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Friday November 19, 2004
Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

Tony Blair has finally succeeded in his quest to end fox hunting in Britain. He has tried many times before to outlaw it, but has always just failed to get the votes he needed. The centuries old British countryside sport where foxes are chased through the countryside by horse-riding hunters with dogs, will be banned in three months time. The Queen formally approved the law within 45 minutes.Passions are high on either side of the debate and it has been hotly debated in Britain for decades. Many city dwellers see it as a cruel and barbaric blood sport, which has no place in a modern society. They object to the violent death the fox suffers as it is torn apart by the dogs. An animal rights spokesman said the ban was essential to make Britain a more civilized country.Rural folk, however, see it as an ancient and traditional part of countryside culture, and an essential part of their economy, employing thousands of people. Hunting supporters vowed to defy the ban and to fight it in court. John Jackson, chairman of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said "True civil disobedience is now on the horizon." They are angry that the law was passed by urbanites who know little about the countryside.Fox hunts are social gatherings as well as hunts. There are 4,000 hunts each year in Britain, involving more than one million people, many of whom will lose their jobs. Also, 300 packs of hounds are kept, about 5,000 dogs, but many will now die as hunters will no longer need them. Hunting expenditure is about $20 million a year, which keeps many small villages alive. It is expected these villages will now die along with the long tradition.


 
 

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about British culture, fox hunting, foxes, countryside animals, blood sorts ….

2. HUNTING: Brainstorm the many things hunted around the world, and in the students’ own countries. Students decide which of these they would ban.

3. 2-MINUTE DEBATES: Students face each other in pairs and engage in the following (for-fun) 2-minute debates. Students A are assigned the first argu ment, students B the second. Rotate pairs to ensure a lively pace and noise level is kept: It’s better to live in the countryside vs. It’s better to live in the city; Tony Blair is a great leader vs. Tony Blair is not a great leader; Fox hunting is OK vs, Fox hunting is not OK; Fishing should also be banned vs. Fishing is totally different from fox hunting; Britain’s ancient culture should be protected vs. Britain should modernize…

4. ANIMAL SPORTS: Brainstorm a list of other animal ‘sports’ on the board. Students rank which are legitimate. Examples: cock-fighting, bull fighting, big game fishing, pheasant shooting, animal trapping, horse racing,  …


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. HUNTING BRAINSTORM: Brainstorm or put a list of words on the board to help students understand what fox hunting is. Students talk about the words amongst themselves and decide whether a ban is a good thing or not.

2. DICTIONARY SEARCH: Check their dictionaries to find other words that look similar to the following: ‘quest’, ‘ban’, ‘law’, ‘fox’ and ‘blood’ They decide whether these words might belong to this article or not.

3. TRUE/FALSE: Students predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:
a. This is the first time Tony Blair has tried to ban fox hunting.  T / F
b. Fox hunting started in the last century.  T / F
c. Fox hunting is where people with guns run after foxes.  T / F
d. City people support fox hunting.  T / F
e. The fox dies a violent death.  T / F
f. Hunting supporters have accepted the ban. T / F
g. Fox hunting is a social event.  T / F
h. Many people will lose their jobs.  T / F
i. Hundreds of dogs will lose their jobs, and lives. T / F

4. SYNONYMS: Students match the following words taken from the text:

 

quest stop

 

end resident

 

hotly mission

 

debated passionately

 

dweller public

 

torn occasion

 

civil ripped

 

gathering argued

 WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

UK Fox Hunting Ban

Tony Blair has __________ succeeded in his quest to end fox hunting in Britain. He has tried many times before to __________ it, but has always just failed to get the votes he needed. The centuries __________ British countryside sport where foxes are chased through the countryside by horse-riding hunters with dogs, will be banned in three months __________. The Queen formally approved the law within 45 minutes.
 
