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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Natural Disasters

The Great Green Wall
The Sahel area, straddling 27 countries, has now been mapped in detail showing where and how to create Africa’s Great Green Wall. Some 166 million hectares of land have been identified for restoration - nearly three times the size of Kenya or France. The Great Green Wall project was launched by the African Union to combat desertification. (Great Great Wall, Sahara, Africa, FAO, reversing desertification, sustainability.)
Advanced
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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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Hurricane Gender
Because people unconsciously think a storm with a female name is less dangerous than one with a masculine name, those in its path are less likely to flee, and are therefore more vulnerable to harm. As a result, strong Atlantic hurricanes with the most feminine names caused an estimated five times more deaths than those with the most masculine names. (Hurricanes, power of names, gender stereotypes.)
Intermediate
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Asia's Nobel Winners
A Taiwanese vegetable seller is one of six winners of Asia's Ramon Magsaysay Award this year. Chen has been selling vegetables in Taiwan's Taitung central market since 1963. She has used the money she gets from selling vegetables to help build a library and feed and shelter children-and families displaced by disasters.
Pre-Intermediate
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Photos Making Slow Way Home
In a large, bright room not far from the ocean that raged through this coastal Japanese city nearly a year ago, a handful of people with magnifying glasses pore over boxes of photographs of friends or loved ones. Photos lost or damaged in the 2011 March tsunami are slowly making their way back to their owners, thanks to the painstaking efforts of a team that cleans them of mud, dirt and oil. (Photographs, memories, disasters, the present perfect simple).
Intermediate
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Do Journalists Help?
"Can you help?". "Oh ... maybe the American soldiers or the Red Cross up there can." "No, can YOU help? I need YOU to help my baby." Veteran journalists from all round the world came to cover the disaster, and it was interesting to see how they handled the often unspoken question of how to help: whether to photograph or carry the wounded baby first. (Haiti, Natural disasters and the role of the media.)
Advanced
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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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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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New age pigeon post
A flock of pigeons carrying mobile phone backpacks will be used to monitor air pollution, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday. (Technology, air pollution, making predictions, word hunt, comprehension, will to express future fact.)
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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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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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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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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Aussie Thieves Steal Water
Thieves are stealing water from rivers and selling it to Australian farmers. The farmers are fighting one of the worst droughts in a century. (Drought and its effect on crop farming, prediction, reading for gist, comprehension, categorizing words, true or false, reading for detail, word find puzzle, discussion.)
Elementary to Pre-Intermediate
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Pacific Weather Patterns
Cutting edge world science has produced a sudden consensus that a feared El Nino weather pattern is likely to be developing in the Pacific. (Weather forecasting, El Nino, affect and effect, keeping a weather journal.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Wild Elephants
Wild elephants killed four people and injured 15 others while rampaging through two villages in southeastern Bangladesh. (Problems related to protecting endangered animals, elephants, the Simple Past and Simple Present Tenses.)
Elementary
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A State of Emergency
Italy has declared a state of environmental emergency in Venice, one of its most popular tourist destinations. "Extraordinary measures are needed because of the high levels of pollution," said Federica Cingolani, the environment ministry press secretary. "The states of emergency could last a year but it will be up to local officials to decide." (Pollution, Italy, tourism, collocations Writing / Peer Editing.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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