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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Osama Bin Laden

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Date: Sep 9, 2007
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THE ARTICLE

Osama bin Laden releases new video

Osama bin Laden has released a new video, just days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Unlike in previous messages, bin Laden made no overt threats to the USA or her allies. However, he did give Americans a lecture on the wrongs of the Iraq war and criticized globalization. He also made a point in calling leaders of Western democracies the real terrorists. The US government obtained a copy of the 30-minute video before it was posted on the Internet by Al-Qaeda. Intelligence agencies are analyzing it to look for clues about bin Laden’s whereabouts and the state of his health. The video also demonstrates how freely bin Laden can communicate with his followers around the world. It also underlines the US failure to catch him, six years after the terror attacks in America.

A short excerpt of the video was aired on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The clip showed bin Laden attacking capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization. In a message to Muslims around the world, he said: “As you freed yourselves before from the slavery of monks and kings, you should now liberate yourselves from the lies, chains and attrition of the capitalist system.” He also attacked US President George W. Bush, likening him to “one who ploughs and sows the oceans” because “he harvests nothing but failure”. He invited Bush to “embrace Islam” to stop the killing in Iraq. Bush, speaking at a summit in Sydney, Australia, replied: “It's important that we show resolve and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaeda safe haven and support young democracies.”

WARM-UPS

1. GLOBALIZATION: Walk around the class and talk to other students about globalization. How does it affect them? Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

video / anniversary / threats / democracies / terrorists / intelligence agencies / capitalism / multinational corporations / slavery / failure / determination

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. ANNIVERSARIES: Which of these major world events can you remember? Talk about them with your partner(s). Where were you and what were you doing?

  • The September 11 attacks
  • The arrival of the new millennium (Dec 31st, 1999)
  • President George W. Bush’s re-election victory
  • The death of Princess Diana
  • The invasion of Iraq
  • The launch of PlayStation 3
  • Other(s) ____________________________________

4. ROLE PLAY: Role play a conversation between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Students A brainstorm ideas for Bush; Students B for bin Laden. Use these to help you:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • hiding
  • peace
  • globalization
  • the future
  • democracy
  • other ____________________

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

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think globalization is a wonderful thing. Students B think globalization is a terrible thing. Change partners often. Share your findings.


 
 

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 video coincides with the terror attacks in the US six years ago.

T / F

b.

Osama bin Laden accused Western leaders of being terrorists.

T / F

c.

The video gives absolutely no clues about bin Laden’s health.

T / F

d.

The video highlights the fact that bin Laden has evaded capture.

T / F

e.

The video was broadcast on TV stations all over the world.

T / F

f.

Bin Laden called on all Muslims not to follow the capitalist system.

T / F

g.

Bin Laden encouraged Bush to become a farmer in the fields.

T / F

h.

George W. Bush replied to bin Laden on top of a Sydney hill.

T / F

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

1.

overt

a.

free

2

criticized

b.

got

3.

obtained

c.

highlights

4.

whereabouts

d.

shelter

5.

underlines

e.

clip

6.

excerpt

f.

obvious

7.

liberate

g.

conference

8.

likening

h.

location

9.

summit

i.

comparing

10.

haven

j.

attacked

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

1.

days before

a.

whereabouts

2

bin Laden made no overt

b.

resolve and determination

3.

a lecture on the wrongs

c.

threats to the USA

4.

look for clues about bin Laden’s

d.

aired on the Arab TV station

5.

It also underlines the US

e.

from the lies

6.

A short excerpt of the video was

f.

of the Iraq war

7.

you should now liberate yourselves

g.

the sixth anniversary

8.

He invited Bush

h.

safe haven

9.

It's important that we show

i.

failure to catch him

10.

deny al-Qaeda

j.

to “embrace Islam”

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Osama bin Laden releases new video
 

Osama bin Laden has released a new video, __________ days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Unlike in previous messages, bin Laden made no overt __________ to the USA or her allies. However, he did give Americans a lecture on the __________ of the Iraq war and criticized globalization. He also made a __________ in calling leaders of Western democracies the real terrorists. The US government __________ a copy of the 30-minute video before it was posted on the Internet by Al-Qaeda. Intelligence agencies are __________ it to look for clues about bin Laden’s whereabouts and the __________ of his health. The video also demonstrates how freely bin Laden can communicate with his followers around the world. It also __________ the US failure to catch him, six years after the terror attacks in America.

 

 

 

obtained
wrongs
underlines
just
analyzing
point
threats
state

A short __________ of the video was aired on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The clip showed bin Laden attacking __________, multinational corporations and globalization. In a message to Muslims around the world, he said: “As you __________ yourselves before from the slavery of monks and kings, you should now liberate yourselves from the lies, chains and attrition of the capitalist __________.” He also attacked US President George W. Bush, likening him to “one who ploughs and sows the oceans” because “he __________ nothing but failure”. He invited Bush to “embrace Islam” to stop the killing in Iraq. Bush, speaking at a __________ in Sydney, Australia, replied: “It's important that we show __________ and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaeda safe haven and __________ young democracies.”

 

 

harvests capitalism
support
system
resolve
excerpt
summit
freed

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Osama bin Laden releases new video

Osama bin Laden has released a new video, _____________________ sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Unlike in previous messages, bin Laden _____________________ the USA or her allies. However, he did give Americans a lecture _____________________ Iraq war and criticized globalization. He also made a point in calling leaders of Western democracies the real terrorists. The US government _____________________ 30-minute video before it was posted on the Internet by Al-Qaeda. Intelligence agencies are analyzing it _____________________ bin Laden’s whereabouts and the state of his health. The video also demonstrates how freely bin Laden can communicate with his followers around the world. It also underlines the US _____________________, six years after the terror attacks in America.

A short excerpt of the video _____________________ Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The clip showed bin Laden attacking capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization. In a message to Muslims around the world, he said: “As you freed yourselves before _____________________ and kings, you should _____________________ the lies, chains and attrition of the capitalist system.” He also attacked US President George W. Bush _____________________ ploughs and sows the oceans” because “he harvests nothing but failure”. He invited Bush to “embrace Islam” to stop the killing in Iraq. Bush, _____________________ Sydney, Australia, replied: “It's important that we show resolve and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaeda _____________________ young democracies.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

intelligence

agency

 

 

 

 

  • 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. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • released
  • overt
  • lecture
  • point
  • obtained
  • freely
  • aired
  • freed
  • chains
  • likening
  • embrace
  • haven

STUDENT GLOBALIZATION SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about GLOBALIZATION in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘globalization’?
  3. How important do you think Osama bin Laden is to Al-Qaeda?
  4. Do you think bin Laden will ever get caught?
  5. What do you think bin Laden said in his lecture on the wrongs of the Iraq war?
  6. Why do you think bin Laden dislikes globalization?
  7. Where do you think bin Laden is hiding?
  8. What would change in the world if bin Laden was caught?
  9. Do you think Al-Qaeda is getting stronger or weaker?
  10. What do you think of the fact that America and her allies are still fighting in Iraq?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Have you seen any clips of bin Laden speaking? What did you think of them?
  3. What are the negative points of capitalism and multinational corporations?
  4. Do you think Muslims need freeing?
  5. What do you think of bin Laden’s accusation that George W. Bush “harvests nothing but failure”?
  6. How important is it for the USA to “show resolve and determination”?
  7. Can you predict what Iraq will be like a year from now?
  8. What questions would you like to ask Osama bin Laden?
  9. What do you think his replies 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?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

Osama bin Laden releases new video

Osama bin Laden has released a new video, (1) ____ days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Unlike in (2) ____ messages, bin Laden made no overt threats to the USA or her allies. However, he did give Americans a lecture (3) ____ the wrongs of the Iraq war and criticized globalization. He also made a point in calling leaders of Western democracies the real terrorists. The US government obtained a copy of the 30-minute video before it was (4) ____ on the Internet by Al-Qaeda. Intelligence agencies are analyzing it to look for clues about bin Laden’s whereabouts and the (5) ____ of his health. The video also demonstrates how freely bin Laden can communicate with his followers around the world. It also (6) ____ the US failure to catch him, six years after the terror attacks in America.

