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Sunday January 30, 2005
Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

Want to lose weight? Tired of changing what you eat? Fed up with fad diets? Perhaps the answer to all your problems is here – fidget more. New research has revealed that fidgeters – those people who never seem to stop foot tapping, twiddling a pencil between their fingers or wiggling their shoulders non-stop, are thinner than non-fidgeters. Fidgeting is an important way to lose weight. Seems to make sense – fidgeting is movement and movement burns calories – especially sixteen hours a day of non-stop movement! That means you burn calories without even trying, but perhaps annoy everyone else in the office or at school. In fact, haven’t you ever noticed that fidgets in your class or office are thinner? The study, published in the journal, Science, found that obese people who just sat without making bodily movements burnt 350 fewer calories each day compared with people who couldn’t sit still. The report says that people who lead sedentary lives prefer to sit still more because of a genetic tendency to do so. The research also suggests that obese people should be encouraged to lose weight by fidgeting more, “This is entirely doable, because the kind of activity we are talking about does not require special or large spaces, unusual training regimens or gear. Unlike running a marathon [this] is within the reach of everyone.” Be prepared for the flood of fidget and lose weight books!

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

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about diets / exercise / nutrition / fidgeting / fidgets / obesity / fad diets / crash diets / twiddling your pencil / …

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. FIDGET BRAINSTORM: Ask the class for all the different ways we fidget. Write them on the board and use as a springboard for discussion.

3. MY DIETING / EXERCISE: Talk to your partner about the diets you have been on, how much you exercise, how often you weigh yourself etc.

4. FIDGET RANK: Put the following ways of fidgeting in order of which are the best ways to lose weight. Talk with your partner about how best to fidget to lose more weight – describe the best technique for each method. Demonstrate your diet fidget techniques to the rest of the class:
(a)  tapping your foot
(b)  twiddling a pencil
(c)  wiggling your shoulders
(d)  playing with your hands
(e)  wiggling in your seat
(f)  hair twirling
(g)  moving your knees sideways
(h)&nbs p; head nodding
(i)  doodling
(j)  other?


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

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

2. TRUE / FALSE: Students look at the headline and predict whether they believe the following statements about the article are true or false:
(a)  Everybody wants to lose weight.  T / F
(b)  The answer to the perfect weight loss method has been found.  T / F
(c)  If you fidget you will lose weight.  T / F
(d)  Fidgeters are thinner than non-fidgeters.  T / F
(e)  Fidgeting doesn’t burn calories. T / F
(f)  You can burn calories without even trying.  T / F
(g)  Fidgeting requires large spaces and lots of training gear. T / F
(h)  Many ‘how to lose weight by fidgeting’ books are expected to appear. T / F

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

(a) lose weight shaking
(b) fed up add up
(c) wiggling irritate
(d) make sense rush
(e) annoy research
(f) study still
(g) burnt diet
(h) sedentary hereditary
(i) genetic lost
(j) flood bored

 

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

(a) lose up
(b) fed sense
(c) the answer to sedentary lives
(d) New research has flood of fidget and lose weight books!
(e) Seems to make weight
(f) burn doable
(g) bodily all your problems is here
(h) people who lead revealed
(i) This is entirely calories
(j) Be prepared for the movements

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

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

The Fidget Diet

Want to __________ weight? Tired of changing what you eat? Fed up with __________ diets? Perhaps the answer to all your problems is here – fidget more. New research has revealed that fidgeters – those people who never seem to stop foot tapping, twiddling a pencil between their fingers or __________ their shoulders non-stop, are thinner than non-fidgeters. Fidgeting is an important way to lose weight. Seems to make __________ – fidgeting is movement and movement burns calories – especially sixteen hours a day of non-stop movement! That means you burn calories without even trying, but perhaps annoy everyone else in the office or at school. In fact, haven’t you ever __________ that fidgets in your class or office are thinner? The study, published i n the journal, Science, found that obese people who just sat without making __________ movements burnt 350 fewer calories each day compared with people who couldn’t sit still. The report says that people who lead sedentary lives prefer to sit still more because of a genetic __________ to do so. The research also suggests that obese people should be encouraged to lose weight by fidgeting more, “This is entirely __________, because the kind of activity we are talking about does not require special or large spaces, unusual training regimens or gear. Unlike running a marathon [this] is within the reach of everyone.” Be prepared for the flood of fidget and lose weight books!

