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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Instant Lesson

Something's Cooking for Career Changers
Lisa Poulos loved the frenetic pace of her job as assistant to a top executive at a Manhattan financial firm, but she quit her job and enrolled in Manhattan's French Culinary Institute where she could learn cooking and baking skills. (Cooking, career changes, comprehension, guessing meanings of words from context, summarizing, food and cooking vocabulary, bar and line graph work, matching words game, reading an interview.)
Upper-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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Working Elephants
India's working elephants are to have reflectors put on their rears to stop road accidents. (Elephants, road safety, prediction, gap fill, information exchange, questions, writing headlines, the adverb 'often', How often...?, asking about frequency game, running dictation.)
Elementary
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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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Animal Phones
The sweet song of a bird, the roar of a lion or the grunt of a hippo could soon replace the beeping of Britain's mobile phones. (New services for mobile phones, matching pictures and words, split reading, tell someone about an article, matching information, reading for detail, discussion, what am I? game, understanding and drawing a cartoon, the present continuous tense, crossword - animals.)
Elementary
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Mirrors Not Required
Wall-to-wall mirrors in gyms and dance studios might stop women getting the exercise they need because women who work out in front of a mirror get discouraged and feel tired, Canadian researchers said. (Exercise and body image, Find Someone Who game, categorizing words, writing questions, crossword, completing sentences, true, false or not given, role play, discussion, group design project, superlative adjectives.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Idioms - True and False - Pigs and Hogs
This warmer about idioms encourages discussion and should also be a lot of fun!
Upper-Intermediate
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Lights Out!
U.S. supermarkets and restaurants had to throw away mountains of spoiled vegetables, meats and dairy products, while others were counting on backup generators to minimize losses from the largest power outage in North America's history. (Power failure and the effects of a blackout on supermarkets and restaurants, predicting from the headline, sequencing, comprehension, true, false or not given, word forms, peer dictation.)
Intermediate
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Stressed! Stressed! Stressed!
Job stress is a leading cause of illness, depression and workplace violence in America today and is increasing, experts say. (Stress in the workplace, causes, business, sharing opinions and fluency speaking practice, understanding the headline, matching information, reading for information, spot the mistake - grammatical errors, sequencing game.)
Advanced
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Everest Anniversary
As he marked the 50th anniversary of reaching the roof of the world, a now gray-haired and stooped Sir Edmund Hillary didn't care if he really was the first to the top of Mount Everest. (Everest, Mallory, Hillary and Norgay, mountain climbing, anniversary of historic climb, matching information, sequencing, scrambled questions, complete the sentences, comparing pictures, true, false or not given, crossword.)
Intermediate
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A Rude Passenger
A Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Brisbane, Australia made an unscheduled stop to eject a passenger who became unruly after a heated argument with his girlfriend. The man may have to pay the A$25,000 bill. (Airplane travel, passenger behavior, sequencing, summarizing, discussion, true or false, interview, word forms, pair crossword.)
Pre-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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Toy Gun
Holding a toy pistol, a would-be robber chose a strange place to try and rob -- a gun shop. (Crime stories, matching words and pictures, comprehension, sequencing, thinking carefully, running dictation, word find puzzle, immediately, writing a dialogue.)
Elementary
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Plan To Fight Future SARS
Asia-Pacific health ministers have agreed to common health screening procedures for the deadly SARS virus and to share information to combat the disease as China promised openness to stop future outbreaks. (SARS, controlling infectious diseases, trade, brainstorming, predicting from the headline, making questions, completing and performing an interview.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Green Packaging
Wild Oats Markets Inc. became the first grocery store in the United States to roll out a new type of "green" packaging which looks like plastic but turns into compost after disposal. (Environmentally friendly packaging, comprehension, true or false, meanings from context, summarizing, information gap activity, language - making predictions.)
Intermediate
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Ducks and Locusts
China is using ducks to stop locusts from destroying valuable crops, but the ducks will probably then be eaten in restaurants. (Pests, locusts, prediction, reading for the main idea, sequencing, true or false, discussion, in and into, recipe.)
Elementary
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Cleaning Up Their Acts
With its landfill sites almost full, Japan has launched a plan to halve the amount of trash it buries. Meanwhile, Ireland battles a price of economic success: a waste disposal crisis. From a third island nation, New Zealand, comes a possible waste management solution. (Waste management, environmentally friendly waste management systems, matching sentence beginnings and endings, listening for information, true or false, choose the best answer, using 'also', understanding a process diagram.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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International Treaty Against Smoking
More than 190 countries approved the first international treaty against smoking, including an advertising ban, aimed at kicking a habit that kills nearly 5 million people a year. (Antismoking, WHO, complete the headline, scanning, reading carefully, summarizing, relative clauses, information exchange, debate, complete the drawing.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Atwood's 'Oryx and Crake'
Celebrated Canadian author Margaret Atwood has released a novel about a deadly virus that wipes out civilization. 'Oryx and Crake' is bound to touch a few nerves in her home country and around a world still plagued with the fear of SARS. (Science Fiction, the future, SARS, text organization, true, false or not given, choose the best answer, sequencing, discussion, words with similar spellings, acronyms, find someone who game - books and reading.) Warning: Adult themes.
Advanced
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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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No-Frills Cinema
The world's first no-frills cinema is opening in Britain promising tickets from just 20 pence -- but with no popcorn or blockbuster movies on show. (Cinemas and movies, quick survey, gap fill, choosing a headline, scanning, true or false, have to..., brainstorming, movie crossword, peer dictation.)
Intermediate
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Tallest Building
The world's tallest building in Dubai is 828 meters (2,717 ft) high. (Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, world's tallest buildings, discussion, comprehension, reading for specific information, reference words, identifying nouns, comparative and superlative structures, shouting dictation, information gap game.)
