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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Obesity

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Graffiti and litter linked to obesity


Date: Aug 20, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

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Audio: (1:47 - 210 KB - 16kbps)

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THE ARTICLE

BNE: British researchers have discovered a link between graffiti and obesity in adults in a Europe-wide study. City dwellers living in rundown areas with little vegetation and high levels of graffiti, litter and other signs of urban decay are more likely to be obese than those living in affluent areas with lots of greenery. This is according to a study published on August 19 on the British Medical Journal website.

Report author Anne Ellaway said: “People who live in more pleasant and attractive environments, which in our study was assessed by levels of greenery, are much more likely to be physically active and not to be overweight or obese. Conversely, in less attractive areas, those with lots of graffiti, litter and dog mess, people are more likely to be overweight or obese and to take less exercise.”

The team suggested that: “The likelihood of being more physically active is about 50 per cent less, and the likelihood of being overweight or obese is about 50 per cent higher” in poorer neighborhoods. They concluded: “In efforts to promote physical activity and reduce weight…attention should be paid to environmental facilitators and barriers as well as individual factors.”

Report - Graffiti, greenery, and obesity in adults: secondary analysis of European cross sectional survey. Anne Ellaway, Sally Macintyre, Xavier Bonnefoy.

WARM-UPS

1. MY NEIGHBORHOOD: Talk to your partner(s) about your neighborhood. Is it a healthy place to live? Use these words to help your conversation: green / healthy / well kept / safe / picturesque / rundown / polluted / filthy / built up / affluent.

2. URBAN DECAY: In pairs / groups, talk about what you think when you see the following things on city streets. Do you see these things often? Think of reasons why these things are there and who’s responsible.

  • Graffiti
  • Litter
  • Dog (or other animal) mess
  • Cars with no wheels
  • Boarded up store windows
  • Used syringes
  • Broken bottles
  • Abandoned, broken TV sets
  • Calling cards offering sexual services
  • Human urine

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

Researchers / graffiti / obesity / urban decay / affluent areas / litter / dog mess / exercise / poor neighborhoods / reduce weight

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

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

5. OPINIONS: How far do you agree with the following opinions on graffiti?

  1. Graffiti is a wonderful hobby.
  2. Graffiti brings down the tone of any neighborhood.
  3. Graffiti is pure vandalism and destruction of property.
  4. Graffiti happens because of broken down community relations.
  5. A lot of graffiti is serious art and should be in museums.
  6. Areas of cities should be donated to graffiti artists as a focus for their work.
  7. More graffiti would make the city look more beautiful.
  8. Graffiti is an excellent way of losing weight.
  9. Graffiti artists are criminals and should spend time behind bars.
  10. Doing graffiti leads individuals to more serious crimes.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think there is a strong link between areas with graffiti and obesity. Students B think there is no link at all. Change partners often.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Graffiti artists are more likely to become obese in their later years.

T / F

b.

City dwellers run down stairs quickly if there is a lot of graffiti.

T / F

c.

People living in affluent areas with lots of greenery are less obese.

T / F

d.

Those living in cities are more physically active.

T / F

e.

Dog mess on the streets discourages people from exercising.

T / F

f.

You are four times less likely to exercise if you live in a rundown area.

T / F

g.

No attention should be paid to our environment in promoting exercise.

T / F

h.

A report suggests physical barriers in cities to be used for exercise.

T / F

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

a.

link

well-to-do

b.

rundown

contrarily

c.

decay

measured

d.

affluent

chance

e.

environments

impoverished

f.

assessed

feces

g.

conversely

surroundings

h.

mess

connection

i.

likelihood

push

j.

promote

rot

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

a.

a Europe-wide

decay

b.

rundown

to promote physical activity

c.

urban

physically active

d.

affluent areas

of being overweight

e.

much more likely to be

areas

f.

lots of graffiti, litter and dog

with lots of greenery

g.

take

study

h.

the likelihood

be paid to…

i.

efforts

less exercise

j.

attention should

mess

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

Graffiti and litter linked to obesity

BNE: British researchers have discovered a _______ between graffiti and obesity in adults in a Europe-wide study. City _______ living in _______ areas with little vegetation and high levels of graffiti, litter and other signs of _______ decay are more likely to be obese than those living in _______ areas with lots of greenery. This is according to a study published on August 19 on the British Medical Journal website.

 

 

rundown
urban
dwellers
affluent
link

Report _______ Anne Ellaway said: “People who live in more pleasant and attractive environments, which in our study was _______ by levels of _______, are much more likely to be physically active and not to be overweight or obese. Conversely, in less attractive areas, those with lots of graffiti, _______ and dog _______, people are more likely to be overweight or obese and to take less exercise.”

 

 

litter
mess
assessed
greenery
author

The team _______ that: “The likelihood of being more physically active is about 50 per cent _______, and the likelihood of being overweight or obese is about 50 per cent higher” in poorer neighborhoods. They concluded: “In efforts to _______ physical activity and reduce weight…_______ should be paid to environmental facilitators and barriers as well as _______ factors.”

