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My 1,000
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Date: April 3, 2005
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

THE ARTICLE

The next time you brush away some dandruff from your shoulder, stop and think: you may be contributing to global warming. This is a conclusion reached by German researchers, who report that unexpectedly large amounts of dandruff, skin flakes and fur are causing air pollution. Ruprecht Jaenicke and his team, from Mainz University, conducted an extensive fifteen-year study of air samples from all over the world. He found that biological materials make up twenty-five per cent of air pollutants, known as aerosols. Other biological pollutants, also called bio-aerosols, include bacteria, fungi, pollen and particles from plants and trees.

Mr. Jaenicke says these bio-aerosols play an important role in regulating the earth’s climate and have been underestimated in analyzing weather patterns and global warming. He says scientists should consider bio-aerosols more when predicting climate change. Bio-aerosols can absorb heat from the sun to warm the air and reflect sunlight to cool it; they also affect how rain and snow are formed. Jaenicke’s paper, “Abundance of Cellular Material and Proteins in the Atmosphere”, is available in this month’s issue of the journal Science. He does not tell us which shampoos to use to reduce dandruff and global warming.

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about dandruff / skin flakes / fur / air pollution / bacteria / global warming / shampoo.

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 increase conversation.

2. DANDRUFF BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with dandruff. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. DANDRUFF: In many countries dandruff is a social embarrassment: it is to be avoided at all costs. How about in your country? In pairs / groups, talk about dandruff and hair care. What problems do you have with your hair? Which shampoo and conditioner do you use? Do you use gel, wax, styling lotion? …

4. HAIR: Look at this list of hair “problems” and talk about which ones you would be worried about. What advice would you give to someone with these “problems”?

  1. dandruff
  2. split ends
  3. receding hairline
  4. baldness (alopecia)
  5. gray hair
  6. too much nasal hair
  7. greasy hair
  8. head lice
  9. itchy scalp
  10. bad hair days
  11. hairy back / chest / legs / arms / hands
  12. excessive nasal / underarm / pubic / facial hair

Talk about the three problems you would least like, and why.


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

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

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Global warming has increased the number of dandruff sufferers.  T / F
  2. Dandruff increases global warming.  T / F
  3. Flakes of skin and strands of fur are air pollutants.  T / F
  4. Biological materials make up two point five per cent of all air pollutants.  T / F
  5. Biological materials have an insignificant role in regulating the earth’s climate.  T / F
  6. Scientists who study climate change should think more about dandruff.  T / F
  7. Dandruff can affect how rain and snow are formed.  T / F
  8. A scientist advises us which shampoo is best for dandruff.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

brush

the heavens

(b)

contributing

flick

(c)

extensive

part

(d)

make up

forecasting

(e)

particles

hold

(f)

role

constitute

(g)

regulating

pieces

(h)

predicting

controlling

(i)

absorb

large-scale

(j)

the atmosphere

adding

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

brush

fifteen-year study

(b)

This is a conclusion

an important role

(c)

unexpectedly large

the journal Science

(d)

conducted an extensive

heat

(e)

air

amounts

(f)

play

pollutants

(g)

regulating the earth’s

sunlight

(h)

absorb

away some dandruff

(i)

reflect

climate

(j)

this month’s issue of

reached by German researchers

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

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

Dandruff linked to global warming

The next time you brush away some dandruff from your __________, stop and think: you may be contributing to global warming. This is a conclusion __________ by German researchers, who report that unexpectedly large amounts of dandruff, skin flakes and fur are __________ air pollution. Ruprecht Jaenicke and his team, from Mainz University, conducted an extensive fifteen-year study of air samples from all over the world. He found that biological __________ make up twenty-five per cent of air pollutants, known as aerosols. Other biological pollutants, also called bio-aerosols, include bacteria, fungi, pollen and __________ from plants and trees.

