Sample Lesson
Moving Things
Ruth Devlin

January 5 – Medium

  It happens sometimes. You hurt your back when you pick up something heavy. Why? Because you often don’t pick things up the right way. Plan ahead before you lift something. When you lift something, lift it close to your body. Then it is easier to lift. Be sure you have a good hold on the object. You don’t want to drop it. Think about one more thing. Where are you taking it? Make a clear path to that place.


Conversation A

(in the office)

Matt:    Ow.

James: Are you OK, Matt?

Matt:    No. I hurt my back.

James: How did you do that?

Matt:    I was moving some boxes in my house. I picked up a heavy box.

James: Did you hold it close to your body? It’s easier to lift things that way.

Matt:    No, I didn’t. I was in a hurry. So I didn’t pick it up the correct way.


Conversation B

James: Did you hurt your foot, too?

Matt:    Yes. I didn’t plan ahead before I moved the boxes.

James: So you didn’t make a clear path?

Matt:    No. I had to walk around things.

James: And you dropped a box?

Matt:    Yes. On my foot! I didn’t have a good hold on it.

James: Get someone to help you next time.

Matt:    I will. I’ll call you!



1. What didn’t Matt do before he moved the boxes?

2. How do you lift heavy things?


January 6 – Medium

  Before you lift, spread your feet apart. The distance should be the same as the width of your shoulders. If your feet are too close together, you may fall over. Then bend your knees and keep your back straight. Raise and lower objects to the ground this way. Bend your knees instead of your waist. Then lift with your legs. They are much stronger than your back. Look up a little as you lift. That helps you keep your back straight. If the object is too heavy, don’t try to lift it alone. Find someone to help you.


Conversation A

(in a big room)

Susie:  Thanks for helping me, Greg. We need to move these boxes to the other side of the room.

Greg:    Are they heavy?

Susie:  Yes. So make sure to lift them the correct way.

Greg:   OK. I’ll spread my feet apart first. Are they the same width as my shoulders?

Susie:  Yes. Use your knees, and keep your back straight.

Greg:   Oh, right. Thanks for reminding me.


Conversation B

Susie:  Can you move this box first?

Greg:   Sure. Where do you want it?

Susie:  Right here. Lift with your legs. Don’t forget.

Greg:   Got it. And I won’t bend at the waist. I’ll bend my knees to raise and lower the box.

Susie:  That’s good. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.

Greg:   Here goes! There!

Susie:   Be careful! Now only 20 more to move.

Greg:    Oh . . . great.



1. What will Greg bend?

2. Do you ever hurt yourself? When?


Key Words

heavy (adj)

This chair is heavy. I can’t lift it.

way (n)

What is the correct way to hold a baby?

ahead (adv)

I didn’t plan ahead for the meeting.

drop (v)

She dropped her coat on the ground.

path (n)

Follow this path.

shoulder (n)

Sara touched Dan’s shoulder.

bend (v)

It hurts to bend this finger.

knee (n)

She got down on her knees in the yard.

straight (adj)

Keep your legs straight.

raise (v)

She raised her right arm.


More Information

apart (adv)

width (n)


Use It

I was . . . in my . . .

I was talking to her in my room.

I was sitting in my car.

Write your own!



I don’t want you . . . yourself.

I don’t want you to go by yourself.

I don’t want you to do it yourself.

Write your own!