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Friday December 17, 2004

Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

  Being married is good for your health, but it might make you fat. These are the conclusions of a comprehensive new report issued by the US National Center for Health Statistics, which was based on a survey of 127,545 American adults. According to the report, nearly 60% of American adults married, 10.4% are separated or divorced, 6.6% are widowed, 19% are never married and 5.7% are living with a partner. The report also says marriage varies among race, with 61 percent of white adults being married, 58 percent of Hispanic adults, and 38 percent of black adults.

The main findings from the report suggest that married adults are:

• least likely to experience health problems.
• the least likely to engage in risky health behaviors (promiscuous sex)
• less likely to suffer from a variety of ailments, including, back pain, headaches, and psychological stress.
• less likely to drink and smoke
• more physically active
• slightly overweight or obese, especially men (70.6 percent of husbands were overweight or obese compared with 65.1 percent of all men.)
• less likely to smoke, drink heavily or be physically inactive.

Unfortunately the scientific reasons why married adults are healthier are as yet unknown and the benefits cannot be transferred to the young, single, sexually active, drinking and smoking sections of society. So next time you feel unhealthy, visit your local matchmaking service instead of your doctor.


 
 

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about being married / being single / “risky health behaviours” / healthy lifestyle / back pain / stress …
To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to energize the class.

2. MARRIED IS BEST: Brainstorm some reasons why being married is better (healthier) than being single. Students discuss in pairs / groups.

3. MARRIAGE BENEFITS: Write the following headings on the board and ask students to find out if marriage is good for each of them:
waistline / bank balance / sex life / social life / career / health / mental well-being / diet / standing in society /

4. 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 argument, students B the second. Rotate pairs to ensure a lively pace and noise level is kept:
Being married is best. vs. Being single rules.
Cohabitating is better than being married. vs It’s the other way around.
Being married means only one sexual partner forever . vs It’s OK to have other partners and be married.
Marriage is good for your health vs. It makes you fat and stressed.
Marriage is bliss. vs. Marriage makes you unhappy.
Single life and freedom makes you happier v. Married life and security makes you happier.

PRE-READING IDEAS


 
 

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘married’, and ‘marriage’.

2. HEADLINE: Put the article headline on the board for students to talk about / predict / speculate. Pairs / groups formulate and present their own guesses as to the contents of the report.

3. TRUE / FALSE: Students look at the headline and predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:

(a)  Being married is good for your health.  T / F
(b)  Being married keeps your weight down.  T / F
(c)  Nearly 60% of American adults are married.  T / F
(d)  Married people sleep around more.  T / F
(e)  Married people are more stressed.  T / F
(f)  Married people are more physically active.  T / F
(g)  Married people are less likely to drink and smoke.  T / F
(h)  You should visit your local matchmaking service to stay healthy.  T / F

4. SYNONYM MATCH: Students match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

married

do

(b)

conclusions

questionnaire

(c)

comprehensive

cupid

(d)

survey

wed

(e)

vary

tubby

(f)

race

findings

(g)

engage in

widespread

(h)

obese

parts

(i)

sections

change

(j)

matchmaking

ethnic group

5. PHRASE MATCH: Students match the following phrases based on the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

being

a survey

(b)

a report

findings

(c)

… based on

married

(d)

separated or

active

(e)

the main

likely

(f)

promiscuous

issued by …

(g)

suffer

physically active

(h)

less

from back pain

(i)

more

divorced

(j)

sexually

sex

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

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

Get married and stay healthy

  Being married is __________ for your health, but it might make you fat. These are the conclusions of a comprehensive new report __________ by the US National Center for Health Statistics, which was based on a __________ of 127,545 American adults. According to the report, nearly 60% of American adults married, 10.4% are separated or divorced, 6.6% are widowed, 19% are never married and 5.7% are living with a __________. The report also says marriage __________ among race, with 61 percent of white adults being married, 58 percent of Hispanic adults, and 38 percent of black adults. 
 

 

partner
survey
good
varies
issued


The main findings from the report suggest that married adults are:
• least likely to __________ health problems.
• the least likely to __________ in risky health behaviors (promiscuous sex)
• less likely to __________ from a variety of ailments, including, back pain, headaches, and psychological stress.
• less likely to drink and smoke
• more physically __________
• slightly overweight or obese, __________ men (70.6 percent of husbands were overweight or obese compared with 65.1 percent of all men.)
• less likely to smoke, drink heavily or be physically inactive.
 

 

engage
especially
experience
active
suffer

Unfortunately the scientific __________ why married adults are healthier are as yet __________ and the benefits cannot be __________ to the young, single, sexually active, drinking and smoking sections of __________. So next time you feel unhealthy, visit your local matchmaking service __________ of your doctor.

 

society
instead
unknown
transferred
reasons

 

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

3. PHRASE MATCH: Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

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

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

6. ‘THAT’S ME’:  Students note down anything they read that describes them.

POST READING IDEAS

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

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

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. ‘THAT’S ME’:  Students share and discuss the notes they made regarding the similarities between their lives and what is written in the article.

6. MARRIAGE DISCUSSION: Students ask each other the following questions:

(a)  What are the benefits of marriage?
(b)  What are the downsides of being married?
(c)  Do married people have more fun?
(d)  Don’t you think that after marriage both husband and wives get fatter?
(e)  Should marriage be forever?
(f)  Is it OK to have more than one husband/wife if everyone agrees?
(g)  Isn’t marriage more stressful than being single?
(h)  Which is healthier, being married or cohabitating (living together)?

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 successful marriages. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. MARRIED HEALTH: Create an information poster of health benefits of marriage.

4. MARRIAGE SCHEDULE: You are a ‘marriage health consultant’. Create a daily schedule that married couples can do together to stay healthy.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

(a)  Being married is good for your health.  T
(b)  Being married keeps your weight down.  F
(c)  Nearly 60% of American adults are married.  T
(d)  Married people sleep around more.  F
(e)  Married people are more stressed.  F
(f)  Married people are less physically active.  F
(g)  Married people are less likely to drink and smoke.  T
(h)  You should visit your local matchmaking service to stay healthy.  T

SYNONYM MATCH

(a)

married

wed

(b)

conclusions

findings

(c)

comprehensive

widespread

(d)

survey

questionnaire

(e)

vary

change

(f)

race

ethnic group

(g)

engage in

do

(h)

obese

tubby

(i)

sections

parts

(j)

matchmaking

cupid

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

being

married

(b)

a report

issued by …

(c)

… based on

a survey

(d)

separated or

divorced

(e)

the main

findings

(f)

promiscuous

sex

(g)

suffer

from back pain

(h)

less

active

(i)

more

physically active

(j)

sexually

active

 

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