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The World's Largest Lesson 2003 - Upper-Intermediate Level
An Upper-Intermediate Instant Lesson™

Night of a Thousand Dinners

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Read And Think

Today you are reading and talking about a problem. Read the questions below and talk about them in pairs. Can you answer any of them?


By the end of this lesson, you will know the answers to all of these questions.


Reading Activities

A: Making Sentences

Here are some facts about landmines. Look at them and then write some sentences using the facts. One is done for you as an example.

Facts
between 45 and 70 million landmines / 90 countries > There are between 45 and 70 million landmines in 90 countries.
every year kill / injure 10,000 / 19,000 civilians >
1997 / treaty signed / banning antipersonnel landmines >
millions / landmines / the ground / need to / removed >
landmines / can explode / 75 or more years >
removing landmines / very dangerous work >
about one third / people killed / children >
landmine survivors / need help / rest of / lives >

(Adapted from http://www.landmines.org.uk)

B: Reading For Information

Part One: Read the text below and fill the gap in each sentence with the correct information.

1. Thousands of people around the world will be having a special meal on ____________.
2. Adopt-A-Minefield is an organization which helps people learn about landmines, and raises money to ____________.
3. ____________ is organizing the dinners to raise money for landmine clearance and survivor assistance programs.
4. Stars like Sir Paul McCartney, Heather Mills McCartney, Harrison Ford, Lucy Liu and Robert Redford are ________________________.
5. The money will be used in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, ______________________________.

A Special Dinner

November 6 is the Night of a Thousand Dinners when tens of thousands of people around the world will join with their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to share a meal and think about the landmine problem. The dinners are organized by Adopt-A-Minefield, an organization that educates people about landmines and raises money for landmine clearance.

The money raised from the meals will be used to help with landmine clearance and survivor assistance projects in some of the most heavily mined countries in the world (Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, and Vietnam).

Stars like Heather Mills McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney, Harrison Ford, Lucy Liu and Robert Redford are taking part.

"All of the money raised will go to clear minefields and to help survivors," says Heather Mills McCartney. "Just 1 euro clears a square meter of land, 50 euros helps a child walk again."

Article adapted from 1000dinners.com. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com

Part Two: Read the text below as quickly as you can and then choose the best answer for each statement.

Today around the world, thousands of students are doing the same lesson. They are reading these words and they are learning about the dangers of landmines.

This is English-To-Go.com's third annual World's Largest Lesson.

Article © 2003 www.english-to-go.com. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com

1. Students in many different countries today are...

a. doing their homework.
b. learning about landmines.
c. learning about English-To-Go.com.


3. English-To-Go.com has organized this lesson...

a. two times before this.
b. once before.
c. three times before.

2. The students are taking part in...

a. a lesson about the dangers of study.
b. a lesson about students.
c. the World's Largest Lesson.

"As Patrons and Goodwill ambassadors of Adopt-A-Minefield we are delighted to support the World's Largest Lesson 2003. Through the World's Largest Lesson thousands of students around the world will become aware of this most important issue and help raise funds to solve the problem."
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney

C: Comprehension

You are going to read an article about Afghanistan, looking at three people who are directly involved with landmines. Work in groups of three.Your teacher will give you part of the article and some questions. Student A reads Part One of the article, Student B reads Part Two, and Student C reads Part Three. Answer the questions for your part of the article.


D: Reading And Reflecting

Imagine that you are the person you read about. What would your life be like? Read your part of the article again and complete these sentences with information from the article and your own ideas.

1. I am... (Who are you? What are you doing in Afghanistan?)
2. My everyday life is difficult because...
3. Landmines are a serious problem in Afghanistan because... (How do they affect people? Have they hurt anyone you know?)
4. If Afghanistan were free of landmines, people here could... (What would this allow people to do?)
5. I wish... (What do you think this person might wish?)

Now compare your answers with other students who read the same part of the article.


E: Sharing Information

Work in your groups of three (one Student A, one Student B and one Student C). Take turns to tell the other students about the person you read about. Tell the other students:

- who this person is.
- about his or her everyday life in Afghanistan.
- how landmines affect him or her and ordinary Afghanis.
- what you have learned about landmines from your part of this article.


F: Check Your Understanding

Now look at the questions in Pre-Reading Activity A again. Answer them in pairs.


TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Read And Think - Notes

Students can work in pairs to discuss the answers. They may know the answers to all or some of the questions. At this stage you do not need to have a class feedback session but go straight on to the next activity.

If your students don't know what a landmine is, you can give them this definition: 'A landmine is a container filled with explosive material that is placed in the ground. When a person or a vehicle passes over it, the mine explodes.'

Reading Activities

A: Making Sentences - Notes

This work gives students some basic facts about landmines. Circulate and check their work for grammatical accuracy. Alternatively, students could say sentences instead of writing them.

A: Making Sentences - Sample Answers

1. There are between 45 and 70 million landmines in 90 countries.
2. Landmines kill or injure 10,000 to 19,000 civilians every year.
3. In 1997 a treaty banning antipersonnel landmines was signed.
4. There are already millions of landmines in the ground that need to be removed.
5. Landmines are ready to explode for 75 or more years after they are planted.
6. Removing landmines from the ground is very dangerous work.
7. About one third of all the people killed by landmines are children.
8. Landmine survivors will need help for the rest of their lives.

B: Reading For Information - Notes

You may like to make this activity more challenging by setting a time limit appropriate for the level of your students.

B: Reading For Information - Answers

Part One
1. Thousands of people around the world will be having a special meal on November 6.
2. Adopt-A-Minefield is an organization which helps people learn about landmines and raises money to clear mines.
3. Adopt-A-Minefield is organizing the dinners to raise money for landmine clearance and survivor assistance programs.
4. Stars like Sir Paul McCartney, Heather Mills McCartney, Harrison Ford, Lucy Liu and Robert Redford are taking part in the dinner.
5. The money will be used in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, and Vietnam.

Part Two: 1. b, 2. c, 3. a.

C: Comprehension - Notes

Students work in groups of three. Give each person in a group one of the texts with questions below.

(Note For Homeschoolers: If you are teaching or homeschooling one learner, you may like to just do Part One of the article with the learner. If the learner is keen, you could then look at Parts Two and Three with them. However, they will be able to get an understanding of some of the problems survivors of landmine attacks face, by just doing Part One of the article. The learner does the comprehension and reading and reflecting activities, but doesn't do the sharing information activity.)

C: Comprehension - Texts To Be Copied And Given To Students


Questions For Student A
1. Who is Shakila? (Find out her age and where she comes from.)
2. What happened to her three years ago?
3. Is this a common problem in Afghanistan?
4. How many people are still killed or injured by landmines each month in Afghanistan?
5. What may happen to women who are injured by landmines? Why?
6. What problem could Shakila have?

Part One
Landmines Make Spinsters of Young Afghan Girls
By David Brunnstrom

SHOMALI PLAIN, Afghanistan Sat May 3 (Reuters) - Ten-year-old Shakila may never marry.

Three years ago she walked out of her house on Afghanistan's Shomali Plain and stepped on a landmine that blew off her right leg.

Shakila is one of the tens of thousands of Afghans who have fallen victim to landmines, weapons that do not distinguish between armies fighting over land and civilians simply trying to live their lives.

After 23 years of war, the countless numbers of mines that remain buried in Afghanistan still kill or maim more than 100 people every month. The injuries they cause are devastating for all victims, but especially for women.

Physiotherapist Rohafza Naudri lost a leg to a mine when she was 11. She said it is difficult for women with such injuries to find a husband.

"Nobody wants to marry them; they don't have much of a chance," she said after fitting Shakila with a new prosthesis.

"People think they can't work at home and they can't look after the house. It's also difficult for them to make friends; nobody really accepts them."

Asked if Shakila, a shy girl with a pretty smile and a cute orange dress, would be able to find a husband, she replied: "It's very difficult."

(Continued/...)

Glossary:
distinguish - recognize the difference between people or things
civilians - ordinary people who are not serving in the armed forces (army, navy, etc.) or the police
prosthesis - an artificial part of the body, e.g. a limb (leg, etc.)

