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My 1,000
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Date: Sep 29, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:42 - 200.3 KB - 16kbps)

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

The Arctic ice is melting at a dangerous speed and may completely disappear by the end of this century. This is according to scientists at America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre* (NSIDC). Experts said recent satellite images showed the volume of sea ice was the lowest it has ever been. An area five times larger than the UK has disappeared since 1978 and the melting is getting faster. This year was the warmest Arctic summer in 400 years. Dr. Mark Serreze from the NSIDC said the worrying trend of melting ice caps is because of global warming.

The NSIDC’s leader Dr. Ted Scambos said the Arctic Circle is melting so quickly that it may never recover. He said the Arctic is caught in a dangerous process that man cannot reverse. Less sea ice means the Earth cannot reflect the suns rays and cool itself. Warmer seas then melt more ice. The loss of sea ice in one year increases the loss in the next year. Current ice loss is estimated at eight percent per decade. This means there may be no ice at all during the Arctic summer of 2060. Dr. Scambos warned: “It is pretty certain a long-term decline is underway.”

* http://nsidc.org/news/press/20050928_trendscontinue.html

WARM-UPS

1. ARCTIC SEARCH: You must find out as much information as you can from other students about the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. After you have finished, sit down with your partner(s) and tell each other what you found out.

2. DISAPPEARING: Talk with your partner(s) about which of the following things you would worry about most if they started disappearing.

  • Arctic ice
  • Elephants
  • Your country’s land
  • Your savings
  • Your country’s population
  • The size of you stomach and bottom
  • Rainforests
  • Your hair

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

The Arctic / ice / satellite images / the UK / warm summers / worrying trends / global warming / temperatures / the sun’s rays / long-term declines

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

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

5. IF: In pairs / groups, agree on the endings to the following “If” sentences. Talk about what you wrote. Change partners and share your sentences and ideas.

  1. If sea levels rise, __________________________________________________.
  2. If governments don’t act, ___________________________________________.
  3. If polar bears disappear,_____________________________________________.
  4. If temperatures continue to rise, ______________________________________.
  5. If summers get hotter, _____________________________________________.
  6. If we keep creating greenhouse gases, _________________________________.
  7. If the Arctic disappears, _____________________________________________.
  8. If the world’s weather changes, ______________________________________.

6. POLAR BEAR: You are a polar bear. Talk to the other “polar bears” in the classroom about life in the Arctic Circle. Talk also about the terrible rumors you are hearing that man is destroying your habitat.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

The Arctic Circle ice may disappear completely within a decade.

T / F

b.

The volume of sea ice is at the lowest levels on record.

T / F

c.

An area fifty times larger than the UK has already been lost.

T / F

d.

The loss of ice has nothing to do with global warming.

T / F

e.

The ice caps may never recover.

T / F

f.

Less sea ice means the Earth cannot reflect the suns rays.

T / F

g.

Current ice loss is happening at a rate of eight percent a year.

T / F

h.

There may be no ice in the Arctic summer of 2060.

T / F

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

a.

speed

vanished

b.

completely

beginning

c.

images

turn around

d.

disappeared

pictures

e.

worrying

present

f.

recover

rate

g.

reverse

disturbing

h.

current

drop

i.

decline

bounce back

j.

underway

totally

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

a.

The Arctic ice is melting

lowest it has ever been

b.

by the end

the suns rays

c.

the volume of sea ice was the

of global warming

d.

An area five times

it may never recover

e.

melting ice caps is because

certain

f.

is melting so quickly that

at a dangerous speed

g.

in a dangerous process that man

eight percent per decade

h.

Earth cannot reflect

of this century

i.

Current ice loss is estimated at

larger than the UK

j.

pretty

cannot reverse

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Global warming threatens Arctic

The Arctic ice is ________ at a dangerous speed and may completely ________ by the end of this century. This is ________ to scientists at America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Experts said recent satellite images showed the ________ of sea ice was the lowest it has ________ been. An area five ________ larger than the UK has disappeared since 1978 and the melting is getting faster. This year was the warmest ________ summer in 400 years. Dr. Mark Serreze from the NSIDC said the worrying ________ of melting ice caps is because of global warming.

 

 

volume
according
disappear
trend
melting
ever
times
Arctic

The NSIDC’s ________ Dr. Ted Scambos said the Arctic Circle is melting so quickly that it may never ________. He said the Arctic is caught in a dangerous ________ that man cannot reverse. Less sea ice means the Earth cannot reflect the suns rays and ________ itself. Warmer seas then melt more ice. The ________ of sea ice in one year increases the loss in the next year. Current ice loss is ________ at eight percent per decade. This means there may be no ice at all ________ the Arctic summer of 2060. Dr. Scambos warned: “It is ________ certain a long-term decline is underway.”

