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Date: Nov 14, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:36 - 188 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Sir Paul McCartney has become the first musician to sing live to an audience in space. The former Beatle woke up the crew of the International Space Station with special versions of two songs that were carefully chosen for the space concert. The first was the Beatles classic Good Day Sunshine. The second tune was a track titled English Tea from his new album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. NASA’s own television channel showed the songs and live images of the two-man space audience listening to them. This is the first time live music has woken up astronauts. NASA traditionally uses recorded songs.

Sir Paul said he decided to sing Good Day Sunshine to repay a favor. NASA used it to wake the Space Shuttle Discovery crew earlier this year. The song signaled to the crew that landing conditions on Earth were perfect for their second attempt at returning from space. The first landing was canceled because of bad weather. Before his performance, Sir Paul said: “I can’t believe that we’re actually transmitting to space.…This is sensational. I love it.” Astronaut Bill McArthur also seemed happy and told Sir Paul: “We consider you an explorer, just as we are.”

WARM-UPS

1. SIR PAUL SEARCH: Talk to your classmates and find out as much information as you can about Sir Paul McCartney. After you have finished, sit down with your partner(s) and share your information. Talk about the things that surprised you or the things you are happy you found out.

2. MY LIVE CONCERT: In pairs / groups, talk about your favorite musical artists. Have you ever been to see them live? At which of these places would you like to see their concert? How do you think they would sound? How would you feel?

  • On the International Space Station
  • Their house / mansion / chateau
  • In the middle of the Sahara Desert
  • In a recording studio
  • In your room
  • On top of a mountain
  • The Beijing Olympics opening ceremony
  • On a Balinese beach

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

Musicians / live broadcasts / The Beatles / International Space Station / English tea / chaos / creation / concerts / NASA / astronauts / bad weather / explorers

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

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

5. LIFE SONGS: What are your favorite songs / pieces of music? Write the tunes that you feel are best to listen to in the situations below. Explain your choices to your partner(s).

  1. When feeling sad __________________________________________________
  2. To wake up in the morning ___________________________________________
  3. To feel good when going to work / school _______________________________
  4. To exercise to _____________________________________________________
  5. To add to a very romantic moment ____________________________________
  6. To annoy your neighbors ____________________________________________
  7. When you want to be the artist _______________________________________
  8. To dance to _______________________________________________________
  9. Other ____________________________________________________________

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Paul McCartney went into space to sing two songs.

T / F

b.

Two songs were specially selected as a wake-up call for astronauts.

T / F

c.

NASA TV showed the astronauts listening to Paul McCartney.

T / F

d.

Live music was used to wake up astronauts for just the second time.

T / F

e.

Sir Paul McCartney said he felt he owed NASA a flavor.

T / F

f.

A Beatles song signaled favorable weather to the Space Shuttle crew.

T / F

g.

Sir Paul said he wasn’t surprised about transmitting songs to space.

T / F

h.

A Space Station astronaut called Sir Paul McCartney a space explorer.

T / F

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

a.

musician

really

b.

former

return

c.

chosen

amazing

d.

titled

ex-

e.

traditionally

called

f.

repay

regard

g.

attempt

artist

h.

actually

try

i.

sensational

usually

j.

consider

selected

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

a.

the first musician to sing live

transmitting to space

b.

The former

of two songs

c.

special versions

has woken up astronauts

d.

The second tune was a track

Earth were perfect

e.

This is the first time live music

titled English Tea

f.

repay

bad weather

g.

landing conditions on

to an audience in space

h.

canceled because of

just as we are

i.

I can’t believe that we’re actually

a favor

j.

We consider you an explorer,

Beatle

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WHICH WORD? Delete the incorrect word from each pair in italics.

Paul McCartney’s Space Station concert

Sir Paul McCartney has become the thirst / first musician to sing live to an audience / audio in space. The former Beatle woke up the crew of the International Space Station with special versions / visions of two songs that were carefully chosen for the space concert. The first was the Beatles classic “Good Day Sunshine”. The second tune / tone was a track titled “English Tea” from his new album “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard”. NASA’s own television channel showed the songs and live imaginations / images of the two-man space audience listening to them. This is the first time live music has woken up astronauts. NASA traditionally uses recorded orchestras / songs.

Sir Paul said he decided to sing “Good Day Sunshine” to repay / replay a favor. NASA used it to wake the Space Shuttle Discovery crew later / earlier this year. The song signaled to the crew that landing / take-off conditions on Earth were perfect for their second attempt at returning from space. The first landing was canceled because of bad / perfect weather. Before his performance, Sir Paul said: “I can’t believe that we’re actually transmitting to spaces / space.…This is sensational. I love it.” Astronaut Bill McArthur also seemed happy and told Sir Paul: “We consider you an explanation / explorer just as we are.”