Article © 2003 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com


Questions For Student B
1. Who is Dan Kelly?
2. How much of Afghanistan has mines?
3. What can this land not be used for?
4. Describe what landmining clearance is like.
5. How much does it cost in a year?
6. In the last 13 years, how many deminers have been killed and how many have been injured?

Part Two

(.../Continued)
COSTLY, DANGEROUS WORK
Dan Kelly, head of the U.N.'s Afghan mine clearing operation, says an estimated 320 square miles of Afghanistan is mined. This land isn't available to returning refugees and can't be used for agriculture and extremely important infrastructure rebuilding projects.

Kelly said that in the past 13 years, the Afghan program, the biggest in the world with more than 7,000 employees, has cleared about 2.7 million items of ordnance, including a quarter million antipersonnel mines and 30,000 antitank mines.

It is a costly, dangerous and painstaking task and the U.N. program this year will require $61 million. Although the project is seen as very important by donor countries, only about 65 percent of that has so far been offered and there is concern that demand for postwar Iraq could slow donations.

He said 75 deminers had been killed and 250 wounded in the past 13 years. (Continued/...)

Glossary:
infrastructure - the basic structures needed for a country to function e.g. buildings, water, transport, energy resources etc.
ordnance - military supplies and materials
painstaking - needing great care and trouble

Article © 2003 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com


Questions For Student C

1. Who is Abdul Razaq?
2. How many people have been killed where he is working?
3. What else has been killed by mines?
4. What happened in the garden opposite him?
5. How are the lives of ordinary people affected if they live near landmines?
6. What needs to happen, according to Razaq, before different groups in Afghanistan stop fighting each other? Why?

Part Three

(.../Continued)
LANDMINE CLEARANCE VITAL
Abdul Razaq, one of the men clearing landmines on part of the Shomali Plain north of Kabul, said five people and eight farm animals had been killed by mines where he was working -- part of the front line between Taliban and opposition forces from 1999.

"Recently, in this garden opposite me, a small boy lost his leg and four animals were killed by a mine," he said.

"Every day we have one or two incidents here. As long as mines exist, nobody is able to do anything. Farmers cannot work their fields and there won't be jobs for the people."

Razaq said the effort was also vital to the success of the government's bid to disarm rival factional armies. "If a man gives up his gun to the government, what can he do if he cannot work because there are mines everywhere?"

Glossary:
incidents - events or happenings
disarm -
take weapons away from
rival factional -
small groups within a larger one that oppose some of its ideas etc. and are competing or fighting with each other

Article © 2003 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2003 www.english-to-go.com


C: Comprehension - Answers

Student A - Part One
1. A ten-year-old girl from Afghanistan.
2. She stepped on a landmine that blew off her right leg.
3. Yes, tens of thousands of Afghans have fallen victim to landmines.
4. More than 100 people every month.
5. They may find it difficult to find husbands and make friends. People think they can't work at home or look after a house, and no one accepts them.
6. It may be very difficult for her to find a husband.

Student B - Part Two
1. Head of the United Nation's mineclearing operation in Afghanistan.
2. An estimated 320 square miles.
3. Returning refugees can't use it (presumably to live on) and it can't be used for farming or rebuilding projects, which are very important.
4. Costly, dangerous and painstaking.
5. $61 million.
6. 75 deminers have been killed and 250 wounded.

Student C - Part Three
1. An Afghani who is clearing landmines on part of the Shomali Plain north of Kabul.
2. 5.
3. 8 farm animals.
4. A small boy lost his leg (blown off by a mine) and four animals were killed by a mine.
5. They can't do anything. Farmers can't work their fields and there are no jobs for people.
6. Mines need to be cleared. Because people won't be able to work if there are mines everywhere.

D: Reading And Reflecting - Notes

Students answer the questions using their part of the article and their own ideas too. It would be good to get them to compare answers with other students who have done the same part (i.e. Student As work together, etc.), so that they check their answers and see if they have missed any information. It will also allow them to become more fluent with the material they will reuse in Reading Activity E. Circulate to make sure their answers are appropriate.