Elementary
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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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Top Dog May Be Cheat?
The canine winner of the world's biggest dog show may be stripped of its title after being accused of having a secret facelift, the Times newspaper reported. (Dog shows, cosmetic surgery, dog breeding, facial expressions, understanding text organization, jumbled questions, active and passive, matching terms and definitions, sentences game.)
Intermediate
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Winning and Losing
A NZ$200,000 ($112,000) dispute between two New Zealand companies has been resolved in an unusual out-of-court settlement -- an arm-wrestling match. (Business, disputes, discussion, sentence order, writing questions, comprehension, a/an/the, prefix 'un', pair crossword, correct or incorrect game--the apostrophe for possession.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Donor Debate
A Moldovan woman, desperate to feed her family, decides to sell one of her kidneys to a rich Westerner for $3,000 - - more than a year’s salary for the donor, peanuts to the recipient. Is it an act of exploitation in Europe’s poorest country or a lifesaving transaction which could and should be regulated? (Body organ trading, understanding the main idea, understanding viewpoints, summarizing, discussion, words in context.)
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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How To Spot The Hit
Picking the next worldwide hit song could soon be as easy as running a software program that is designed to spot the hits before they are released. (Hit songs, record companies, predicting using a headline, correcting mistakes, complete the information, writing questions, talking about music game, infinitive of purpose, role play.)
Intermediate
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Chinese Students Return Home
China began letting more of its students out into the world in the late 1970s. But it is only recently that foreign-trained Chinese have begun to return, lured by a booming economy and more opportunities in the growing number of private companies and foreign firms that now have offices in China. (China, students, employment, scanning, comprehension, gap fill, true, false or not given, the suffix 'ee', role play, essay topic.)
Advanced
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Missing Mouse
A missing mouse kept a Swiss airplane on the ground for more than a day while officials put carbon dioxide into the plane's cargo hold to kill it. (Air travel, strange but true stories, predicting, constructing questions, information exchange, main idea, sequencing, infinitive of purpose, word find puzzle, air travel vocabulary, ranking, summarizing.)
Pre-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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The Business of First Impressions
You have 10 seconds; no more than 90. That's how long it takes to form a first impression, which for business travelers can ultimately sink or seal a deal. (Business etiquette, preparing for a meeting, making a good first impression, understanding the headline, finding ideas, business crossword, thinking carefully, writing an e-mail, ordering text game, conditionals and even.)
Advanced
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Police Cars For Sale
A Charlotte, N.C. company, Government Acquisitions, has come up with a plan to provide police departments free cruisers in exchange for having the cars sport advertising reminiscent of blurbs seen on NASCAR race cars. (Police departments and advertising, discussion, sequencing, matching information, true, false or not mentioned, expressing an opinion, listing advantages or disadvantages, have / get something done ...)
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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Bushfires Devastate Large Parts of Australia
Fueled by one of the worst droughts in a century, bushfires have scarred a slice of Australia nearly three times the size of Britain -- or almost as big as the second largest U.S. state, Texas. (Bushfires, natural disasters, Australia, true or false, jigsaw reading, complete the table, comparisons of equality and comparing the size of things, Internet research.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Happy Pigs
England's farmers must keep their pigs happy with toys and straw or receive a big fine, the government said. (Animals, farming, finding the main idea, questions and answers, gap fill, listening for mistakes, prefix 'un', following instructions, pair crossword, discussion.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Binge Drinkers
Researchers say that more Americans are getting drunk each year. (Binge drinking, negative effects of drinking too much, finding the main idea, predicting, comprehension, discussion, reference words, likely to, crossword, project work.)
Pre-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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T-Shirt Not So Peaceful
A lawyer was arrested and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall. (Slogans on T-shirts, choose the best answer, complete the information, sequencing, true, false or not given, writing slogans, discussion, the prefix 'mis'.)
Intermediate
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A Women's Sport
Legions of young and not-so-young women are plunging into waves at surf beaches worldwide, ending the male domination of a sport once restricted to Hawaiian kings. (Surfing, women's sports, comprehension, sentence completion, vocabulary in context, reading for specific information, true, false or not given, peer dictation, 'like' used to show similarity, role play.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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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Safe SUVs?
In a land where bigger is usually thought of as better, Americans love their sports utility vehicles and they are not going to give them up. (SUVs, fuel consumption, talking about cars, prediction, scanning, true or false, reading for detail, suffixes, discussion, matching sentence beginnings and endings, sell a car information transfer activity.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Up, up and away!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a strap-on flying machine. And it could be yours on eBay for $1 million with just one catch -- you have to agree not to use it. (Flying machines, auctions, listening for gist, information exchange, reading for specific information, adjectives, persuasive essay.)
Advanced
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What's Up, Doc?
A multiyear survey of about 12,000 U.S. physicians has found that nearly 18 percent of them don't like their jobs. (Doctors and job satisfaction, vocabulary, scanning, correcting mistakes, true or false, led to..., survey.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Music Sales Sinking
Slumping music sales left the recording industry with a whopping New Year's hangover, but rap star Eminem has plenty to celebrate. (Music sales in 2002, talking about music, summarizing the main idea, jigsaw reading, multiple choice questions, reading interview with hip-hop musician, Michael Franti, discussion, writing a statistical report.)
Advanced
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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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A Very Popular Mousetrap
Queen Elizabeth and "The Mousetrap" got together for a double celebration. In her Golden Jubilee year, the British monarch saw the Agatha Christie whodunit on the night that performance number 20,807 marked its 50th anniversary as the world's longest-running play. ("The Mousetrap", plays, gap fill, matching ideas, true, false or not given, meanings in context, discussion, form and uses of present perfect simple tense, simple past vs present perfect simple.)
Upper-Intermediate
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