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Elementary Instant Lesson™

An Eel Pet

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion

1. Look at the picture below and answer the questions.

a. What is the name of this animal?
b. Where does it live?
c. What does it eat?

2. Today's article is about a German family who has a pet eel. Think about these questions.
a. Where does the family keep the eel?
b. What do you think the family feeds the eel?
c. Do you think an eel would be a good pet?


B: Vocabulary

Look at these words below. Use your dictionary to find their meanings. Then put them under the correct heading. The first one is done for you as an example.

German,      to train,     eel,     bathtub,     bucket,    to wash,    to catch,      fishing trip,
supper,    fall in love with,     to kill,     to cook,    to share,    to move,     part of the family

Adjective
German
Noun Verb Phrase



C: Predicting

What do you think today's article will be about? In groups discuss the questions below. The questions will help you to think about today's article.

1. What did the family train the eel to do?
2. What is the bathtub for?
3. What is the bucket used for?
4. Who is part of the family?
5. Who caught the eel?
6. Who went on the fishing trip?
7. Who fell in love with the eel?
8. Who moved house with the family?

Reading Activities

A: Main Idea

Read today's article quickly and circle the best answer below.

Today's article is about...
a. an eel.
b. a family that keeps an eel in a bathtub.
c. a 1969 fishing trip.
Family Keeps Pet Eel in Bath--for 33 Years

Berlin Tues Jan 7 (Reuters) - A German family has kept an eel in (1) its bathtub for the last 33 years and even trained (2) it to swim into a bucket when someone needs to wash.

"He's part of our family, " said Hannelore Richter of Bochum in western Germany. (3) Her husband Paul caught the eel on a fishing trip in 1969 and took (4) it home for supper.

His children fell in love with  the eel, and stopped (5) him from killing and cooking (6) it. Since then (7) it has lived in the bath, shared (8) it with the children when (9) they were small -- and has even moved house with the family, German newspapers reported.

Article © 2003 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com


B: Sequencing

Look at the first sentence from today's article and put the lines  into the correct order. Don't look at the article! (The first line is numbered for you.)

1. Here is the first sentence.

___  to swim into
___ an eel in
___ has kept
___ its bathtub for
___ and even trained it
___ a bucket when
___ someone needs to wash.
_1_ A German family
___ the last 33 years

2. Here is the third sentence.

___ Paul caught
___ Her husband
___ on a fishing trip
___ the eel
___ in 1969 and
___ for supper.
___ took it home

3. Here is the fourth sentence.

___ from killing and cooking it.
___ His children
___ the eel, and
___ stopped him
___ fell in love with 


C: Reading for Detail

Look at the words in bold type from today's article and choose the best meaning.

A German family has kept an eel in (1) its bathtub for the last 33 years and even trained (2) it to swim into a bucket when someone needs to wash.

1. its in this sentence means:
a. the German family's
b. the eel's
c. the bathtub's

2. it in this sentence means:
a. the German family
b. the eel
c. the bathtub

His children fell in love with the eel, and stopped (5) him from killing and cooking (6) it.

5. him in this sentence means:
a. Paul Richter
b. Hannelore Richter
c. the Richter children

6. it in this sentence means:
a. the German family
b. the bathtub
c. the eel

(3) Her husband Paul caught the eel on a fishing trip in 1969 and took (4) it home for supper.

3. her in this sentence means:
a. the eel
b. Hannelore Richter
c. Paul Richter

4. it in this sentence means:
a. the German family
b. the fishing trip
c. the eel

Since then (7) it has lived in the bath, shared (8) it with the children when (9) they were small

7. it in this sentence means:
a. the German family
b. the bathtub
c. the eel

8. it in this sentence means:
a. the German family
b. the bathtub
c. the eel

9. they in this sentence means:
a. eel
b. Hannelore Richter
c. the Richter children

D: Questions

Read the article again and answer the questions below.

1. What did the family train the eel to do?
2. Where is the bathtub used for?
3. What is the bucket used for?
4. Who is part of the family?
5. Who caught the eel?
6. Who went on the fishing trip?
7. Who fell in love with the eel?
8. Who moved house with the family?

