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Scarecrow Town
Tsukimi Ayano made her first scarecrow 13 years ago. The straw scarecrow looked like her father, so she made more. Today, the tiny village of Nagoro is full of her scarecrows in houses, fields, trees, streets and at a bus stop. (Scarecrows, migration, families, apostrophe for possession.)
Elementary
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Punctuation - Question Marks
We use a question mark "?" to show that we are asking a question. This worksheet from Anna Grammar gives students punctuation practice using "?s" .
Intermediate
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It's Raining Cats and Tourists...
An army of feral cats rules a remote island in southern Japan. There are six cats for every person in the village. (Cats, cat control, collective nouns.)
Pre-Intermediate
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World Leaders: Lee Kuan Yew
This warmer gets students to read and think about the life of a famous person and focus on the use of prepositions.
Intermediate
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Teeth or Web?
Spider silk may lose its claim as the strongest known natural material after researchers found that limpet teeth have more mettle. (Natural materials and strength, minerals, similes, modal verbs - may, might, could.)
Upper-Intermediate
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London's Perilous Past
Londoners in the 17th century were never far from danger as plague, infant mortality and angry mobs menaced the capital, burial records showed. This research is a window into one of the most turbulent periods of London's past. (London, history, seventeenth century.)
Intermediate
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Find Your Other Half - Subordinating Conjunctions
This warmer looks at the problem of plastic waste and is an enjoyable way for students to practice use of subordinating conjunctions if, because, until.
Intermediate
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Punctuation - Exclamation Marks
We use an exclamation mark (!) to signal a warning or show frustration or anger to the reader. This worksheet looks at how to use exclamation marks.
Intermediate
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NOPE
The desperate cry of a mother finding her 17-year-old son dead from a painkiller and another prescription drug instantly silences hundreds of students who listen to her 911 call. That recording is the gut-punch that anchors a new educational program aimed at combating the rising abuse of prescription opioid abuse among U.S. young adults. (Drug overdoses, teenagers, anti-drug education programs.)
Advanced
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The Home Office - Max Vocabulary Worksheet
The office is a room in a home with a desk for business. This vocabulary worksheet looks at all the things you might find in a home office.
Pre-Intermediate
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Men Give Birth
A hospital in eastern China is offering fathers-to-be a chance to experience the pain of childbirth after several new moms complained they got little sympathy from their partners. (Childbirth, expectant fathers, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Find Your Other Half - Coordinating Conjunctions
This Pre-Intermediate and above warmer is an enjoyable way for students to practice use of coordinating conjunctions and, but, so.
Pre-Intermediate
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Anna Grammar Worksheet - Or and Yet
In this worksheet we look at "or" and "yet" as coordinating conjunctions.
Elementary
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Better Late Than Never
An overdue copy of "Gone with the Wind" has been returned to a high school library in Washington state, 65 years past its due date. (Libraries and late returns, borrowing books, scanning, jigsaw reading, role play and dialog, saying sorry.
Pre-Intermediate
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Max Vocabulary Worksheet - Christmas
An All Levels Max Vocabulary Worksheet all about Christmas. We hope you enjoy it!
Pre-Intermediate
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The World's Best Santa
Santas from eight countries like Japan, Sweden, Australia and France competed to find out who was the best Santa. They competed in porridge-eating, sledge racing and other sports. The winner for 2014 is from Japan. (Class vote, discussion, ordering questions, comprehension, true or false.)
Elementary
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First Jobs
It doesn't matter how famous, or how important or how rich the person is - almost everyone likes to remember their first job, which was usually very menial and low-paid... This month we ask famous authors what their first jobs were...(Sharing experiences, First jobs, Famous writers, work vocabulary.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Famous Cities - Port Vila, Vanuatu
This warmer is an enjoyable way for students to find out about Port Vila and the Pacific. Students will scan for information in separate articles and then share and discuss what they have learnt.
Intermediate
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Self-publishing?
For any author frustrated by rejections from publishing houses or wanting to cut out the middle man, there has never been an easier or cheaper time to self-publish. A host of free self-publishing platforms offered by Amazon, Apple and specialists like Smashwords have created new opportunities. (Self-publishing, books, drawing a process diagram.)
Advanced
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Air Rage
An argument over leg room and reclining seats forced a Florida-bound flight from New York to divert to a different airport late on Monday, the third such incident of a midair disruption caused by passengers in about a week. (Flying, midair arguments, prepositions, role-plays.)
Intermediate
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Just Don't Go There
If Halloween is supposed to be spooky, some Halloween costumes this year will be terrifying. Some trick-or-treaters will dress as emergency careworkers for people who are sick with Ebola. (Halloween and costumes, Ebola, appropriacy of what people do.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Teamwork
If you want to witness effective teamwork, you might be as apt to find it among the fishy denizens of a coral reef as in the office where you work. Scientists have found the coral trout recruits moray eels to help hunt for prey, with both ending up well fed. Aquarium experiments showed that the trout are choosy in picking the best eel partner for the job. (Animal behavior, coral trout and moray eels, participles as compound adjectives.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Calling "Party Intervention Patrol"
A teenager who threw a party with underage drinking and drug use while his parents were away called police to intervene after a rowdy throng broke a neighbor's fence and fights broke out. (Parties and teenagers, organizing a party, vocabulary hunt.)
Intermediate
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Max Vocabulary Worksheet - Dining Rooms
This vocabulary worksheet looks at the dining room or dining. Another student worksheet in our "homes" series. 
Pre-Intermediate
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Wanderlust
For Americans looking to retire abroad, deciding where to live can be a challenge. But Lynne and Tim Martin took that question off the table by deciding to retire everywhere and anywhere. (Retirement and travel, word families.)
