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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Strange But True

I Dare You .....
An Australian teenager who was bitten by a crocodile when he jumped into a river in northern Queensland on a dare is now recovering in hospital and looking forward to a date with the British backpacker he was trying to impress.(Truth and dares, sequencing, Australia and crocodiles, find someone who game, discussion on how to impress other people.)
Intermediate
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Autumn Leaves ....
Do you want to see New England's colorful fall leaves? Now a business sends the leaves to you. A Massachusetts man is offering to send bundles of autumn leaves to customers for $19.99. (Businesses, seasons, prepositions of time.)
Elementary
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Tish the Fish
Read about goldfish invasions, goldfish rescues and one fish that despite spending his life going around in circles, he still achieved international fame, unlike some of us. (Goldfish, world records, word order)
Pre-Intermediate
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Never Too Old To Graduate
This lesson is about graduating at 90 and an 85-year-old Argentine grandmother who got her degree in journalism. Maybe there is still time. (Old age, learning, retirement, education.)
Elementary
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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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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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Men Give Birth
A hospital in eastern China is offering fathers-to-be a chance to experience the pain of childbirth after several new moms complained they got little sympathy from their partners. (Childbirth, expectant fathers, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Record Chat
Popular Norwegian crime writer Hans Olav Lahlum set the world record for the longest interview on Thursday after spending more than 30 non-stop hours chatting in an online television broadcast.(World records, interviews, superlative adjectives, nationality suffixes.)
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 8 August 2013
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You're Kidding Me!
First, there were the maid cafes and then there were cat cafes for cat lovers to play with cats while they sipped a cup of coffee. Now, there is a goat cafe. The cafe has a pair of friendly goats for customers to pet, play with and even take for walks through Tokyo's concrete jungle. (Cafes, animals, present continuous, planning a dream cafe)
Pre-Intermediate
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Barbie Land
Are you a Barbie fan? There is tea, tutus and pink tables at a Taipei cafe for Barbie lovers. "Every little girl has a Barbie..." said Henry Chiu. Fans like the cafe. "I feel like a Barbie doll in a fairy tale world. I feel like a princess," said Shiao Yu, a 30-year-old housewife. (Barbie dolls, yes/no questions, have got for possession, yes, he is/no, he isn't.)
Elementary
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Beauty Treatments?
Hollywood stars wanting to look their best for Tinseltown's biggest night of the year are being offered beauty treatments ranging from the lavish to plain loony such as $250,000 black diamond nail varnish and bird excrement facials. (Beauty treatments and products, influence of consumers on manufacturers, zero conditionals.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Diamond Gifts
A piece of Antarctica named after her, a baby llama, tea from Sri Lanka and her own set of Olympic medals were just some of the gifts Britain's Queen Elizabeth received during her 2012 diamond jubilee year. Foreign leaders,... luxury goods businesses and members of the public gave the British queen a treasure trove of gifts. (Gift giving, jubilees, superlative adjectives.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Elephant Escapes
An elephant trainer has taken two elephants back to the circus after they walked along a busy Copenhagen street and an elephant escaped from New Zealand's Auckland Zoo after she dropped a log on an electrified fence and pushed through a gate. (Elephants, zoos - benefits and disadvantages, sequencing, a / an / the, writing a headline, pair crossword, present perfect.)
Elementary
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Trapped!
A Swedish man was dug out alive after being snowed in to his car on a forest track for two months with no food and a man was trapped in an elevator for more than 40 hours. (Being trapped, escapes, direct speech, punctuation.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The oldest, the tallest, the most expensive...
Tokyo is still the second most expensive city in the world for expatriates after Luanda in Angola. (World's most expensive cities, superlative adjectives, writing a headline, completing a table of information.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Once one of the most coveted in the world...
Levi Strauss will attempt to tap into the revolutionary spirit of the "Arab Spring" with a "Go Forth" global marketing campaign aimed at attracting youthful customers back to a jeans brand that was once one of the most coveted in the world. (Brands, prepositions.)
Upper-Intermediate
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The Running of the Bulls
Every summer Sergio Colas joins hundreds of other runners for Pamplona's annual bull-run but he cannot hear the roaring crowds or the bulls thundering through the winding streets. Alonso Ceardi has been deaf from birth. A half-tonne bull gored Alonso Ceardi in the chest during the San Fermin festival, but he's still addicted to the thrill of running with bulls. Animal rights activitists want the events stopped. (Festivals, Spain, Mexico, animal rights, conjunctions).
Upper-Intermediate
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Wedding Dress Record
A Chinese bride is hoping to enter the record books after getting married in a wedding dress with a train more than 2 km (1.2 miles). (Longest wedding dress in the world, wedding customs, discussion, role play, superlative adjectives, adjective order, romantic poems.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Running from the Pigs
A man, who was running away from the police, asked police for help when he ran into a family of wild boar. Two prisoners rescued a prison officer when a boar attacked him at a prison. (Bizarre stories, crime and rescues, infinitives of purpose.)
Elementary
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Bingo!
A cleaner won a record jackpot on Sunday but she says she still wants to be a cleaner. (Jackpots, winning, jobs, understanding the main idea, completing and conducting an interview, bingo, listening for numbers, listening to identify true or false statements.)
Elementary
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Wedding Dresses
White wedding gowns are not popular in Canada now. Canadian brides are choosing colored gowns and an English bride went to her wedding in a garbage truck! (Weddings, romance.)