 

sense       fad      bodily      doable      lose     noticed     wiggling     tendency

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. ‘WEIGHT’/ ‘DIET’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:  Students ask each other the following questions:
(a)  Worried about your weight?
(b)  Have you ever been on a diet?
(c)  Do you fidget?
(d)  Did you fidget as a child?
(e)  Do you know any fidgets?
(f)  What do you think when the person sitting next to you fidgets non-stop on the train?
(g)  Can fidgeting lead to weight loss?
(h)  Will you fidget more from now?
(i)  I fidgeting all day doable for you?
(j)  What is the best way to lose weight?
(k)  What genetic things have you got(ten) from your parents?
(l)  What kind of weight / shape do you think you’ll be twenty years from now?
(m)  Will you buy the Fidget Diet book? Have you ever bought a weight loss book
(n)  Is fidgeting bad behaviour?
(o)  Did your mother always tell you not to fidget?
(p)  What do you think of other ‘bad’ habits, such as hair twirling, knuckle cracking, nail biting, lip licking, thumb sucking, nose picking, scab picking etc. Are these OK for adults to do?
(q)  Do you lead a sedentary or an active life?
(r) Teacher / Student 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 unusual diets. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. FIDGET POSTER: Create a poster showing all of the fidgeting weight loss techniques.

4. FIDGET DIET COPY: Write the back cover blurb for the new book “Diet Fidgeting”. 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

(a)  Everybody wants to lose weight.  F
(b)  The answer to the perfect weight loss method has been found.  F
(c)  If you fidget you will lose weight.  T
(d)  Fidgeters are thinner than non-fidgeters.  T
(e)  Fidgeting doesn’t burn calories. F
(f)  You can burn calories without even trying.  T
(g)  Fidgeting requires large spaces and lots of training gear. F
(h)  Many ‘how to lose weight by fidgeting’ books are expected to appear. T

DEFINITIONS:

(a) lose weight (v)
(i) to reduce the number of kilograms / pounds that your body weighs

(b) fed up (v)
(i) very tired of the same thing happening all the time

(c) fad (n)
(ii) something that is trendy now but will disappear in the near future

(d) fidget (v)
(i) to make constant bodily movements while sitting down

(e) twiddling (n)
(ii) moving something around a lot in your fingers in a playful manner

(f) annoy (v)
(ii) make someone else angry with you

(g) journal (n)
(i) a kind of magazine written by and for experts in a particular subject

(h) obese (adj)
(i) being overweight.

(i) gear (n)
(ii) the things (equipment) you need to do or take part in an activity

(j) flood (n)
(i) a huge number of something that suddenly arrives somewhere

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

lose weight

diet

(b)

fed up

bored

(c)

wiggling

shaking

(d)

make sense

add up

(e)

annoy

irritate

(f)

study

research

(g)

burnt

lost

(h)

sedentary

still

(i)

genetic

hereditary

(j)

flood

rush

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

lose

weight

(b)

fed

up

(c)

the answer to

all your problems is here

(d)

New research has

revealed

(e)

Seems to make

sense

(f)

burn

calories

(g)

bodily

movements

(h)

people who lead

sedentary lives

(i)

This is entirely

doable

(j)

Be prepared for the

flood of fidget and lose weight books!

 

GAP FILL:

The Fidget Diet

Want to lose weight? Tired of changing what you eat? Fed up with fad diets? Perhaps the answer to all your problems is here – fidget more. New research has revealed that fidgeters – those people who never seem to stop foot tapping, twiddling a pencil between their fingers or wiggling their shoulders non-stop, are thinner than non-fidgeters. Fidgeting is an important way to lose weight. Seems to make sense – fidgeting is movement and movement burns calories – especially sixteen hours a day of non-stop movement! That means you burn calories without even trying, but perhaps annoy everyone else in the office or at school. In fact, haven’t you ever noticed that fidgets in your class or office are thinner? The study, published in the journal, Science, found that obese people who just sat without making bodily movements burnt 350 fewer calories each day compared with people who couldn’t sit still. The report says that people who lead sedentary lives prefer to sit still more because of a genetic tendency to do so. The research also suggests that obese people should be encouraged to lose weight by fidgeting more, “This is entirely doable, because the kind of activity we are talking about does not require special or large spaces, unusual training regimens or gear. Unlike running a marathon [this] is within the reach of everyone.” Be prepared for the flood of fidget and lose weight books!

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