 

 

estimated
pretty
cool
recover
during
leader
loss
process


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “GLOBAL WARMING” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about global warming.

  • 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:

  • dangerous
  • NSIDC
  • volume
  • UK
  • warmest
  • trend
  • recover
  • reverse
  • reflect
  • loss
  • decade
  • decline

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. Are you worried about the ice melting?
  4. Do you think melting ice caps will affect your life?
  5. Do you think the damage will repair itself?
  6. Do you think global warming is because of man’s actions?
  7. What can we do everyday to reverse global warming?
  8. Who is responsible for reversing global warming, our governments or us?
  9. What do you think of the figures and statistics in the article?
  10. Is your country at risk from rising sea levels?

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. Are you surprised at anything you read in the article?
  4. Do you think governments are taking global warming seriously?
  5. Do you think a shrinkage of eight percent a decade is serious?
  6. Do you think the melting of the Arctic ice is the beginning of the end of the world?
  7. Do you think governments are prepared for the more violent weather created by global warming?
  8. Is the melting of Arctic ice the biggest problem facing the Earth?
  9. What things are you pretty certain will happen because of global warming?
  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

GLOBAL WARMING: In pairs / groups, discuss what we can do to reverse global warming. How good do you think the ideas in the left hand column are? How could they be made better?

IDEAS

GOOD?

BETTER?
 

Use lights less at home, school or in the office.

 

 

Use bicycles instead of cars.

 

 

Produce cars with engines that turn off each time the car stops.

 

 

Write a letter to the leaders of major polluting countries.

 

 

Plant more trees.

 

 

Increase education in schools about global warming.

 

 

Your idea

 

 

Change partners and tell each other the good ideas you heard.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Global warming threatens Arctic

The Arctic ice is ________ at a dangerous speed and may completely disappear by the end of this century. This is ________ to scientists at America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Experts said recent satellite ________ showed the volume of sea ice was the lowest it has ever been. An area five times larger than the UK has disappeared since 1978 and the _________ is getting faster. This year was the warmest Arctic summer in 400 years. Dr. Mark Serreze from the NSIDC said the worrying trend of melting ____ ______ is because of global warming.

The NSIDC’s leader Dr. Ted Scambos said the Arctic Circle is melting so quickly that it may never ________. He said the Arctic is caught in a dangerous process that man cannot ________. Less sea ice means the Earth cannot ________ the suns rays and cool itself. Warmer seas then melt more ice. The ________ of sea ice in one year ________ the loss in the next year. Current ice loss is estimated at eight percent ________ decade. This means there may be no ice at all during the Arctic summer of 2060. Dr. Scambos warned: “It is pretty certain a long-term ________ is underway.”

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 the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. GLOBAL WARMING: Make a poster about the causes and effects of global warming. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to your government about global warming. Give your government advice on what it should do to try and reverse global warming. How can your government educate people about the danger of global warming. 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. F

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

speed

rate

b.

completely

totally

c.

images

pictures

d.

disappeared

vanished

e.

worrying

disturbing

f.

recover

bounce back

g.

reverse

turn around

h.

current

present

i.

decline

drop

j.

underway

beginning

PHRASE MATCH:
 

a.

The Arctic ice is melting

at a dangerous speed

b.

by the end

of this century

c.

the volume of sea ice was the

lowest it has ever been

d.

An area five times

larger than the UK

e.

melting ice caps is because

of global warming

f.

is melting so quickly that

it may never recover

g.

in a dangerous process that man

cannot reverse

h.

Earth cannot reflect

the suns rays

i.

Current ice loss is estimated at

eight percent per decade

j.

pretty

certain

GAP FILL:

Global warming threatens Arctic

The Arctic ice is melting at a dangerous speed and may completely disappear by the end of this century. This is according to scientists at America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Experts said recent satellite images showed the volume of sea ice was the lowest it has ever been. An area five times larger than the UK has disappeared since 1978 and the melting is getting faster. This year was the warmest Arctic summer in 400 years. Dr. Mark Serreze from the NSIDC said the worrying trend of melting ice caps is because of global warming.

The NSIDC’s leader Dr. Ted Scambos said the Arctic Circle is melting so quickly that it may never recover. He said the Arctic is caught in a dangerous process that man cannot reverse. Less sea ice means the Earth cannot reflect the suns rays and cool itself. Warmer seas then melt more ice. The loss of sea ice in one year increases the loss in the next year. Current ice loss is estimated at eight percent per decade. This means there may be no ice at all during the Arctic summer of 2060. Dr. Scambos warned: “It is pretty certain a long-term decline is underway.”

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