a town where an international festival called Eisteddfod is held. People from all over the world come there to recite poetry, sing and dance in this colourful competition.
           Welsh has difficult sounds and very musical intonation. Welsh – the language that the Welsh speak – is a Celtic language, like Scottish and Irish Gaelic, and is very different from English. Even if you speak English fluently, you won’t be able to understand Welsh. The Welsh speak English, of course, but the Welsh language is spoken widely, especially in the north of the country and it is still the first language for many people. English is taught side by side with Welsh in schools, most road signs are in English and in Welsh, and the fourth channel on Welsh television gives programmes mainly in Welsh.


                                                          Topic№8
                                          The USA (Geographical Location)

          

           There are fifty states in the United States of America. Two of these states, Alaska and Hawaii, are not connected to the other states. You can see it on this map. The US is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west, by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico in the south. In the north are Great Lakes.

           The US is a large country with many natural wonders. It goes from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Hawaii in the Pacific, and from cold, snowy northern Alaska to sunny Florida in the southeast. The US has almost every kind of weather. Also, it has many kinds of land — rocky coasts, dry empty deserts, big rivers, wide Plains and grasslands, lakes of all sizes, high mountains, great forests, sunny beaches, lands of endless winter.

           More than 250 million people live in the US. But the country is very big, so there is still a lot of open space and natural scenery outside the cities. Americans have tried to save many of the most beautiful wild areas of the United States. There are a lot of parks, forests and wild lands where you can enjoy the beauty and power of wild America. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and Yellowstone are among  the most famous ones.

           Many rivers cross the United States. But the greatest is the mighty Mississippi. Native Americans called it "the father of waters". It begins quietly in the north of the country and ends in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly four thousand miles (6400 km) away. On its journey to the sea, the Mississippi travels through several states, and becomes larger and more powerful, it brings water to farmlands. And the Mississippi has been an important waterway since early times, when native Americans travelled on the river in canoes. Among other big rivers are the Colorado and the Missouri. The Colorado River rises in the Rocky Mountains or the Rockies that stretch from Alaska down almost to the south of the country. Another big mountain chain is the Appalachians in the east also running from north south.  

           The Grand Canyon is one of America's main tourist attractions. It is so big that you must go there yourself to feel its true size and beauty. The Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon over millions of years. Slowly, the river cut down through hard rock. Today, the canyon is one mile deep and 200 miles (320 km) long. It's interesting that there are different kinds of plants and animals on opposite sides of the canyon. The south side is dry and desert country. The north side has tall forests. The canyon looks different at different times of  the day, and in different seasons and weather. At sunrise and sunset the red, gold, brown, and orange colours of the rocks are especially clear and bright. In winter, the canyon is partly covered with snow, you can walk down into the Grand Canyon, or you can go down on the back of a mule. But be careful to carry enough water because inside the canyon, it is very hot — much hotter than at the top.

           The United States is a young country. Its written history is only a few hundred years old. It is sometimes, in fact, called the "New World". Over the last four hundred years millions of people have come to start a new life in this "New World".

           Americans are not afraid of new ideas. They built the first skyscrapers and they put the first man on the Moon. They like to be modern. They like exciting, modem cities, new houses, and new cars. At the same time, Americans love old things. They like to visit historic houses and museums. They build old pioneer houses and remember the days of the "Wild West". Americans are interested in old traditions, but they are good at making new traditions too.

           The people of the United States are a mixture of many different nationalities. Every American schoolchild learns that the United States is a big melting pot of countries. In  a melting pot, different metals are melted together to make a new metal. The United States is like a melting pot of people. In the past, people from many different European countries came to the US and made one country out of many. In one city you can find people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents came from China, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and every European country. These different people brought to their new land a wonderful mixture of customs and traditions. The Germans brought Christmas trees. The Irish brought St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The Scots brought Halloween.



                                                        Topic№9
                                        The USA (Political System)

           As you know the colonies in America won the Revolutionary War (the War of Independence (1775—1783).After that they became free and independent states, but they had a problem: they needed one strong national government. That's why in the year 1787 all the states sent their representatives to Philadelphia where they wrote the Constitution. The Constitution is the highest law in the United States which describes the powers of the national government and the powers of the state governments.  The US government is like a tree with a strong trunk and three branches. The trunk is the people. It holds up the tree: without the support of the people there can be no government. People choose the men who make American laws.

           The first branch on the tree of government is the Congress. The Congress is a meeting of representatives from all states. The people elect those representatives. The Congress makes the laws that everybody must obey. The Congress meets in the US Capitol in Washington, D. C. The Congress is divided into two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Every state, no matter how large or small, sends two people to the Senate. These people are called senators. There are one hundred senators in the Senate. A senator's term is six years. Each state also sends people to the House of Representatives .They are called congressmen or congresswomen. The number  of congressmen from each state depends on the number of people who live in the state. The larger states have more congressmen than smaller states. All in all there are 435 congressmen in the House of Representatives. A representative's term is two years. The Constitution gives many powers to the Congress. One important power of the Congress is the power to declare war.

