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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Science and Technology

Allergies
Do pets in fact help kids to overcome allergies? Exposing babies to puppies and other furry pets might help them accumulate two types of bacteria in their gut that are associated with a lower risk of allergies and obesity (Health, pets, asthma, allergies)
Upper-Intermediate
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Strict Diets
This lesson has some mixed news about diets and their long term effects. Do this lesson and go to the fridge?? (Diets, food, exercise)
Advanced
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Fixing Faulty Genes
The world's first life-saving gene therapy for children has been recommended for approval in Europe, boosting the pioneering technology to fix faulty genes. (Medicine and biotechnology, gene therapy, making predictions.)
Advanced
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Star Wars Arms
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, a huge advance over the metal hook currently in use. (Robotic arms and hands, amputees, collocation, sensory tests.)
Advanced
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Vending Machines
It's late, the shops are closed and you simply must have a roasted eggplant-and-ricotta sandwich, a cupcake, a bike helmet, a gold bar and an iced cappuccino. (Vending machines, true, false or not given, comprehension, pronouns, discussion, the passive.)
Intermediate
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Bee Ware
Australian scientists are gluing tiny sensors onto thousands of honey bees to track their movements in a trial aimed at halting the spread of diseases that have wiped out populations in the northern hemisphere. (Bees, pollination, scientific experiments, because and because of, process descriptions.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Writers say “Read”
This lesson is about children's books, the future of reading, and the importance of reading! It includes information on writers Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson, with Jacqueline Wilson kindly doing an exclusive interview with ETG! (Writing, reading, famous people, books, e-books, education.)
Intermediate
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Robots
Tiny recon robots have introduced a new generation of drones at a DSEI defense fair in London. Robots that can talk, find [lost] glasses, draw airplanes and play with your children attracted thousands of visitors at another expo. Robot nurses may soon be helping the sick by telling them when to take their pills. (Robots, nurses, health, technology, 'will', 'by + verb + ing' used to say how something is done.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Expensive Counter
It will take someone with pretty deep pockets to buy and move one of four surviving 17th-century French "pocket" calculating machines, to be sold in London in October. (Computers, pocket calculators, development of machines, antiques, opinion and descriptive adjectives, writing a description.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Not To Your Taste?
President Barack Obama likes burgers, hot dogs and such, but when it came time to answer a question about his favorite food, broccoli was the first word that sprang from his lips. Former American President George Bush Sr.'s famous dislike of broccoli might be put down to the fact that he could be a "supertaster". (Predicting using a headline, writing questions, summarizing the text, metaphors, writing a report, prepositions, future - will for predictions.)
Intermediate
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Fill 'er Up?
Seeking a place to work out of the office that is quieter than a bustling coffee shop and provides drinks, printers, Wi-Fi and even petrol? Regus, a provider of ready-to-use office space, thinks it has the answer. It has teamed up with Shell Germany to open up workplace hubs and lounges in 70 petrol stations in and around Berlin. (Reading for information, brainstorming, expressions used with business equipment, present simple tense uses and forms).
Intermediate
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Nasty Parasites
Parasites look set to become more virulent because of climate change, according to a study showing that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures. (Parasites, climate change, frogs, reported quesitons.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Annoying Noises
Which noise is more distracting - a child whining or a table saw? Making a noise while unwrapping a lolly at the movies can't be helped! (Whining and children, scientific research, unwrapping candies in theaters, referencing, adverbs)
Upper-Intermediate
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Adolescent CEOs
Venture capitalists are funding more chief executives under age 21 than ever before. Josh Buckley, chief executive of an online gaming start-up, is looking forward to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, particularly for the parties and the schmoozing with industry A-listers. There's one problem: Buckley may be turned away from many of the parties because he is not old enough to drink. (Young entrepreneurs, work, high-tech companies, venture capitalists, 'will' + infinitive.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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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Cyber School Bullies
Parents around the world say cyberbullying is a problem says a new survey and in the Netherlands some children bully other children online. 12% of Dutch young people said other children bully them online. (Bullying, cyberbullying, computer technology, schools, describing future plans, be going to..., discussion, asking for information game.)
Elementary
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Renewables "gold rush"
Renewable energy has created a "gold rush" atmosphere in Germany's depressed north-east, giving the country's poorhouse good jobs and great promise. The natural resources attracting investors and industry are of a simple variety: wind, sunshine, agricultural products and farm waste such as liquid manure. (Germany, renewable energy, business.)
Advanced
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Counting sheep?
Britons now prefer listening to lions roaring and monkeys calling to help them get to sleep, according to a new survey. Miss too much sleep and risk becoming mentally retarded. (How to get to sleep, research, health, brain, 'even if', 'even so' and 'even though')
Intermediate
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Cancer Breakthrough
Scientists have developed a technique that uses a library of DNA taken from organs... and harnesses the body's immune response to create a vaccine designed to treat cancer. Immunotherapy treatments - medicines that enlist the help of the body's immune system to fight disease - are a relatively new form of potential cancer treatment. (Vaccines, immunology, anticancer medications.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Change of Energy Source?
The lakeside town of Port Hope, Ontario, encompasses both the promise and the dark side of the nuclear industry. The town is home to the world's longest running facility to process nuclear fuel, a massive white eyesore that towers over the sailboats bobbing in its tranquil harbor. (Nuclear energy, the environment, business, nuclear accidents, like and unlike.)
Advanced
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Computers Can Harm Kids
One in every 25 teens reported an "irresistible urge" to be on the Internet, tension when they weren't online, or said they had tried to quit or cut down on Internet time, according to a U.S. study. Teenagers who spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet are one and a half times more likely to develop depression than moderate web users. (Pros and cons of the Internet, teenagers, inventions, modal verbs, persuasive speeches.)
Intermediate
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Long Live The Book
India's booming publishing market is proof of the physical book's staying power, said participants at Asia's largest literary event, the DSC Jaipur Literary Festival. "You read something on Twitter and you know it is ephemeral," said Patrick French, a best-selling historian and biographer who has written extensively on Asia. "Yet the book is a solid thing. The book endures." (Future of books, printed books and e-books, reading habits of different nationalities, India.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Mobile Phone Health Question
Experts who studied almost 13,000 cell phone users over 10 years, hoping to find out whether the [cell phones] cause brain tumors, said their research gave no clear answer. A study threw up inconclusive results but researchers said suggestions of a possible link demanded deeper examination. (Health hazards, mobile phones, graphs, summarizing, use of may or might.)
Upper-Intermediate
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The "Lighthouse"
Sick of no morning sun in the kitchen? Is your sitting room too stifling to use on sunny afternoons? Read about a house that revolves to follow the sun. (Engineering, houses, inventions, New Zealand and Australia, idioms)
Upper-Intermediate
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Stolen Phones
Music-lovers watching their favorite acts at concerts are increasingly becoming targets for gangs of mobile phone thieves, British police said. Thieves who steal mobile phones may soon find them unusable and the phones will scream at them. (Crime, technology, cell phones, use of future form, 'going to'.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Welcome To Clone Farm
To the untrained eye, Pollard Farms looks much like any other cattle ranch. Similar looking cows huddled in similar looking pens. But some of the cattle here don't just resemble each other. They are literally identical - clear down to their genes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of food from clones and their offspring, stating the products are indistinguishable from their non-clone counterparts. (Cloning, degrees of certainty, second conditional.)
Advanced
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Goo Goo Ga Ga
The wail of a newborn may sound the same to the ears of sleep-deprived parents the world over, but according to scientists, that's not the case: Babies cry in the language their parents speak from the first days of life. (Babies, foetuses, human development, language degrees of certainty, could, might, definitely, likely.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Thinking Outside The Box
A $6 cardboard box that uses solar power to cook food, sterilize water and could help 3 billion poor people cut greenhouse gases, has won a $75,000 prize for ideas to fight global warming. (Poverty, global warming, inventions and competitions, will for future events.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Environmentally friendly power sources
A corn-like plant that can grow as high as an elephant's eye on some of Earth's driest farmland shows promise as a "smart" biofuel that won't cut into world food supplies and wind power has been growing steadily for the past three years. (Alternative fuel and energy sources, the environment, climate change, pair reading, completing a table of information, discussion, zero, first and second conditionals).
Intermediate
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Super Sushi
As Japanese sushi conquers restaurants and homes around the world, industry experts are fighting the side-effects of the raw fish boom: fake sushi bars, over-confident amateurs, poisoned consumers. (Seafood, consumers, answering true or false questions, sequencing, writing instructions, writing a recipe, will used for sudden decisions.)
Intermediate
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Restaurants Try E-menus
Restaurants in Europe, the United States and Japan are testing technology to let diners order their food direct from a screen at their table instead of depending on a fellow human being to note their choice, (Restaurants, technology, consumer trends, will and be going to for predictions.)
Intermediate
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Yellow cabs to go Green
New York City's famed yellow taxi cabs will go green within five years...1,000 hybrid taxis -- powered by gasoline and electricity -- would be introduced by October 2008. (Alternative fuels, transport, the environment, hybrid vehicles, discussion, skimming, choose the best answer, reading and notetaking, first conditional, Internet research.)
Intermediate
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Rats Rats Rats
A video shown on television showed rats scampering across a New York City restaurant floor. With nearly four million rats born every day experts have warned that the rodents could spread more disease through towns and cities in developing nations. (Rats, sanitation, restaurants and the spread of disease, pest control, vocabulary work, understanding the main idea, listening gap fill, prediction, true or false, shouting dictation game, pair crossword, although and because.)
