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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Coffee

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New study says coffee is good for you

 
 
 

Date: Aug 29, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

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THE ARTICLE

Coffee, everybody’s favorite morning pick-me-up, is good for you. That is the conclusion drawn by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. A team led by Dr. Joe Vinson determined coffee to be a rich source of antioxidants and the biggest provider of these essential vitamins in the U.S. diet. Antioxidants are believed to help battle cancer and contribute to an array of additional health benefits including minimizing cell damage and the effects of aging. They are particularly abundant in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Vinson said both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provides similar antioxidant levels. He emphasized moderation and recommended no more than two cups a day. He stated black tea was a good alternative to coffee.

Vinson analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items and common beverages. Coffee finished top on the basis of serving size and frequency of consumption. He qualified his findings by urging people not to rely on coffee as a health drink. He stressed that high antioxidant levels in foods and drinks do not necessarily translate into high levels found in the body. The potential health benefits ultimately depend on how antioxidants are absorbed and utilized in our bodies. The known downsides of coffee are that it makes you jittery, causes stomach pains, elevates blood pressure and can lead to heart problems. Vinson said more research is needed to firmly establish its health benefits.

Source: “The Potential Health Benefits of Antioxidants.” Joe A. Vinson, Ph.D.

WARM-UPS

1. BEVERAGES: In pairs / groups, talk about the different beverages you drink every day. Have you always drunk the same things or have you switched drinks? Do you think about the health benefits of drinks?

2. FACTS: Talk with your partner about these coffee facts:

  1. The word coffee was originally Arabic and means “excitement.”
  2. Coffee is the second most traded product in the world after petroleum.
  3. One coffee tree yields just half a kilo of roasted coffee.
  4. Brazil is the largest coffee-producing nation, accounting for 40 per cent of total world output.
  5. Over 53 countries grow coffee worldwide.
  6. We use the term “coffee beans” even though they come from berries. Each coffee berry has two beans.
  7. 27 per cent of U.S. coffee drinkers and 43 per cent of German drinkers add a sweetener to their coffee.
  8. October 1st is the official Coffee Day in Japan.
  9. 25 million families around the world work in coffee fields.

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

Coffee / morning pick-me-ups / antioxidants / vitamins / diet / aging / fruits / vegetables / tea / stomach pains / blood pressure / heart problems

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

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

5. TWO-MINUTE COFFEE DEBATES: Students face each other in pairs and engage in the following (for-fun) 2-minute debates. Students A are assigned the first argument, students B the second.

  1. Coffee is better than tea. vs Tea is better than coffee.
  2. Instant coffee is delicious. vs. Instant coffee is horrible.
  3. Coffee is very good for the brain. vs. Coffee is very bad for the heart.
  4. Espresso and cappuccino are best. vs. The cups are too small.
  5. Starbucks is the greatest coffee shop. vs. You can’t beat the small, locally owned, traditional coffee shops.
  6. Coffee is bad for your health. vs. Coffee is good for your health.
  7. Coffee is best for waking you up in the morning. vs. Exercise and a cold shower are better.
  8. We should buy fair trade coffee and help the poor coffee farmers, not multi-national coffee companies. Vs. Fair trade coffee is too expensive

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Coffee is a favorite morning pick-me-up.

T / F

b.

Coffee provides the biggest source of antioxidants for Americans.

T / F

c.

Antioxidants lead to cancer.

T / F

d.

Decaffeinated coffee has more antioxidants than caffeinated coffee.

T / F

e.

A study compared 100 different types of coffee.

T / F

f.

A researcher said coffee should be viewed as a health drink.

T / F

g.

Antioxidants from coffee are quickly absorbed in our bodies.

T / F

h.

Coffee makes a lot of people jittery.

T / F

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

a.

pick-me-up

restricted

b.

drawn

multitude

c.

array

drawbacks

d.

abundant

temperance

e.

moderation

proportion

f.

size

convert

g.

qualified

tonic

h.

translate

restless

i.

downsides

reached

j.

jittery

plentiful

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

a.

everybody’s favorite morning

antioxidant content

b.

the conclusion

abundant in fruits and vegetables

c.

contribute to an array

drawn by researchers

d.

They are particularly

frequency of consumption

e.

He emphasized

firmly establish its health benefits

f.

Vinson analyzed the

pick-me-up

g.

on the basis of serving size and

jittery

h.

do not necessarily translate into

of additional health benefits

i.

it makes you

moderation

j.

more research is needed to

high levels found in the body

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WHICH WORD? Strike through the incorrect word in the italicized pairs.

New study says coffee is good for you

Coffee, everybody’s favorite morning pick-me-up / pick-up, is good for you. That is the conclusion drawn / sketched by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. A team fled / led by Dr. Joe Vinson determined coffee to be a rich / wealthy source of antioxidants and the biggest provider of these essential vitamins in the U.S. diet. Antioxidants are believed to help battle cancer and contribute to an array / arrangement of additional health benefits including minimizing cell damage and the effects of aging. They are particularly abound / abundant in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Vinson said both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provides similar antioxidant levels. He emphasized modernization / moderation and recommended no more than two cups a day. He stated black tea was a good alternative to coffee.

