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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Social Studies

What's Your Surname?
People with the name of Jones are traveling to Wales to set a new world record. In Sweden many people change their names. Why?? Do this lesson to find out. (Common surnames, Sweden, Wales, surnames, history of names, adjectives + too, present continuous tense.)
Elementary
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Dignity in Dying
The House of Lords blocked a controversial law today to allow doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives. (Euthanasia, quality of life, the UK, laws, relative clauses.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Casualties on the Increase
2006 World's largest Lesson: Casualties on the increase - A record area was cleared of landmines worldwide last year, but casualties caused by the weapons rose by 11 percent. (Landmines facts, brainstorming, choosing the best answer, scanning, thinking carefully, research)
All levels lesson!
Intermediate
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Air Affecting Business
Andy Ridehalgh, a British expatriate who has worked as an English teacher for three years in Hong Kong, has had enough of the city's air pollution. (Air pollution, Hong Kong, the environment, first and second conditionals brainstorming, choose the best answer, matching information.)
Intermediate
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In the Shadow of the Knife
A teenager lies in a pool of blood in the street after he is stabbed in a dawn attack. Britain is living "in the shadow of the knife", as one tabloid headline writer put it. And experts fear the number of fatal stabbings will spiral out of control if a growing knife culture among young people is not tackled. (Violent crimes, young people, city life, discussion, choosing a headline, matching information, comprehension, ordering paragraphs.)
Advanced
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Sleepy Workers Costing Billions
Drowsy Japanese employees turning up late, taking days off or struggling to stay awake on the job are causing economic losses of some $30 billion a year. (Business, overworking, sleep deprivation, sharing knowledge, completing a summary, word hunt, choosing the best answer, matching information, present continuous tense, reading and writing emails.)
Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 13 July 2006
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Money Money Money
An Irish winner has won of Europe's biggest lottery prizes - 115 million euros ($139.2 million) in the EuroMillions jackpot. The woman has five children of whom the youngest two still live at the family home. Her youngest son, 13, cycled around telling excited friends he would like to buy a horse and go on holiday. (Lottery jackpots, unreal situations, second conditional, discussion, comprehension, giving an opinion, sequencing.)
Pre-Intermediate
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World's Largest Lesson 2005
All Level Lesson - WLL 2005.
Governments are doing far too little to remove unexploded bombs and landmines. Landmine Action said not only were children being killed and maimed as they unwittingly played with the brightly colored unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs, but land and antitank mines were slowing postwar aid delivery and development. (Landmines, world's largest lesson, postwar development.)
Intermediate
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Food For Stairs
People who eat fruit, vegetables and dairy foods may not have problems with walking or climbing stairs when they are old. (Healthy diets, foods, old age, mobility, discussion, true or false, comprehension, possessive adjectives, questionnaire.)
Elementary
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Ethical Education
An Indian teenager fooled governments, the media and even the president into believing he had topped the world in a NASA science exam. Canadian university students cheated on an ethics course. (Dishonesty, plagiarizing, examinations, understanding the main idea, answering true, false or not given questions, describing past habits and routines, writing a questionnaire.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Roman Chariots in England
Archaeologists have found remains of a chariot racing track in Colchester. 8,000 people probably watched chariot races at the track. Archaeologist, Philip Crummy thinks the track is one of the most exciting things he has found. (History, chariot racing, archaeology, the Romans, brainstorming, comprehension, true or false, reading for understanding, comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives.)
Elementary
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Escaping a Date!
You're on a date, it's a disaster but there's no way out. A mobile phone company in Australia has a service offering an escape. All you have to do is dial three numbers and then hang up. The company will call you back a minute later with a perfect excuse to get you out of there. (Dating, relationships, quiz, predicting from the headline, reading for gist, crossword: telephone words, reading for understanding, functional language: making excuses, dialogues, have to and should.)
Pre-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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The Harvard School of Love
Over 35? Still looking for Mr. Right? Feeling left on the shelf? Perhaps it is time to repackage your assets, take a hard look at your personal brand and start telemarketing yourself. (Finding suitable marriage partners, business jargon, predicting, understanding the main idea, gap fill, true, false or not given, used to + base form and be / get used to + noun or gerund, information sharing, dating agency activity, discussion.)
Advanced
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Internet Exchange
For unwanted gifts from this holiday season, web bazaars like eBay have made the Great Gift Swap more popular than ever. (Gift giving, customs, What Would You Do? quiz - gifts, white lies, predicting from the headline, guessing meanings from context, scanning, true or false, Choose The Right Gift Game, jigsaw reading game, present perfect simple and present simple tenses.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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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The Humble Potato
Max tells us about the history of the words to do with potatoes.
