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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Biology

Roof Farms
Farming on the rooftops of Paris has been such a success that the mayor is introducing more projects. By 2020, Paris will have more] than 100 hectares (0.39 square mile) of rooftop gardens and planted walls. (Gardens and cities, benefits of gardening, information exchange: sunflowers.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Not Enough Room For More Fish In The Sea??
Lizzie Carr is on a mission. She recently became the first woman to cross the English Channel solo on a paddle-board to draw attention to the "global plastic crisis". From fishing lines to flip flops, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world's oceans. (Global plastic crisis, oceans, working for a cause.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Allergies
Do pets in fact help kids to overcome allergies? Exposing babies to puppies and other furry pets might help them accumulate two types of bacteria in their gut that are associated with a lower risk of allergies and obesity (Health, pets, asthma, allergies)
Upper-Intermediate
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Life In the Dry Zone
Myo Myint fondly remembers when his one-acre farm regularly produced 100 baskets of rice. But as rainfall became erratic, he started growing betel leaves, a less thirsty cash crop. This summer, the 50-year-old is considering leaving fallow his land in Myanmar's central "Dry Zone". (Drought, climate change, Myanmar, water conservation and irrigation sensors)
Advanced
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First Lady A Climber
Scientists using sophisticated scanning technology on the fossil bones of the ancient human ancestor from Ethiopia dubbed "Lucy" have determined that she was adept at climbing trees as well as walking. (Lucy and fossils, gerund following preposition.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Full Metal Spiders
Scientists knew that fish often carry mercury but they now know that spiders can transfer mercury to foods that people eat.
Elementary
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Fixing Faulty Genes
The world's first life-saving gene therapy for children has been recommended for approval in Europe, boosting the pioneering technology to fix faulty genes. (Medicine and biotechnology, gene therapy, making predictions.)
Advanced
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Flying Mosquitoes
Global health officials have said that the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, is rapidly spreading. Mosquitoes can hop airplanes, flying out of malaria-stricken countries to pose a risk to people in areas where the infection is rare. (Health, malaria, travel, use of commas)
Upper-Intermediate
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Teeth or Web?
Spider silk may lose its claim as the strongest known natural material after researchers found that limpet teeth have more mettle. (Natural materials and strength, minerals, similes, modal verbs - may, might, could.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Epidemic Fear
Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website. With West Africa facing the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever fear and mistrust is driving dozens of victims to evade treatment, frustrating doctors trying to contain the epidemic. (Ebola, deadly illnesses and West Africa.)
Advanced  Lesson Updated: 22 August 2014
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Keeping a City Flush with Water
When the going got tough due to one of the worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita Falls got going with its program to recycle sewage water for drinking. (Water shortages, recycling.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Beautiful Noise
Whether playing in a symphony orchestra or a rock concert, professional musicians may have almost four times the risk of hearing loss as their audience does.
Upper-Intermediate
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Bee Ware
Australian scientists are gluing tiny sensors onto thousands of honey bees to track their movements in a trial aimed at halting the spread of diseases that have wiped out populations in the northern hemisphere. (Bees, pollination, scientific experiments, because and because of, process descriptions.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Bugs, Bites and Parasites
The tourist who got more than she bargained for on an overseas holiday and a cheap natural therapy for arthritis has been recommended by scientists - hirudo medicinalis, or more simply, leeches. (Arthritis and treatments, leeches, maggots, could for possibility, ability and requesting,reading for detail, guessing words by context, 'affect' and 'effect', medical vocabulary, dialog and essay writing.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Not To Your Taste?
President Barack Obama likes burgers, hot dogs and such, but when it came time to answer a question about his favorite food, broccoli was the first word that sprang from his lips. Former American President George Bush Sr.'s famous dislike of broccoli might be put down to the fact that he could be a "supertaster". (Predicting using a headline, writing questions, summarizing the text, metaphors, writing a report, prepositions, future - will for predictions.)
Intermediate
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Nasty Parasites
Parasites look set to become more virulent because of climate change, according to a study showing that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures. (Parasites, climate change, frogs, reported quesitons.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Spider Eyes
Eye doctors at a hospital in England have discovered why a man's eye was sore - there were spider hairs in it. Doctors in Australia have removed a spider from a man's stomach after the spider burrowed in and lived there for 3 days. (Spiders, dangerous animals, pets, sequencing, reference words.)
Elementary
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Welcome To Clone Farm
To the untrained eye, Pollard Farms looks much like any other cattle ranch. Similar looking cows huddled in similar looking pens. But some of the cattle here don't just resemble each other. They are literally identical - clear down to their genes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of food from clones and their offspring, stating the products are indistinguishable from their non-clone counterparts. (Cloning, degrees of certainty, second conditional.)
Advanced
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Goo Goo Ga Ga
The wail of a newborn may sound the same to the ears of sleep-deprived parents the world over, but according to scientists, that's not the case: Babies cry in the language their parents speak from the first days of life. (Babies, foetuses, human development, language degrees of certainty, could, might, definitely, likely.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Gold For Race
Naoko Takahashi, winner of the 2000 Sydney Olympic marathon, says she would swap her gold medal to run at the 2016 Games if they are awarded to Tokyo. (Winning, hornets, sport, first and second conditionals.)
Intermediate
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King Bug
Animals such as lions, crocodiles or snakes thrive elsewhere on the planet, but Antarctica's most fearsome land predator is a reddish bug. The continent is best known for penguins, seals and whales, but all rely on the sea for food, unlike its Lilliputian land-based creatures and plants -- so far almost unaffected by humans. (Antarctica, ecosystems, climate change, answering true or false questions, adverbs.)
