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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Breast Cancer

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Celebrity boosts breast cancer action


Date: Aug 8, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:56 - 228.5 KB - 16kbps)

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THE ARTICLE

Actress and pop star Kylie Minogue has prompted an increase in the number of women having breast cancer screenings in Australia. Ms. Minogue discovered she had breast cancer in May and underwent surgery to have a lump removed. The media attention that followed resulted in a 40 per cent increase in the number of women being checked for breast cancer. This is according to a study by Sydney University’s Professor Simon Chapman. He said the “Kylie effect” could greatly reduce the number of breast-cancer related deaths.

Professor Chapman, reporting in the Medical Journal of Australia, believes news stories of celebrity illnesses can dramatically change consumer behavior. He said health agencies should develop strategies to benefit from media attention of celebrity illnesses. He added that the free publicity generated by the media coverage could cut the amount of money spent on advertising campaigns. He said: “Capitalizing on the interest [in] celebrity illnesses can increase news coverage of health topics to levels that would [usually] require huge campaign budgets.”

WARM-UPS

1. DIFFICULT TOPICS: There are many topics that are difficult to talk about. In pairs / groups, talk your feelings on the topics of conversation below. Would you talk about these topics with the people in the column on the right?

  • Breast cancer
  • Death
  • Bad breath and B.O. (body odor)
  • Salaries
  • Sexual problems
  • Choice of election candidates
  • Feelings towards other ethnic groups
  • Toilet habits
  • Other __________________________
  • Best friend
  • Boss
  • English teacher
  • Partner
  • Mother
  • Father
  • Colleague

2. HEALTH CHECKS: Are you in top condition? Do you regularly have health checks? In pairs / groups, talk about going to the doctor. Talk also about the things you do to look after your body and the things you do that might harm your body.

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Actress / pop star / Kylie Minogue / breast cancer / cancer / screenings / surgery / celebrities / celebrity illnesses / consumer behavior / news coverage / doctors

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. CANCER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “cancer”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about these opinions on cancer and health. Do you agree with them all?

  1. A cure for all cancers will be found within the next ten years.
  2. Half of the money spent on weapons should be redirected for medical research.
  3. Governments should ban products that harm our bodies, such as cigarettes.
  4. An annual health check should be free for all citizens.
  5. Celebrities should be more open about their illnesses to increase awareness of health.
  6. We have a duty to God to look after our bodies.
  7. People who don’t exercise, who smoke and over-eat should pay higher hospital bills.
  8. Cancer should be top of the list of medical problems that need to be cured.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A top celebrity has given millions of dollars to cancer research.

T / F

b.

The celebrity’s illness encouraged women to have breast screenings.

T / F

c.

The celebrity had breast cancer.

T / F

d.

A professor said the celebrity’s example would save female lives.

T / F

e.

A professor thinks celebrity illnesses can change consumer behavior.

T / F

f.

The professor called for the use of celebrities in health campaigns.

T / F

g.

The professor asked the media to broadcast more health stories.

T / F

h.

The professor asked news agencies to donate to health campaigns.

T / F

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

a.

prompted

plans

b.

discovered

had

c.

underwent

decrease

d.

increase

greatly

e.

reduce

found

f.

believes

taking advantage of

g.

dramatically

thinks

h.

strategies

caused

i.

capitalizing

enormous

j.

huge

rise

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

a.

the number of women having

consumer behavior

b.

discovered she

surgery

c.

underwent

the media coverage

d.

media

of breast-cancer related deaths

e.

reduce the number

on advertising campaigns

f.

dramatically change

budgets

g.

develop strategies to benefit

breast cancer screenings

h.

free publicity generated by

from media attention

i.

money spent

had breast cancer

j.

huge campaign

attention

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WHICH WORD? Strike through the incorrect word from the pairs in bold.

Celebrity boosts breast cancer action

Actress and pop star Kylie Minogue has prompted / prodded an increase in the number of women having breast cancer screenings /viewings in Australia. Ms. Minogue discovered she had breast cancer in May and overdid / underwent surgery to have a lump removed. The media / medium attention that followed resulted in a 40 per cent increase in the number of women being checked for breast cancer. This is recording / according to a study by Sydney University’s Professor Simon Chapman. He said the “Kylie effect” could greatly reduce / redden the number of breast-cancer related deaths.