Intermediate
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A Healthy Diet?
A Mediterranean diet high in olive oil, nuts, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent heart disease and strokes, says a large study from Spain. (Healthy diets, food vocabulary, reading for the main idea, scanning, true or false, crossword puzzle, What Is It?, countable and uncountable nouns game.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Looking Up
Tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives than their shorter coworkers, with each inch adding about $789 a year in pay, according to a new study. (Successful people, employment, sharing points of view, completing a table, scrambled words, true, false or not given, words made with 'short', talking about employment problems and problem solving game.)
Intermediate
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Loans for Hope
Maqsood is one of more than 1,600 beneficiaries of a micro-credit program launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan. The program provides interest-free loans to disabled Afghans eager to start their own small-sized businesses. There is also an interview with the founder of SPBD, a microfinance organisation in Samoa. (Microeconomics, microfinance, Afghanistan, jigsaw reading, vocabulary in context, comprehension, past perfect, synonyms, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Party Time!
Famous! Britain's second richest man spent $17.5 million on a party for 600 guests on a luxury liner. He is known for being very careful with his money, but he treated his guests to a week of luxury living and exclusive entertainment. (Entertaining friends, parties, Britain's second richest man, prediction, true or false, verbs 'spend' and 'sell', crossword.)
Elementary
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The Shape of Things to Come
A shiny white pod that has begun road tests may well be the taxi of the future. The pod, known as ULTra -- Urban Light Transport -- could make driver-free transport a reality and not just the stuff of futuristic fantasy. (Public transport, transport problems, technology, the future, summarizing, definite and indefinite articles.)
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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A Micro $4 Billion
Muhammad Yunus, 63, is the founder of Grameen Bank, which has made more than $4 billion in tiny loans to poor Bangladeshis, providing a lifeline for millions and a banking model that has been copied in more than 100 nations from the United States to Uganda. (Microfinance, microcredit, Bangladesh, problem solving, reading and predicting, general knowledge, comprehension, multiple choice, jigsaw reading, identifying present and past tenses, pair crossword.)
Intermediate
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Global Bicycle Thieves
Amsterdam police will use bicycles equipped with hidden GPS transmitters to bait thieves and track them down in the latest effort to stamp out rampant bike theft. (Theft, GPS, Amsterdam, discussion, predicting from the headline, guessing meanings from context, mixed questions, completing a table of information, true, false or not given, words used as nouns and verbs, word search puzzle.)
Intermediate
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Brrrrrrrr!
Some 300 racers took the plunge in this year's world icepool swimming championship in the Arctic north of Finland. "The feeling is difficult to describe," said Kari Farlin, 45, dressed in a fur hat and swimsuit after racing in water of one degree Celsius. (Bizarre sports, championships and festivals, swimming, Finland, discussion, making questions, multiple choice questions, information exchange game - world championships, sport crossword, suffixes: -er and -or.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Increase in Internet Users in China
The number of Internet users in China made its highest recorded jump to reach 137 million at the end of 2006, a 2007 report has said. (Use of the Internet, China, saying numbers aloud, predicting, reading for gist, true or false, ordinal numbers, word find, survey.)
Pre-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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Changing Careers
Boardroom lunches and presentations to high-flying British executives were routine for Martin during his 15 years as a management consultant. Now his lunch break is spent supervising school dinners and he gives presentations to his hardest audience yet -- geography students at a London school. (Teaching vs business as a career, job satisfaction, interview - attitudes to work, writing questions, complete a table, making comparisons between things that are not equal or the same, peer dictation.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Losing Success
A Japanese racehorse, who is famous because she has lost so many races, lost another race. (Horseracing, winning and losing, Seabiscuit, sports, matching questions and answers, finding information, choose the best answer, discussion, positive adjectives, in or on (time), questionnaire on sports and famous sportspeople.)
Elementary
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CEOs and Workers
Never having cleaned a bathroom in his life, a CEO was down on his knees, scrubbing with great effort but little interest, under the watchful eye of his supervisor. He was one of several CEOs to get down and dirty for a week's worth of labor in the new reality-based show "Now Who's Boss?". (Reality television, CEOs, entertainment, discussion, finding the main idea, reading for specific information, completing a table of information, matching information, like as a preposition and as a verb.)
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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Dog Show Intrigue
Something sinister is troubling Britain's genteel world of dog-showing, and at the center of it all lies one question: Who called Mrs Mann a "puppy farmer?" Hate mail is circulating, threats have been made over the phone, Mann - the country's top show judge - has resigned. (Gossip and scandal, dogshows, brainstorming and planning, whisper campaign, understanding main idea, completing table of information, categorizing words, comprehension, interview, quotations about gossip, word formation.)
