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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Humorous Stories

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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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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Better Late Than Never
An overdue copy of "Gone with the Wind" has been returned to a high school library in Washington state, 65 years past its due date. (Libraries and late returns, borrowing books, scanning, jigsaw reading, role play and dialog, saying sorry.
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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Super Hero
He wears a green Power Rangers suit and a mask. He waits by the stairs of a Tokyo subway station. He helps old people, passengers with heavy packages and mothers with baby strollers. He is a superhero. (Helping other people, Tokyo, superheroes, prepositions of place, simple past tense - negatives and rules.)
Elementary
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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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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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An Expensive Sandwich
A bear crashed a car after opening the door of a car and getting stuck. The bear smelled a peanut butter sandwich in the back seat and opened the door of the car. The bear climbed in and got stuck. (Bears, dangerous animals, bizarre events, conducting an interview, irregular past tense verbs, word search puzzle.)
Elementary
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I Am Sorry!
A New York store owner stopped a robbery, but then helped the robber because he felt sorry for him. (Unemployment, crime, apologizing, saying sorry, infinitives of purpose.)
Elementary
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Were you fooled?
This is all about April Fool's Day, with the history of the day, and some examples of strange stories in newspapers... some of which weren't April Fool's Day stories at all: They were true! (Jokes, news stories.)
Advanced
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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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Early to Wed
A teacher flew thousands of miles across the Atlantic to Wales to attend his friend's wedding, only to discover he was a year early. (Being early and late, weddings, reading for the main idea, sequencing, writing questions in the present simple and past simple tenses, have to and don't have to.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Mad Dash
A German mother-of-five drove her son to a jewelry store he wanted to rob because she was afraid he may come to some harm and a devoted mother traveled 900 miles (1,450 km) to take her son his GameBoy that he had left behind when he went on a school trip. (Parents, parenting, children, sequencing, irony, idioms).
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 5 June 2007
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Bag Lady Holds Up Plane
Police took a woman off an airplane after she refused to put her handbag under the seat. (Flights, travel, safety and security checks, airplane vocabulary, prepositions of place, designer clothes, true or false, fill the gaps, discussion.)
Elementary
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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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Give me a ring ...
What usually happens when you do not lock your car? Someone steals it! However, this did not happen in western Massachusetts. Instead the man came back to find a diamond ring in the car! (Engagements, bizarre stories, saying thank-you, discussion, reading for the main idea, sequencing, past simple tense - regular and irregular verbs, writing a thank you note.)
Elementary
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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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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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The Harvard School of Love
Over 35? Still looking for Mr. Right? Feeling left on the shelf? Perhaps it is time to repackage your assets, take a hard look at your personal brand and start telemarketing yourself. (Finding suitable marriage partners, business jargon, predicting, understanding the main idea, gap fill, true, false or not given, used to + base form and be / get used to + noun or gerund, information sharing, dating agency activity, discussion.)
Advanced
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Losing Success
A Japanese racehorse, who is famous because she has lost so many races, lost another race. (Horseracing, winning and losing, Seabiscuit, sports, matching questions and answers, finding information, choose the best answer, discussion, positive adjectives, in or on (time), questionnaire on sports and famous sportspeople.)
Elementary
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CEOs and Workers
Never having cleaned a bathroom in his life, a CEO was down on his knees, scrubbing with great effort but little interest, under the watchful eye of his supervisor. He was one of several CEOs to get down and dirty for a week's worth of labor in the new reality-based show "Now Who's Boss?". (Reality television, CEOs, entertainment, discussion, finding the main idea, reading for specific information, completing a table of information, matching information, like as a preposition and as a verb.)
Intermediate
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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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New Age Cinema
Bawling babies have ruined films for countless moviegoers but now one New York cinema is filling an entire theater with them in an effort to win the business of stir-crazy parents who haven't gone out in years. (Cinemas, moviegoing habits, parenting and babies, what would you do, categorizing words, true or false, reading for details, meanings from context, conjunctions (and, but, so, because) find someone who..., describing a scene, present continuous tense, design project.)
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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Winning and Losing
A NZ$200,000 ($112,000) dispute between two New Zealand companies has been resolved in an unusual out-of-court settlement -- an arm-wrestling match. (Business, disputes, discussion, sentence order, writing questions, comprehension, a/an/the, prefix 'un', pair crossword, correct or incorrect game--the apostrophe for possession.)
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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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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No Driver's License
A German motorist who was sentenced to prison for repeatedly driving without a license was caught driving just moments after leaving the court, police said. (Careless driving, matching pictures and words, prepositions, word find, sequencing, comprehension, true or false, discussion, role-play.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Tired Bank Robber
A man went to rob a bank in the Austrian city of Graz. However, before he robbed the bank, he fell asleep in his car... then the police found him! (Bizarre crimes, reading for overall understanding, answering questions, sequencing, reading for detail, gap fill, infinitives of purpose, describing where something is, finding differences in two pictures.)
Elementary
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A Very Long Ride
An American teacher has ridden a roller coaster for ten hours a day for the past three months to try to get a world record. (World records, listening for correct information, comprehension, collocations, irregular verbs, word find puzzle.)
Elementary
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Bring Your Parents
British pensioner Joseph Dickinson, 103, had a shock when his local hospital phoned him to ask him to come in for an eye test... and told him to bring his parents! (Making and answering questions, memorizing a short text, word find, discussion, simple past tense forms.)
Elementary
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Chimp Burglar
British police are looking for a chimpanzee who has stolen things from two London homes. (Chimpanzees, burglaries, predicting, mixed sentences, true or false, writing sentences using prompts, pair crossword.)
Elementary
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Sorry About That!
Britain invades Spain! History? In fact, it was an accidental invasion by British troops in February 2002! (International relations, history, geography, errors, mistakes, diplomacy, Gibraltar, adjectives and adverbs, ordering events, guessing from context, negotiating.)
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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Bah-Humbug!
A British man who went underground behind blast-proof doors and thick concrete to avoid a family Christmas emerged early. Why? Do this lesson to find out and also learn the story of another Scrooge.
Intermediate
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Super Milkman!
British milkman Steve Leech, who saved a row of shops and flats by dousing a fire with 320 pints of milk, has been named "Hero Milkman of the Millennium" by the National Dairymen's Association. (Fire safety, bravery, guessing vocabulary by context, nationality words, surveys.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Gooooooaaaaaal!
Soccer: "The referee found the ball at his feet in front of the goal, kicked it into the net, then signaled a goal." The referee later resigned. This is a strange sports story. (Soccer, sports, referees, umpires, judges, guessing vocabulary by context, using 'when' and 'while' to connect two actions in the past.)
Upper-Intermediate
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What You Read is What You Get
A London real estate agency believes in telling it like it is in its advertisements, for example: "Almost certainly the scruffiest two-bedroom flat we've seen for a long time." (Real estate ads, honesty in descriptions, euphemisms, writing descriptions of houses, adjectives, adjective order, describing things in positive and negative ways.)
Upper-Intermediate
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A Drunken Wedding
A British student went to Las Vegas, had a few drinks and got married. His problem was that he already had a girlfriend, and she was not pleased to hear that he had married a complete stranger. (Travel, strange stories, marriage, ordering events, apologizing.)
Elementary
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Bad Parking
A bad choice of car park led to the capture of an escaped Texas capital murderer for the second time in his criminal career. (Criminals, escapes, chain stories, sequencing, suffixes.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Mystery Caller
Staff at a Scottish safari park were shocked to discover a chimpanzee was the mystery caller who had kept phoning their mobile phones. (Animals, mobile phones, sequencing, writing a postcard, compound nouns.)
Elementary
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The Show Must Go On... Please!
A world-renowned Hungarian pianist broke off his recital at Edinburgh's high-brow International Arts Festival until a cacophony of mobile phones, beeping watches and coughing faded away. (Music, entertainment, ballet, public noise, mobile phones, prefixes and suffixes, 'might as well have + past particle of verb'.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
HTML Format
Just Grin and Bear it
The intersection of Grinn Drive and Barret Road has been declared the funniest intersection in the USA. (Idiomatic expressions, verbs that describe movements or body language, onomatopoeia, nursery rhymes, use of 'so' and 'because'.)
Intermediate
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A bungling armed raider
A bungling armed raider was caught trying to hold up a French post office after he tried to withdraw money from his own account. (Money, crime, past perfect, phrasal verbs.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Unlucky Robbers
More stories of very stupid criminals!!! A jigsaw lesson on stupidity. (Crime, robbers, thieves, the USA, Brazil, Germany, 'past perfect')
Pre-Intermediate
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True or False?
Do penguins topple over when they peer into the sky watching planes and helicopters fly over? That was the question asked in the Instant Lesson 'Navy Helicopters and Birds', where we looked at plans scientists had to find an answer to this important question. Now we have their answer! It's in our lesson called "True or False?". (Animals, experiments, helicopters, transport, referencing, pronouns.)
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Cool Under Pressure?
An Egyptian kebab shop owner in New Zealand who ignored a robber is now known as the “chillest chip shop operator” and an obedient east German bank robber was arrested after agreeing to leave his identity card behind. Who's cool? (Crime errors, ID cards, quiz, following events, the passive voice)
Pre-Intermediate
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Fish and Chimneys
Father Christmas is not alone. Read about this amazing survival story and unusual weather. (Strange stories, birds, fish, revision of verbs in the past simple)
Pre-Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML Format
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