The
1,000 IDEAS
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |   DONATE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
 

 

E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

Follow this site on Facebook.

 

000's more free lessons.

   

 


 
 

Date: May 12, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 1:52- 438.5KB - 32kbps
Online Test: Recreate the text
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES
Breaking News English.com's e-Book

  THE ARTICLE

Barack Obama pulls ahead of Hillary

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is moving ahead of his rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. Mr Obama has built a solid lead over Mrs Clinton in the past few months. He won a landslide victory in the contest for North Carolina last Tuesday, while Senator Clinton narrowly hung on to win Indiana, a state in which she was hoping for a big win. Her narrow margin of victory strengthened Obama’s campaign. Many analysts predicted the Indiana result was the beginning of the end for Mrs Clinton, who looked tired and lacked enthusiasm in her victory speech. Barack is also winning the contest for the votes of the nearly 800 super-delegates - party officials who will probably decide whether Mr Obama or Ms Clinton runs for President in November.


 
 

There are still six more states that are yet to vote for their presidential nominee. It seems likely that the race between the two candidates will go right to the wire. However, more and more people now predict that Obama will win the right to challenge Republican John McCain to be America’s 44th President. On Friday, a former candidate in the race, John Edwards, said that Senator Obama was now the party's "likely presidential nominee". This is another blow to Mrs Clinton’s campaign. She is now running out of big-name supporters as well as money. She must dip into her own personal fortune if she wants to continue on the campaign trail. She suggested she would join forces with Obama if she lost the race. “We will stand together and…go on to the White House,” she said.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. US POLITICS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about American politics. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

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

 

hopeful / rivals / victory / contests / the beginning of the end / enthusiasm / votes / races / wire / America’s 44th President / candidates / supporters / personal fortune

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

3. VOTE FOR ME: Do you have big ideas to change things? Would you like to change your school? Complete this table with your ideas about the things in the left column. Talk with your partners about your answers. Change partners often and share your findings. Who is the best candidate for change?

Things

Your ideas for change

lesson times

books

teachers

homework

attendance

special change ________

4. VOTE FOR CHANGE: What are the important issues for you when you vote? Rank these things in order of importance from the most to least important. Talk about your rankings. Change partners and share your scores and findings.

_____  tax

_____  education

_____  environment

_____  jobs

_____  health care

_____  racial and religious harmony

_____  fighting crime

_____  fighting terror

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

6. RIVAL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘rival’. 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.

Barack Obama’s lead over Hillary Clinton is getting bigger.

T / F

b.

Senator Obama visited a town that was hit by a landslide.

T / F

c.

Senator Clinton scored a huge victory over Senator Obama in Indiana.

T / F

d.

American voters will vote for their next president in November.

T / F

e.

The race is so close it is like a tightrope wire.

T / F

f.

There have been a total of 43 US presidents in the USA’s history.

T / F

g.

Hillary needs more well-known supporters and money to continue.

T / F

h.

Hillary said she will not work with Obama if she loses the race.

T / F

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

1.

hopeful

a.

ex

2

solid

b.

competitor

3.

landslide

c.

disaster

4.

margin

d.

continue to the end

5.

enthusiasm

e.

gap

6.

likely

f.

unite

7.

go right to the wire

g.

probable

8.

former

h.

overwhelming

9.

blow

i.

firm

10.

join forces

j.

passion

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

1.

Obama is moving

a.

on to win Indiana

2

Obama has built

b.

if she lost

3.

Clinton narrowly hung

c.

end for Mrs Clinton

4.

Her narrow margin of

d.

that are yet to vote

5.

was the beginning of the

e.

a solid lead over Mrs Clinton

6.

There are still six more states

f.

presidential nominee

7.

the race between the two candidates

g.

ahead of his rival Hillary

8.

Obama was now the party's likely

h.

personal fortune

9.

