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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Instant Lesson

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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Turtle Refuge
In New York, finding a nice apartment to live in is all about who you know. For turtles, that person is Richard Ogust. (Endangered species, turtles, wildlife organizations, scanning, true or false, crossword - environment words, where and which, information exchange - marine turtles, dialogue.)
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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Don't Be Alarmed!
Police in Los Angeles have settled on a new way of handling those pesky burglar alarms that take up so much of their time. They will now ignore them -- unless someone can prove that there is a genuine emergency. (Crimes, burglary, predicting from the headline, guessing words from context, comprehension, true or false, summarizing, the present perfect simple, vocabulary: robbery, theft, burglary, giving an opinion in speaking and writing.)
Intermediate
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An Unusual Job
A missile storage space on a US aircraft carrier is a strange place to find a car salesman, but Paul St Pierre has spent the last five years on US navy ships selling motorbikes and cars to sailors with plenty of time on their hands and nowhere to spend their money. (Life on a warship, motorbikes, 'find someone who' game, different types of employment, understanding the headline, choose the best answer, true or false, 'even though'.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Peace Training Grounds
McCarthy loves the long-shot. Good thing, too, because the journalist-turned-peace activist is betting that warlike humanity will some day evolve into enlightened creatures guided by love and harmony. (Peace studies, finding the main idea, true, false or not given, missing sentences, sharing information, gap fill, suffixes, finding grammatical errors, essay.)
Advanced
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Traffic Fine
An Austrian woman has begun a 500-day jail sentence for ignoring parking tickets and a woman in Glasgow, Scotland is one of the world's worst parking offenders. (Parking and rules, bizarre stories, infinitive of purpose.)
Elementary
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Germans Lose Shirts Over Taxes
Angry Germans who think Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to tear the shirts off their backs with his plans to raise taxes have decided to spare him the trouble. His office is being deluged with old shirts. (Tax increases and protests, comprehension, true, false or not given, thinking carefully, main idea, the past perfect tense, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Signing a Petition
A baby elephant in Germany has signed a petition to protect wild elephants around the world, an environmental protection group says. (Ivory trade and elephants, ranking, predicting, writing questions, guessing the meanings of words in context, true or false, verb forms, short talks, describing an animal.)
Intermediate
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Knowing How to Drive a Car
Two Canadians learned that knowing how to drive a car is important when you want to steal one. (Bizarre crimes, matching pictures and information, gap fill, comprehension, to know how to do something, word find puzzle, discussion.)
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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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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Pampering Pets in Style
Pet salons are but the latest sybaritic development that help make a dog's life in Tokyo these days very, very good indeed. Statistics are not kept on Japanese pet spending, but the industry seems immune to the chill economic winds that have caused consumer spending to otherwise slump. (Beauty treatments for dogs in Japan, how people spoil their pets, predicting, reading and matching pictures, text organization, comprehension, descriptive language, writing an ad.)
Advanced
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