Compare your answers here with the answers you gave in Pre-Reading Activity C.


Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these.
A: Language

"A German family has kept an eel in its bathtub for the last 33 years."

The present perfect is used to express an action that began in the past and continues to the present. (The family began keeping the eel in the bath 33 years ago. The family is still keeping the eel in the bath.)

"Her husband Paul caught the eel on a fishing trip in 1969."

The past simple is used for actions that finished in the past.

""He's part of our family," said Hannelore Richter."

The present simple is used here for something that is true for a long time.

Imagine you are Hannelore Richter and answer the questions below using the sentence prompts. Use the present perfect simple / past tense or simple present. Add any other words that are needed.

1. Where do you keep the eel?
2. How long have you kept him there?
3. Where did you get the eel?
4. Have you always lived in the same place with the eel?
5. When did the eel share a bath?

Sentence Prompts:
1. we / keep / in bathtub
2. we / keep / him there / 33 years
3. husband / catch him / fishing trip /1969
4. no / eel / move / house / with us
5. he / share / the bath / children / when / were small


B: Pair Crossword

Your teacher is going to divide the class into two groups and give you half of a crossword. You are going to explain these words to a partner from the other group. Think about how to explain the words on your crossword.

Now find a partner from the other group. One of you is Student A, the other is Student B. Work together and fill in the crossword. Ask and answer questions with your partner. Do not show the other person your words!


C: Gap Fill

Complete the paragraph with the words in the list below.

bathtub, eel, wash, fishing trip, supper, killing, cooking, German, bucket

A  (1) ______ family has kept a pet (2)  ______ in their (3) ______ for 33 years. They trained it to swim into a (4) ______ when somebody wants to (5) ______ .  Paul caught the eel on a (6) ______ and brought it home for (7) ______. His children stopped him from (8)  ______ and (9) ______ it.  The eel shared the bath with the children  and has even moved house with the family.


D: Information Exchange

Work in groups of four. You are going to have a conversation with other students. Your teacher will give you two cards: Card 1 has information about you and Card 2 has some questions you will ask other students and places for you to write their answers.


TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Please Note: This lesson also has grammar exercises and a reading comprehension exercise for your students to do online at http://www.instantworkbook.com/. You can get a username and password for your students by clicking on the blue icon next to this lesson description at http://www.english-to-go.com/.

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion - Answers

1. a. An eel.
b. In fresh water lakes, rivers and streams.
c. Small fish, water plants.

2. a. - c. Answers will vary.

B: Vocabulary - Notes

You may need to explain to students that a phrase is a group of two or more words that have meaning but don't form a complete sentence.

Discuss the headings with your students to ensure that they know what the categories are. Students use their dictionaries to check the meanings of the words and then sort them into the correct category.

B: Vocabulary - Answers

Adjectives: German
Nouns: eel, bathtub, bucket, supper,
Verbs: to train, to wash, to catch, to kill,to cook, to share, to move
Phrases: part of our family, fishing trip, fall in love with

C: Predicting - Notes

Ask the students to work in pairs or small groups to discuss the questions. Don't give them any answers at this stage.

Reading Activities

A: Main Idea - Answer

The best answer is: b. (The other answers are true but b. is the best answer.)

B: Sequencing - Answers

1.
_7_  to swim into
_3_ an eel in
_2_ has kept
_4_ its bathtub for
_6_ and even trained it
_8_ a bucket when
_9_ someone needs to wash.
_1_ A German family
_5_ the last 33 years

2.
_2_ Paul caught
_1_ Her husband
_4_ on a fishing trip
_3_ the eel
_5_ in 1969 and
_7_ for supper.
_6_ took it home

3.
_5_ from killing and cooking it
_1_  His children
_3_ the eel, and
_4_ stopped him
_2_ fell in love with 

C: Reading for Detail - Answers

1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. c, 5. a, 6. c, 7. c, 8. b, 9. c.

D: Questions - Notes

These questions are the same questions that were in Pre-Reading Activity B. This is a chance for the students to compare their predictions with what is in the article.