Professor Chapman, reporting in the Medical Journal of Australia, believes / beliefs news stories of celebrity illnesses can dramatically change consumer / consumption behavior. He said health agencies should develop strategies to benefit from media attention of celebrity illnesses. He added that the free publicity / publications generated by the media coverage could cut / chop the amount of money spent on advertising campaigns. He said: “Capitalizing on the intestines / interest [in] celebrity illnesses can increase news coverage of health topics to levels that would [usually] require huge / tiny campaign budgets.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘breast’ and ‘cancer’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. WHICH WORD? In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…? Were there any connections between the paired words?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “CANCER” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about cancer.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • prompted
  • discovered
  • lump
  • 40 per cent
  • study
  • deaths
  • believes
  • agencies
  • publicity
  • spent
  • topics
  • huge

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you first read this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. What do you know about Kylie Minogue?
  4. Do you think celebrities should promote health issues?
  5. Are you worried about cancer?
  6. Have you ever been checked for possible signs of cancer?
  7. Does the thought of cancer make you change your lifestyle?
  8. What do you know about cancer?
  9. How important is a cure for cancer compared with other diseases and illnesses?
  10. Have you ever had an operation?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Do you know anyone who has or has suffered from cancer?
  4. Do you often read about health issues in the newspapers?
  5. What areas of health are you most concerned about?
  6. Is it a good idea for health agencies to use celebrity illnesses?
  7. Should schools spend more time educating children about cancer?
  8. Are you worried about any aspects of your health?
  9. Do you think you will never be ill?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

HEALTHY ACTION: In pairs / groups, decide on the top three things people should do to look after the body parts / areas listed below.

 

 BODY PART

 

 

 THINGS TO DO TO CARE FOR BODY PART / AREA

 

 Heart

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

 Brain

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

 Skin

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

 Lungs

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

 Hair

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

 Teeth

 

 1.

 2.

 3.

 

Change partners and compare your ideas. Make sure you agree on the best things to do to look after yourself.

In pairs / groups, talk about whether you do all of the things on your list.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Celebrity boosts breast cancer action

Actress and pop star Kylie Minogue has _________ an increase in the number of women having breast cancer _________ in Australia. Ms. Minogue discovered she had breast cancer in May and ____________ surgery to have a _____ removed. The media attention that followed resulted in a 40 per cent increase in the number of women being checked for breast cancer. This is __________ to a study by Sydney University’s Professor Simon Chapman. He said the “Kylie effect” could greatly reduce the number of breast-cancer _______ deaths.

Professor Chapman, reporting in the Medical Journal of Australia, _________ news stories of celebrity illnesses can ____________ change consumer behavior. He said health agencies should develop ___________ to benefit from media attention of celebrity illnesses. He added that the free publicity generated by the media coverage could ____ the amount of money spent on advertising campaigns. He said: “Capitalizing on the _________ [in] celebrity illnesses can increase news coverage of health topics to levels that would [usually] require huge campaign _________.”

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 more information on cancer. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. MY HEALTH: Write an essay about your health history. Explain the main points of your essay to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

4. LETTER TO KYLIE: Write a letter to Kylie Minogue about her battle to overcome cancer. Read your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

prompted

caused

b.

discovered

found

c.

underwent

had

d.

increase

rise

e.

reduce

decrease

f.

believes

thinks

g.

dramatically

greatly

h.

strategies

plans

i.

capitalizing

taking advantage of

j.

huge

enormous

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

the number of women having

breast cancer screenings

b.

discovered she

had breast cancer

c.

underwent

surgery

d.

media

attention

e.

reduce the number

of breast-cancer related deaths

f.

dramatically change

consumer behavior

g.

develop strategies to benefit

from media attention

h.

free publicity generated by

the media coverage

i.

money spent

on advertising campaigns

j.

huge campaign

budgets

WHICH WORD?

Celebrity boosts breast cancer action

Actress and pop star Kylie Minogue has prompted an increase in the number of women having breast cancer screenings in Australia. Ms. Minogue discovered she had breast cancer in May and underwent surgery to have a lump removed. The media attention that followed resulted in a 40 per cent increase in the number of women being checked for breast cancer. This is according to a study by Sydney University’s Professor Simon Chapman. He said the “Kylie effect” could greatly reduce the number of breast-cancer related deaths.

Professor Chapman, reporting in the Medical Journal of Australia, believes news stories of celebrity illnesses can dramatically change consumer behavior. He said health agencies should develop strategies to benefit from media attention of celebrity illnesses. He added that the free publicity generated by the media coverage could cut the amount of money spent on advertising campaigns. He said: “Capitalizing on the interest [in] celebrity illnesses can increase news coverage of health topics to levels that would [usually] require huge campaign budgets.”

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Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville