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My 1,000
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Date: Oct 17, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:29 - 174.7 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Drought has dried up huge areas of the Amazon region, affecting the lives of thousands of people. Many of the river’s tributaries have turned into dusty roads and have left 30,000 people in urgent need of food, water and medicine. Thousands of fishing communities in the area now have little food and no source of income. Their waterways have disappeared and their fish stocks have been destroyed. Dead fish have made it dangerous to drink what little water there is. The drought has also damaged the region’s dairy farms. About 20 percent of the 1.3 million cows in the state of Amazonas have died of thirst.

In some areas the water level has dropped from 11 meters to just 1.5 meters. This makes it impossible to bring emergency supplies to the region by boat. One anxious resident said: “This is worrisome, because the rivers are our roads.” Brazil’s military has been dropping supplies and medicine to stranded communities. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has blamed Brazilian loggers, deforestation and global warming for the drought. The Brazilian government disagrees. It says warmer ocean temperatures have caused the lack of rain.

WARM-UPS

1. AMAZON LIFE: You live in the Amazon jungle. Walk around the classroom and talk to the other “Amazonians” about your daily lives, worries, hobbies, joys, etc. Talk also about how important the Amazon River is to you. What would happen if it dried up?

2. DISASTERS: People are affected by many different disasters. Talk about these disasters with your partner(s). Where in the world do they usually happen? Do you know of any that have happened recently? What can we do to reduce their effect on humans?

  • Drought
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Influenza pandemics
  • AIDS
  • Floods
  • Fire
  • Famine

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

Drought / Amazon / tributaries / dusty roads / drinking water / cows / emergency supplies / rivers / Greenpeace / loggers / deforestation / warmer oceans

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

4. WATER: In pairs / groups, talk about how much water you use. What do you use water for? Try to guess how much or how many liters of water you use every day. What could you do to use less? Which student is the biggest consumer of water?

5. AMAZON: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the Amazon. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. WATER OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about these opinions on water:

  1. Water will be the cause of future wars.
  2. People need to be educated about how valuable water is.
  3. Globalization means many rivers will become polluted and die.
  4. Governments should charge more money for water to make people save it.
  5. Global warming will dry up many rivers and millions of people will die of thirst.
  6. A lack of water will never be a problem – we will use seawater.
  7. It’s always the poor people who die of thirst. Rich nations don’t care.
  8. Your opinion __________________________________________________.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Drought has dried up huge areas of the Amazon region.

T / F

b.

Many tributaries have turned into dusty roads.

T / F

c.

Local people have saved most of their fish stocks.

T / F

d.

The drought has killed about two thirds of the region’s cows.

T / F

e.

Water levels have dropped 10 meters in places.

T / F

f.

A local resident said the roads are like rivers.

T / F

g.

Greenpeace has blamed loggers for the drought.

T / F

h.

Brazil’s government agrees with Greenpeace.

T / F

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

a.

huge

organization

b.

urgent

one fifth

c.

income

helpless

d.

20 percent

revenue

e.

cows

area

f.

dropped

enormous

g.

region

cattle

h.

stranded

serious

i.

group

resulted in

j.

caused

fallen

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

a.

affecting the lives

urgent need of food

b.

30,000 people in

has blamed Brazilian loggers

c.

fishing

of income

d.

source

dropped from 11 meters

e.

died

group

f.

the water level has

of thousands of people

g.

emergency

of thirst

h.

environmental campaign

have caused the lack of rain

i.

Greenpeace

communities

j.

warmer ocean temperatures

supplies


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

SYNONYM FILL: Place the number of the synonym group below in the correct gap in the text. It is not important to guess a correct word - any of the synonyms from each group could be put into the correct gap.

Amazon region hit by drought

Drought has dried up ____ areas of the Amazon region, affecting the lives of thousands of people. Many of the river’s tributaries have turned into dusty roads and have left 30,000 people in ____ need of food, water and medicine. Thousands of fishing communities in the area now have little food and no source of ____. Their waterways have disappeared and their fish stocks have been ____. Dead fish have made it dangerous to drink what little water there is. The drought has also damaged the region’s dairy farms. About 20 percent of the 1.3 million cows in the state of Amazonas have died of thirst.

In some areas the water level has dropped from 11 meters to just 1.5 meters. This makes it impossible to bring emergency supplies to the region by boat. One ____ resident said: “This is worrisome, because the rivers are our roads.” Brazil’s military has been dropping ____ and medicine to ____ communities. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has blamed Brazilian loggers, deforestation and global warming for the drought. The Brazilian government disagrees. It says warmer ocean temperatures have ____ the lack of rain.