D: Questions - Answers

1. Swim into a bucket when someone needs to wash.
2. The eel lives in the bathtub.
3. The eel goes in this when someone needs to wash.
4. The eel.
5. Paul Richter.
6. Paul Richter.
7. The Richter children.
8. The eel.

Post-Reading Activities

A: Language - Notes

Students can refer to the article for help in knowing which tense to use.

A: Language - Sample Answers

1. We keep him in our bathtub.
2. We have kept him there for 33 years.
3. My husband caught him on a fishing trip in 1969.
4. No, the eel has moved house with us.
5. He shared the bath with our children when they were small.

B: Pair Crossword - Notes

This is an information exchange activity. One student has the answers the other student needs. It's up to the student seeking the answers to work out what the missing words are by asking questions and listening to their partner's definitions. Have one student fill in their crossword first and then have the students switch roles. Remind students that the words are in today's article.

You may like to teach them the language below for the crossword.

Examples:
'What is 2 down?'
'It's an animal that lives in Australia. It hops.'
'Kangaroo?'
'Yes.'
'What is 5 across?'
'It's an animal people often keep as a pet. It barks.'
'A dog?'
'Yes.

B: Pair Crossword - Text to be Copied and Given to Students

Crossword for Student A

Crossword for Student B

C: Gap Fill - Answers

1. German, 2. eel, 3. bathtub, 4. bucket, 5. wash, 6. fishing trip, 7. supper, 8. killing, 9. cooking.

D: Information Exchange - Notes

Make copies of Card 1 and give one to each student in a group of four (a student gets either A, B, C or D). Make sure students understand the information on their card.

Also make copies of Card 2, one for each student in the class and give them to students. They use the questions on Card 2 to find out about other students' pets and write the answers on the table. Students can sit facing their first partner in a group (i.e. Student A with Student B) and then change partners until they have talked to all three other students in their group.

D: Information Exchange - Cards to be Copied and Given to Students


Card 1 Student A
You are at a party. You start talking about pets to the other guests at the party. Tell them about your pet and find out about their pets.

Use the information on this card to answer questions about your pet. Ask the other students in your group the questions on Card 2 to find out about their pets and write down their answers on Card 2 .

Information About You and Your Pet

Kind of pet: You have a dog.
Pet's Name: Ajax.
How long you have had your pet: 4 years.
Where you got it from: A pet shop.
What you have trained it to do: Catch a ball.



Card 1 Student B
You are at a party. You start talking about pets to the other guests at the party. Tell them about your pet and find out about their pets.

Use the information on this card to answer questions about your pet. Ask the other students in your group the questions on Card 2 to find out about their pets and write down their answers on Card 2.

Information About You and Your Pet

Kind of pet: You have a parrot.
Pet's Name: Pete.
How long you have had your pet: 10 years.
Where you got it from: From a friend.
What you have trained it to do: Say hello and make kissing noises.



Card 1 Student C
You are at a party. You start talking about pets to the other guests at the party. Tell them about your pet and find out about their pets.

Use the information on this card to answer questions about your pet. Ask the other students in your group the questions on Card 2 to find out about their pets and write down their answers on Card 2.

Information About You and Your Pet

Kind of pet: You have a goldfish.
Pet's Name: Goldie.
How long you have had your pet: 6 months.
Where you got it from: From a petshop.
What you have trained it to do: Nothing.



Card 1 Student D
You are at a party. You start talking about pets to the other guests at the party. Tell them about your pet and find out about their pets.

Use the information on this card to answer questions about your pet. Ask the other students in your group the questions on Card 2 to find out about their pets and write down their answers on Card 2.

Information About You and Your Pet

Kind of pet: You have a lamb.
Pet's Name: Lollipop.
How long you have had your pet: 3 months.
Where you got it from: From a farmer. (The lamb's mother died.)
What you have trained it to do: Come when you call its name.



Card 2 (for Students A - D)

Questions:
What kind of pet do you have?
What is your pet's name?
How long have you had your pet?
Where did you get it from?
What have you trained it to do?

Table
Write the answers on the table below.

 
Kind of pet
Pet's Name
How long
Where he/she got it from
Trained to

Student 1

Student 2

Student 3

Student 4

         

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