           The second branch of government is the President and his helpers. They carry out the laws that the Congress makes. The President signs bills and then they become law. The Vice President and members of the Cabinet help the President to make decisions. The US President is Commander in Chief of the country's armed forces. A person who wants to become President must be born in the United States, must be at least 35 years old and must live in the United States for at least 14 years before becoming President. The President's term is four years and one can be President for one or two terms, but not longer. Americans vote for the President in November of every leap year.

           The third branch of government is the Supreme Court. It is made up of nine judges — the most important judges in the land. They have to make sure that the President and the Congress follow the Constitution. They decide what the Constitution and the laws passed by the Congress mean when there is an argument about their meaning. The judges work in the Supreme Court as long as they live.

           Americans are very proud of their Constitution. It was written more than 200 years ago and it is still working!

            But the people of the United States can change the Constitution. Changes in the Constitution are called amendments. There are 26 amendments to the Constitution. The   first ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights. They were made in 1791. The Bill of Rights guarantees to people of the USA such important rights and freedoms as freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to go to court, have a lawyer, and some others. Soon after the Civil (1861-1865) there were three important amendments. The13th amendment ended slavery, the 14th amendment made all black people citizens of the United States, the 15th amendment gave blacks the right to vote (long ago, only white men who were over 21 years of age and owned property could vote in the United States). In 1920, the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. In 1971, the 26th amendment gave people 18 years old and older the right to vote.



                                                             Topic№10
                                                             Australia

       Even in medieval times there were stories about a large continent in the Southern Hemisphere. But Europeans had never seen it. They wondered what it was like and whether it was inhabited. They called this land terra australis incognita, or "the unknown southern land" — Australia.

           Nowadays when people speak of Australia they can mean three things: 1) Australia as a continent; 2) Australia as an island and 3) Australia as an independent country. Australia is the world's largest island and its smallest continent. Asia is the continent nearest to Australia in the north. The icy shores of Antarctica lie to the south. New Zealand is to the east. To the west of Australia stretches the vast Indian Ocean. In the east the continent is washed by the Pacific Ocean.

           Australia is a land of striking differences. In the cen¬tre of the continent and in the west more than 50% of the land is desert — dry and uninhabited. There are three deserts there — the Great Sandy Desert, the Great Victoria Desert and the Gibson Desert, situated between them. Naturally very few people live there. Most of them live on the narrow coasts of the east and southeast. Main cities, where people live among tall office buildings, automobile plants and busy factories, are also situated there.

    In the northeast, tropical forests cover the coast. In the mountains of the southeast the snow lies for seven months of the year.

    Australia is divided into six states and two territories.

            New South Wales is Australia's leading industrial state. Most people live along the east coast, and most of them are in Sydney. Sydney is also the largest city in Australia.

    In Victoria most people live in the south. Melbourne is the capital of the state and the largest city. Sheep and wheat are the main products here. Citrus fruits, grapes, peaches and apricots are grown along the Murray River.

           Queensland is Australia's second largest state. Brisbane, its capital, is situated on the east coast. Queensland has long beautiful sandy beaches. Its coast is a popular place for holiday- makers. The climate along the east coast is hot and humid. It is the tropical corner of Australia. Bananas and other tropical fruits are grown here. Most of the land in the south is too dry for farming. Some of Australia's most unproductive desert lands occupy the bigger part of the state.

           The state of Western Australia is dry and inhospitable except the southwestern corner of the state. Nearly all of the state's farms, sheep stations and fruit gardens are situated there. The rest of the state is dry desert land with very few towns or lonely cattle stations.

           South Australia is the third largest state. Most of South Australia's people, farms and industry are in the southeastern part of the state. Adelaide is the capital and the largest city. Most of South Australia is too dry for farming. Farming very much depends on irrigation or underground water. Some of Australia's most unproductive desert lands occupy the greater part of the state. Wheat and fruit (apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines and grapes) are grown along the lower part of the Murray River.

           Tasmania, the island state, is sometimes called the apple isle because it produces most of Australia's apples. Tasmania is one of the few places in Australia that have enough rain all year. Tasmania is Australia's leading producer of pears and berries of different kinds. Potatoes are also grown in some areas.

           Northern Territory is the least populated and least developed part of Australia. Crocodiles, still live in some of the swamps along the coast. Darwin is its capital and the only large settlement in the north. Alice Springs, generally called Alice of the Alice, is the only town in the south.

    The capital of Australia is Canberra. The city doesn't belong to any state. It is situated on the  Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which occupies an area of 2,432 square kilometres.