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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Geography

We Want To Learn
Iraqi girls are back at school in Mosul, Iraq after years of life under Islamic State. "We want to learn, we do not want to be ignorant," said one student.
Intermediate
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Memories ....
Tiny memory cards and fluffy teddy bears are among the most popular items for North Koreans shopping in Dandong, China's gateway city to its neighbor. (North Korea, souvenirs, television shows, influence of media.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Olympic Accommodation
For the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the largest athletes' village in the long history of the Games was unveiled. (The Olympic Village, treatment of athletes, hosting an international event, sport.)
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 25 July 2016
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Isle of Trump
Donald Trump has played up his family roots from Lewis, an island off the northwestern tip of Scotland, but his success in the U.S. Republican presidential battle has not drawn the kind of rapture the billionaire might like from his home crowd. (Donald Trump, Scotland, weather, religion, politics.)
Advanced
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Mayor For A Year
A freckled-faced three-year-old boy has got a few valuable pieces of advice from his six-year-old brother since he succeeded his elder brother as mayor of a small town in northern Minnesota. (Sequencing, vocabulary)
Pre-Intermediate
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Demining Animals
Eight dogs have finished their difficult training. They are part of Thailand's battle to get rid of land-mines. Find out about two other animals that are used for "demining" (Landmine clearance, sorting information, 'adjective + for + object pattern'.)
Elementary
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Fleeing Yemen
The rocket that tore through a minivan outside the Aden Grand Hotel last week killing nine men, women and children was a clear message that it was time to leave. Yemen's civil war had come too close for comfort. (Discussion, sequencing)
Advanced
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Scarecrow Town
Tsukimi Ayano made her first scarecrow 13 years ago. The straw scarecrow looked like her father, so she made more. Today, the tiny village of Nagoro is full of her scarecrows in houses, fields, trees, streets and at a bus stop. (Scarecrows, migration, families, apostrophe for possession.)
Elementary
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Change of Energy Source?
The lakeside town of Port Hope, Ontario, encompasses both the promise and the dark side of the nuclear industry. The town is home to the world's longest running facility to process nuclear fuel, a massive white eyesore that towers over the sailboats bobbing in its tranquil harbor. (Nuclear energy, the environment, business, nuclear accidents, like and unlike.)
Advanced
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Russia's Saint and Savior?
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cultivates the image of a bare-chested macho man, but a nun-like sect in central Russia thinks actually he's the reincarnation of St. Paul, the apostle. (Famous people, Fact Or Opinion, Matching Information, Politcians)
Advanced
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China to Age Before it Gets Rich?
The harsh logic of China's one-child policy is starting to unravel... Demographers worry that without change, China will become the first country in the world to age before it gets rich. China's choke on family size to usually one child in cities and two in the countryside now threatens its economic future, with fewer people left to pay and care for an increasingly gray population. (Aging population, one child policy, China, family size, census results.)
Advanced
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Do You Like The Countryside?
A small German village needs a new doctor. The village is offering the doctor free bread, meat, flowers, haircuts and accommodation and a small Australian village needs new families. The village is offering families houses for rent for AUS$1 a week. (City versus the countryside, jobs, advertisements.)
Elementary
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Permits Required
In the land where Jesus lived, Christians say their dwindling numbers are turning churches from places of worship into museums. And when Christian pilgrims come from all over the world to visit the places of Christ's birth, death and resurrection, they find them divided by a concrete wall. As a boy growing up in Jerusalem, Yacoub Dahdal saw Christians from all over the Middle East converge on the city at Easter time to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
Advanced
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Tips and Hints for Visitors
Commonwealth Games organizers have compiled an extensive list of hints and tips for visitors to the October event, the guide providing a valuable insight into social mores as well as helping to avoid embarrassing situations. (Commonwealth Games, sport, rules for behavior, New Delhi.)
Upper-Intermediate
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China's Development Juggernaut
China has put big money down on a momentous gamble: rush to build new cities in its poor interior, then wait for people to come and help drive the economy to a new stage of growth. Here in this corner of the Chinese hinterland, the government has widened farm lanes into highways, turned wheat fields into an industrial park, spent a fortune on government offices, and set up a school for thousands of students in what was a dusty town a few years before. (China, government, development, migration.)
Advanced
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Protecting the Animals
Efforts to save tigers and kiwi birds. This lesson looks at conservation efforts in two different places. (Environment, animals, poaching, pests, New Zealand, Sundarban Forest, Bangladesh, India, present perfect simple).
Pre-Intermediate
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Pirates!
A new spate of hijackings by Somali pirates has shown they are determined to go on striking at shipping on the region's strategic trade routes despite intervention by Western and other navies. Multi-million-dollar superyachts sailing from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean for the European summer could be the next high-profile target of Somali pirates, security experts say. (Super yachts, piracy, choosing the correct headline, finding errors.)
Advanced
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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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Mind Your Manners
Smiling and friendly, Beijing's shop assistants, taxi drivers, doormen, restaurant staff and even the police are trying very hard to be polite to foreign visitors. (Shopping, politeness, China, present continuous, miming an action, discussion, manners.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Slim Peace
There's the weekly weigh-in, the tips on healthy snacking and the chit-chat between women. But this is a slimming group with a difference: half its members are Palestinian, half are Israeli and the aim is to foster dialogue, through a common battle with weight. (Women and focus groups, Palestine and Israel, conflicts, brainstorming, completing a table of information, collocation and vocabulary exercises)
Advanced
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Top International Travel Destinations
The Greek island of Rhodes was voted on Thursday as the top European location in a survey of the world's 100 best travel destinations. New Zealand topped the international survey. (Best travel destinations, geography, tourism, travel questionnaire, reading for numbers and facts, explaining a headline.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Beijing Driving Guide
Here are some tips about how to drive in Beijing, a city with three million vehicles on its roads. (Driving, road safety, Beijing, filling gaps, matching sentence halves, pairwork reading, discussion, language focus on the definite article.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Aging World
Already, one in five Japanese are aged 65 or over and by mid-century a falling birth rate and rising longevity mean that figure will nearly double, while the population will drop by 30 percent to 90 million. Companies in the world's fastest-aging society are looking to older people as well as younger women, immigrants and even robots to fill the gaps. (Aging populations, work issues, making decisions, answering multiple choice questions, role play.)
