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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Jogging and Health

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Researchers say jogging alone is unhealthy


 
   

Date: Mar 14, 2006
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:30 - 177.9 KB - 16kbps)

 
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THE ARTICLE

A new report suggests that jogging could be bad for your health, especially if you do it alone. A team of researchers from Harvard University has said that going for a run on your own is not as healthy as people believe. Their research showed that jogging as part of a group is healthier. The experiments they did on rats showed that running alone raises stress levels and slows down brain cell growth. Professor Elizabeth Gould, the research leader, said: “These results suggest that, [with no] social interaction, a normally [positive] experience can [have a negative] influence on the brain.”

The researchers monitored two groups of rats on exercise wheels. One group exercised alone, the other group were part of a rodent jogging team. After two weeks, the scientists did tests to measure the new brain cell growth in all of the rats. The results showed that the team joggers had double the amount of new brain cells as the solo runners. Professor Gould concluded that: “In a group setting, running stimulates [brain cell growth]. However, when running…in social isolation, these positive effects [decrease].” Human joggers should remember that running is healthier than the rat race.

WARM-UPS

1. ALONE: Write down five things you love doing alone and five things you love doing with other people. Share what you wrote down with your partner(s). Did they think the same as you?

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

Jogging / health / doing things alone / Harvard University / group work / rats / brain cells / influences / exercise / wheels / growth / social isolation / the rat race

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

3. SOLO ACTIVITIES: With your partner(s), talk about whether the activities in the list below are better done alone or with other people.

  • Jogging
  • Traveling around the world
  • Studying English
  • Praying
  • Eating
  • Swimming
  • Watching a movie
  • Reading a newspaper
  • Playing computer games
  • Shopping

4. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use all of the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and compare your different versions. Who was closest to the real story?

5. JOGGING: Do you agree with the following opinions about jogging? Talk about them with your partner(s).

  1. Everyone should jog.
  2. Jogging is boring.
  3. Jogging is easily the best form of exercise there is.
  4. Jogging is very bad for the knees and ankles.
  5. Jogging in the city is very unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs.
  6. It’s more fun to jog in a group than jog alone.
  7. Jogging is what sports teachers make you do when they don’t like you.
  8. Jogging is just a fancy name for running – there’s no difference.

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

A new report says jogging could be bad for your health.

T / F

b.

Jogging with other people may be healthier than running alone.

T / F

c.

The brain cell growth of rats went down when they ran alone.

T / F

d.

A professor said social interaction while running is good for the brain.

T / F

e.

A research team studied groups of rats running on exercise wheels.

T / F

f.

Rats who ran with other rats doubled their brainpower.

T / F

g.

In a group setting, running stimulates brain growth.

T / F

h.

For rats, jogging is healthier than racing.

T / F

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

a.

suggests

observed

b.

believe

reduces

c.

raises

nine to five

d.

slows down

think

e.

influence

twice

f.

monitored

impact

g.

rodent

shows

h.

double

rat

i.

stimulates

increases

j.

rat race

triggers

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

a.

A new report suggests that jogging

of a group is healthier

b.

not as healthy

team

c.

jogging as part

influence on the brain

d.

running alone raises

two groups of rats

e.

have a negative

the new brain cell growth

f.

The researchers monitored

could be bad for your health

g.

part of a rodent jogging

than the rat race

h.

scientists did tests to measure

stress levels

i.

double the amount

as people believe

j.

running is healthier

of new brain cells

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Researchers say jogging alone is unhealthy

A new report ________ that jogging could be ________ for your health, especially if you do it alone. A ________ of researchers from Harvard University has said that going for a run on your own is not as healthy as people ________. Their research showed that jogging as part of a group is healthier. The experiments they did on rats showed that running alone ________ stress levels and slows down brain cell ________. Professor Elizabeth Gould, the research leader, said: “These results suggest that, [with no] ________ interaction, a normally [positive] experience can [have a negative] influence on the ________.”

 

 

growth
team
brain
suggests
believe
raises
bad
social

The researchers monitored two groups of rats on ________ wheels. One group exercised alone, the other group were part of a ________ jogging team. After two weeks, the scientists did ________ to measure the new brain cell growth in all of the rats. The results showed that the team joggers had ________ the amount of new brain cells as the ________ runners. Professor Gould concluded that: “In a group setting, running ________ [brain cell growth]. However, when running…in social isolation, these positive effects [decrease].” Human joggers should ________ that running is healthier than the rat ________.

