Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy* has been one of my favourite books since I first read the trilogy in five parts at the age of 11. (It also led to me reading A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, because my grandma would only buy me H2G2 if I promised to read A Town Like Alice too!) Since then, I have read all of Douglas Adams’ books, and regularly return to different iterations of them, the latest being the BBC version of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Douglas Adams was a genius, and he is sadly missed.

Douglas Adams -  I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day

When my advanced (C1) class told me they wanted to do some reading, I thought Hitchhiker would be perfect. The activities I put together are in the document below. It contains the complete text of chapter one of the book. No copyright infringement is intended – I only want to introduce the book to as many students as possible!

This activity requires a bit of cutting out beforehand (it’s the activity on page 6 in the document above):

There are also two Quizlet sets, one for general vocabulary from the first chapter. The second set has the collocations from the penultimate section of the chapter.

Overall, we spent about 7 hours on all of the activities, including discussion between them. In the final lesson of the week, we watched the film.

Thinking about it while I write this post, I believe Douglas Adams has had a huge influence on the way that I think. His books were some of the ones that really influenced my teenage years. I don’t know now, but it’s possible that his words were the ones that led me towards being a lover of Macs, or consciously deciding that God doesn’t exist. And his essays on ‘Y’ and on attitudes to technology in The Salmon of Doubt have stuck with me, still memorable 12 years later.

I’ll leave you one of my (many) favourite quotes from Douglas Adams:

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Salmon of Doubt

*All book links are to Amazon, and I will get 10% if you buy after clicking these links. Thank you!

Comments on: "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" (7)

  1. Can’t resist leaving a personal note – loved both “the hitchiker” and “a town called Alice”, though the latter is, of course, a completely different kind of book. Have never tried anything to do with either with students – good for you!


  2. […] The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ( […]


  3. Phil Longwell said:

    My. favourite. book. Ever. I was 10 when the TV version came onto our screens. I subsequently read HHGTTG and Restaurant at the End Of The Universe and Life, The Universe and Everything. Then, later, I went back to the original radio series. Finally read So Long & mostly harmless in 2000 when I bought the complete trilogy in 5 parts, before listening to the newly minted radio shows based on the later books. Each one subject to the law of diminishing returns. The film is/was great in places (The Vogons, Magrathea) and disappointing in others (Marvin, Deep Thought, Ford Prefect). I still, however, think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. Would love to one day incorporate a HHGTTG themed lesson or two into my practice. you’ve set the benchmark. P


  4. […] The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been one of my favourite books since I first read the trilogy in five parts at the age of 11. (It also led to me reading A Town Called Alice by Nevil Shute,…  […]


  5. […] lucky enough to see him perform last year, and it was brilliant. – Douglas Adams – I’ve written before about how much he’s influenced me. It strikes me that these are all pretty similar […]


  6. […] is a pretty long list, and includes pretty much everything by Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and what I’ve read of Neil Gaiman so far (still a work in progress). Also Sharon Penman […]


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