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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Human Interest

Blondes Earn Less
"Blondes Earn Less"! Can it be true? Well, according to research in Iceland, it is! (Pay rates, personal appearance, Iceland, Descriptions - what do they look like?)
Elementary
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A Bad Job Interview
You know your job interview did not go well when your interviewer calls the police to arrest you. (Bizarre crime stories, job interviews, finish the sentence, sequencing, categorizing vocabulary, comprehension, write a headline, role play, word find puzzle, complete a picture, giving advice - you should / you shouldn't / don't forget to... )
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Dream Machine
The Japanese company that came up with the hit "BowLingual" device that translates dogs' barks into human words has now come up with a dream product -- literally. (New inventions, dreams, discussion, predicting, skimming, completing a table, finding evidence to support statements, adverbs of manner, Bingo, Completing A Picture 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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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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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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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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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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The Iceman
An Icelandic fishing captain, known as "the Iceman" for his tough character, grabbed a 660-pound (300-kilogram) shark with his bare hands as it swam in shallow water toward his crew, a witness said. (Bizarre stories, sharks, fishing, Iceland and Greenland, predicting, mixed sentences, pronouns, suffixes, writing a rescue story, sea creature vocabulary.)
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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The Mummy's Curse
King Tutankhamen's infamous "curse of the mummy's tomb," supposed to have killed off many of those involved in the opening of the pharaoh's tomb 80 years ago was a myth, Australian researchers say. (Ancient Egypt, curses, mummies, archeology, brainstorming, matching sentence halves, scanning, comprehension, true, false or not given, complete the statements, past participles, writing an e-mail, role play.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Night of a Thousand Dinners
At the Night of a Thousand Dinners people around the world share a meal to raise money for landmine clearance. This lesson looks at this event, some of the problems that landmines have caused in Afghanistan, and the dangers of landmines. (Landmine organizations, international issues, effect of landmine explosions on ordinary people, especially women, Afghanistan, reading and predicting, making sentences, jigsaw reading, comprehension, sharing information, check your understanding.)
Elementary
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Night of a Thousand Dinners
At the Night of a Thousand Dinners people around the world share a meal to raise money for landmine clearance. This lesson looks at this event, some of the problems that landmines have caused in Afghanistan, and the dangers of landmines. (Landmine organizations, international issues, effect of landmine explosions on ordinary people, especially women, Afghanistan, reading and predicting, making sentences, jigsaw reading, comprehension, sharing information, check your understanding.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Night of a Thousand Dinners
At the Night of a Thousand Dinners people around the world share a meal to raise money for landmine clearance. This lesson looks at this event, some of the problems that landmines have caused in Afghanistan, and the dangers of landmines. (Landmine organizations, international issues, effect of landmine explosions on ordinary people, especially women, Afghanistan, reading and predicting, making sentences, jigsaw reading, comprehension, sharing information, check your understanding.)
Intermediate
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Night of a Thousand Dinners
At the Night of a Thousand Dinners people around the world share a meal to raise money for landmine clearance. This lesson looks at this event, some of the problems that landmines have caused in Afghanistan, and the dangers of landmines. (Landmine organizations, international issues, effect of landmine explosions on ordinary people, especially women, Afghanistan, reading and predicting, making sentences, jigsaw reading, comprehension, sharing information, check your understanding.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Night of a Thousand Dinners
At the Night of a Thousand Dinners people around the world share a meal to raise money for landmine clearance. This lesson looks at this event, some of the problems that landmines have caused in Afghanistan, and the dangers of landmines. (Landmine organizations, international issues, effect of landmine explosions on ordinary people, especially women, Afghanistan, reading and predicting, making sentences, jigsaw reading, comprehension, sharing information, check your understanding.)
Advanced
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Could You Mime That?
At the Cafe Signes in Paris, the staff wear beaming smiles, the service is faultless and there is no yelling from the kitchen. But if you want something to eat or drink, you are going to have to work out how to mime it -- most of the staff are deaf. (Finding the main idea, reading for specific information, comprehension, guessing meanings of words from context, true or false, role play, discussion, collocation.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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Feeling Weird?
Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird sensations and shivers down the spine may not be due to the presence of ghosts in haunted houses but to very low frequency sound that is inaudible to humans. (Scientific experiments, ghosts and the supernatural, categorizing words, discussion, understanding the main idea, sequencing, comprehension, true or false, summarizing, writing a story, listening to a story, ghost stories, identifying grammatical errors, pair crossword.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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In A Crate
A man trying to save a little money, traveled in an air cargo crate by plane from New York to Texas. Investigators are now asking him questions about his trip. (Bizarre stories, deliveries, predicting, understanding the main idea, making questions, ordering events, reading for detail, personal pronouns, sequencing game.)
Elementary
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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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Paris Beach
Can you have a beach without the sea? Paris set out to prove you can, importing sand, palm trees and sunbeds for a repeat of 2002's "Paris-Plage" experiment that lured over two million sun-worshippers to the concrete-lined banks of the River Seine. (Leisure, Paris, beaches and summer vacations, survey, predicting, true, false or not given, comprehension, deducing meaning from context, could have + past participle, dialogue build.)
Intermediate
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Mystery Man
A man suffering from amnesia has caused problems for Norwegian police. They have asked the media to help identify the well-dressed, educated man after two months of unsuccessful investigations. (Missing persons, amnesia, categorizing words, listening for ideas, true or false, reading and thinking, class story, answering questions with short answers and positive and negative forms, Who is this person? game.)
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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A PETA Protest
The leader of a prominent animal rights group said she had drawn up a will directing that her flesh be barbecued and her skin used to make leather products in protest at people's ill-treatment of animals. (Animal rights, guessing the meanings of words in context, scanning, true or false, summarizing, discussion, dialogue build, reported speech.) Please Note: The material contained in today's article may be disturbing to some students.
Intermediate
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Tattoo for the Doctor
An 85 year-old widow is so determined not to be resuscitated against her will by doctors that she has tattooed the words "Do Not Resuscitate" across her chest. (Rights of patients, tattoos, finding the main idea, vocabulary in context, information search, a, an or the, discussion, 'Who am I?' game, dialogue.)
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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Shopper Guilt
Do you ever wonder why you have a closet full of items you never use or have used just once? Canadian researchers found that retail shoppers often buy from helpful salespeople because they want to reciprocate a personal connection. (Shopping, relationships, discussion, multiple choice questions, true or false, conditional, matching, survey.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Smiling Cities
Smiling can be a thankless task in some British cities, where a survey shows not many people smile back. (Human behavior, friendliness in big cities, asking and answering questions, information exchange, true or false, a, an, the, pair crossword, research project, discussion.)
Elementary
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For a Laugh
The usual swag of April Fool's Day pranks and jokes. Has the world gone mad? No. It was just another April Fool's Day, the international day of tomfoolery when pranks, hoaxes, and practical jokes remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. (April Fool's Day, tricks and hoaxes, listening for specific information, scanning, reading for meaning, information exchange.)
Intermediate
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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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New Pet Craze in Japan
Depressed by rising unemployment and an uncertain future, more and more Japanese are turning to an unlikely source of solace -- miniature pigs. (Unusual pets, scanning, matching details, true or false, choosing a headline, prefixes, percentages and numerical expressions.)
Pre-Intermediate to Intermediate
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Never Too Late
A 92-year-old Australian woman has become the nation's oldest first-time home buyer after getting a housing loan she does not have to pay off for another 30 years. (First home buyers, banking and housing vocabulary, discussion, predicting, gap fill, true or false, reading for information, 'have to' / 'don't have to', pair crossword, group discussion.)
Intermediate
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