 

stimulates
double
race
exercise
remember
rodent
solo
tests

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Researchers say jogging alone is unhealthy

A new report ___________ that jogging could be bad for your health, especially if you do it alone. A team of researchers from Harvard University has said that ___________ for a run on your own is not as healthy as people ___________. Their research showed that jogging as part of a group is healthier. The experiments they did on rats showed that running alone ___________ stress levels and slows down brain cell growth. Professor Elizabeth Gould, the research leader, said: “These results ___________ that, [with no] social interaction, a normally [positive] experience can [have a negative] ___________ on the brain.”

The researchers ___________ two groups of rats on exercise wheels. One group exercised alone, the other group were part of a ___________ jogging team. After two weeks, the scientists did tests to ___________ the new brain cell growth in all of the rats. The results showed that the team joggers had double the ___________ of new brain cells as the solo runners. Professor Gould concluded that: “In a group setting, running ___________ [brain cell growth]. However, when running…in social ___________, these positive effects [decrease].” Human joggers should remember that running is healthier than the rat ___________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 activity. 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 “JOGGING” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about jogging.

  • 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:

  • bad
  • own
  • group
  • raises
  • leader
  • influence
  • wheels
  • team
  • double
  • stimulates
  • social
  • race

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you think of jogging?
  3. Is jogging popular in your country?
  4. What are your experiences of jogging or running?
  5. Do you think jogging can be bad for you?
  6. Do you agree with the conclusion of the professor in the article?
  7. Are you interested in reading articles about jogging?
  8. Do you think you can link experiments where rats run on exercise wheels to real people jogging?
  9. What do you think of rats and experiments on rats?
  10. Do you think you are part of the rat race?

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 do you think the best form of exercise is?
  4. Do you prefer to do things alone or with other people?
  5. Are you a team member or a soloist?
  6. Do you think science will benefit from the study mentioned in the article?
  7. What kinds of things do you think increase your brain cells?
  8. What questions would you like to ask the professor who conducted the research into jogging rodents?
  9. What do you think her 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

SOLO: In pairs / groups, talk about the plus points and minus points of doing the following activities alone:

Activity

Plus points

Minus points

1.    Shopping

 

 

2.    Traveling”

 

 

3.    Studying English

 

 

4.     Hiking

 

 

5.    Swimming

 

 

6.    Watching a movie

 

 

Change partners and talk about what you wrote with your previous partner(s).

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 some health reports on the effects (positive and negative) of jogging. Talk about this with your partner(s).

3. EXPERIMENT: Design an experiment you would like to make about human activity. Show your design to your classmates in the next lesson. Which design(s) did you like most and why?

4. EXERCISE DIARY: Write a diary entry for a day in your life. Note down all of the examples of exercise you get – walking, working, taking a shower etc.  How many calories do you think you burn with each activity? Who had the most active day?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. T

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

suggests

shows

b.

believe

think

c.

raises

increases

d.

slows down

reduces

e.

influence

impact

f.

monitored

observed

g.

rodent

rat

h.

double

twice

i.

stimulates

triggers

j.

rat race

nine to five

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

A new report suggests that jogging

could be bad for your health

b.

not as healthy

as people believe

c.

jogging as part

of a group is healthier

d.

running alone raises

stress levels

e.

have a negative

influence on the brain

f.

The researchers monitored

the new brain cell growth

g.

part of a rodent jogging

team

h.

scientists did tests to measure

two groups of rats

i.

double the amount

of new brain cells

j.

running is healthier

than the rat race

GAP FILL:

Researchers say jogging alone is unhealthy

A new report suggests that jogging could be bad for your health, especially if you do it alone. A team of researchers from Harvard University has said that going for a run on your own is not as healthy as people believe. Their research showed that jogging as part of a group is healthier. The experiments they did on rats showed that running alone raises stress levels and slows down brain cell growth. Professor Elizabeth Gould, the research leader, said: “These results suggest that, [with no] social interaction, a normally [positive] experience can [have a negative] influence on the brain.”

The researchers monitored two groups of rats on exercise wheels. One group exercised alone, the other group were part of a rodent jogging team. After two weeks, the scientists did tests to measure the new brain cell growth in all of the rats. The results showed that the team joggers had double the amount of new brain cells as the solo runners. Professor Gould concluded that: “In a group setting, running stimulates [brain cell growth]. However, when running…in social isolation, these positive effects [decrease].” Human joggers should remember that running is healthier than the rat race.

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Copyright © 2006 by Sean Banville