Vinson analyzed the antioxidant content / consent of more than 100 different food items and common averages / beverages. Coffee finished top on the basis of serving size and frequency of contraption / consumption. He qualified his findings by urging people not to rely / relay on coffee as a health drink. He stressed that high antioxidant levels in foods and drinks do not necessarily translate / transport into high levels found in the body. The potential health benefits ultimately depend on how antioxidants are absolved / absorbed and utilized in our bodies. The known downsides of coffee are that it makes you jittery / jitterbug, causes stomach pains, elevates blood pressure and can lead to heart problems. Vinson said more research is needed to firmly establish its health benefits.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

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

5. STUDENT “COFFEE” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about coffee and health.

  • 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:

  • conclusion
  • rich
  • battle
  • aging
  • abundant
  • moderation
  • beverages
  • frequency
  • rely
  • absorbed
  • jittery
  • establish

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 do you think of the conclusions of the research?
  4. Do you drink a lot of coffee?
  5. Do you think about the health benefits of what you drink?
  6. Do you do anything to limit the effects of aging?
  7. What role does coffee (or tea) play in your life?
  8. Do you ever go to coffee shops? What do you like about them?
  9. What do you think of the smell of freshly brewed coffee?

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 like Starbucks?
  4. Do you think coffee is healthy?
  5. What do you do to make sure you get enough vitamins?
  6. What kinds of things make you jittery or give you the jitters?
  7. Do you ever buy or think about fair trade coffee and the issues surrounding it?
  8. Do you do everything in your life in moderation or do you do some things to excess?
  9. 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?

 LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

New study says coffee is good for you

Coffee, everybody’s favorite morning ____-__-__, is good for you. That is the conclusion ______ by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. A team led by Dr. Joe Vinson determined coffee to be a rich source of antioxidants and the biggest provider of these _________ vitamins in the U.S. diet. Antioxidants are believed to help battle cancer and _________ to an _________ of additional health benefits including minimizing cell damage and the effects of aging. They are particularly _________ in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Vinson said both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provides similar antioxidant levels. He emphasized ____________ and recommended no more than two cups a day. He stated black tea was a good alternative to coffee.

Vinson analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items and common __________. Coffee finished top on the basis of serving size and __________ of consumption. He qualified his findings by __________ people not to rely on coffee as a health drink. He stressed that high antioxidant levels in foods and drinks do not necessarily __________ into high levels found in the body. The potential health benefits ultimately __________ on how antioxidants are __________ and utilized in our bodies. The known downsides of coffee are that it makes you __________, causes stomach pains, elevates blood pressure and can lead to heart problems. Vinson said more research is needed to firmly __________ its health benefits.

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

3. COFFEE AND TEA: Create a poster comparing coffee and tea. Include information on history, health, culture, etc. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. FAIR TRADE: Create a poster that explains everything about fair trade coffee. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:
 

a.

pick-me-up

tonic

b.

drawn

reached

c.

array

multitude

d.

abundant

plentiful

e.

moderation

temperance

f.

size

proportion

g.

qualified

restricted

h.

translate

convert

i.

downsides

drawbacks

j.

jittery

restless

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

everybody’s favorite morning

pick-me-up

b.

the conclusion

drawn by researchers

c.

contribute to an array

of additional health benefits

d.

They are particularly

abundant in fruits and vegetables

e.

He emphasized

moderation

f.

Vinson analyzed the

antioxidant content

g.

on the basis of serving size and

frequency of consumption

h.

do not necessarily translate into

high levels found in the body

i.

it makes you

jittery

j.

more research is needed to

firmly establish its health benefits

WHICH WORD?

New study says coffee is good for you

Coffee, everybody’s favorite morning pick-me-up / pick-up, is good for you. That is the conclusion drawn / sketched by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. A team fled / led by Dr. Joe Vinson determined coffee to be a rich / wealthy source of antioxidants and the biggest provider of these essential vitamins in the U.S. diet. Antioxidants are believed to help battle cancer and contribute to an array / arrangement of additional health benefits including minimizing cell damage and the effects of aging. They are particularly abound / abundant in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Vinson said both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provides similar antioxidant levels. He emphasized modernization / moderation and recommended no more than two cups a day. He stated black tea was a good alternative to coffee.

Vinson analyzed the antioxidant content / consent of more than 100 different food items and common averages / beverages. Coffee finished top on the basis of serving size and frequency of contraption / consumption. He qualified his findings by urging people not to rely / relay on coffee as a health drink. He stressed that high antioxidant levels in foods and drinks do not necessarily translate / transport into high levels found in the body. The potential health benefits ultimately depend on how antioxidants are absolved / absorbed and utilized in our bodies. The known downsides of coffee are that it makes you jittery / jitterbug, causes stomach pains, elevates blood pressure and can lead to heart problems. Vinson said more research is needed to firmly establish its health benefits.

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Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville