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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Parenting and Family Life

Spoiled Kids
Nearly all parents think that American children today are spoiled - and over half of them say that they are largely to blame says a poll done in 2007. (Present simple tense, dialogue.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Testing Fathers
Men in Japan can now do a 'daddy exam'. The exam tries to make men think more about being dads in a country where men usually work long hours and leave their wives in charge of childrearing and household chores. (Parenting, work, families, Japan, present simple questions, reading for specific information, true or false, doing an interview, writing questions.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Mad Dash
A German mother-of-five drove her son to a jewelry store he wanted to rob because she was afraid he may come to some harm and a devoted mother traveled 900 miles (1,450 km) to take her son his GameBoy that he had left behind when he went on a school trip. (Parents, parenting, children, sequencing, irony, idioms).
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 5 June 2007
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Killer Games
A 2007 article says that violent video games do not make children into murderers. (Violent video games and effect on children, violence, discussion, vocabulary hunt, filling the gaps in a table, finding and correcting grammatical errors.)
Intermediate
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Left Behind Kids
Xiao Yun and Xiao Bo are, in many ways, typical rural Chinese kids. But when the 11 and 12-year-old return to their small cave home - still common for many here on the edge of the Loess Plateau in China's northwestern Shaanxi province - there are no parents waiting for them. (Text Organization, Problem Solving, Discussion, Research Project)
Advanced
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Wiggly Entertainment
Greg Page, the yellow Wiggle, has announced that he will retire from the Wiggles because of illness. Australia's top-selling children's phenomenon, a hyperactive band of preschool teachers, and a giggling dinosaur, has been extremely successful but now the group will be changing. (Children's entertainment, creating an image, brainstorming)
Intermediate
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Drug trends changing
More girls than boys are becoming first-time users of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana, reversing previous trends. (Drugs and alcohol use, young people peer pressure, discussion, reading for factual information, giving an opinion, problem solving, should and modal verbs, giving advice).
Intermediate
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Trouble At The Top
Leading celebrity photographer Mario Testino has defended Kate Moss after she lost lucrative modeling contracts over allegations of cocaine abuse: "I know Kate very well and I don't think she's at all tormented, torrid, depressed." (Famous models, alcohol abuse, drugs, judging or forgiving someone, word hunt, true or false, comprehension.)
Intermediate
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Skateboarding Online
A skateboarding priest is a YouTube hit and women in different countries are now skateboarding. One woman has started www.skateboardmom.com. (Sport, comprehension, complete the table, word order, true or false, the present continuous: is/am/are, extra reading.)
Elementary
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Talking Digitoys
Toys are changing fast, not least because their vocabulary is increasing, fast! New toys have computing power that makes them completely different to toys of even 10 years ago. There's even a doll that can read! (Toys, computer chips, children's development, scanning, writing definitions, identifying viewpoints, summarizing, discussion.)
Advanced
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Happy Birthday!
Fifty came with a televised bash, celebrity friends and a black-tie dinner, but Oprah Winfrey is having a low-key 60th birthday at home in California. Bill Clinton, turning 60, hated being so old. (Birthays, listening comprehension, talking about birthday celebrations, scanning, writing questions, jigsaw reading, Grammar - the present continuous to describe an action in progress.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Two Courageous Dudes
One guy saved his mate from a crocodile and the other went for help for his father, even though he was badly injured. (Bravery, crocodiles, awards, past continuous and past simple, using past tense verbs to tell a story.)
Intermediate
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Survey Results 'Too Good'
When customers of utility company Southern California Edison were surveyed to get feedback, pollsters received answers expressing delight at the service received. But the objectivity of these results came under question when it was learned that employees had surveyed friends and family! (Customer surveys, utility companies, hacking, discussion, comprehension, sequencing, true, false or not given, passive, conditionals, listening for differences.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Children's Toys
Tamagotchi are back, more complex than ever, with an infrared communication function allowing them to visit each other and even reproduce! This lesson also looks and toys and toy issues, including the 2001 reaction of toy sellers to 9/11. (Christmas, birthdays, war toys, toys, present simple and present continous tenses, the present continuous used to talk about a current trend.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Mothers and Daughters
Mothers exasperated by petty arguments with their teenage daughters should take heart from new research showing that arguing may actually be good for relationships with moody offspring. Research shows that arguments are often used by teens as a communication tool. (Mother - daughter relationships, writing questions, understanding the main idea, reading for specific information, understanding new vocabulary, finding key information, should / have to / don't have to, information exchange game.)
Intermediate
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Here Come The Ants!
German children are going to pet shops because they want to buy ants. (Ants, pets, discussion, predicting, comprehension, language - making questions, listening carefully, completing a table, pair crossword, dictation.)
Elementary
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Ordering Festivals
This warmer encourages students to think about different festivals and world events.
Pre-Intermediate
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Truant Text Warning!
This is about how children at a Singapore school need to think twice about playing truant: The school has set up a mobile phone text message broadcast system which automatically alerts their parents!
