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My 1,000
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Date: Jan 6, 2007
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE


 
 
 

The year 2007 to be the hottest ever

Britain's Meteorological Office has predicted that 2007 could be the world's hottest since records began in 1850. It based its forecast on several key indicators including the rate of climate change and global warming. A factor adding to this year’s heat is the El Nino effect, a phenomenon in which major fluctuations in ocean temperatures increase those on land. El Nino occurs roughly every four years in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be active again in 2007. The upshot of these climatic conditions colliding this year is a rise in the average temperature across the world of 0.54 degrees. This seemingly represents a small variation, but is one which will certainly bring adverse weather conditions to many parts of the world.

The world’s leading climate scientists unanimously agree that human activity is accelerating global warming. It is a fact that the world's ten warmest years have all occurred in the last twelve years. A United Nations panel on climate change predicted that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.8 degrees this century. This could have catastrophic consequences for vast areas of the globe. The panel warned that if there were not significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions soon, especially from fossil fuels, there would be greater risks of more extreme weather. This includes more droughts, hurricanes, bushfires, shrinking polar ice and coastal flooding. It now seems it is more urgent than ever for coal and gas guzzling economies to curb consumption and seek more efficient energies.

WARM-UPS

1. GLOBAL WARMING: What do you know about global warming? Find out as much as you can from your partner. Change partners often to build up your information.

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

Weather predictions / heat / climate change / El Nino / southern hemisphere / scientists / temperatures / catastrophes / greenhouse gases / flooding / drought

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

3. THE CULPRITS: Talk to your partner(s) about who the biggest culprits are – rank these countries in order. Together, decide on three (different) things each country must do to slow down global warming.

  • USA
  • Canada
  • India
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Russia

4. QUICK DEBATE: Students A believe the world will overheat because of human activity. Students B believe scientists and politicians can act together to reverse global warming. Debate this with your partners. Change partners often.

5. MY EFFORTS:  In pairs / groups, decide on what you (would) do in your life to reduce the effects of global warming. Decide on how much impact each of your actions might have.

a.    Writing a letter to US President George W. Bush.

b.    Refusing plastic bags in stores and using your own paper bag.

c.     Walking up the stairs instead of using an elevator / escalator.

d.    Using fewer lights in your house.

e.    Buying a hybrid energy car instead of a regular car.

f.     Cycling, taking the train, etc. and not buying a car.

g.    Your idea (1) _______________________________________________

h.    Your idea (2) _______________________________________________

6. CLIMATE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “climate”. 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.

The US Weather Office has predicted major global climate change.

T / F

b.

Weather records began in the middle of the nineteenth century.

T / F

c.

The weather phenomenon El Nino will be active in 2007.

T / F

d.

Average temperatures are expected to rise by more than a degree.

T / F

e.

Scientists unanimously agree that humans cause global warming.

T / F

f.

The world’s ten warmest years have been in the past four decades.

T / F

g.

Shrinking polar ice is one example of the effects of climate change.

T / F

h.

Gas guzzling economies need to curb energy consumption.

T / F

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

a.

key

result

b.

phenomenon

calamitous

c.

fluctuations

commonly

d.

upshot

changes

e.

adverse

search for

f.

unanimously

central

g.

catastrophic

limit

h.

vast

unfavorable

i.

curb

occurrence

j.

seek

extensive

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

a.

the world's hottest since

of these climatic conditions colliding

b.

It based its forecast

polar ice

c.

major fluctuations in

all occurred in the last twelve years

d.

The upshot

agree

e.

one which will certainly

more efficient energies

f.

climate scientists unanimously

records began

g.

the world's ten warmest years have

on several key indicators

h.

This could have catastrophic

ocean temperatures

i.

shrinking

bring adverse weather conditions

j.

curb consumption and seek

consequences for vast areas

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The year 2007 to be the hottest ever
 

Britain's Meteorological Office has ________ that 2007 could be the world's hottest since records began in 1850. It ________ its forecast on several key indicators including the rate of climate change and global warming. A factor ________ to this year’s heat is the El Nino effect, a phenomenon in which major fluctuations in ocean temperatures increase ________ on land. El Nino occurs roughly every four years in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be active again in 2007. The ________ of these climatic conditions ________ this year is a rise in the average temperature across the world of 0.54 degrees. This ________ represents a small variation, but is one which will certainly bring ________ weather conditions to many parts of the world.  