A short excerpt of the video was (7) ____ on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The (8) ____ showed bin Laden attacking capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization. In a message to Muslims around the world, he said: “As you freed yourselves before (9) ____ the slavery of monks and kings, you should now liberate yourselves from the lies, chains and attrition of the capitalist system.” He also attacked US President George W. Bush,
(10) ____ him to “one who ploughs and sows the oceans” because “he harvests nothing (11) ____ failure”. He invited Bush to “embrace Islam” to stop the killing in Iraq. Bush, speaking at a summit in Sydney, Australia, replied: “It's important that we show (12) ____ and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaeda safe haven and support young democracies.”

1.

(a)

fewer

(b)

days and

(c)

just

(d)

few

2.

(a)

preview

(b)

previous

(c)

prevent

(d)

prevail

3.

(a)

with

(b)

by

(c)

of

(d)

on

4.

(a)

posted

(b)

posting

(c)

post

(d)

posts

5.

(a)

state

(b)

statement

(c)

statue

(d)

static

6.

(a)

underpins

(b)

underdogs

(c)

underlines

(d)

undermines

7.

(a)

smoked

(b)

fired

(c)

watered

(d)

aired

8.

(a)

clip-clop

(b)

clip

(c)

clap

(d)

clipper

9.

(a)

by

(b)

from

(c)

into

(d)

with

10.

(a)

likes

(b)

like

(c)

likening

(d)

likely

11.

(a)

bit

(b)

bat

(c)

bet

(d)

but

12.

(a)

resolve

(b)

solve

(c)

solution

(d)

soluble

WRITING: 

Write about globalization for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

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 about Osama bin Laden. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. GLOBALIZATION POSTER: Make a poster showing the effects of globalization on different countries around the world. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the personalities of Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush. Include imaginary interviews with the two of them.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the United Nations. Ask him three questions about the UN’s policy on the war in Iraq. Give him three pieces of advice about how to bring a better life to Iraqis. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

overt

a.

obvious

2

criticized

b.

attacked

3.

obtained

c.

got

4.

whereabouts

d.

location

5.

underlines

e.

highlights

6.

excerpt

f.

clip

7.

liberate

g.

free

8.

likening

h.

comparing

9.

summit

i.

conference

10.

haven

j.

shelter

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

days before

a.

the sixth anniversary

2

bin Laden made no overt

b.

threats to the USA

3.

a lecture on the wrongs

c.

of the Iraq war

4.

look for clues about bin Laden’s

d.

whereabouts

5.

It also underlines the US

e.

failure to catch him

6.

A short excerpt of the video was

f.

aired on the Arab TV station

7.

you should now liberate yourselves

g.

from the lies

8.

He invited Bush

h.

to “embrace Islam”

9.

It's important that we show

i.

resolve and determination

10.

deny al-Qaeda

j.

safe haven

GAP FILL:

Osama bin Laden releases new video

Osama bin Laden has released a new video, just days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Unlike in previous messages, bin Laden made no overt threats to the USA or her allies. However, he did give Americans a lecture on the wrongs of the Iraq war and criticized globalization. He also made a point in calling leaders of Western democracies the real terrorists. The US government obtained a copy of the 30-minute video before it was posted on the Internet by Al-Qaeda. Intelligence agencies are analyzing it to look for clues about bin Laden’s whereabouts and the state of his health. The video also demonstrates how freely bin Laden can communicate with his followers around the world. It also underlines the US failure to catch him, six years after the terror attacks in America.

A short excerpt of the video was aired on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The clip showed bin Laden attacking capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization. In a message to Muslims around the world, he said: “As you freed yourselves before from the slavery of monks and kings, you should now liberate yourselves from the lies, chains and attrition of the capitalist system.” He also attacked US President George W. Bush, likening him to “one who ploughs and sows the oceans” because “he harvests nothing but failure”. He invited Bush to “embrace Islam” to stop the killing in Iraq. Bush, speaking at a summit in Sydney, Australia, replied: “It's important that we show resolve and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaeda safe haven and support young democracies.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 -b

3 - d

4 - a

5 - a

6 - c

7 -d

8 - b

9 -b

10 - c

11 - d

12 - a

 

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