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Paul McCartney’s Space Station concert

Sir Paul McCartney has become the first _________ to sing live to an audience in space. The former Beatle woke up the _____ of the International Space Station with special _________ of two songs that were carefully chosen for the space concert. The first was the Beatles classic Good Day Sunshine. The second tune was a track _________ English Tea from his new album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. NASA’s own television channel showed the songs and live _________ of the two-man space audience listening to them. This is the first time live music has woken up astronauts. NASA traditionally uses _________ songs.

Sir Paul said he decided to sing Good Day Sunshine to repay a _________. NASA used it to wake the Space Shuttle Discovery crew _________ this year. The song _________ to the crew that landing conditions on Earth were perfect for their second _________ at returning from space. The first landing was canceled because of bad weather. Before his performance, Sir Paul said: “I can’t believe that we’re _________ transmitting to space.…This is sensational. I love it.” Astronaut Bill McArthur also seemed happy and told Sir Paul: “We _________ you an _________, just as we are.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “SIR PAUL McCARTNEY” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about Sir Paul McCartney, The Beatles and the International Space Station.

  • 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:

  • first
  • former
  • carefully
  • track
  • channel
  • traditionally
  • favor
  • conditions
  • second
  • believe
  • happy
  • consider

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Do you like Sir Paul McCartney or The Beatles?
  3. Do you think Sir Paul McCartney was a good choice of artist to make the first live broadcast into space?
  4. What song or piece of music do you think should be transmitted into space?
  5. How do you wake up in the morning?
  6. Do you have may favors to repay?
  7. Have you ever canceled anything because of bad weather?
  8. Do you have a favorite Beatles song?
  9. Do you think spending billions of dollars on the International Space Station is a good idea?
  10. Do you think Sir Paul McCartney is an explorer?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Do you like to be woken up to music?
  3. Would you like to spend some time on the International Space Station?
  4. Do you like English tea?
  5. Do you think this broadcast is really such a big event?
  6. Why do you think it has taken NASA so long to arrange for live music to be broadcast into space?
  7. What do you think astronauts or cosmonauts do all day on the International Space Station?
  8. What questions would you like to ask those on board the International Space Station?
  9. What do you think their answers would be?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

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

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

SPACE STATION LIFE: You have to go to the International Space Station for one year. You are only allowed to take a few things with you. Write these things in the table and talk about your reasons you chose them with your partner(s).

THING

REASONS
 

A song

 

A book

 

A photograph

 

A software program

 

A personal memento

 

A painting

 

An item of clothing

 

Other
______________

 

 

Change partners.  Now you are going to the International Space Station together. You can only take four things each. Compromise and decide what each of you will take

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 International Space Station. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. SONGS: Write a short essay about your favorite songs. How long have they been favorites? How do they make you feel? Show what you wrote to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the astronauts and cosmonauts living on board the International Space Station. Ask them questions about their life in space. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about or ask similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

musician

artist

b.

former

ex-

c.

chosen

selected

d.

titled

called

e.

traditionally

usually

f.

repay

return

g.

attempt

try

h.

actually

really

i.

sensational

amazing

j.

consider

regard

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

the first musician to sing live

to an audience in space

b.

The former

Beatle

c.

special versions

of two songs

d.

The second tune was a track

titled English Tea

e.

This is the first time live music

has woken up astronauts

f.

repay

a favor

g.

landing conditions on

Earth were perfect

h.

canceled because of

bad weather

i.

I can’t believe that we’re actually

transmitting to space

j.

We consider you an explorer,

just as we are

WHICH WORD?

Paul McCartney’s Space Station concert

Sir Paul McCartney has become the thirst / first musician to sing live to an audience / audio in space. The former Beatle woke up the crew of the International Space Station with special versions / visions of two songs that were carefully chosen for the space concert. The first was the Beatles classic “Good Day Sunshine”. The second tune / tone was a track titled “English Tea” from his new album “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard”. NASA’s own television channel showed the songs and live imaginations / images of the two-man space audience listening to them. This is the first time live music has woken up astronauts. NASA traditionally uses recorded orchestras / songs.

Sir Paul said he decided to sing “Good Day Sunshine” to repay / replay a favor. NASA used it to wake the Space Shuttle Discovery crew later / earlier this year. The song signaled to the crew that landing / take-off conditions on Earth were perfect for their second attempt at returning from space. The first landing was canceled because of bad / perfect weather. Before his performance, Sir Paul said: “I can’t believe that we’re actually transmitting to spaces / space.…This is sensational. I love it.” Astronaut Bill McArthur also seemed happy and told Sir Paul: “We consider you an explanation / explorer just as we are.”

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