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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Holidays

Chocolate!
Chocolate and um... chocolate. Chocolate festivals and eating chocolate mindfully at Halloween. (Festivals, food)
Upper-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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It's Raining Cats and Tourists...
An army of feral cats rules a remote island in southern Japan. There are six cats for every person in the village. (Cats, cat control, collective nouns.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The World's Best Santa
Santas from eight countries like Japan, Sweden, Australia and France competed to find out who was the best Santa. They competed in porridge-eating, sledge racing and other sports. The winner for 2014 is from Japan. (Class vote, discussion, ordering questions, comprehension, true or false.)
Elementary
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Just Don't Go There
If Halloween is supposed to be spooky, some Halloween costumes this year will be terrifying. Some trick-or-treaters will dress as emergency careworkers for people who are sick with Ebola. (Halloween and costumes, Ebola, appropriacy of what people do.)
Pre-Intermediate
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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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Room Service Cleared Away
Soon, the black-uniformed waiters wheeling trolleys of food will disappear from the halls of the Hilton Midtown. Will visitors to New York City's largest hotel mind having to leave their rooms for sustenance? (Hotels, New York, phrasal verbs and collocation.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Medical Trips
Sitting in a private clinic in an upscale neighborhood of Istanbul, Salem is preparing to leave Turkey with a smile on his face and more hair on his head. Having been to Istanbul for sightseeing and shopping, Saleh has returned as the new kind of high-spending visitor Turkey is increasingly seeking to attract: a medical tourist. (Medical tourism, Turkey, plastic surgery.)
Advanced
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A Holiday Fix?
A dentist's office may not be everyone's idea of a perfect holiday destination. But a growing number of Europeans are traveling abroad for medical treatment to save money, or maybe to combine a visit to the doctor with some sightseeing. "It was simply cheaper for me to go to a dentist in Hungary," said a 42-year-old physical therapist from Berlin. (Medical tourism, health, tourism, debating.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Hold the Pillow Mint
Hotel chains are delivering everything from yoga videos to recumbent bicycles to guests who prefer to work out their jet lag, or shape up for that business meeting, in the privacy of their rooms. "Probably fitness equipment is the biggest request we get from guests." (Hotels, fitness, conducting an interview, writing an email, scanning, present continous.)
Intermediate
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Strong Money
The Swiss snowy mountains, beautiful views and luxury hotels are expensive for tourists. But this year Switzerland is too expensive for many tourists. The Swiss franc is very strong and the euro, dollar and British pound are weak. (Vacations, Switzerland, currencies, adjectives.)
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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Family Holidays
The family vacation has changed from the days when kids in the back of the station wagon pestered their parents in front with the unending refrain, "Are we there yet?". Experts say these days the family vacation often has three generations, and when it comes to [saying what to do], it's the kids in the driver's seat and the grandparents who pay. (Families, vacations, travel, brainstorming.)
Intermediate
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Don't Kiss Santa
"Please don't kiss children or shake their hands." This is what a government website is telling Santa Claus. Santa Claus should try not to kiss children and shake their hands so he does not spread the flu. In Hungary Santa Claus comes on December 6 when children find gifts in shoes which they have put on window sills the night before. (Health and hygiene, H1N1 virus, flu, Santa Claus and festivals.)
Elementary
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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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Grumpy
Some British hotels have grumpy staff, the government's tourism boss said on Thursday. Some guests do not get soft towels and fresh bars of soap. Grumpy staff may frighten away tourists from British hotels. (Hotels, service, tourism, after and before.)
Elementary
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Wedding Tourists
Alan Chen and his fiancee Chan Mei-ling of Hong Kong are spending almost $3,000 plus travel expenses on a three-day visit to Taiwan for something they could have done at home: get their wedding photos taken. (Weddings, reading for the main idea, choosing the best answer, quantity words.)
Intermediate
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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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Gifts to Kill a Romance
Yahoo! Personals has some advice on how to ensure it stays on track by avoiding gifts that can kill the romance. Kristen Sasser, Yahoo! Personals' online dating expert, has put together a list of the top 10 worst gifts for new relationships after asking Web site users for suggestions. (Dating, gift giving, Valentine's Day, brainstorming, working with unfamiliar vocabulary, reading for gist, some/any).
Intermediate
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Farming Tourists
Like many farmers, Martin Busin works from dawn till nightfall, but he still needs the help of his cafe-au-lait cow, Miss, to bring in tourists to keep afloat his smallholding in Italy's mountainous Alto Adige region. (Agritourism, Italy, choosing a headline, using the context to guess a meaning of a word,choosing a headline , conducting an interview.)
Advanced
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Space for Rent
"Galactic Suite", the first hotel planned in space, expects to open for business in 2012 and would allow guests to travel around the world in 80 minutes. If you've had enough of life on earth and want to get away from it all, start saving now. (Tourism, space, the future perfect)
Upper-Intermediate
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Hard Workers
The United States is the world's biggest economy but it does not guarantee workers paid vacation or holidays. One in five British workers spend longer in the office than they have to, a survey shows. Yet sixty percent would choose an extra week's holiday rather than an extra week's pay. (Paid holidays and vacations, annual leave, work pressures, 'either... or', superlative adjectives.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Round Trips
The two articles in the lesson are about sisters and a teenager who have problems getting to their destinations. (Travel, planes, past continuous, split reading.)
Elementary
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Find My Partner
This warmer gives students practice with different question words (who, what, where, etc.) and in asking and answering questions that could be used as part of a short speaking test.
Elementary
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"Hello, is that Travel Dot Com?"
Online travel booking was meant to save businesses money, and make the whole process easy and painless. However, some problems have emerged, and business people are again reaching for the phone to make travel arrangements the old-fashioned way. (Business travel, online business, discussion, travel vocabulary, finding the main idea, sequencing, ranking and listing activity, Internet research.)
Upper-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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The Great Shrinking Wall
The Great Wall of China is shrinking as tourism and development take their toll on one of the world's most famous monuments. (Famous structures, the Great Wall of China, seven wonders of the world, matching information and pictures, completing a table, constructing questions, finding evidence, summarizing, listening for specific information, infinitive of purpose, discussion.)
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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Stressed! Stressed! Stressed!
Job stress is a leading cause of illness, depression and workplace violence in America today and is increasing, experts say. (Stress in the workplace, causes, business, sharing opinions and fluency speaking practice, understanding the headline, matching information, reading for information, spot the mistake - grammatical errors, sequencing game.)
Advanced
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A Rude Passenger
A Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Brisbane, Australia made an unscheduled stop to eject a passenger who became unruly after a heated argument with his girlfriend. The man may have to pay the A$25,000 bill. (Airplane travel, passenger behavior, sequencing, summarizing, discussion, true or false, interview, word forms, pair crossword.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Do You Want To Save The Planet?
Some campaigners insisted on going overland to Marrakesh's U.N. conference on climate change, not because they are scared of flying, but because they are worried about what airplanes do to the planet. (Airplane emissions and their effect on the environment, avoiding flying because of environmental impact, discussion, true, false or not given, prepositions 'by' and 'or' and methods of travel, dialogue, fluency practice, crossword - environmental words.)
Intermediate
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Can't Face the Stairs
Three elderly British holidaymakers who disappeared while traveling in France and started a huge manhunt have turned up safely, happily enjoying their holiday. (Strange stories, holidays, simple past tense verbs, crossword.)
Elementary
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Irukandji Sting
A US tourist has become the second foreign visitor to Australia to die after being stung by an irukandji, a tiny, translucent jellyfish for which there is no known antivenene. (Finding the main idea; true, false or not given; after +-ing; the prefix 'anti'.)
Intermediate
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A Moviemakers' Paradise
New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings films were shot, is spending millions of dollars promoting itself as a movie makers' paradise, as well as encouraging tourists to come and see where Lord of the Rings was filmed: "New Zealand is Middle Earth,'' says actor Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo. (New Zealand, movie making, movies, prepositions.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Lost and Found
A British tourist who lost a gold-plated watch while on holiday in Malta found a gold ring on her way to a police station to report her loss. (Losing and finding, holidays, travel, honesty, relative clauses using "who".)
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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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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Mother and Father Christmas
Under European Union sex equality rules, Father Christmas does not need a "Mother Christmas" partner. Also Santas with their own beards earn more money. (letter of complaint, job advertisement, the roles of men and women)
Intermediate
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A Nightmare Dream Holiday
A contest to win a dream holiday for two people turned into a tax nightmare for a Swedish student. (Income tax, dialogue, past simple and past continuous.)
Elementary
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Turkeys Galore
Each Thanksgiving, Americans eat about 535 million pounds of turkey, and a turkey-cooking hotline gives advice to people with problems a trucker who needed to know how long to cook a turkey on the engine of his truck, and a Kentucky woman who panicked when her tiny chihuahua jumped inside a turkey carcass and couldn't get out. (Thanksgiving, holidays and festivals, synonyms, apostrophes, use of 'although' and 'even though'.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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Holiday Blues
A survey by TripAdvisor, a travel website, found 34% of Americans felt depressed after they came home after a summer vacation. They said they didn't want to go back to work. 64% said they felt depressed while they were on vacation. The survey found the best way to stop depression is to start planning the next holiday. Another article looks at meetings: Are they a waste of time? (Vacations and work, understanding statistical information.)
Elementary
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Sick Days
A new study shows that calling in sick for work has more to do with being well than with being sick. (work, health)
Elementary
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