 

 

those
colliding
adding
based
upshot
adverse
predicted
seemingly

The world’s leading climate scientists ________ agree that human activity is ________ global warming. It is a fact that the world's ten warmest years have all occurred in the last twelve years. A United Nations ________ on climate change predicted that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.8 degrees this century. This could have catastrophic consequences for ________ areas of the globe. The panel warned that if there were not ________ cuts in greenhouse gas emissions soon, especially from fossil fuels, there would be greater risks of more extreme weather. This includes more ________, hurricanes, bushfires, shrinking polar ice and coastal flooding. It now seems it is more urgent than ever for coal and gas ________ economies to curb consumption and seek more ________ energies.

 

significant
droughts
panel
unanimously
efficient
guzzling
vast
accelerating

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

The year 2007 to be the hottest ever

Britain's _____________ Office has predicted that 2007 could be the world's hottest since records began in 1850. It __________________ on several key indicators including the rate of climate change and global warming. A factor adding to this year’s heat is the El Nino effect, __________________  which major fluctuations in ocean temperatures increase those on land. El Nino occurs roughly every four years in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be active again in 2007. The upshot of these __________________ this year is a rise in the average temperature across the world of 0.54 degrees. This __________________ small variation, but is one which will certainly bring adverse weather conditions to many parts of the world.

The world’s leading climate scientists __________________  that human activity is accelerating global warming. It is a fact that the world's ten warmest years __________________ the last twelve years. A United Nations panel on climate change predicted that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.8 degrees this century. This could have __________________ for vast areas of the globe. The panel warned that if there were not significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions soon, especially __________________, there would be greater risks of more extreme weather. This includes more droughts, hurricanes, bushfires, __________________ and coastal flooding. It now seems it is more urgent than ever for coal and __________________ to __________________ and seek more efficient energies.

 


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “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:

·      records

·      adding

·      land

·      upshot

·      0.54

·      adverse

·      unanimously

·      twelve

·      5.8

·      panel

·      shrinking

·      guzzling

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Did anything in the article surprise you?
  3. Do you think the Earth is becoming warmer?
  4. What are the dangers of global warming?
  5. Has there been an increase in adverse weather conditions in your country in recent years?
  6. What do you think the climate will be like in 50 years?
  7. Do you do anything to reduce global warming?
  8. What do you know about El Nino?
  9. Would you rather it be too hot or too cold?
  10. What single action do you think the world should take to curb climate change?

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 always believe what scientists say about global warming?
  4. Would you like to work in Antarctica and study climate change?
  5. Is global warming the biggest current threat to our planet?
  6. Do you think a 0.54-degrees increase in temperature is significant?
  7. Have you experienced any catastrophes due to weather?
  8. Do you think rich nations are doing enough to slow down global warming?
  9. Do you think it’s easy to replace our use of fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives?
  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

ROLE PLAY:

A discussion between different parties interested in global warming.

Team up with classmates who have been assigned the same role to develop your roles and discuss ideas and “strategies” before the role play begins. Introduce yourself to the other role players. Discuss your roles after the role play ends.

Role A – Penguin leader

You live in Antarctica. You need global warming to stop. Temperatures must actually get cooler. Your species is at great risk of extinction. Your habitat, the ice, is melting and your sources of food are disappearing. The world must act to save you. The day the last penguin dies is the start of the end of the Earth.

 

Role B – Dessert dweller

You like the recent effects of global warming. It has brought a lot of unexpected rain to your land. For the first time you can grow things. You have bumper harvests. You have lots of water to drink. You think global warming is simply a matter or winners and losers. You think global warming or cooling has always happened.

 

Role C – Worried Martian

Billions of years ago, Mars, your planet, looked like Earth. Life was everywhere. However, greedy Martians controlled the energy sources and the Mars climate changed, killing all life – except you. The greedy Martians paid leaders to pretend nothing was happening and that alternative energies would arise. It was all too late. Advise the Earthlings and the penguins of the dangers of climate change.

 

Role D – U.S. President

You are terrified of taking measures to control global warming because you might lose your power. You believe scientists can build a huge machine to re-freeze the ice caps. You think keeping American jobs is more important than penguin food. You know better than the world’s climate experts. You don’t believe in aliens.

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Choose the correct words from a – d below and write them in the article.

