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Pre-Intermediate Instant Lesson™

Roof Farms

Pre-Reading Activities

A: What Do You Think?
In pairs or small groups answer these questions.
1. Are there many gardens where you live, study or work? Why or why not?
2. If you had some money for seeds, what would you plant in a garden? Why?
3. Why do we need gardens?

Reading Activities

A: Understanding The Main Idea
Here are the headlines and first paragraphs of two articles with similar information. Read Part One of Articles One and Two and complete these sentences.

In the city of workers are on city office . There will be more than of green rooftops, walls and sidewalks by .

Article One: Part One
Post office workers grow vegetables, breed chickens on Paris rooftop "farm"
September 27, PARIS (Reuters) - Farming on the rooftops of Paris has been such a success that the mayor is introducing more projects this week. By 2020, the French capital will have more than 100 hectares (0.39 square mile) of rooftop gardens and planted walls, the Paris City Hall said. One third will be urban farms. (Continued.../)
Article © 2017 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2017 www.english-to-go.com

 

Article Two: Part One
Office workers turn urban gardeners on Paris luxury store rooftops
August 27, PARIS (Reuters) - Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie, two landmark Paris luxury stores have turned their...rooftops into an urban garden for staff who can grow their own crops in their free time. By 2020, the Paris city government wants to have 100 hectares (1 square km) of green roofs, sidewalks and walls, with one third producing fruits and vegetables. (Continued.../)
Article © 2016 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2017 www.english-to-go.com

B: Comprehension
Answer these questions. Use Part One of Articles One and Two.
1. What are the names of places in Paris that have rooftop gardens?
2. What did the Mayor of Paris do in September 2017.
3. Who are the gardeners?
4. How much of the Paris garden project will supply vegetables and fruit?


C: Completing A Table of Information
Use Part Two of today's articles to complete this table.
Article One:
Example of project: a 900-square-meter rooftop garden on a Post Office building.
Number of workers in building:  
Plants found in the garden:  
Animals found in garden/farm:  
Amount of dirt:  
Project run by:  

Article One: Part Two
(Continued.../) [One of the successful projects is on a] 900 square-meter rooftop farming project on top of a French Post Office building. 500 employees work in this building in northern Paris.

Surrounded by high towers, postal workers grow fruit and vegetables including lettuces, aubergines and tomatoes, and breed chickens on 90 tonnes of earth on the roof.

The garden is part of a project by Facteur Graine (Seed Postman) association.
The project wants to turn a city rooftop into a vegetable garden to grow fruits, vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants and farm chickens in Paris. Rooftop farming has boomed in the past years from New York to Tokyo via London and Paris. 

The first wave of projects will lead to the cultivation on 32 sites of 425 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, 24 tonnes of mushrooms, 30,000 flowers, the production of 8,000 liters of beer and 95 kilograms of honey.

Article © 2017 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2017 www.english-to-go.com

Article Two:
Example of project: a 700-square-meter rooftop garden on 2 adjoining luxury stores, Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie.
Number of workers in building:  
Plants found in the garden:  
Animals found in garden/farm:  


Article Two: Part Two
(Continued.../) In the past months, the LVMH-owned adjoining stores on Paris’s residential left bank have built planter boxes on a 700 square meter (7,500 square feet) roof area, where the store’s employees grow 60 or so kinds of fruit, vegetables and herbs such as strawberries, zucchinis, mint and lavender.

The stunning views over Paris and the chance to learn about gardening have attracted 200 of the stores’ 1,500 employees, selected by lottery, and put the stores at the forefront of the city’s urban gardening drive.

“In the beginning we spent more time looking at the amazing view than at the planter boxes, but this is a great place to grow vegetables and meet colleagues,” said Charlotte Arnoux, recruitment officer and first-time gardener.

Arnoux and seven colleagues take turns taking care of three one square meter (11 square feet) planter boxes in which they grow sorrel, basil and different varieties of tomatoes, all without the use of pesticides. (Continued.../)

Article © 2016 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2017 www.english-to-go.com
Glossary: lottery - a way of deciding who will get something by choosing numbers or names by chance, pesticide - chemical used to kill insects that damage plants

 

D: True, False or Not Given?
Use Part Two of Articles One and Two to decide whether these statements are true (T) or false (F) or the articles do not give the information (NG).
1. Gardens on city rooftops are becoming popular in different parts of the world.
2. The LVMH stores have wonderful views of Paris.
3. Everyone who works in the LVMH stores can work in the gardens.
4. Charlotte Armoux is an experienced gardener.
5. Armoux thinks that gardening is very good for her health.




Post-Reading Activities

A: Sharing Information
Here is a jigsaw reading exercise on sunflowers. Work in pairs. Your teacher will give you Worksheet A or B. Think about the words that could go in the gaps in the text. When you are ready, ask questions and answer your partner's questions to complete the worksheet.


B: Discussion

Discuss this question in small groups.
What benefits are there for the people who take care of the gardens in Paris?


C: Check Your Understanding

Read Parts Two and Three of Article Two
Why do the workers like gardening on the LVMH rooftops?


Article Two: Part Three
(Continued.../) The stores’ own technical staff built the planters and converted the narrow rooftop into an urban garden.

Crops are sown in one-meter high planters which takes the back-breaking out of the gardening, but the plants will grow in just 15 cms of soil to limit the extra weight on the roof.

Nicolas Bel, founder of urban gardening pioneer Topager, said micro-drip irrigation and a pebbles-and-membrane water retention system simulate the moist, deep soil that plants need to grow.
Head of alterations at Le Bon Marche clothing department Veronique Roussin said she had made a rhubarb tart with stems grown on the roof and brought it in to share with colleagues.

“We often come up here to have breakfast or lunch together and take care of our plants,” she said. “And it gives us something to talk about other than alterations”.
Article © 2016 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2017 www.english-to-go.com

TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Reading Activities

A: Understanding The Main Idea - Sample answer
In the city of Paris workers are growing vegetables on city office rooftops. There will be more than 100 hectares of green rooftops, walls and sidewalks by 2020.

B: Comprehension - Answers
1. a post office building, Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie
2. Introduce more of the urban garden projects.
3. Post office workers and employees of 2 luxury stores.
4. One third.


C: Completing A Table of Information - Answers

Example of project:
a 900-square-meter rooftop garden on a Post Office building.
Number of workers in building:
500
Plants found in the garden:
lettuces, aubergines and tomatoes
Animals found in garden/farm:
chickens
Amount of dirt:
90 tonnes
Project run by:
Facteur Graine (Seed Postman)

Example of project: a 700-square-meter rooftop garden on 2 adjoining luxury stores, Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie
Number of workers in building: 1,500
Number of workers who can use the rooftop garden:
200
Plants found in the garden:
60 or so kinds of fruit, vegetables and herbs such as strawberries, zucchinis, mint and lavender
Animals found in garden/farm: 
None mentioned.

D: True, False or Not Given? - Answers
1. T, 2. T, 3. F (The names were chosen by lottery), 4. F (She is a first-time gardener.), 5. NM.

Post-Reading Activities

A: Sharing Information - Notes
You may like to begin this activity by looking at photos of sunflowers or snacking on sunflower seeds.
Ask students to sit in their pairs facing each other over a desk or table. Students ask their partner questions to find the words that go in each gap. They answer their partner's questions. Their aim is to complete their worksheet with the correct information.
You could end the lesson by planting up a couple of pots at school. Students would probably appreciate taking home a couple of sunflower seeds for planting. 

A: Sharing Information - Texts To Be Copied And Given To Students

 

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