1
stranded
helpless
isolated
marooned

2
income
revenue
earnings
cash

3
urgent
serious
immediate
vital

 

4
huge
enormous
large
vast

 

5
anxious
concerned
worried
fearful

6
caused
resulted in
led to
brought about

7
supplies
food
necessities
provisions

8
destroyed
wiped out
killed
ruined

 

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Amazon region hit by drought

Drought has ______ ___ huge areas of the Amazon region, affecting the lives of thousands of people. Many of the river’s tributaries have turned into ______ roads and have left 30,000 people in ______ need of food, water and medicine. Thousands of fishing communities in the area now have little food and no ______ of income. Their waterways have disappeared and their fish stocks have been destroyed. Dead fish have made it dangerous to drink what ______ water there is. The drought has also damaged the ______ dairy farms. About 20 percent of the 1.3 million cows in the state of Amazonas have died of ______.

In some areas the water ______ has dropped from 11 meters to just 1.5 meters. This makes it impossible to bring emergency _________ to the region by boat. One _________ resident said: “This is worrisome, because the rivers are our roads.” Brazil’s military has been dropping supplies and medicine to _________ communities. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has blamed Brazilian loggers, deforestation and global warming for the drought. The Brazilian government _________. It says warmer ocean temperatures have caused the ______ ___ rain.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. SYNONYM FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the synonym 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 “AMAZON” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about the Amazon River and drought.

  • 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:

  • dried up
  • dusty
  • urgent
  • income
  • little
  • thirst
  • level
  • supplies
  • worrisome
  • stranded
  • Greenpeace
  • lack

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Are you surprised by this news?
  3. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Amazon’?
  4. What feelings do you have when you think of the Amazon River?
  5. Do you think other countries in the world should protect the Amazon?
  6. What would you do if your country was hit by drought?
  7. What can the world do to prevent people dying in droughts?
  8. Do you think rich governments care about droughts in poorer countries?
  9. Do you think global warming will create more droughts?
  10. What do you know about the Amazon River?

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. Would you like to visit the Amazon?
  4. Have you heard or read about this drought?
  5. What do you think life would be like with a lack of water?
  6. Will reading this article make you more careful about using water?
  7. Do you think Brazil’s government does enough to prevent logging?
  8. Where and when do you think the first water war will start?
  9. What do you think of Amazon.com – the online bookstore?
  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

WATER CONSERVATION: You are head of the new National Water Conservation Department of your government. In pairs / groups, discuss how people can save water. You must create rules for the points in the left hand column will save water.

POINTS

RULES
 

Bathing / showering

 

Washing dishes

 

Washing clothes

 

Cleaning teeth

 

Gardening

 

Washing cars

 

Leisure activities

 

Other

 

Change partners and tell each other the rules you created and the reasons for them.

Decide which of the rules are best.

Role play the government advisor telling an angry water consumer of the new rules. Take turns in being advisor and consumer.

Change partners again. Talk about how necessary and effective the rules might be.

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 Amazon River. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. SAVE WATER: Make a poster explaining what people can do in their everyday lives to save water. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all think of similar things?

4. NO WATER: What would life be like without water? Write an imaginary diary / journal entry about a week in your life when the water supply in your town completely dried up. What did you do? What were you worried about? Read what you wrote to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

huge

enormous

b.

urgent

serious

c.

income

revenue

d.

20 percent

one fifth

e.

cows

cattle

f.

dropped

fallen

g.

region

area

h.

stranded

helpless

i.

group

organization

j.

caused

resulted in

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

affecting the lives

of thousands of people

b.

30,000 people in

urgent need of food

c.

fishing

communities

d.

source

of income

e.

died

of thirst

f.

the water level has

dropped from 11 meters

g.

emergency

supplies

h.

environmental campaign

group

i.

Greenpeace

has blamed Brazilian loggers

j.

warmer ocean temperatures

have caused the lack of rain

SYNONYM FILL:

Amazon region hit by drought

Drought has dried up ---4--- areas of the Amazon region, affecting the lives of thousands of people. Many of the river’s tributaries have turned into dusty roads and have left 30,000 people in ---3--- need of food, water and medicine. Thousands of fishing communities in the area now have little food and no source of ---2---. Their waterways have disappeared and their fish stocks have been ---8---. Dead fish have made it dangerous to drink what little water there is. The drought has also damaged the region’s dairy farms. About 20 percent of the 1.3 million cows in the state of Amazonas have died of thirst.

In some areas the water level has dropped from 11 meters to just 1.5 meters. This makes it impossible to bring emergency supplies to the region by boat. One ---5--- resident said: “This is worrisome, because the rivers are our roads.” Brazil’s military has been dropping ---7--- and medicine to ---1--- communities. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has blamed Brazilian loggers, deforestation and global warming for the drought. The Brazilian government disagrees. It says warmer ocean temperatures have ---6--- the lack of rain.

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