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Monday January 17, 2005
Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

A new fertility world record was set earlier today as a 66-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl. The woman was expecting twins, however, one was stillborn. The record-breaking mother is Adriana Iliescu, from Bucharest, Romania. She had been receiving fertility treatment for almost ten years before being artificially inseminated, and finally giving birth by caesarean section. Her daughter, Eliza Marie, was born six weeks premature and had a birth weight of 1.45kg (3.2lb). She was double the weight of her twin sister who lost her life in the womb. Mother and baby are both doing well, although Eliza Marie will spend some time in ICU (intensive care unit). Ms. Iliescu is elated at finally becoming a mother for the first time.

Lesson & plan in Word.doc     Example Class Handout in .pdf

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about babies / motherhood / fatherhood / giving birth / being pregnant at 65 / aged parenting / twins and multiple births…
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. BABY BRAINSTORM: Brainstorm and write on the board any words students associate with babies. Students use these words as a springboard for further conversation.

3. MY BABYHOOD: Students talk about and ask each other about what they know and have been told about their earliest years.

4. AGED PARENTING: Students talk in pairs / groups about the pros and cons of becoming a parent at 67. In pairs they then look on the bright side and try to turn the con into a pro – they test these ideas on other partners.
Alternative: Teacher puts different age brackets on the board for students to assess the relative merits and demerits, or pairs / groups decide the best age to start a family.

5. MY TWIN: Students become ‘twins’ for ten minutes with their partner. They mingle with other ‘twins’ in the class and talk about their lives, personalities, different looks etc as twins.


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

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

2. TRUE / FALSE: Students look at the headline and predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:
(a)  The woman’s birth was a new fertility world record.  T / F
(b)  The woman was expecting twins.  T / F
(c)  Two healthy twin girls were successfully delivered.  T / F
(d)  The woman conceived by accident. She hadn’t planned on having a child.  T / F
(e)  She gave birth by caesarean section.  T / F
(f)  Her baby was born six weeks premature.  T / F
(g)  Mother and baby are both doing well.  T / F
(h)  The woman has three other children in their thirties.  T / F 

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

(a)

fertility

delivered

(b)

set

double

(c)

gave birth

care

(d)

record-breaking

early

(e)

treatment

reproductive

(f)

premature

overjoyed

(g)

double

in the end

(h)

twin

established

(i)

elated

world-beating

(j)

finally

twice

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

(a)

new

treatment

(b)

A woman gave

both doing well

(c)

The woman was expecting

section

(d)

fertility

unit

(e)

artificially

world record

(f)

caesarean

weight of

(g)

born six weeks

birth

(h)

double the

premature

(i)

Mother and baby are

inseminated

(j)

intensive care

twins

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

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

Woman gives birth at 66

A new fertility world __________ was set earlier today as a 66-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl. The woman was __________ twins, however, one was stillborn. The record-breaking mother is Adriana Iliescu, from Bucharest, Romania. She had been __________ fertility treatment for almost ten years before being artificially inseminated, and __________ giving birth by caesarean section. Her daughter, Eliza Marie, was born six weeks __________ and had a birth weight of 1.45kg (3.2lb). She was __________ the weight of her twin sister who __________ her life in the womb. Mother and baby are both doing well, although Eliza Marie will spend some time in ICU (intensive care unit). Ms. Iliescu is elated at __________ becoming a mother for the first time.

 

premature
receiving
record
lost
finally
finally
double
expecting

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

3. SYNONYMS:  Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Students check their answers to the phrase 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 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. ‘FERTILITY’/ ‘RECORD’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:  Students ask each other the following questions:
(a)  What do you think of this record-breaking mother?
(b)  Do you think 66 is too old?
(c)  How would you feel about being 20 and your mother is 86?
(d)  When’s the best age to have children?
(e)  Would you like to be a twin, or a triplet, or a quadruplet?
(f)  Is it better to be a twin or an only child?
(g)  Is it ethically correct to artificially inseminate a 65-year-old woman?
(h)  What is your message for Ms. Iliescu?
(i)  Will men one day be able to give birth?
(j)  What does a newborn baby think about?
(k)  Teacher’s / Students’ additional questions

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 pregnancy. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. BABY POSTER: Create a poster about you as a baby.

4. CARD TO Ms. ILIESCU: Write a congratulations card to the new mother and give her advice on being a mother at 66!

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:
(a)  The woman’s birth was a new fertility world record.  T
(b)  The woman was expecting twins.  T
(c)  Two healthy twin girls were successfully delivered.  F
(d)  The woman conceived by accident. She hadn’t planned on having a child.  F
(e)  She gave birth by caesarean section.  T
(f)  Her baby was born six weeks premature.  T
(g)  Mother and baby are both doing well.  T
(h)  The woman has three other children in their thirties.  F

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

fertility

reproductive

(b)

set

established

(c)

gave birth

delivered

(d)

record-breaking

world-beating

(e)

treatment

care

(f)

premature

early

(g)

double

twice

(h)

twin

double

(i)

elated

overjoyed

(j)

finally

in the end

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

new

world record

(b)

A woman gave

birth

(c)

The woman was expecting

twins

(d)

fertility

treatment

(e)

artificially

inseminated

(f)

caesarean

section

(g)

born six weeks

premature

(h)

double the

weight of

(i)

Mother and baby are

both doing well

(j)

intensive care

unit

GAP FILL:

Woman gives birth at 66

A new fertility world record was set earlier today as a 66-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl. The woman was expecting twins, however, one was stillborn. The record-breaking mother is Adriana Iliescu, from Bucharest, Romania. She had been receiving fertility treatment for almost ten years before being artificially inseminated, and finally giving birth by caesarean section. Her daughter, Eliza Marie, was born six weeks premature and had a birth weight of 1.45kg (3.2lb). She was double the weight of her twin sister who lost her life in the womb. Mother and baby are both doing well, although Eliza Marie will spend some time in ICU (intensive care unit). Ms. Iliescu is elated at finally becoming a mother for the first time.

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