 

 

promote
suggested
individual
attention
less


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the gap fill. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

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

5. STUDENT “GRAFFITI AND LITTER” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about the link between graffiti, litter and obesity.

  • 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:

  • link
  • rundown
  • decay
  • affluent
  • pleasant
  • levels
  • conversely
  • mess
  • likelihood
  • poorer
  • attention
  • individual

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What were your initial thoughts on this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. What are your thoughts on the link between graffiti and obesity?
  4. What do you think about graffiti?
  5. Is your neighborhood conducive to a healthy lifestyle?
  6. What do you think when you see lots of graffiti and litter?
  7. Should cities create more parks and exercise facilities?
  8. What penalties should be given to graffiti artists and litterbugs?
  9. Does your neighborhood have a policy towards dog mess?
  10. What do you think of studies such as the one in the article?

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. What other factors are there linking obesity with living environment?
  4. Would you rather live in the inner city or the leafy suburbs?
  5. Why do you think people who live in areas with graffiti and litter are more likely to be overweight?
  6. Do you think another study might find that people who live in rundown areas are in fact less obese than suburban dwellers?
  7. What is the answer to eradicating graffiti, litter and dog mess?
  8. What kind of rundown areas are there in your town or city?
  9. What other problems do people living in rundown areas have?
  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

URBAN RENEWAL: You are head of your neighborhood council on making your poor, rundown area safer and more beautiful. In pairs / groups, you must think of ways to end the problems listed in the left column forever. You must also think of suitable punishments for offenders.

 

 

 HOW TO END THE PROBLEMS

 

 

 PUNISHMENTS

 

 Graffiti

 

 

 

 

 Litter

 

 

 

 

 Dog mess

 

 

 

 

 Used syringes

 

 

 

 

 Broken bottles

 

 

 

 

 Calling cards
 offering sexual
 services

 

 

 

 

 Human urine

 

 

 

Change partners and compare your methods to eradicate the problems and your punishments. Offer each other feedback.

With your original partner(s), take turns to role play a conversation between the neighborhood head and the city mayor (who wants to spend more money on the nicer areas of the city).

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Graffiti and litter linked to obesity

BNE: British researchers have discovered __ _____ between graffiti and obesity in adults in a Europe-wide study. City _________ living in rundown areas with little vegetation and high levels of graffiti, litter and other signs of ______ ______ are more likely to be obese than those living in _________ areas with lots of greenery. This is according to a study published on August 19 on the British Medical Journal website.

Report _________ Anne Ellaway said: “People who live in more pleasant and attractive environments, which in our study was _________ by levels of greenery, are much more likely to be _________ active and not to be overweight or obese. Conversely, in less attractive areas, those with lots of graffiti, litter and ____ ______, people are more likely to be overweight or obese and to take less exercise.”

The team suggested that: “The ___________ of being more physically active is about 50 per cent less, and the likelihood of being overweight or obese is about 50 per cent higher” in _________ neighborhoods. They concluded: “In efforts to _________ physical activity and reduce weight…attention should be _________ to environmental facilitators and _________ as well as individual factors.”

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 graffiti. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. MY ENVIRONMENT: Write an essay describing your neighborhood and how it promotes health (or otherwise). Read the main points of your essays to your classmates in your next lesson. Do you all live in a healthy environment?

4. CAMPAIGN: Make a poster outlining how to clean up poorer areas of cities. Explain how to reduce graffiti, litter and dog mess. Show your posters to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

link

connection

b.

rundown

impoverished

c.

decay

rot

d.

affluent

well-to-do

e.

environments

surroundings

f.

assessed

measured

g.

conversely

contrarily

h.

mess

feces

i.

likelihood

chance

j.

promote

push

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

a Europe-wide

study

b.

rundown

areas

c.

urban

decay

d.

affluent areas

with lots of greenery

e.

much more likely to be

physically active

f.

lots of graffiti, litter and dog

mess

g.

take

less exercise

h.

the likelihood

of being overweight

i.

efforts

to promote physical activity

j.

attention should

be paid to…

GAP FILL:

Graffiti and litter linked to obesity

BNE: British researchers have discovered a link between graffiti and obesity in adults in a Europe-wide study. City dwellers living in rundown areas with little vegetation and high levels of graffiti, litter and other signs of urban decay are more likely to be obese than those living in affluent areas with lots of greenery. This is according to a study published on August 19 on the British Medical Journal website.

Report author Anne Ellaway said: “People who live in more pleasant and attractive environments, which in our study was assessed by levels of greenery, are much more likely to be physically active and not to be overweight or obese. Conversely, in less attractive areas, those with lots of graffiti, litter and dog mess, people are more likely to be overweight or obese and to take less exercise.”

The team suggested that: “The likelihood of being more physically active is about 50 per cent less, and the likelihood of being overweight or obese is about 50 per cent higher” in poorer neighborhoods. They concluded: “In efforts to promote physical activity and reduce weight…attention should be paid to environmental facilitators and barriers as well as individual factors.”

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Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville