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Instant Lesson™ for World's Largest Lesson 2001

A Global Issue

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Make a Choice

1. If you were very rich and famous, what would your hobbies be? Choose from this list:

2. Share your answers with someone else.

 

B: Ranking

Answer these questions.

1. What do you think are the biggest problems facing the world? Write a list of about 5 problems.
2. Who or what does each problem on your list affect?
3. Rank the problems on your list in order of importance (1 = most important, 5 = least important).
4. Compare your lists in small groups or as a class. Can you agree on a list of the five most important problems?
5. Which problems do you think would be the easiest to solve? Why do you think this?
6. Is there anything you could do about any of these problems? What could you do?


C: Guessing

Part One: Read the following news article.  Use the numbers and words to fill in the gaps.

18, United States, quarter, eight, Beatle, strong, vegetables, 59, 25, two

Paul McCartney declares his love - for 1.___________

LONDON, Sunday June 24 (Reuters) - All you need are vegetables, former 2.___________ Paul McCartney says as he prepares to show his well-being by undertaking a new concert tour.

McCartney, 3.___________, who is ready to hit the road again for the first time in 4.___________ years, says being vegetarian for the past 5.___________of a century has kept him going 6.___________. The singer-songwriter became vegetarian more than 7.___________ years ago along with his late wife Linda.

McCartney revealed last month that he was planning a concert tour for around the time his new studio album comes out in September. He is currently recording in the 8.___________. "Recently I recorded 9. ___________ songs for this new album in just 10.___________ weeks," he said.

 

(former - what someone used to be but no longer is)

Article © 2001 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2001 www.english-to-go.com

 

Part Two: Listen as your teacher reads the article.  Check your answers and change them if necessary.
 

Reading Activities

A: Scanning

Today's main article also features Paul McCartney.  Read the questions below and then find the answers as quickly as you can in the following article.

1. What problem is the article about?
2. Is this a problem that affects many countries?
3. What is the name of the charity McCartney and Mills are supporting?
4. What is the aim of this charity?
5. Where did they go in April?
6. Who did they meet there?
7. What other famous person supported this problem?

Ex-Beatle McCartney leads new anti-landmine drive

LONDON, Monday June 4 (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his girlfriend, Heather Mills, launched a new campaign Monday to rid the world of landmines.

"Landmines take or wreck three lives an hour, every hour, every day of every year. We have to come together now to try to stop that," McCartney said on launching Adopt-A-Minefield UK, a new charity raising funds for mine clearance and landmine survivors.

An estimated 60 million landmines may still be hidden in the ground in 70 countries. Each year an estimated 26,000 people are killed or injured by landmines. As many as a third of the victims are children.

Britain's late Princess Diana made the abolition of landmines one of the causes she backed before being killed in a Paris car crash in 1997.

Mills said more work must still be done. "There have been many excellent and high-profile campaigns against this hidden killer, but the need for a continued, concerted drive to rid the world of landmines is as great now as it ever was," she said.

In April, Mills and McCartney took their campaign to Washington where they said they found Secretary of State Colin Powell supportive despite U.S. reservations about a worldwide ban.

Article © 2001 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2001 www.english-to-go.com
rid - remove
charity - an organization collecting money to help people who are ill etc.

Secretary of State - head of the government department looking after foreign affairs

reservations
- not sure if something is good or right

B: Vocabulary

Find these words in today's article and match them with their meanings.

launch (paragraph 1)
funds (paragraph 2)
wreck (paragraph 2)
victim (paragraph 3)
abolition (paragraph 4)
campaign (paragraph 5)

the stopping or ending of something by someone with authority
start something
set of actions organized to achieve a result
damage very seriously, destroy
someone who is hurt or killed by someone or something
amounts of money available to be spent on something

C: Thinking Carefully

These are excerpts from today's article.  Answer the questions that follow the excerpts by circling A, B or C. The questions encourage you to look carefully at some parts of the article.

1. "Landmines take or wreck three lives an hour, every hour, every day of every year."  What does this mean?

A. 3 people are killed by landmines every hour.
B. 3 people are killed or injured by landmines every hour.
C. 3 people are injured by landmines every hour.

2. "Each year an estimated 26,000 people are killed or injured by landmines."  How many people are killed or injured by landmines every year?

A. Less than 26,000 people.
B. An average of 26,000 people.
C. Some people have worked out that it is 26,000 people.

3. "As many as a third of the victims are children." What does this mean?

A. Many more than a third.
B. Up to a third.
C. About a third.

4. "Secretary of State Colin Powell (was) supportive despite U.S. reservations about a worldwide ban."  What does this mean?

A. The USA is ready to give complete support.
B. The USA is not ready to give any support and doesn't like the idea.
C. The USA will give some support but has some doubts about the idea.

 

D: Understanding the Main Idea

Here are two paragraphs summarizing the main points of today's article but some words are missing. Write a word or words in each gap.  Try to do this without looking at the article.

Every year thousands of people, a large number of them 1.___________, are killed or injured by landmines. Various charities are raising 2.___________ for mine 3.___________ and the support of people injured by landmines. Their goal is to see the world become free of 4.___________.

5.___________ of Britain was one of the campaigners against landmines, ex-6.___________ Paul McCartney is another. The problem is a global one as around 7.___________ landmines may still be lying in the 8.___________ in 70 countries. According to 9.___________, landmines take or wreck the lives of 10.___________ people every hour every day of the year.
 

E: Language

"Each year an estimated 26,000 people are killed or injured by landmines."

This sentence is written in the passive. The passive is formed by combining a form of the 'be' verb with the past participle of the main verb.

We use the passive when we want to focus attention on the receiver; the person or thing receiving the action: Each year an estimated 26,000 people are killed or injured by landmines. In this sentence 'people' are receiving the action and the word 'people' is the subject.

Now look at the following sentence: Each year landmines kill or injure an estimated 26,000 people. This sentence has the same meaning as the previous sentence but the subject is different and the word 'people' is now the object of the sentence.
The word 'landmines' is the subject and the focus is different.

Use the word prompts to write sentences in which the underlined word or phrase is the focus. Decide if each sentence is active or passive and use the correct tense. Add any extra words you think are needed. The first one has been done for you as an example.

1. Sir Paul McCartney / support / Adopt-A-Minefield UK campaign / - The Adopt-A-Minefield UK campaign is supported by Sir Paul McCartney.
2. Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney / work / together / raise / money.
3. Heather Mills / help / the victims of landmines in many countries.
4. The disabled and landmine victims / give / artificial limbs / Heather Mills
5. Heather Mills / injure / in an accident and / lose / part of her leg.
6. A police officer on a motorbike / hit / Heather Mills / in 1993.
7. Cruelty to animals / strongly / oppose / Sir Paul McCartney.
8. Not a single animal / eat / Sir Paul McCartney / for 25 years.

 


Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these.

A: Think and Evaluate

Read this:

To find landmines several different methods are used:

1. A mine detector can detect (discover) metal that is hidden under the ground.  A human must operate the mine detector.
2. A trained dog can sniff out and detect mines. They sniff the ground searching for the smell of explosive material.
3. Robots travel across the ground searching for mines using equipment similar to a metal detector.
4. Special heavy machinery can also be used to clear land of forest and bush. Mines explode under the machines but do not damage them.

The United Nations has a requirement that anything used to detect mines must have a 99.6 per cent reliability, which means that for every 1000 mines detected or found in one area, only four mines can be missed.

In pairs or small groups, do the following tasks:

1.  Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of using each method. Think about particular countries that have lots of landmines.  Which method is most suitable for each particular country?  Why?

2. Decide which method you think would be the cheapest and which method you think would be the most reliable.

 

B: Poster

Make your own poster on the topic of landmines.  Decide what you want to focus on about landmines.  Write a slogan and use pictures or symbols for your poster.

C: Say It!

Work in a group of six. Select one of the roles below and talk for 1-2 minutes on the topic provided. You may wish to change to a different role after everyone has spoken to give yourself extra practice.

Role A: You are a landmine victim. Talk about the effect your injury has had on your life and how you feel about landmines.

Role B: You are the owner of a major landmine producing company. If landmines were banned internationally, your business would collapse. You employ hundreds of staff.

Role C: You are part of a Government who buys landmines for a conflict in your own country. Explain why you use landmines.

Role D: Explain your own position on the use of landmines. Give reasons why.

Role E: You are an anti-landmines campaigner. Give reasons why you want to ban landmines.

Role F: You are a U.S. Government official. Your administration has reservations about a worldwide ban. Explain why.

 

D: Research

Find out what your own government's position is on landmines and what involvement, if any, they have had on the issue.

 

E: Writing

Write an essay on the question below.

"In your opinion, what is the most serious problem facing the world today?"

Include the following ideas in your essay:

Make sure your essay has a clear introduction, body and conclusion.

 


TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Make a Choice - Notes

If you wish, you could begin by asking students to suggest the names of several wealthy, famous people who are likely to be known by most people in the class. Ask students if they know what the hobbies of these people are. Students work alone to select the activities they would enjoy if they were rich and famous. They can choose more than one activity.

B: Ranking - Notes

The purpose of this activity is to not only get students thinking about current world problems, but to give students practice agreeing / disagreeing and negotiating. It would be best if students do Questions 1 - 3 alone, making notes as they answer the questions. Then put them in small groups to complete Questions 4 - 6. Students are being asked a very difficult question (i.e. which problems are most serious) so do not expect there to be one clear answer and encourage them to 'agree to disagree'. You may wish to set a time limit to avoid this activity dominating the lesson.

C: Guessing - Notes

This short text introduces students to Sir Paul McCartney, one of the four British musicians who made up the Beatles. McCartney features in today's article.

Students try to fill the gaps in the article with the correct word or number. Don't spend too long on this. Then read the text at normal speed (twice if necessary) while students check their answers.  After you have read the text, ask pairs to compare their answers.  Finally, check answers by choosing students to read the text out loud.  This way you can check comprehension by asking students some questions as you go along.

(Teachers of pre-intermediate level classes may prefer to skip this activity. Just make sure your students know who the Beatles were.)

C: Guessing- Text to be read aloud to students

Paul McCartney declares his love - for vegetables

LONDON, Sunday June 24 (Reuters) - All you need are vegetables, former Beatle Paul McCartney says as he prepares to show his well-being by undertaking a new concert tour.

McCartney, 59, who is ready to hit the road again for the first time in eight years, says being vegetarian for the past quarter of a century has kept him going strong. The singer-songwriter became vegetarian more than 25 years ago along with his late wife Linda.

McCartney revealed last month that he was planning a concert tour for around the time his new studio album comes out in September. He is currently recording in the United States. "Recently I recorded 18 songs for this new album in just two weeks," he said.

Article © 2001 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2001 www.english-to-go.com

C: Guessing - Answers

1. vegetables; 2. Beatle; 3. 59; 4. eight; 5. quarter; 6. strong; 7. 25; 8. United States; 9. 18; 10. two.

Reading Activities

A: Scanning - Notes

If you are teaching a higher level class (i.e. Intermediate or above) set a time limit to encourage your students to work quickly. Discourage your students from using a dictionary for this activity.

You may wish to give students this definition for landmines before they read the article: A container filled with explosive material that is placed in the ground. When a person or a vehicle passes over it, the mine explodes.

A: Scanning - Answers

1. landmines.
2. yes (70 countries).

3. Adopt-A-Minefield UK.

4. To rid the world of landmines / raise money for mine clearance and landmine survivors.

5. Washington, U.S.A.

6. (US) Secretary of State Colin Powell.

7. The late Princess Diana of Britain.

B: Vocabulary - Notes

Students should find the words in the article. They should think about what information the article gives them to help them match the words (the form of the word, its position in the sentence, what the other words in the sentence mean and what the sentence means.)

B: Vocabulary - Answers

launch - start something
funds - amounts of money available to be spent on something
wreck - damage very seriously, destroy
victim - someone who is hurt or killed by someone or something
abolition - the stopping or ending of something by someone with authority
campaign - set of actions organized to achieve a result

C: Thinking Carefully - Answers

1. B; 2. C; 3. B; 4. C.

D: Understanding the Main Idea - Notes

Students try to fill the gaps using the correct information from the article. When checking their answers, also look at whether they have used the correct form of a word.

D: Understanding the Main Idea - Answers

1. children; 2. money/funds; 3. clearance; 4. landmines; 5. Princess Diana;
6. Beatle; 7. 60 million; 8. ground; 9. McCartney; 10. three.

E: Language - Answers

2. Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney are working together to raise money. ("work" is also possible)
3. The victims of landmines in many countries are helped by Heather Mills. ("are being helped" would also be acceptable as it is happening now)

4. Heather Mills gives artificial limbs to the disabled and landmine victims.

5. Heather Mills was injured in an accident and lost part of her leg.

6. Heather Mills was hit by a police officer on a motorbike in 1993.

7. Sir Paul McCartney strongly opposes cruelty to animals.

8. Sir Paul McCartney has not eaten a single animal for 25 years. (Note the word order in this sentence - "not" is now used with the verb)

Post-Reading Activities

A: Think and Evaluate - Notes

Students work in groups but could also work alone and write their answers.

A: Think and Evaluate - Comments on the Different Methods

1. In many countries where mines are found, it is cheap to employ people to find the mines. This method is also the most reliable because it is done by hand by a person who can use all their senses-sight, sound, smell, touch, hearing. However, it is not as safe as other methods even if a person wears the right protection. The process is slowed down if there are lots of other pieces of metal in the ground other than landmines. However, people can go where machinery and dogs cannot go.

2. Where the jungle or ground cover is not too thick (dense) dogs can quickly pick up the explosive scent. However, they often treat the activity as a game and they get bored. They also find it difficult to find landmines that are buried deep in the earth. Dogs need to be trained, fed and looked after. This method does not reach the reliability required by the Unites Nations, even though it is safer for humans. Please Note: The lesson 'How Good is your Nose?' found in the Intermediate - Upper Intermediate section of the Instant Lessons library looked at the invention of a mechanical sniffer dog that could be used to sniff out mines.

3. The advantage of using robots is that it is safer for humans. However robots are not cheap to make, so if they are damaged, it is very expensive to repair them. Experts are required to be able to use robots and identify if what a robot has found is actually a landmine. This means that local people are not employed. In addition, the land in many countries is not suitable for using robots

4. If a machine is used, mines can explode under them without causing damage. Large areas of land can be covered and humans are unlikely to get hurt. However, some landmines are planted in the ground so deeply that machines cannot find them. This means that when it rains or rivers flood, the mines might come to the surface. The reliability of this method does not reach the United Nations standard. Heavy machines need wide-open space not narrow tracks. As well as this, they need fuel to get them going and usually several people to operate them.

B: Poster - Notes

This activity is suitable for any level.  If your students want some information about the effect of landmines on children, you could give them the information below. It has been adapted and comes from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines site found at http://www.icbl.org/resources/

--Mines kill and mutilate 8 000 to 10 000 children each year
--Children form 25 percent of those treated for landmine injuries in Red Cross units in the Afghan and Cambodian conflicts, and 75 percent of the mine-related injuries in a hospital in northern Somalia

--Children are often underrepresented in hospitals that treat landmine injuries -- many simply do not survive a landmine blast because of their size. Some are killed outright or die of sheer agony. They may not survive the huge losses of blood which result from landmine injuries.

--A child who survives a mine blast is likely to be seriously injured and permanently disabled. They may lose one or both legs or arms. Shrapnel may cause blindness and disfigure their face.

--Cambodia has twice as many landmines as children (7 millions landmines)

--Handicap International estimates that a child may have to wait up to 10 years before having a prosthetic limb fitted.

--Child amputees might not be able to attend school or may be too ashamed to leave their home

--Children are also at risk because of their curiosity; they like to pick up and play with new objects and can mistake a landmine for a toy or harmless object.

--Some antipersonnel mines, such as airborne butterfly mines, are specifically designed to attract children

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations Children's Fund

C: Say It! - Notes

This task aims to give students practice using the vocabulary in the lesson as well as arguing a point and giving reasons. It is probably best to have students rotate roles to provide more opportunity for practice. Having listened to others in the group talk on a role will help their own performance when they talk on that topic. You may also wish to call on a few students to give their 'say it' talk in front of the class.

D: Research - Notes

You may like to visit this address to find a list of countries who have not signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty: http://www.icbl.org/treaty/nonsign.php3
This site may also be useful:
http://www.minesactioncanada.org/home/index.cfm?lang=e. It has a map and country positions on the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

If students are already very familiar with their own government's stance on landmines they may want to find out what the stance of another country is.

E: Writing - Notes

Have your students review the discussion they had in Pre-Reading Activity B: Ranking.

Get them to prepare an essay plan before they start to write, and set them word and time limits which you feel are appropriate to their ability.

When they have finished, (this may be done at a later date), have them exchange and read each others' essays. They should then prepare a comments page, (i.e.. a written response) on the essay they have read. Comments should relate to aspects such as grammar, spelling, and ideas expressed, and should be constructive. In this way, students will be more motivated to write if they know they will have a real audience for their work.

Finally, display the essays on a notice board or on the wall, so all students can read every essay.

Please Note: Here is a list of other web resources that may be of interest to you and your students.

1. As a vegetarian, Sir Paul is a strong supporter of Viva. One of Viva's main aims is to end cruelty to animals. They believe the best way of doing it is to get people to stop eating them. You can read their on-line pamphlet that features Paul http://www.viva.org.uk/goveggie/index.htm or see him in their video; http://www.viva.org.uk/Viva!%20Campaigns/Campaigns.html
Their presentation also covers many environmental issues such as deforestation, desertification and global warming.

2. This United Nations site - http://www0.un.org/cyberschoolbus/banmines/index.asp may be useful as it contains personal accounts from people who have experienced landmines firsthand and talks about what can be done. Three specifically designed teaching units are also available.

3. Today's feature article mentions the Adopt-A-Minefield campaign and this is the official site: http://www.landmines.org The site provides a lot of information on the landmine crisis and has a press release centre to find information on Paul and Heather and provides many ideas for what you can do to help.
There are also downloadable teaching curriculum available at different levels and students can join the model UN. The Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, and other multilateral bodies, which catapults students into the world of diplomacy and negotiation. Students from all around the world assume the roles of United Nations ambassadors, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and participate to debate the current issues on the UN's agenda.
An excellent teaching resource!

4. To find out about animals and landmines students can go to the site: www.minesactioncanada.org and use the advanced search, select dates, under "Development Issues" select "wildlife and livestock" then select search.


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