Intermediate
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Young Smokers Find A Way
Restrictions on the sale of tobacco to minors may be prompting more teenage smokers to steal cigarettes or get them from parents and older friends, according to a U.S. study of student smoking habits in Texas. (Minors and smoking, anti-tobacco laws, scanning, completing a table, matching figures with information, true or false, prepositions, describing increases and decreases, cloze listening, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Extra Jail for Smoker
For a 73-year-old Canadian man, 20 months in a smoke-free jail looked just too long, so instead he took 24 months in a prison where he can smoke cigarettes. (Smoking issues, discussion, understanding the main idea, comprehension, choose the best answer, regular and irregular simple past tense verbs, nouns - nationalities and languages.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Business Trip Mothers
It is a tough emotional decision every work-trip mom faces: will being away doing a deal damage her relationship with her children, as some studies show, or, as many professional moms say, will their children be more well-rounded individuals and less prone to separation anxiety. (Business travel, career and family, women, personality quiz, choosing the best headline, completing a table of information, true, false or not given, gerunds, Same Or Different listening Game, discussion.)
Advanced
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Going To The Dogs
An elderly British man who lived in a run-down house, bought secondhand clothes and watched television at his neighbor's to save on electricity left a million pounds to a dog charity. (Fortunes and wills, attitudes to money, bizarre stories, reading and predicting from a headline, comprehension, skimming, reading and listening for errors, pairwork activity - describing a picture, vocabulary - home and garden, agreement - is / are.)
Elementary
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A Very Long Life
The oldest woman in Albania -- and perhaps in the world -- has died at the age of 123. She was buried next to her husband whom she hated because she was forced to marry him when she was 14 years old. (Old age, men and women, talking about different periods in history, understanding the headline, scanning, comprehension, guessing unfamiliar words, numbers, word find.)
Elementary
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Athletes At Risk
Teens and young adults who regularly train and compete in sports are more than twice as likely to experience sudden death than non-athletes, according to a new study. (Athletes, heart conditions, prefixes: under-, non-, predicting, scanning, brainstorming, survey - leading a healthy lifestyle, vocabulary mime game - sports, information exchange.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Next: Borrowing the Car
They waste hours in front of the TV and get their parents to spend money on designer clothes and haircuts. And they're not even three years old! A new survey in Britain says toddlers are increasingly leading a lifestyle once associated only with moody adolescents. (Children and parents, discussion, skimming, complete a table of information, true, false or not given, fractions, percentages, bar graphs, group brainstorming, pair crossword, like as a preposition.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Shopping Kindergarten
German women can now leave their partners at a special kindergarten for men. For 10 euros ($US12), the men get a name tag, two bottles of beer, a hot meal, television and free games. (Women and men, shopping, quiz, understanding the main idea, mixed sentences, true or false, reference words, dialogue, using going to and will to talk about the future, discussion, pair crossword.)
Elementary
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Breakfast Study
A new study suggests young adults may be less attentive in school when they skip breakfast. (Nutrition, importance of breakfast, nutritional needs of boys and girls, survey, understanding the main idea, matching sentence beginnings and endings, multiple choice questions, pairwork - talking about meals and performance in tests, sharing information game, frequency adverbs, countable and uncountable nouns and expressons of quantity.)
Pre-Intermediate
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A Suitable Husband
"Who wants to marry my daughter?" That is what is on a sign planted on Donna Wood's front lawn in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Wood is seeking a soul mate for her 22-year-old daughter Karah, whose romantic choices over the years have left much to be desired, the mother said. (Arranged marriages, finding suitable marriage partners, bizarre stories, mixed questions, true or false, ranking, writing an advertisement, dialogue, word game.)
Intermediate
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New Age Cinema
Bawling babies have ruined films for countless moviegoers but now one New York cinema is filling an entire theater with them in an effort to win the business of stir-crazy parents who haven't gone out in years. (Cinemas, moviegoing habits, parenting and babies, what would you do, categorizing words, true or false, reading for details, meanings from context, conjunctions (and, but, so, because) find someone who..., describing a scene, present continuous tense, design project.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Student Wins Geography Prize
A 14-year-old who is taught at home by his mother beat 54 other students to win the title of U.S. National Geographic Bee champion and a prize worth $25,000. (Geography, competitions, homeschooling, sequencing, thinking carefully, describing and comparing two pictures game, word find puzzle.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Pampered Pets
The British, long ridiculed for pampering their pets, can now indulge their cats with a costly kidney transplant. Vets estimate the cost in Britain at between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds ($12,600 and $15,800). (Pets, cats, dogs, transplants, luxury holidays, discussion, understanding the headline, skim reading, true or false, punctuation, parts of speech, debate.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Hyperactivity
Some hyperactive children thought to be suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder may just be overtired because they are bad sleepers or heavy snorers. (ADHD and sleep disorders, brainstorming, complete the sentence, matching sentence beginnings and endings, true or false, writing a headline, features of headlines, writing a news report, dictation, prefixes.)
Intermediate
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Unsafe Swings
A European Union rule has forced a British parish council to close its playground swings which are used by hundreds of children a year. (Playgrounds and safety, children's games, prediction, reading for detail, comprehension, question words, discussion, nouns and adjectives, word find puzzle, group design project.)