D: Reading And Reflecting - Sample Answers

1. I am Shakila, a ten-year-old girl living in Afghanistan.
2. My everyday life is difficult because three years ago I stepped on a landmine and lost my right leg. Now I am disabled and have difficulty walking. I can't do lots of things that other children can do.
3. Landmines are a serious problem in Afghanistan because they have killed tens of thousands of Afghanis. Each month more than a hundred people are still killed or maimed by mimes. Some people say it may be difficult for me to get married because I have lost my leg. People won't believe that I can look after a house. Others may not want to be friendly towards me.
4. If Afghanistan were free of landmines, people here could start rebuilding their lives.
5. I wish that I still had my right leg.

1. I am Dan Kelly, head of the U.N.'s Afghan mine clearing operation.
2. My everyday life is difficult because the work I'm supervising is expensive, dangerous and painstaking. 75 deminers have been killed here and 250 deminers wounded. We need $61 million for mine clearance here but we only have about 65 percent of that so far. My work is extremely stressful and dangerous.
3. Landmines are a serious problem in Afghanistan because until land has been cleared of mines, it can't be used for anything else.
4. If Afghanistan were free of landmines, people here could start using the land. Refugees could build homes for themselves, start farming and rebuilding projects could be started.
5. I wish that the members of my team who have been killed by mines were still alive and the others hadn't been wounded. I wish that we had enough money to do our work.

1. I am Abdul Razaq, one of the people clearing landmines in Afghanistan.
2. My everyday life is difficult because my work is dangerous and stressful. Five people and eight farm animals have been killed by mines where I'm working.
3. Landmines are a serious problem in Afghanistan because until the ground has been cleared of mines, people can't do anything else. Farmers can't work their fields and there are no jobs for people.
4. If Afghanistan were free of landmines, people here could start farming, building houses and working again.
5. I wish that Afghanistan didn't have this problem with landmines. Then if people gave up their guns to the government, they could work because they know that the land has no mines.

E: Sharing Information - Notes

Students are now in groups of three with each one sharing information from their part of the article. Encourage them to speak from memory rather than just read from the text or their answers. You could ask them to role play this if you prefer.

E: Sharing Information - Answers

Answers will vary.

F: Check Your Understanding - Notes

You can now check students' comprehension of the main parts of the lesson by asking them to answer again the four questions from Pre-Reading Activity A. You may like to list their answers on the board (or ask them to work in groups and write them on a poster) for question 4.

F: Check Your Understanding - Sample Answers

1. They're stars.
2. They're taking part in the 'Night of a Thousand Dinners'. To raise money for landmine clearance and survivor assistance projects and think about the landmine problem.
3. A lesson on the dangers of landmines organized by English-To-Go.com as part of the third annual World's Largest Lesson.
4. By killing and injuring people, including civilians.
Killing and maiming lots of children. Landmine survivors are left with injuries which mean they will need help from others for the rest of their lives. They may become victims of prejudice. People are unable to use land - they can't farm it or build houses. The landmines prevent a country from rebuilding. Landmine clearance is very dangerous and deminers may be killed or injured in their work.


Note One: Useful Websites
Your students may be interested in the following websites:
http://www.landmines.org.uk/
http://www.1000dinners.com
http://www.landminesurvivors.org/
http://www.icbl.org/

You may like to use material from http://www.landmines.org.uk/187. This contains an excellent set of stories, 'Living With Landmines'
which are about the life of children in mine-affected countries - from the child's point of view. The following webpage has photos: http://www.landmines.org.uk/Photo_Gallery.asp.

Note Two: Other related lessons that your students may find interesting are found in the English-To-Go.com Instant Lesson library: 'How Good Is Your Nose?' is an Intermediate - Upper Intermediate lesson that looks at the use of mechanical dogs that can smell landmines. 'Demining Dogs' is an Elementary lesson about dogs that are used to clear landmines in Thailand. The 2001 World's Largest Lesson is 'A Global Issue', an Intermediate lesson that looks at a charity that was launched to raise funds for mine clearance. The 2002 World's Largest Lesson is 'Landmine Danger'. Another Intermediate lesson, 'Loans For Hope', looks at postwar Afghanistan and fits well with this lesson.

WLLupint2003

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