Britain's Meteorological Office has (1) ______ that 2007 could be the world's hottest since records began in 1850. It based its forecast on several
(2) ______ indicators including the (3) ______ of climate change and global warming. A factor adding to this year’s heat is the El Nino effect, a phenomenon in which major (4) ______ in ocean temperatures increase those on land. El Nino occurs roughly every four years in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be active again in 2007. The (5) ______ of these climatic conditions colliding this year is a rise in the average temperature across the world of 0.54 degrees. This seemingly represents a small variation, but is one which will certainly bring (6) ______ weather conditions to many parts of the world.

The world’s leading climate scientists (7) ______ agree that human activity is accelerating global warming. It is a fact that the world's ten warmest years have all occurred in the last twelve years. A United Nations (8) ______ on climate change predicted that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.8 degrees this century. This could have catastrophic consequences for
(9) ______ areas of the globe. The panel warned that if there were not significant cuts in greenhouse gas (10) ______ soon, especially from fossil fuels, there would be greater risks of more extreme weather. This includes more droughts, hurricanes, bushfires, (11) ______ polar ice and coastal flooding. It now seems it is more urgent than ever for coal and gas guzzling economies to (12) ______ consumption and seek more efficient energies.

1.

(a)

predicting

(b)

prediction

(c)

predicted

(d)

predict

2.

(a)

lock

(b)

chain

(c)

key

(d)

security

3.

(a)

rate

(b)

rating

(c)

ration

(d)

pro rata

4.

(a)

flatulence

(b)

fluctuations

(c)

flabbergast

(d)

flux

5.

(a)

offshoot

(b)

uproar

(c)

upside

(d)

upshot

6.

(a)

advocacy

(b)

advent

(c)

adverts

(d)

adverse

7.

(a)

unanimously

(b)

unanimity

(c)

unaware

(d)

unassisted

8.

(a)

frame

(b)

deck

(c)

panelist

(d)

panel

9.

(a)

vista

(b)

vast

(c)

vastness

(d)

vacuum

10.

(a)

emissions

(b)

commissions

(c)

emitters

(d)

emissaries

11.

(a)

shredding

(b)

shirking

(c)

shrinking

(d)

shrunk

12.

(a)

kerb

(b)

curb

(c)

club

(d)

clam

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. CLIMATE CHANGE: Search the Internet and find more information about climate change. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CATASTROPHES: Research two different climatic catastrophes that happened around the world. Find five differences and five similarities between them. Make a poster using your findings

4. LETTER: Write a letter to a US President George W. Bush. Tell him your thoughts on global warming and climate change. Ask him three questions. Read your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions. Which letter did you like best and why?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

key

central

b.

phenomenon

occurrence

c.

fluctuations

changes

d.

upshot

result

e.

adverse

unfavorable

f.

unanimously

commonly

g.

catastrophic

calamitous

h.

vast

extensive

i.

curb

limit

j.

seek

search for

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

the world's hottest since

records began

b.

It based its forecast

on several key indicators

c.

major fluctuations in

ocean temperatures

d.

The upshot

of these climatic conditions colliding

e.

one which will certainly

bring adverse weather conditions

f.

climate scientists unanimously

agree

g.

the world's ten warmest years have

all occurred in the last twelve years

h.

This could have catastrophic

consequences for vast areas

i.

shrinking

polar ice

j.

curb consumption and seek

more efficient energies

GAP FILL:

The year 2007 to be the hottest ever

Britain's Meteorological Office has predicted that 2007 could be the world's hottest since records began in 1850. It based its forecast on several key indicators including the rate of climate change and global warming. A factor adding to this year’s heat is the El Nino effect, a phenomenon in which major fluctuations in ocean temperatures increase those on land. El Nino occurs roughly every four years in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be active again in 2007. The upshot of these climatic conditions colliding this year is a rise in the average temperature across the world of 0.54 degrees. This seemingly represents a small variation, but is one which will certainly bring adverse weather conditions to many parts of the world.  

The world’s leading climate scientists unanimously agree that human activity is accelerating global warming. It is a fact that the world's ten warmest years have all occurred in the last twelve years. A United Nations panel on climate change predicted that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.8 degrees this century. This could have catastrophic consequences for vast areas of the globe. The panel warned that if there were not significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions soon, especially from fossil fuels, there would be greater risks of more extreme weather. This includes more droughts, hurricanes, bushfires, shrinking polar ice and coastal flooding. It now seems it is more urgent than ever for coal and gas guzzling economies to curb consumption and seek more efficient energies.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - c

3 - a

4 - b

5 - d

6 - d

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - a

11 - c

12 - b

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