She must dip into her own

i.

victory

10.

she would join forces with Obama

j.

will go right to the wire

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is moving __________ of his rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. Mr Obama has built a solid __________ over Mrs Clinton in the past few months. He won a landslide victory in the __________ for North Carolina last Tuesday, while Senator Clinton __________ hung on to win Indiana, a state in which she was hoping for a big win. Her narrow margin of victory strengthened Obama’s campaign. Many analysts predicted the Indiana result was the __________ of the end for Mrs Clinton, who looked tired and lacked __________ in her victory speech. Barack is also winning the contest for the __________ of the nearly 800 super-delegates - party officials who will probably decide whether Mr Obama or Ms Clinton __________ for President in November.

 

votes
narrowly
contest
enthusiasm
ahead
runs
beginning
lead

There are still six more states that are __________ to vote for their presidential nominee. It seems __________ that the race between the two candidates will go right to the __________. However, more and more people now predict that Obama will win the __________ to challenge Republican John McCain to be America’s 44th President. On Friday, a __________ candidate in the race, John Edwards, said that Senator Obama was now the party's "likely presidential nominee". This is another __________ to Mrs Clinton’s campaign. She is now running out of big-name supporters as well as money. She must __________ into her own personal fortune if she wants to continue on the campaign __________. She suggested she would join forces with Obama if she lost the race. “We will stand together and…go on to the White House,” she said.

 

dip
 likely

former
wire
trail
yet
blow
right

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama ______________________ rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. Mr Obama ______________________ Mrs Clinton in the past few months. He won a landslide victory ______________________ North Carolina last Tuesday, while Senator Clinton narrowly hung on to win Indiana, a state ______________________ for a big win. Her narrow margin of victory strengthened Obama’s campaign. Many analysts predicted the Indiana result was ______________________ for Mrs Clinton, who looked tired and lacked enthusiasm in her victory speech. Barack is also winning the contest for ______________________ 800 super-delegates - party officials who will probably decide whether Mr Obama or Ms Clinton runs for President in November.

There are still six more states ______________________ their presidential nominee. It seems likely that the race between the two candidates ______________________. However, more and more people now predict that Obama ______________________ challenge Republican John McCain to be America’s 44th President. On Friday, a former candidate in the race, John Edwards, said that Senator Obama was now the party's "likely presidential nominee". This is another blow to Mrs Clinton’s campaign. She is ______________________ supporters as well as money. She ______________________ personal fortune if she wants to continue on the campaign trail. She suggested she would join forces with Obama if she lost the race. “We ______________________ …go on to the White House,” she said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

pull

ahead

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • moving
  • solid
  • hung on
  • beginning
  • lacked
  • 800
  • six
  • wire
  • 44
  • blow
  • dip
  • stand

STUDENT PRESIDENT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about presidents 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.

PRESIDENT 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 ‘president’?

c)

What do you know about Barack Obama?

d)

Who do you want to be the next American president?

e)

Are you interested in the race between Barack and Hillary?

f)

Do you think it’s good that there is an African American and a woman running for president?

g)

Are elections in your country exciting?

h)

Have you ever hung on to win something?

i)

Do you think Barack and Hillary would be very different presidents?

j)

What’s the most important decision the new US president must make?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Barack and Hillary?

c)

Why do you think Barack and Hillary want to be president?

d)

Would you like to be president?

e)

Have you ever been in a contest that has gone right to the wire?

f)

What do you think of America’s presidential election process?

g)

How often do you have to dip into your personal fortune (or savings)?

h)

What questions would you like to ask Barack Obama?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Hillary Clinton?

j)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

Democratic presidential (1) ____ Barack Obama is moving ahead of his rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. Mr Obama has (2) ____ a solid lead over Mrs Clinton in the past few months. He won a landslide victory in the contest for North Carolina last Tuesday, while Senator Clinton narrowly hung (3) ____ to win Indiana, a state in which she was hoping for a big win. Her (4) ____ margin of victory strengthened Obama’s campaign. Many analysts predicted the Indiana result was the beginning of the (5) ____ for Mrs Clinton, who looked tired and lacked enthusiasm in her victory speech. Barack is also winning the contest for the votes of the nearly 800 super-delegates - party officials who will probably decide whether Mr Obama or Ms Clinton (6) ____ for President in November.

