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Date: Apr 3, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Camel beauty contest opens in UAE

A beauty contest with a difference opened in the United Arab Emirates on April 2nd. The Abu Dhabi Camel Festival, which will be held until April 10th, will see 10,000 camels trying to look their most beautiful. There is almost $10 million on offer in prize money as well as 100 cars for the lucky winners. The event is the biggest camel festival in the Arabian Gulf region. Camel owners will bring their animals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to compete for the prizes. The camels are put into different categories, depending on their age and type. All camels must be pedigree - from a pure-bred origin. They must also be free from any contagious diseases or physical defects. A group of expert camel judges will choose the best animals in each of the categories. The identities of the judges are a closely-guarded secret to make sure the competition is fair.


 
 

The festival is part of efforts by Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage authority to keep the traditions of the country alive. It also provides a financial boost for the city. Festival organizer Sheikh Beti said: “The economic impact of the festival has already been felt…as local businesses are thriving thanks to the…participants from the Gulf countries and camel owners.” The festival has led to an increase in camel prices. Sheikh Beti, however, believes that camel owners will not sell their ‘ships of the desert’ until after the competitions. He thinks people will want to keep their hopes of winning high. All camels at the festival will receive free medical care, plus food and water supply. Abu Dhabi specializes in pedigree camels and produced the world’s first ever “test-tube” camel. The city also pioneered the use of robot camel riders, which have now replaced child jockeys.

WARM-UPS

1. CAMELS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about camels. 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.

 

beauty contests / looking beautiful / prize money / pedigree / judges / fairness / culture / heritage / financial boosts / hopes of winning / medical care / jockeys

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

3. ANIMAL METAPHORS: Camels are known as “ships of the desert”. Why? Is this a good metaphor? Talk about this with your partner(s). Make your own metaphors for the creatures below and give your reasons for choosing them. Change partners and share your metaphors.

Creature

Metaphor

Reason

lion

cockroach

parrot

blue whale

frog

ant

horse

crocodile

4. BEAUTIFUL: Which are the most beautiful of these categories of animals. Agree on each one with your partner.

  • birds
  • spiders
  • dogs
  • cats
  • insects
  • farm animals
  • reptiles
  • fish and sea mammals

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

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A strongly believe that camels are the most beautiful animals on Earth; Students B strongly disagree – they think animal X is the most beautiful. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

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 beauty pageant for camels is now on in the United Arab Emirates.

T / F

b.

There is almost $10 million available in prize money.

T / F

c.

The contest is for UAE camels only.

T / F

d.

Top celebrities from the Gulf region decide on the winning camels.

T / F

e.

The contest loses Abu Dhabi a lot of money.

T / F

f.

Owners were selling their camels for high prices before the contest.

T / F

g.

Abu Dhabi created the first ever test-tube camel.

T / F

h.

Abu Dhabi use robot jockeys instead of children to ride camels.

T / F

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

1.

contest

a.

developed

2

on offer

b.

challenge

3.

compete

c.

effect

4.

origin

d.

available

5.

identities

e.

attempts

6.

efforts

f.

ancestry

7.

boost

g.

pageant

8.

impact

h.

increase

9.

thriving

i.

booming

10.

pioneered

j.

names

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

1.

10,000 camels trying to look

a.

the country alive

2

There is almost $10 million on

b.

diseases

3.

compete

c.

“test-tube” camel

4.

free from any contagious

d.

offer in prize money

5.

The identities of the judges are a closely-

e.

of robot camel riders

6.

to keep the traditions of

f.

their most beautiful

7.

provides a financial

g.

are thriving

8.

local businesses

h.

guarded secret

9.

produced the world’s first ever

i.

boost for the city

10.

pioneered the use

j.

for the prizes

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A beauty contest with a __________ opened in the United Arab Emirates on April 2nd. The Abu Dhabi Camel Festival, which will be __________ until April 10th, will see 10,000 camels trying to look their most beautiful. There is almost $10 million on __________ in prize money as well as 100 cars for the __________ winners. The event is the biggest camel festival in the Arabian Gulf region. Camel owners will bring their animals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to __________ for the prizes. The camels are put into different categories, __________ on their age and type. All camels must be pedigree - from a pure-bred origin. They must also be free from any contagious diseases or __________ defects. A group of expert camel judges will choose the best animals in each of the categories. The __________ of the judges are a closely-guarded secret to make sure the competition is fair.

