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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Rescue Stories

Enslaved
Pimp turned do-gooder Kaushic Biswas has swapped the brothel for the kitchen and is now teaching the sort of women he once exploited how to cook their way out of sex trafficking. (Slavery and forced labor.)
Advanced
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Bikes Against Trafficking
Five hundred nuns from the Buddhist sect known as the Drukpa Order, www.drukpa.org/index.php/en/ on Saturday complete a 4,000-km (2,485 mile) bicycle trek from Nepal's Kathmandu to the northern city of Leh in India to raise awareness about human trafficking in the remote region. (Human trafficking, disaster relief, Buddhist nuns, extraordinary journeys.)
Advanced
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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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Doll Hospital
A doll hospital in Australia is 101 years old. Most dolls are plastic so there are few doll hospitals in the world. (Favorite toys, doll hospitals, writing a description, do/does for present simple questions, make a choice.)
Elementary
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Dear Santa
One 13-year-old boy who sent a "Dear Santa" letter to the U.S. Post Office this year asked only for covers for his bed, "so I can stay warm this winter." Heartrending letters like this are sent each year to the Post Office "Letters to Santa" program, now in its 100th year. Some of the letters are answered by charitable groups, businesses, schools, postal employees and individual anonymous givers, who pick letters and go shopping. (Santa letters, helping others, Ho!, Ho!, Ho! competition.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Surprise Trips
A 9-year-old boy from Minneapolis went through security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and caught a flight to Las Vegas without a ticket and three German children aged five, six and seven who said they were fed up with cold weather at home set off on a voyage to Africa but only got as far as the local train station. (Children and mishaps, transport, taxis, past simple and past continuous tenses, ordinal numbers, the prefix -un.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The Real Heroes
Encouraging students to think about real heroes - people who make a difference in the community.
Pre-Intermediate
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Doing The Right Thing
A Boston homeless man turned over to police a backpack stuffed with nearly $42,000 worth of cash and travelers checks shortly after he found it at a shopping mall. He has then been rewarded for his selfless act with about $60,000 worth of online donations from people impressed with his honesty. (Honesty, suffix -less, past simple and past continuous.)
Intermediate
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Giving Kids
Not long after the megastorm Sandy hit the northeast United States, Maryum Goodwin and her little girl Ryleigh, 6, saw a disturbing picture of the New Jersey shore devastation. "That's somebody's house?" Ryleigh asked. "It used to be," said Maryum. That moment got Ryleigh thinking about how she could help. (Teaching children about giving, charities, disasters, past perfect)
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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Sprucing Up The Down-at-heel
In Paris' upmarket St Germain district, hairdresser Lucia Iraci spends her days coiffing the city's glitterati, including actors, models and musicians. Yet once a month she opens her doors to a more downtrodden clientèle, offering free pampering and a dash of glamor to women from poor districts who are often long-term unemployed or victims of abuse and even slavery. (Hairdressing and beauty, amazing life stories, women's rights, helping others.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Lessons for Drunk Kids
The British Red Cross has launched a campaign to teach 11-16 year-olds how to handle medical emergencies which arise from excessive drinking. The Red Cross found 12 percent of 11-16 year olds have been left to cope with a drunken friend who was sick, injured or unconscious. (Teenage drinking, first aid, medical emergencies, Red Cross.)
Upper-Intermediate
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$40.00 a Foot
When Bhoopnarayan Jha lost his leg, he did not want to live. "I told my doctor, just kill me...," said 48-year-old Jha, who used to cycle 20 km (about 12 miles) to work every day. When Jha got a foot he walked after one hour. "In one month's time I could run and catch a bus." (Health, new inventions, amputees.)
Pre-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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A River-Truck?
A 3-year-old boy was unhurt after he floated down a river riding on his toy truck. (Vacations, bizarre stories, camping, past simple and past continuous tenses, phonecalls.)
Elementary
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Tiger Kissing
A medical student on a visit to a zoo saved the life of a baby tiger by giving it the kiss of life. (Animals, amazing stories, actions, comprehension, making predictions, sequencing, present perfect simple, talking about past experiences.)
Elementary
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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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Escaping a Date!
You're on a date, it's a disaster but there's no way out. A mobile phone company in Australia has a service offering an escape. All you have to do is dial three numbers and then hang up. The company will call you back a minute later with a perfect excuse to get you out of there. (Dating, relationships, quiz, predicting from the headline, reading for gist, crossword: telephone words, reading for understanding, functional language: making excuses, dialogues, have to and should.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Two Courageous Dudes
One guy saved his mate from a crocodile and the other went for help for his father, even though he was badly injured. (Bravery, crocodiles, awards, past continuous and past simple, using past tense verbs to tell a story.)
Intermediate
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The Iceman
An Icelandic fishing captain, known as "the Iceman" for his tough character, grabbed a 660-pound (300-kilogram) shark with his bare hands as it swam in shallow water toward his crew, a witness said. (Bizarre stories, sharks, fishing, Iceland and Greenland, predicting, mixed sentences, pronouns, suffixes, writing a rescue story, sea creature vocabulary.)
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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Chimney Sweep?
It may work for Santa Claus but two people found that going down a chimney may not be such a good idea unless you want to get stuck. (Bizarre stories, rescues, matching pictures and information, predicting, gap fill, reading for detail, comprehension, try + infinitive + to, role play, pair crossword.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Cat Saves Family
A cat saved its family by raising the alarm after it started a fire, German police said. (True animal stories, understanding a headline, reading for overall understanding, putting pictures in the correct order using a text, vocabulary: animal sounds, continuing a story, memory recall and listening, word find puzzle, role play.)
Elementary
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Young Whale Looks For Family
A young female killer whale rescued near Seattle swam to freedom on Sunday to join her relatives in what scientists hope will be a permanent and groundbreaking reunion. (Killer whales, animals in captivity, scanning, zoos or aquariums, true, false or not given, summarizing, 'if + present simple, will + infinitive', listening gap fill.)
Intermediate
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Super Seal Saves Dog
A seal saved an elderly dog after it was swept away by a fast-flowing river in northern England. (Rescues, animal behavior, sequencing, comprehension, reading for detail, using the word 'after', word find, pair discussion.)
Elementary to Pre-Intermediate
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Stuck!
A man squeezed into a garbage chute in an apartment building to retrieve a favorite old sweater thrown away by his wife, but got stuck between floors... (Rescue story, apartment buildings, garbage chutes, crossword puzzle.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Thief Trapped in Elevator
A thief who wanted to break into an apartment in the southern Swedish city of Malmo was rescued by police after spending 11 hours trapped in an elevator. (Crime, guessing by context, using 'because/and/however/so', using 'a/an/the'.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Shelter Pup Finds Career
A dog success story: A puppy left at a Toronto-area animal shelter last summer has risen through Canada's detector dog program to earn a job as a drug-sniffer. (Animals rescuing people stories, proverbs, word order.)
Intermediate
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Stowaway Cat
This is about an international rescue mission to rescue a New Zealand cat that stowed away on a ship to South Korea. (Ships, ports, rescue, stowaway, quarantine, phone call, use of "tried to... but... too...".)
Elementary
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Phone Home
A British tourist lost in the Australian bush in heavy rain and fog rang his father in England on his mobile phone to get help. (Rescue, mobile phones, using present tense and past tense.)
Elementary
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A Helping Hand
A blind Colombian man accompanied by his faithful dog was led to safety by his female boss down 70 flights of a narrow staircase of a tower of the World Trade Center after it was hit by a hijacked plane. (Helping someone, seeing eye dogs, Sequencing, prepositions of place.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Family of Ducks
Two duck stories. Tina Chen is very busy. She is mother for 16 ducklings in her 12th floor apartment. When a family of ducklings fell down a Vancouver sewer grate their mother asked a police officer for help. (Amazing true stories, ordering events, questions, headlines, using 'so' and 'because'.)
Elementary
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