Elementary
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Fancy Pooch
Super Alsatian? Elvis the poodle? Dog owners are dressing up their dogs for costume parties. (Fancy dress, shopping habits, dogs, will for future facts and deciding something at the moment of speaking.)
Elementary
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Smart Squirrels
A Finnish squirrel goes to a Finnish grocery shop at least twice a day to steal "Kinder Surprise" chocolate-shelled eggs and in Britain a squirrel helped police find a box of stolen crockery by encouraging them to follow it and then leading them to a tree. (Squirrels, animal behavior, crime, vocabulary, comprehension, discussion and prepositions.)
Elementary
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Gone to the Dogs
Yappy hours for dogs, dog perfumes and dog parties. Cottages with lounge beds, color TV and VCRs for dogs on holiday. Find out about the booming pets' products industry: in 2006 about $7 billion will be spent on dogs. (Dogs, dog merchandise and luxury holidays, verb patterns: verbs that take an object and a to-infinitive, discussion, selling a product.)
Upper-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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Robber Returns with Interest
A Japanese man who robbed a post office returned more money than he stole and turned himself in after deciding to come clean for the sake of his girlfriend. (Crimes, repentance, punishment, saying sorry, sequencing, making negative past simple statements, comprehension, finding errors, functional language: saying sorry.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Monster Rabbit
A "monster" rabbit has apparently been going through vegetable patches in a small village in northern England, ripping up leeks, munching turnips and angering local gardeners. Animals, bizarre but true stories, sorting words, comprehension, matching information, present perfect continuous, onomatopoeic words.)
Pre-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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Blind Date
"Blind restaurant an eye-opener for London diners." Dining in a completely dark room, unaware what's on your plate while sitting next to a complete stranger may not sound like an ideal restaurant experience but it's certainly an intriguing way to spend a rainy night in London. (food, five senses)
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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A Bad Job Interview
You know your job interview did not go well when your interviewer calls the police to arrest you. (Bizarre crime stories, job interviews, finish the sentence, sequencing, categorizing vocabulary, comprehension, write a headline, role play, word find puzzle, complete a picture, giving advice - you should / you shouldn't / don't forget to... )
Pre-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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ATM Thieves
There has been a huge increase in Japan in the number of robbers using large diggers to remove automated teller machines (ATMs) from the lobbies of banks. (Bizarre crimes, construction and crime, vocabulary, matching pictures and words, predicting from the headline, main idea, reading for detail, reading carefully, before / after + -ing, pair crossword, gap fill.)
Elementary
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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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Golden Wool
Two Australian sheep farmers have produced the world's finest wool. (Farming, wool, sheep, fashion, animals, superlative adjectives, active and passive voices in simple present tense, comprehension, fill the gaps, Animal Game, true or false, Agricultural Products Game.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Someone Found My Wallet!
A wallet that was lost in southern Sweden more than 40 years ago has been returned to its owner and her money was still in it. (Lost and found stories, bizarre stories, personal items, understanding the main idea, forming and answering questions, matching information, reading and thinking, choose the best answer, question words (who, where, what, when, how, whose, why, which), short partner questionnaire, writing a short description, discussion.)
Elementary
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Dream Machine
The Japanese company that came up with the hit "BowLingual" device that translates dogs' barks into human words has now come up with a dream product -- literally. (New inventions, dreams, discussion, predicting, skimming, completing a table, finding evidence to support statements, adverbs of manner, Bingo, Completing A Picture Game.)
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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I'm Too Busy!
A woman who won a free shopping spree said she didn't want the prize. She said she was too busy. (Shopping sprees, competitions, matching words and pictures, regular and irregular verbs and past simple, listening for understanding, comprehension check, reading cloze, choose the best answer, sequencing, finding errors, Shopping spree Game.)
Elementary
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The Mummy's Curse
King Tutankhamen's infamous "curse of the mummy's tomb," supposed to have killed off many of those involved in the opening of the pharaoh's tomb 80 years ago was a myth, Australian researchers say. (Ancient Egypt, curses, mummies, archeology, brainstorming, matching sentence halves, scanning, comprehension, true, false or not given, complete the statements, past participles, writing an e-mail, role play.)
Upper-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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In A Crate
A man trying to save a little money, traveled in an air cargo crate by plane from New York to Texas. Investigators are now asking him questions about his trip. (Bizarre stories, deliveries, predicting, understanding the main idea, making questions, ordering events, reading for detail, personal pronouns, sequencing game.)
Elementary
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A Suitable Husband
"Who wants to marry my daughter?" That is what is on a sign planted on Donna Wood's front lawn in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Wood is seeking a soul mate for her 22-year-old daughter Karah, whose romantic choices over the years have left much to be desired, the mother said. (Arranged marriages, finding suitable marriage partners, bizarre stories, mixed questions, true or false, ranking, writing an advertisement, dialogue, word game.)
Intermediate
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Paris Beach
Can you have a beach without the sea? Paris set out to prove you can, importing sand, palm trees and sunbeds for a repeat of 2002's "Paris-Plage" experiment that lured over two million sun-worshippers to the concrete-lined banks of the River Seine. (Leisure, Paris, beaches and summer vacations, survey, predicting, true, false or not given, comprehension, deducing meaning from context, could have + past participle, dialogue build.)
Intermediate
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Mystery Man
A man suffering from amnesia has caused problems for Norwegian police. They have asked the media to help identify the well-dressed, educated man after two months of unsuccessful investigations. (Missing persons, amnesia, categorizing words, listening for ideas, true or false, reading and thinking, class story, answering questions with short answers and positive and negative forms, Who is this person? game.)
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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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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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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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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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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