Advanced
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Angry Head and Heart
Men prone to angry tantrums or sulky hostility are more likely to develop an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, U.S. researchers reported. (Anger, emotions, scanning, checking information, scanning, matching words and meaning, checking information, summarizing, information exchange activity, survey, likely and unlikely.)
Intermediate
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All Gadgets In One
Dennis Nally used to travel with a cell phone, an electronic organizer and a laptop. These days, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers carries a tiny handheld device that does it all. (Multipurpose gadgets, technology, consumers, understanding the headline, text organization, finding information, completing a table, interview, crossword - adjectives, adjectives - -ed and -ing, Gadgets game - ordering instructions and writing instructions for using a machine.)
Advanced
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Management Survey
Women are included in the senior management of nearly 90 percent of Russian companies, the highest rate among major countries, a survey showed. (Businesswomen, gender equality, business, understanding factual information, surveys, categorizing words, adjectives, brainstorming, understanding the main idea, organizing information, completing a table, adverbs - nearly, almost and exactly, discussion, vocabulary extension game - adjective antonyms.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Not The Retiring Type
The oldest bank robber in the United States, a 92-year-old man, was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing a Texas bank. He said he robbed his first bank when he was about 80 because he wanted revenge against banks for sending him into a financial crisis. (Bizarre stories, crime, banks, discussion, Find Your Other Half Vocabulary game, predicting, skimming, sequencing, question construction, phrasal verbs, read and draw.)
Intermediate
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Sleep for the Sick?
Patients who have complained they cannot get any rest in noisy hospitals have been vindicated with a report confirming that the racket on hospital wards can be as loud as a rock concert. (Hospitals, importance of sleep, noise levels, survey, ranking, predicting from the headline, completing a table, comprehension, arranging sentence parts, comparisons: as...as and not as....as, brainstorming.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Someone Found My Wallet!
A wallet that was lost in southern Sweden more than 40 years ago has been returned to its owner and her money was still in it. (Lost and found stories, bizarre stories, personal items, understanding the main idea, forming and answering questions, matching information, reading and thinking, choose the best answer, question words (who, where, what, when, how, whose, why, which), short partner questionnaire, writing a short description, discussion.)
Elementary
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And the winner is...
A record crowd of more than 7,000 betters was expected to attend the 23rd annual Cockroach Races in Brisbane on Australia's national day, with some bringing their own runners and others buying competitors there. (Gambling, festivals, Australia, discussion, understanding text organization, question construction, true, false or not given, error recognition, crossword, questionnaire.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Against The Law!
The poor, oil-rich nation of Venezuela is considering decriminalizing the theft of food and medicine in cases where a thief is motivated by extreme hunger or need. (Justice, poverty, decriminalization, different crimes, ranking and discussion, understanding the main ideas, giving an opinion, scanning, modal verbs, prefixes - in-, de-, non-, crossword, Vocabulary Bingo Game.)
Intermediate
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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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Swaziland Crisis
Desperate HIV-positive Swazis are lining up in droves to try the latest "miracle AIDS cures", falling victim to patchy medical regulation in a country with one of the world's highest HIV infection rates. (HIV / AIDS, bogus 'wonder drugs', con artists, Swaziland, developing countries, brainstorming and problem solving, Find Your Other Half Game, placing headlines, matching information, scanning, differentiating fact from opinion, true or false, running dictation, discussion.)
Advanced
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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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Traditional Chinese Medicine
Some Chinese remedies such as bird's nest, sheep placenta and caterpillar fungus may be a bit too exotic for the uninitiated but many traditional remedies are gaining popularity among Western consumers who seek natural ways to beat stress and boost their health. (Traditional Chinese medicine, predicting from the headline, finding information, completing a table, true, false and not given, finding grammatical errors, jigsaw reading, expressions with 'put'.)
Upper-Intermediate
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I'm Too Busy!
A woman who won a free shopping spree said she didn't want the prize. She said she was too busy. (Shopping sprees, competitions, matching words and pictures, regular and irregular verbs and past simple, listening for understanding, comprehension check, reading cloze, choose the best answer, sequencing, finding errors, Shopping spree Game.)
Elementary
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Can We Share?
A U.S. doctor leading a highly unusual campaign to protest his exclusion from this year's Nobel Prize for medicine appealed to the two winners to insist he share the prestigious award. (Nobel prize, brainstorming, scanning, complete the table, explain the headline, comprehension, thinking carefully, error recognition, matching sentences, web research.)
Advanced
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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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