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Intermediate Instant Lesson™

Doing The Right Thing

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion
Work in pairs and discuss these statements:

* You should always look after yourself because no-one else is going to care for you in the same way.
* You should always treat other people with kindness and consideration. Don't expect anything in return. 

Reading Activities

A: Comprehension
Read Article One and find the answers to these questions:
1. Where is the article about?
2. What did the man find?
3. Where did he find it?
4. What did he do with it?
5. Whose bag was it?

Article One:
Boston homeless man finds bag stuffed with cash, turns it in

Mon, Sep 16, BOSTON (Reuters) - A Boston homeless man turned over to police a backpack stuffed with nearly $42,000 worth of cash and travelers checks shortly after he found it at a shopping mall, police said on Monday.

"The Good Samaritan could only provide officers with his name and the address of the shelter where he currently lives," according to a police press release.

The man, identified by police as Glen James, found the bag Saturday evening at the South Bay Mall in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.

He gave it to police who were passing, who [quickly]  found the owner - a Chinese national whose passport was also in the bag, police said. The owner's name was not released.

James was given a special citation from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis on Monday afternoon "for his extraordinary show of character and honesty," the police department said.

Article © 2013 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2013 www.english-to-go.com

Glossary: citation -  to praise someone officially for having done something special

B: Sequencing
Put these events in the order in which they occurred using Article One. Write 1 -5 in the boxes.
The man gave the bag to the police.
The Police Commissioner congratulated the homeless man for his bravery.
The police found the owner.
A homeless man found a bag on Saturday night.
He opened it and saw it was full of money.

C: What Do You Think
Work in pairs and say how you feel about what the man did?
Which of these statements do you agree with?

D: Understanding A Headline
Look at the headline of Article Two. Explain its meaning using your own words.

Article Two:
Selfless act paying off for Boston homeless man

Wed Sep 18, BOSTON (Reuters) - More than $68,000 in donations have poured in from people around the country for a Boston homeless man who turned over to police a backpack stuffed with cash that he had found outside a shopping mall.

The man, Glen James, landed in the spotlight on Monday when Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis lauded him for turning over the bag containing $42,000, which was eventually returned to its owner.

James' act inspired a man in Virginia to set up a fund to help him "change his life." By midday on Wednesday, the online fund had brought in $68,012 from 2,698 donors, many of whom left messages of praise for James, including: "Such a beautiful person. Reduced me to tears," and "We have a lot to learn from you."

James, who told local media he is in his mid-50s and cannot work because of an inner-ear condition that affects his balance, has been living at a Boston-area homeless shelter and panhandles during the day.

He gave it to police who were passing, who [quickly]  found the owner - a Chinese national whose passport was also in the bag, police said. The owner's name was not released.

James was given a special citation from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis on Monday afternoon "for his extraordinary show of character and honesty," the police department said.


Ethan Whittington, a 27-year-old marketing firm employee from Virginia, said he set up the fund because he was inspired by James' action. He also said that he had begun talking with James on Tuesday on how the donated money would be used.

"I just found James' story to be inspiring," he said. "We're so inundated with negative news all the time. James gives hope to people and lets them know not all things in the world are bad."

Article © 2013 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2013 www.english-to-go.com

E:  Finding Numbers
Find these numbers in Article Two. Write a description of why each number is in the article.
68,000
42,000
2,968
50s
27


Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these


A: Vocabulary Extension
When you are homeless, you have nowhere to live. The suffix '-less' means without.
Here are some words with this suffix. They are scrambled. Look at the meanings and unscramble the words.
rafeless - not afraid
lfseless - thinking more of the needs of others than your own needs
thwroless - having no value
stpoless - very clean
eracless - not giving enough attention and thought to something
hepoless - having no ability or skill
ecspheless - unable to speak, especially because you are feeling very angry etc

B: Language
Read these rules about the past simple and the past continuous

We use the past simple tense for things that began and ended in the past. We use time words like two years ago, last Monday and in 2011.
Last Saturday I lost my backpack.
I left it at the shopping mall by mistake.