Advanced
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Germs Everywhere!
A study from Britain indicates people in the north of Britain are three times as likely to have hands contaminated with fecal bacteria than their compatriots in the south while two other articles look at the best ways to sterilize a sponge and keep a bathroom and kitchen clean. (Cleanliness, health and hygiene, imperatives and instructions.)
Intermediate
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Alaska's Hotting Up
Welcome to Alaska, where the blow of climate change will fall harder than on any other U.S. state. Records indicate that Alaska has already experienced the largest regional warming of any U.S. state. (Global warming, droughts, forest fires, infestations of insects, True or False, understanding the main idea, scanning, finding synonyms).
Advanced
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Environmentally friendly power sources
A corn-like plant that can grow as high as an elephant's eye on some of Earth's driest farmland shows promise as a "smart" biofuel that won't cut into world food supplies and wind power has been growing steadily for the past three years. (Alternative fuel and energy sources, the environment, climate change, pair reading, completing a table of information, discussion, zero, first and second conditionals).
Intermediate
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Hungry Pandas
Giant pandas living in the wild in the misty mountains of southwest China are facing a possible food shortage as bamboo plants, their staple diet, near the end of their lifespan, state media said on Monday. (Pandas, conservation, brainstorming, listening gap fill, sequencing, conducting an interview, verbs of perception with active participles or bare infinitives).
Upper-Intermediate
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Watching is Catching on
Armed with binoculars it takes to the bush to spot and identify winged creatures but this is not the common bird watcher -- it's the butterfly watcher, a relatively rare but fast growing species. (Butterflies and butterfly watching, conservation, hobbies, making predictions, comprehension, finding grammatical errors.)
Advanced
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Redbacks and Snakes on the Move
Snakes are going into urban areas in Australia because they are looking for water and redback spiders were going inside. (Snakes, spiders, Australia, comprehension, prediction, reading for understanding, answering true or false questions, countable and uncountable nouns, much, many, some, any, a few, a little, few, less)
Elementary
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"Not Mad" Cows Created
U.S. and Japanese scientists said on Sunday that they had used genetic engineering to produce cattle that resist mad cow disease.(Genetic engineering, Mad Cow Disease, BSE, CJD, scientific research, the passive.)
Intermediate
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It's A Boy?
For extinct creatures like dinosaurs known only from fossils, it is extremely difficult to [tell] the males from the females. But a study may provide a handy guide on telling the boys from the girls. (Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex, fossils, reading for information, completing a table, summarizing, active and passive voices, listen and draw game, participles, writing a poem.)
Intermediate
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Fish Finds True Love
A stressed-out spotted fish in a British aquarium has calmed down after finding its perfect match... a look-alike plastic dice. (Compound adjectives, singular and plural forms, writing a comic strip)
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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No More Embarrassment
A London clinic is charging stressed professionals $5,680 to drill a hole in their armpits, snip away their nerve endings and eliminate their blushes for good. (Blushing, operations, predicting from headlines, comprehension, simple past verb forms, working out meanings from context.)
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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Scientists Go Back to the Future
British scientists hope to exhume the body of a young woman who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic to examine the virus that claimed up to 40 million lives worldwide. (Flu, pandemics, true/ false/not mentioned, verbs that take the infinitive or -ing forms, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Fishy Milk?
Some landlocked Canadian cows are enjoying a little seafood with their hay and grain so they can produce a new kind of milk being touted for its benefits for the brain, eyes and nerves. (Modified foods, diet, fish, nutrition, discussion, comprehension, meanings in context, true or false, prepositions, design a poster, dialogue build.)
Intermediate
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Is Ecotourism Too Popular?
Ecotourism is taking its toll on wildlife and may be endangering the survival of the very animals people are flocking to see, according to researchers. (Ecotourism and its impact on wildlife, animal quiz, talking about animals, predicting, completing a table, check your understanding, true, false or not given, the present continuous, jigsaw reading, crossword.)
Intermediate
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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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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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These Music Lovers Are Turkeys
Britain's farming union has released a chill-out album of different sounds to help turkeys keep calm in the understandably stressful run-up to being eaten. (Farming, animals, meat, scanning, true or false, working out unfamiliar words, summarizing, Farm Animal Sounds Game, Completing a Picture game, zero conditional, discussion.)
Intermediate
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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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A Brand New Fish!
A little tropical fish that glows fluorescent red will be the first genetically-engineered pet. (Genetic engineering, tropical fish, pets, skimming, reading gap fill, complete the table, matching information, true, false or not given, prepositions, expressing opinions, role plays.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Urban Oz Insects
Millions of giant moths swoop down on Australian cities each spring. Called bogongs, they like the big city lights, where they flutter into high-rise offices, drown in bowls of soup, pester bus drivers, even freeze to death in refrigerators. (Insects, pests, sorting words, finding the main idea, true or false, complete the table, meanings in context, verbs: active or passive voice, present simple or past simple tense, dialogue building, peer dictation, crossword.)
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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SARS Vaccine
Tests of an anti-SARS vaccine may start in January 2004, but that would be too late to protect the public if the killer virus returns this winter, the World Health Organization said. (SARS, vaccines, understanding the main idea, comprehension, writing questions, summary, health words, peer dictation, crossword, too + adverb, adjective or much / many.)
Pre-Intermediate
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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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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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Can't See The Trees
US cities have lost more than 20 percent of their trees in the past 10 years. This is due mainly to urban sprawl and highway construction. (Importance of trees, loss of trees in cities, understanding the main idea, crossword, interpreting a flowchart and transferring information, reading in detail, present simple, present perfect and past simple tenses, brainstorming.)
Pre-Intermediate
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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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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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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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