 

physical
held
compete
offer
depending
difference
identities
lucky

The festival is part of __________ by Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage authority to keep the traditions of the country __________. It also provides a financial boost for the city. Festival organizer Sheikh Beti said: “The economic __________ of the festival has already been felt…as local businesses are thriving __________ to the…participants from the Gulf countries and camel owners.” The festival has led to an increase in camel prices. Sheikh Beti, however, __________ that camel owners will not sell their ‘ships of the desert’ until after the competitions. He thinks people will want to keep their hopes of winning __________. All camels at the festival will receive free medical care, plus food and water supply. Abu Dhabi __________ in pedigree camels and produced the world’s first ever “test-tube” camel. The city also __________ the use of robot camel riders, which have now replaced child jockeys.

 

high
 pioneered

alive
thanks
specializes
efforts
believes
impact

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A beauty _____________________ opened in the United Arab Emirates on April 2nd. The Abu Dhabi Camel Festival, which __________________ April 10th, will see 10,000 camels trying to look their most beautiful. There is almost $10 million _____________________ as well as 100 cars for the lucky winners. The event is the biggest camel festival in the Arabian Gulf region. Camel owners will bring their animals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to compete for the prizes. The _____________________ different categories, depending on their age and type. All camels must be pedigree - from a pure-bred origin. _____________________ from any contagious diseases or physical defects. A group of expert camel judges will choose the best animals in each of the categories. The identities of the judges are a closely-guarded _____________________ the competition is fair.

The festival _____________________ Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage authority to keep the traditions of the country alive. It also _____________________ for the city. Festival organizer Sheikh Beti said: “The economic impact of the festival has already been felt…as local businesses _____________________ the…participants from the Gulf countries and camel owners.” The festival has led to an increase in camel prices. Sheikh Beti, however, believes that camel owners _____________________ ‘ships of the desert’ until after the competitions. He thinks people will want to ________________________ high. All camels at the festival will receive free medical care, plus food and water supply. Abu Dhabi specializes in pedigree camels and produced the world’s first ever “test-tube” camel. The city also pioneered the use of robot camel riders, _____________________ child jockeys.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

beauty

contest

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • held
  • trying
  • offer
  • depending
  • physical
  • fair
  • efforts
  • boost
  • thriving
  • sell
  • free
  • pioneered

STUDENT BEAUTY CONTEST SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about beauty contests 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)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘camel’?

c)

Have you heard anything about the beauty contest in the UAE?

d)

What do you think about beauty contests for camels?

e)

Would you like to go and see the beauty contest?

f)

What do you think judges look for in a beautiful camel?

g)

Do you think the prize money is too small?

h)

What treats do you think the winning camels might get from their owners?

i)

What other things do you think go on at a camel festival?

j)

Would you like to be a judge at the contest?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What kinds of beauty contests are there in your country?

c)

What does your country do to keep its culture and heritage alive?

d)

Do you like the metaphor for camels – ‘ships of the desert’?

e)

What contests have you entered?

f)

Do you always keep your hopes of winning high?

g)

Why do you think Abu Dhabi wanted to create a test-tube camel?

h)

Do you think robots racing camels is a good idea?

i)

What questions would you like to ask a camel owner at the festival?

j)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

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

A beauty contest with a (1) ____ opened in the United Arab Emirates on April 2nd. The Abu Dhabi Camel Festival, which will be (2) ____ until April 10th, will see 10,000 camels trying to look their most beautiful. There is almost $10 million (3) ____ offer in prize money as well as 100 cars for the lucky winners. The event is the biggest camel festival in the Arabian Gulf region. Camel owners will bring their animals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to compete (4) ____ the prizes. The camels are put into different categories, depending on their age and type. All camels must be pedigree - from a pure-bred origin. They must also be free (5) ____ any contagious diseases or physical defects. A group of expert camel judges will choose the best animals in (6) ____ of the categories. The identities of the judges are a closely-guarded secret to make sure the competition is fair.