  old
finally
time
outlaw
Passions are high on either side of the debate and it has been hotly debated in Britain for __________. Many city dwellers see it as a cruel and barbaric __________ sport, which has no place in a modern society. They object to the violent death the fox suffers as it is torn __________ by the dogs. An animal rights spokesman said the ban was __________ to make Britain a more civilized country.
 
  blood
decades
essential
apart
Rural folk, however, see it as an __________ and traditional part of countryside culture, and an essential part of their economy, employing thousands of people. Hunting supporters vowed to __________ the ban and to fight it in court. John Jackson, chairman of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said "True __________ disobedience is now on the horizon." They are angry that the law was __________ by urbanites who know little about the countryside.
 
  civil
defy
ancient
passed
 
Fox hunts are __________ gatherings as well as hunts. There are 4,000 hunts each year in Britain, involving more than one million people, many of whom will lose their jobs. Also, 300 __________ of hounds are kept, about 5,000 dogs, but many will now die as hunters will no longer need them. Hunting __________ is about $20 million a year, which keeps many small villages __________. It is expected these villages will now die along with the long tradition.   packs
alive
social
expenditure

 

2. DICTIONARY SEARCH: Students decide if the words they found in their dictionaries belong to the family of the words in the article.

3. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

4. WORD MATCH: Students check their answers to the word match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ROLE PLAY: Students form pairs / groups to brainstorm ideas before taking part in the role plays on the fox hunting ban. Roles include a countryside hunter, a city dwelling animal rights activist, a fox, a dog breeder, a horse, a hound …

6. VERBATIM:  Students create their own questions using these words from the article:

end fox hunting
centuries old
foxes are chased
cruel and barbaric blood sport
Britain a more civilized country
ancient and traditional
social gatherings
these villages will now die

HOMEWORK

1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or the Google search field to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on fox hunting. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. RESEARCH: Search the Internet and write your own article on fox hunting.

4. LETTER: Students write a letter to Tony Blair from an angry countryside villager who hunts and has many hounds.

ANSWERS

TRUE/FALSE:

a. This is the first time Tony Blair has tried to ban fox hunting.  F
b. Fox hunting started in the last century.  F
c. Fox hunting is where people with guns run after foxes.  F
d. City people support fox hunting.  F
e. The fox dies a violent death.  T
f. Hunting supporters have accepted the ban. F
g. Fox hunting is a social event.  T
h. Many people will lose their jobs.  T
i. Hundreds of dogs will lose their jobs, and lives. T

SYNONYMS: Students match the following words taken from the text:

 

quest

mission

 

end

stop

 

hotly

passionately

 

debated

argued

 

dweller

resident

 

torn

ripped

 

civil

public

 

gathering

occasion

GAP FILL:

UK Fox Hunting BanTony Blair has finally succeeded in his quest to end fox hunting in Britain. He has tried many times before to outlaw it, but has always just failed to get the votes he needed. The centuries old British countryside sport where foxes are chased through the countryside by horse-riding hunters with dogs, will be banned in three months time. The Queen formally approved the law within 45 minutes.Passions are high on either side of the debate and it has been hotly debated in Britain for decades. Many city dwellers see it as a cruel and barbaric blood sport, which has no place in a modern society. They object to the violent death the fox suffers as it is torn apart by the dogs. An animal rights spokesman said the ban was essential to make Britain a more civilized country.Rural folk, however, see it as an ancient and traditional part of countryside culture, and an essential part of their economy, employing thousands of people. Hunting supporters vowed to defy the ban and to fight it in court. John Jackson, chairman of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said "True civil disobedience is now on the horizon." They are angry that the law was passed by urbanites who know little about the countryside.Fox hunts are social gatherings as well as hunts. There are 4,000 hunts each year in Britain, involving more than one million people, many of whom will lose their jobs. Also, 300 packs of hounds are kept, about 5,000 dogs, but many will now die as hunters will no longer need them. Hunting expenditure is about $20 million a year, which keeps many small villages alive. It is expected these villages will now die along with the long tradition.

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