Advanced
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Greyhound Gives a Picture
Every morning a Greyhound bus loads up with passengers to start its journey to Atlanta. The ride provides an insight into the lives of America's poor as the bus crosses the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. (Greyhound bus travel, descriptions of people, discussion, completing the gaps, choosing the best headline, completing a summary, understanding points of view and purpose, word families, writing an email.)
Advanced
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Real-life Avatar
A world away from Hollywood in remote eastern India the story of Avatar is being played out. Avatar tells the story of the Na'vi whose existence is threatened by a mining corporation which wants to exploit mineral deposits beneath a giant sacred tree. In India's state of Orissa, indigenous tribespeople are battling to stop Vedanta Resources from extracting bauxite from their sacred mountain. (Religion, environment, sharing information, making a diagram, timeline, discussion.)
Advanced
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Lost in The Big Apple
Ever wondered what would happen if you lost your wallet in a big city? If it happened in New York, chances are you would get it back. New Yorkers may have a reputation as being busy, cynical and tough but most will take the trouble and effort to find the owner of a lost wallet, according to a new study. (Honesty, city versus countryside, problem solving, writing a definition, conducting an experiment, quantifier words.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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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Water Crisis
Fleets of supertankers could one day ply the world's oceans laden not with oil but fresh water. The world's top climate scientists have issued the strongest warning yet that human activity was heating the planet. By 2100, water scarcity could impact between 1.1 and 3.2 billion people. (Water conservation, predicting from a headline, completing a table, interpreting, survey on water use, completing a poster slogan, finding grammatical errors.)
Upper-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 9 February 2007
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Max Vocab Worksheet: The United Nations
Here are a couple of exercises on words related to the United Nations and the Security Council. This worksheet goes well with the Upper Intermediate lesson "The Security Council".
Upper-Intermediate
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Bushfires
Bushfires in Australia, science, nature, Australia, listening for understanding, reading and understanding, answering true and false questions, fire safety.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Education in Crisis
Ahmed waits outside his school's gates on a chilly midweek morning, holding his textbooks by his side. But as the majority of pupils and teachers fail to arrive, the 18-year-old, who is in his final year at high school, has to put off learning for yet another day. "It's canceled again today," he said. (Education in an area of conflict, Iraq, brainstorming vocabulary, checking predictions, completing a sentence summary, inferring, discussion, describing qualities.)
Advanced
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Lightning Safety
Seeking refuge in houses, schools or office buildings, unplugging computers and avoiding open fields during thunderstorms can help reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by lightning during the summer months. Never use a mobile phone outside during a lightning strike. (Lightning, safety during thunderstorms, scanning, expressions using lightning, verb patterns.)
Upper-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 20 October 2006
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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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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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Found in a Bog
A woman in Ireland survived 34 hours in a car submerged in a bog. (Bizarre car accidents and survival stories, matching pictures and information, sequencing, predicting, reading for detail, class dictation, 'after' to show the order of events, word find puzzle, chain story.)
Intermediate
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Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship
Anyone wanting to throw away their mobile phone can do it in style and may even win a medal - at the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship in Finland. (Unusual events and festivals, mobile phones, playing games, Finland, speed reading, choosing the best answer, completing a summary)
Pre-Intermediate
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Bangladesh's rivers - curse and lifeline
The mighty Teesta river that has swept away farm laborer Mohammad Taheruddin's home 10 times in the past five decades is now a picture of calm. But barely two months ago the Teesta, like many other rivers in the low-lying South Asian country, was in full spate. It burst its banks, destroying flood shelters the government built five years. (Bangladesh, flooding, discussion, brainstorming, matching headlines, true or false, reading carefully, reading and notetaking, present perfect continuous.)
Advanced
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Keeping the river flowing
The Jordan River is heavily polluted with sewage and is in danger of drying up after decades of conflict and intense agricultural use, environmentalists say. (Environment, agriculture, natural resources, religions, the Middle East, rivers, answering true or false questions, comprehension, cloze reading, reported speech, direct speech, team quiz.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Running over with Happiness
Dean Karnazes is 42-years-old and loves running - he often runs all night. R. Laurence Macon is 67 and sometimes runs 7 marathons a week. He runs while he works. (Marathon running, hobbies and free time, introductions, matching and discussion, making questions, comprehension, present simple, be, checking information.)
Elementary
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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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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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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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Business Travelers Can't Afford to Skip Breakfast
Corporate travelers need to be alert and ready to deal from the moment they wake up. So, skipping breakfast is not recommended, nutritionists say. (Business travel, business culture, importance of breakfast, nutrition, quiz, reading for the main idea, reading and comparing, finding ideas, functional language - ordering from a menu, apologizing and greeting, summarizing, dialogue, find someone who...)
Upper-Intermediate
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Delivering The Mail
This is about postalworkers who won't deliver the mail when it's too cold and postalworkers using scooters to deliver mail. (Transport, mail, jobs, addressing, France, Canada, the weather, the present simple, the present continuous.)
Elementary
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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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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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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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