The festival is part of (7) ____ by Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage authority to keep the traditions of the country alive. It also provides a financial (8) ____ for the city. Festival organizer Sheikh Beti said: “The economic impact of the festival has already been felt…as local businesses are thriving (9) ____ to the…participants from the Gulf countries and camel owners.” The festival has led to an increase in camel prices. Sheikh Beti, (10) ____, believes that camel owners will not sell their ‘ships of the desert’ until after the competitions. He thinks people will want to keep their hopes of winning (11) ____. All camels at the festival will receive free medical care, plus food and water supply. Abu Dhabi specializes in pedigree camels and produced the world’s first ever “test-tube” camel. The city also pioneered the (12) ____ of robot camel riders, which have now replaced child jockeys.

1.

(a)

differs

(b)

differ

(c)

different

(d)

difference

2.

(a)

hold

(b)

holding

(c)

held

(d)

withheld

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

to

(d)

of

4.

(a)

for

(b)

four

(c)

fore

(d)

fours

5.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

from

(d)

for

6.

(a)

few

(b)

whole

(c)

every

(d)

each

7.

(a)

effort

(b)

efforts

(c)

effortless

(d)

effects

8.

(a)

boost

(b)

boast

(c)

beast

(d)

best

9.

(a)

thankful

(b)

thanks

(c)

thanked

(d)

thank you

10.

(a)

so

(b)

but

(c)

however

(d)

although

11.

(a)

high

(b)

hi

(c)

hay

(d)

hey

12.

(a)

used to

(b)

used

(c)

useful

(d)

use

WRITING: 

Write about camels 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 out about the Abu Dhabi Camel Festival. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CAMELS: Make a poster about camels. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CAMEL BEAUTY: Write a magazine article about the Abu Dhabi Camel Festival. Include imaginary interviews with two of the camels trying to be the festival winner.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the Abu Dhabi Camel Festival organizers. Ask them three questions about the festival. Give them three pieces of advice on what they should do to make it a popular international event. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: Imagine you are a camel owner at the Abu Dhabi Camel Festival. Write your diary / journal entry for one day at the festival. Be sure to write about your camel. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

contest

a.

pageant / challenge

2

on offer

b.

available

3.

compete

c.

challenge

4.

origin

d.

ancestry

5.

identities

e.

names

6.

efforts

f.

attempts

7.

boost

g.

increase

8.

impact

h.

effect

9.

thriving

i.

booming

10.

pioneered

j.

developed

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

10,000 camels trying to look

a.

their most beautiful

2

There is almost $10 million on

b.

offer in prize money

3.

compete

c.

for the prizes

4.

free from any contagious

d.

diseases

5.

The identities of the judges are a closely-

e.

guarded secret

6.

to keep the traditions of

f.

the country alive

7.

provides a financial

g.

boost for the city

8.

local businesses

h.

are thriving

9.

produced the world’s first ever

i.

“test-tube” camel

10.

pioneered the use

j.

of robot camel riders

GAP FILL:

Camel beauty contest opens in UAE

A beauty contest with a difference opened in the United Arab Emirates on April 2nd. The Abu Dhabi Camel Festival, which will be held until April 10th, will see 10,000 camels trying to look their most beautiful. There is almost $10 million on offer in prize money as well as 100 cars for the lucky winners. The event is the biggest camel festival in the Arabian Gulf region. Camel owners will bring their animals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to compete for the prizes. The camels are put into different categories, depending on their age and type. All camels must be pedigree - from a pure-bred origin. They must also be free from any contagious diseases or physical defects. A group of expert camel judges will choose the best animals in each of the categories. The identities of the judges are a closely-guarded secret to make sure the competition is fair.

The festival is part of efforts by Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage authority to keep the traditions of the country alive. It also provides a financial boost for the city. Festival organizer Sheikh Beti said: “The economic impact of the festival has already been felt…as local businesses are thriving thanks to the…participants from the Gulf countries and camel owners.” The festival has led to an increase in camel prices. Sheikh Beti, however, believes that camel owners will not sell their ‘ships of the desert’ until after the competitions. He thinks people will want to keep their hopes of winning high. All camels at the festival will receive free medical care, plus food and water supply. Abu Dhabi specializes in pedigree camels and produced the world’s first ever “test-tube” camel. The city also pioneered the use of robot camel riders, which have now replaced child jockeys.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

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