We use the past simple tense with stative verbs, which are verbs that do not express an action, but a state of mind or being, e.g. have (own), be, think (believe), know, dislike, need, owe, understand, wish or see.
He had a small backpack.
I didn't have a home.
I knew that other people felt sorry for me.
 
We use the past continuous when talking about TWO actions in the past; one continues for a period, and the other starts and ends (past simple).
While I was panhandling on the street, someone shouted at me.
These sentences usually use while or when.
We also use it to talk about TWO actions in the past, both happening over a period  and
to talk about a TEMPORARY activity taking place over a limited time.
I was looking for the police and he was looking for his backpack.
I was living at a shelter for homeless people when it happened.

Here is the story of Glen James. Put the words in the (brackets) in the past simpletense or past continuous.

I _________ (stand) outside the shopping mall when I _________ (see) a man with a backpack. Perhaps he _________ (wait) for someone, but after a while, he _________ (walk) into the mall. The strange thing was that he _________ (left) his backpack behind. I _________ (wait) for a while to see if he would return. When he _________(not return), I _________ (decide) to walk over to the backpack.  I _________ (open) the bag and _________ (saw) that it was full of cash and travelers checks. While I _________ (open) the bag, I worried that someone would ask me what I was doing.
I _________ (stand) there and _________ (think) about what to do. While I _________ (think) about this, people  _________ (walk) past me. Two children _________ (fight) over a toy and their mother was telling them to behave. I _________ (decide) to take the bag to the police.  It _________ (be) the right thing to do. I began walking through the mall. While I _________ (walk), I  _________ (see) two police officers. I_________ (call) them and told them what I _________ (hold). They _________ (be) suspicious at first but then they _________ (realize) I was telling the truth.
When they _________ (open) the bag, they  _________ (find) the owner's passport and ID. They _________ (ask) me for my name and address. I _________ (tell)  them I was unemployed and I _________ (live)  in a shelter because I _________ (not have) a home. I'm glad I turned the bag over to the police. I _________ (get) a citation and people rewarded me by sending me money. That's really nice, but most importantly, I'm glad I _________ (do) the right thing.

TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Reading Activities

A: Comprehension - Answers
1. Boston, 2. a backpack stuffed with cash and travelers checks, 3. in a shopping mall (South Bay Mall, Dorchester), 4. gave it to the police, 5. a Chinese national.

B: Sequencing - Answers
3
The man gave the bag to the police.
5 The Police Commissioner congratulated the homeless man for his bravery.
4 The police found the owner.
1 A homeless man found a bag on Saturday night.
2 He opened it and saw it was full of money.

D: Understanding A Headline - Sample Answer
The homeless man's unselfish act has now benefited him. He did something that did not help him but that action has now encouraged others to give money to a fund that will now help him.

E:  Finding Numbers- Sample Answers
68,000 - amount of money donated online to homeless man by people who admired what he had done
42,000 - amount of money in bag
2,968 - number of people who donated money online
50s - age of homeless man
27 - age of person who set up fund


Post-Reading Activities

A: Vocabulary Extension - Answers
fearless, selfless, worthless, spotless, careless, hopeless, speechless

B: Language - Suggested Answers
I was standing outside the shopping mall when I saw a man with a backpack. Perhaps he was waiting for someone, but after a while, he walked into the mall.  The strange thing was that he left his backpack behind. I waited for a while to see if he would return. When he didn't return, I decided to walk over to the backpack. I opened the bag and saw that it was full of cash and travelers checks. While I was opening the bag, I worried that someone would ask me what I was doing.
I stood there and thought about what to do. While I was thinking about this, people were walking past me. Two children were fighting over a toy and their mother was telling them to behave. I decided to take the bag to the police. It was the right thing to do. I began walking through the mall. While I was walking, I saw two police officers. I called them and told them what I was holding. They were suspicious at first but then they realized I was telling the truth.
When they opened the bag, they found the owner's passport and ID. They asked me for my name and address. I told them I was unemployed and I was living in a shelter because I didn't have a home. I'm glad I turned the bag over to the police. I got a citation and people rewarded me by sending me money. That's really nice, but most importantly, I'm glad I did the right thing.

130916HONESThumf


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