Advanced
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Silly Story (1)
This warmer gets learners chatting! This is a good ice-breaker for the presentation of simple past for the narration of a story and the language of shopping.
Intermediate
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Raising Kids
How much does it cost to raise a child in the United States? A middle-income family will spend about $245,000 over 18 years to raise a child who is born in 2013. (Cost of raising a child in USA, cost of living.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Fancy Lunches
When it comes to kids' lunches, we've come a long way from PB&J, an apple and a cookie in a brown paper bag. Beau Coffron packs his daughter's school lunches in stainless steel containers that cost at least $20 a pop. He apportions all of her food into little compartments, making cartoon characters like animal shapes out of the ingredients. (Kids' lunches, consumer issues, food.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Doll Hospital
A doll hospital in Australia is 101 years old. Most dolls are plastic so there are few doll hospitals in the world. (Favorite toys, doll hospitals, writing a description, do/does for present simple questions, make a choice.)
Elementary
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Adverbial Clauses
Adverbial clauses are dependent clauses (they can't stand alone) attached to an independent clause. An adverbial clause gives information about things like when, where, why or how something happened. Try this Anna Grammar Worksheet for more help on the subject.
Upper-Intermediate
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Epidemic Fear
Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website. With West Africa facing the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever fear and mistrust is driving dozens of victims to evade treatment, frustrating doctors trying to contain the epidemic. (Ebola, deadly illnesses and West Africa.)
Advanced  Lesson Updated: 22 August 2014
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Keeping a City Flush with Water
When the going got tough due to one of the worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita Falls got going with its program to recycle sewage water for drinking. (Water shortages, recycling.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Bridging the Gap
Do you want a bridge? The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is selling 11 historic bridges. (Bridges, historic buildings and structures, tense revision, passive and active voices.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Max Vocabulary Worksheet - Bathroom
Another worksheet in our pre-intermediate "Homes" series. Bathrooms: the bathroom is a room in a home where you wash yourself and usually you can go to the toilet.
Pre-Intermediate
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Hurricane Gender
Because people unconsciously think a storm with a female name is less dangerous than one with a masculine name, those in its path are less likely to flee, and are therefore more vulnerable to harm. As a result, strong Atlantic hurricanes with the most feminine names caused an estimated five times more deaths than those with the most masculine names. (Hurricanes, power of names, gender stereotypes.)
Intermediate
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Max Vocabulary Worksheet - Bedroom
The bedroom is a room in a home where you sleep. This vocabulary worksheet is another in our homes and houses series.
Pre-Intermediate
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Nurses Save Money
A Massachusetts program that put full-time registered nurses in schools more than paid for itself by averting medical costs and lost work for parents and teachers. (School nurses, education, productivity, interviews, daily routines, frequency adverbs and the present simple.)
Upper-Intermediate
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You Really Need This!
This ice-breaker gets learners practicing using persuasive language as they make an advertising pitch.
Intermediate
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'Grammar' Words 2 - What Do They Mean? - Nouns
This Anna Grammar Worksheet looks at the difference between common nouns and proper nouns and also looks at various forms of common nouns such as compound nouns.
Elementary
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Star Wars Arms
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, a huge advance over the metal hook currently in use. (Robotic arms and hands, amputees, collocation, sensory tests.)
Advanced
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Beautiful Noise
Whether playing in a symphony orchestra or a rock concert, professional musicians may have almost four times the risk of hearing loss as their audience does.
Upper-Intermediate
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Vending Machines
It's late, the shops are closed and you simply must have a roasted eggplant-and-ricotta sandwich, a cupcake, a bike helmet, a gold bar and an iced cappuccino. (Vending machines, true, false or not given, comprehension, pronouns, discussion, the passive.)
Intermediate
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Cost of the Prom
American girls are going to spend less money on the prom this year. Most prom dresses at David's, a store selling prom dresses, cost around $200. Many popular dresses cost $100.(Proms, shopping and beauty, charity organizations, planning a prom date, be going to.)
Elementary
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Children's Games
Very few kids get the amount of physical activity they need every day, but a new study from Canada finds that parental support may be the key to getting kids moving and pushing kids into specializing in a single sport before adolescence is not seen as a good idea. (Exercise and children, parental input, sport, children, Olympics)
Upper-Intermediate
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Avoidance Apps
Trying to avoid an awkward encounter with an ex? Fearful of an embarrassing meeting after an argument? New apps can help people avoid bumping into others and provide escape routes if they do. (Avoiding people you do not want to see, vocabulary hunt, answering a questionnaire.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Easter Bunny?
The Easter Bunny may not always be an Easter icon in Australia and New Zealand, as conservationists remove to replace it with the Bilby or the Kiwi. (Easter, conservation, the rabbit as a pest.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Easter Egg Surprises
A Fabergé Easter Egg made for Emperor Alexander 111 of Russia and lost for more than 100 years will be displayed in London. The egg was nearly melted for scrap, but an American scrap dealer realized what it was. (Russian Revolution, Fabergé eggs, writing questions, passive voice.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Olympic Sports Controversies
This ice-breaker is great for practicing reading for understanding, asking and answering questions and talking about sports and the Olympics.
Upper-Intermediate
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Tennis Riddles
As a player Andre Agassi relied as much on a razor-sharp tennis brain as brute force to collect eight major titles and complete a career grand slam. Now his eyes light up at the prospect of following the likes of Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker into coaching. (Coaching, Andre Agassi, tennis, compound adjectives, talking about sporting events.)
Advanced
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I Quit!
Are you thinking about quitting your job? Are you worried about how to quit? A funny new app tells your boss for you. (Jobs, quitting, apps, do you want to...?)
Elementary
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