Elementary
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An Eel Pet
A German family has kept an eel in its bathtub for the last 33 years and even trained it to swim into a bucket when someone needs to wash. (Pets, eels, discussion, predicting, main idea, sequencing, reading for detail, present perfect, simple past and simple present tenses, gap fill, pair crossword, information exchange.)
Elementary
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Work Stress Health Woes
Healthy people with stressful jobs who work long hours but get little satisfaction from what they do have twice the risk of dying from heart disease as satisfied employees, according to a study. (Work stress and heart disease, causes of work stress, summarizing, matching information, discussion, interviews, suffix -ful, brainstorming.)
Upper-Intermediate
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No excuses!
"The dog ate my homework." If students at a Houston middle school say this to their teachers, their parents may be asked to go to court. (Schools, parents and students, understanding the main idea, multiple choice, matching information, true or false, discussion, making excuses, crossword.)
Elementary
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Chimney Sweep?
It may work for Santa Claus but two people found that going down a chimney may not be such a good idea unless you want to get stuck. (Bizarre stories, rescues, matching pictures and information, predicting, gap fill, reading for detail, comprehension, try + infinitive + to, role play, pair crossword.)
Pre-Intermediate
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TV Violence
Watching lots of violence on television and playing violent video games not only makes kids more physically aggressive, it makes them meaner and more distrustful, researchers said. (Effect of television and video game violence on young viewers, survey, writing a headline, comprehension, completing a table, vocabulary, prepositions, making rules for TV watching, evaluating different TV shows or computer games, interviews.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Housework After a Baby
After the arrival of baby, new fathers can help hold on to marital harmony by picking up a broom more often, according to new research. (Discussion, understanding a headline, true or false, matching information, multiple choice questions, summarizing, -ing clauses, negotiating.)
Intermediate
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Pregnant Advice
Children of women who drank while pregnant show the effects as long as 14 years later in the form of stunted growth, US researchers said. (Effects of alcohol on physical development of fetuses, brainstorming, predicting from a headline, matching information, true or false, scanning, complete the sentences, role play, summarizing.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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The Harmful Effects of Scolding
When parents are driven mad by badly behaved children, most do not smack them and instead give them a telling-off. But verbal abuse could be as harmful as beating, according to new Danish research. (Discipline and children, listening for key points, listening and note-taking, understanding the main idea, scanning, reading gap fill, finding evidence, discussion, difference in meaning between shout at and shout to, role play.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Too Much TV Bad For Kids?
Kids who spend more time watching TV--regardless of the content of the programming--are more likely to behave aggressively and have other types of social problems, a study has found. (Television watching and children, True, False or Not Given, writing questions, main idea, past simple, role-play, crossword.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Bring Your Parents
British pensioner Joseph Dickinson, 103, had a shock when his local hospital phoned him to ask him to come in for an eye test... and told him to bring his parents! (Making and answering questions, memorizing a short text, word find, discussion, simple past tense forms.)
Elementary
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Child Tracking Devices May Be Next
A British scientist said he received many requests from worried parents asking him to implant a tracking microchip into their children after the murders of two 10-year-olds in a quiet English town. (Tracking devices and children's safety, understanding the main idea, matching words and meanings, choose the best answer, reading carefully, 'say' and 'tell'.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Divorce Research
Unhappily married couples often get lots of advice and a new report offers some more: don't divorce, stick it out. (Divorce, giving an opinion, predicting before reading, reading and listening gap fills, a lot of / lots of / plenty of / much / many / few / little, making a speech, word find puzzle.)
Upper-Intermediate
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A Baby's Name
An angry Italian mother has gone to court after her husband secretly named their newborn son after a prize-winning horse. (Naming children, sequencing, reading for detail, a / an / the, word search puzzle, discussion.)
Elementary
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The Cost of Tying the Knot
New York is the most expensive city in the United States to get married and many couples will spend about $27,000 to tie the knot and that doesn't include the cost of the honeymoon. (Cost of a wedding, planning a wedding, finding the main idea, summarizing, find someone who..., persuasive essays.)
Intermediate
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Woman Remembers Three Centuries
The wrinkles in Hava Rexha's pale skin were carved by a life spanning three centuries, under Ottoman Turkish rule, Albanian monarchy, Italian occupation and Stalinist dictatorship. On August 14th 2002, surrounded by 120 offspring of four generations, she was 122 years old. (Longevity, biography, arranged marriages, crossword, listening and matching, debate, ranking, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Cyber Romance
A worldwide poll showed that 30% of web users regard the Internet as a good place to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. And despite the public perception that cyberspace is a shallow, hostile environment, lovers who meet through Internet chat rooms may actually end up forming strong relationships. (Internet chat room relationships, scanning, summarizing, 'despite', 'in spite of' and 'although', discourse markers, understanding a graph, writing an ad, interviews.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Housework Bad For Health?
It's exhausting, time consuming and although it counts as physical activity, housework does not improve health or help to shed those excess pounds, British researchers say. (Housework versus exercise, true, false or not given, the suffix -ologist, discussion.)
Intermediate
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