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 5 April 2007
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Killer Games
A 2007 article says that violent video games do not make children into murderers. (Violent video games and effect on children, violence, discussion, vocabulary hunt, filling the gaps in a table, finding and correcting grammatical errors.)
Intermediate
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"Not Mad" Cows Created
U.S. and Japanese scientists said on Sunday that they had used genetic engineering to produce cattle that resist mad cow disease.(Genetic engineering, Mad Cow Disease, BSE, CJD, scientific research, the passive.)
Intermediate
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Lightning Safety
Seeking refuge in houses, schools or office buildings, unplugging computers and avoiding open fields during thunderstorms can help reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by lightning during the summer months. Never use a mobile phone outside during a lightning strike. (Lightning, safety during thunderstorms, scanning, expressions using lightning, verb patterns.)
Upper-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 20 October 2006
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The Fat Jab
A vaccine that slows down a key hunger hormone kept rats from gaining weight, even when they overate. (Obesity, dieting, comprehension, matching words and meanings, completing a diagram, completing a food pyramid, quantifiers and uncountable nouns.)
Upper-Intermediate
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On with biotech crops?
As the GM crops industry celebrates its 10th anniversary, the early promises of biotech crops remain largely unrealized, and many countries have banned the technology amid concerns about health and the environment. (An overview of the first decade of GM crops, business, discussion, predicting from a headline, comprehension.)
Advanced
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A Girl's Best Friend
For centuries diamonds have lured women up the aisle; in future they may drive them to work as engineers find a use for the precious stones in electric cars and other applications. Industry officials say the uses for diamonds are multiplying and advances in synthetic production have opened the floodgates to ever more innovative applications. (Diamonds, jewelry, industry, electric cars, comparing information, completing a table of information, matching names and definitions, passive.)
Advanced
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Talking Digitoys
Toys are changing fast, not least because their vocabulary is increasing, fast! New toys have computing power that makes them completely different to toys of even 10 years ago. There's even a doll that can read! (Toys, computer chips, children's development, scanning, writing definitions, identifying viewpoints, summarizing, discussion.)
Advanced
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Safe Food
A plastic tag could soon stop people worrying about whether food has gone bad and isn't safe to eat. (Freshness of food and a new invention, vocabulary, discussion, comprehension, sequencing, true or false, the suffix -ness, word find puzzle, word order exercise and interview.)
Elementary
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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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Scientists Go Back to the Future
British scientists hope to exhume the body of a young woman who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic to examine the virus that claimed up to 40 million lives worldwide. (Flu, pandemics, true/ false/not mentioned, verbs that take the infinitive or -ing forms, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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AK-47
Famous! Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 rifle, said he was proud of developing the rifle but wishes he'd designed something to help people instead - like a lawnmower... or... (Weaponry, inventions, discussion, word order, reading for detail, the structure "I wish I had..." crossword.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The Shape of Things to Come
A shiny white pod that has begun road tests may well be the taxi of the future. The pod, known as ULTra -- Urban Light Transport -- could make driver-free transport a reality and not just the stuff of futuristic fantasy. (Public transport, transport problems, technology, the future, summarizing, definite and indefinite articles.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Children's Toys
Tamagotchi are back, more complex than ever, with an infrared communication function allowing them to visit each other and even reproduce! This lesson also looks and toys and toy issues, including the 2001 reaction of toy sellers to 9/11. (Christmas, birthdays, war toys, toys, present simple and present continous tenses, the present continuous used to talk about a current trend.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Fishy Milk?
Some landlocked Canadian cows are enjoying a little seafood with their hay and grain so they can produce a new kind of milk being touted for its benefits for the brain, eyes and nerves. (Modified foods, diet, fish, nutrition, discussion, comprehension, meanings in context, true or false, prepositions, design a poster, dialogue build.)
Intermediate
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Global Bicycle Thieves
Amsterdam police will use bicycles equipped with hidden GPS transmitters to bait thieves and track them down in the latest effort to stamp out rampant bike theft. (Theft, GPS, Amsterdam, discussion, predicting from the headline, guessing meanings from context, mixed questions, completing a table of information, true, false or not given, words used as nouns and verbs, word search puzzle.)
Intermediate
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Inventions
This warmer produces lively discussion and gives students practice using the past passive.
Intermediate
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Cyber Crime
This is about a plan where high-tech companies and companies involved in ecommerce joined the FBI to use encrypted e-mail and a secure Web site to warn each other about new hacking attempts, computer viruses and other Internet-based criminal activity. (Internet crime, hacking, ecommerce, the FBI, verb agreements)
Upper-Intermediate
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