 

 

materials
causing
shoulder
particles
reached

Mr. Jaenicke says these bio-aerosols __________ an important role in regulating the earth’s climate and have been underestimated in __________ weather patterns and global warming. He says scientists should consider bio-aerosols more when predicting climate change. Bio-aerosols can __________ heat from the sun to warm the air and reflect __________ to cool it; they also affect how rain and snow are formed. Jaenicke’s paper, “Abundance of Cellular Material and Proteins in the Atmosphere”, is available in this month’s issue of the journal Science. He does not tell us which shampoos to use to reduce __________ and global warming.

 

 

analyzing
play
sunlight
absorb
dandruff

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

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What was interesting in this article?
  2. Were you surprised by anything in this article?
  3. Were you amused by anything in this article?
  4. Do you suffer / Have you ever suffered … from dandruff?
  5. What do you think when you see dandruff on someone’s shoulder?
  6. Would you worry if you had dandruff?
  7. Do you think governments should act to control levels of dandruff in the air?
  8. How much time do you spend each day on your hair?
  9. Are you always happy with your hair?
  10. Is your hair easy to manage?
  11. What problems do you have with your hair?
  12. When you breathe, you are probably breathing in other people’s dandruff. What do you think about this?
  13. Besides having dandruff and flakey skin, in what other ways do you add to global warming?
  14. Should we think more about bio-aerosols and their effect on earth’s climate?
  15. Which is the better way to reduce global warming: bio-aerosol control, using less paper or bottle recycling?
  16. Would you like to read the full article in the journal Science?
  17. What do you do when you have a bad hair day?
  18. Which shampoo is best?
  19. Did you like this discussion?
  20. Teacher / Student additional questions.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on global warming. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. DANDRUFF CONTROL: Write a letter to your government (1) expressing your concerns about levels of dandruff in the air and (2) giving your solutions to control dandruff. In your next class other students will give you feedback on your solutions.

4. DANDRUFF: Create an information poster on dandruff.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Global warming has increased the number of dandruff sufferers.  F
  2. Dandruff increases global warming.  T
  3. Flakes of skin and strands of fur are air pollutants.  T
  4. Biological materials make up two point five per cent of all air pollutants.  F
  5. Biological materials have an insignificant role in regulating the earth’s climate.  F
  6. Scientists who study climate change should think more about dandruff.  T
  7. Dandruff can affect how rain and snow are formed.  T
  8. A scientist advises us which shampoo is best for dandruff.  F

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

brush

flick

(b)

contributing

adding

(c)

extensive

large-scale

(d)

make up

constitute

(e)

particles

pieces

(f)

role

part

(g)

regulating

controlling

(h)

predicting

forecasting

(i)

absorb

hold

(j)

the atmosphere

the heavens

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

brush

away some dandruff

(b)

This is a conclusion

reached by German researchers

(c)

unexpectedly large

amounts

(d)

conducted an extensive

fifteen-year study

(e)

air

pollutants

(f)

play

an important role

(g)

regulating the earth’s

climate

(h)

absorb

heat

(i)

reflect

sunlight

(j)

this month’s issue of

the journal Science

GAP FILL:

Dandruff linked to global warming

The next time you brush away some dandruff from your shoulder, stop and think: you may be contributing to global warming. This is a conclusion reached by German researchers, who report that unexpectedly large amounts of dandruff, skin flakes and fur are causing air pollution. Ruprecht Jaenicke and his team, from Mainz University, conducted an extensive fifteen-year study of air samples from all over the world. He found that biological materials make up twenty-five per cent of air pollutants, known as aerosols. Other biological pollutants, also called bio-aerosols, include bacteria, fungi, pollen and particles from plants and trees.

Mr. Jaenicke says these bio-aerosols play an important role in regulating the earth’s climate and have been underestimated in analyzing weather patterns and global warming. He says scientists should consider bio-aerosols more when predicting climate change. Bio-aerosols can absorb heat from the sun to warm the air and reflect sunlight to cool it; they also affect how rain and snow are formed. Jaenicke’s paper, “Abundance of Cellular Material and Proteins in the Atmosphere”, is available in this month’s issue of the journal Science. He does not tell us which shampoos to use to reduce dandruff and global warming.

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