There are still six more states that are yet to vote for their presidential nominee. It seems (7) ____ that the race between the two candidates will go right to the wire. However, more and more people now predict that Obama will win the right (8) ____ challenge Republican John McCain to be America’s 44th President. On Friday, a (9) ____ candidate in the race, John Edwards, said that Senator Obama was now the party's "likely presidential nominee". This is another (10) ____ to Mrs Clinton’s campaign. She is now running out of big-name supporters as well as money. She must dip (11) ____ her own personal fortune if she wants to continue on the campaign trail. She suggested she would join forces (12) ____ Obama if she lost the race. “We will stand together and…go on to the White House,” she said.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

hoped

(b)

hoping

(c)

hopeless

(d)

hopeful

2.

(a)

constructed

(b)

built

(c)

erected

(d)

nailed

3.

(a)

on

(b)

up

(c)

over

(d)

by

4.

(a)

border

(b)

edge

(c)

margin

(d)

side

5.

(a)

middle

(b)

beginning

(c)

end

(d)

finish

6.

(a)

jogs

(b)

runs

(c)

sprints

(d)

hurdles

7.

(a)

likely

(b)

likeable

(c)

likelihood

(d)

like

8.

(a)

by

(b)

from

(c)

for

(d)

to

9.

(a)

form

(b)

former

(c)

formed

(d)

forms

10.

(a)

gasp

(b)

breath

(c)

puff

(d)

blow

11.

(a)

to

(b)

out

(c)

into

(d)

on

12.

(a)

with

(b)

to

(c)

by

(d)

at

WRITING: 

Write about  rivals  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 Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. 43 PRESIDENTS: Make a poster about some of America’s past presidents. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. RIVALS: Write a magazine article about the race for the Democratic presidential nomination between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Include imaginary interviews with the two senators. Include questions about the future of America.

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 Barack Obama. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should do to stay ahead of Senator Clinton. Ask him three questions about his plans for America. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are running to be president. Write your diary entry for one day in your campaign. Include your thoughts on what you want to do for your country. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

hopeful

a.

competitor

2

solid

b.

firm

3.

landslide

c.

overwhelming

4.

margin

d.

gap

5.

enthusiasm

e.

passion

6.

likely

f.

probable

7.

go right to the wire

g.

continue to the end

8.

former

h.

ex

9.

blow

i.

disaster

10.

join forces

j.

unite

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Obama is moving

a.

ahead of his rival Hillary

2

Obama has built

b.

a solid lead over Mrs Clinton

3.

Clinton narrowly hung

c.

on to win Indiana

4.

Her narrow margin of

d.

victory

5.

was the beginning of the

e.

end for Mrs Clinton

6.

There are still six more states

f.

that are yet to vote

7.

the race between the two candidates

g.

will go right to the wire

8.

Obama was now the party's likely

h.

presidential nominee

9.

She must dip into her own

i.

personal fortune

10.

she would join forces with Obama

j.

if she lost

GAP FILL:

Barack Obama pulls ahead of Hillary

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is moving ahead of his rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. Mr Obama has built a solid lead over Mrs Clinton in the past few months. He won a landslide victory in the contest for North Carolina last Tuesday, while Senator Clinton narrowly hung on to win Indiana, a state in which she was hoping for a big win. Her narrow margin of victory strengthened Obama’s campaign. Many analysts predicted the Indiana result was the beginning of the end for Mrs Clinton, who looked tired and lacked enthusiasm in her victory speech. Barack is also winning the contest for the votes of the nearly 800 super-delegates - party officials who will probably decide whether Mr Obama or Ms Clinton runs for President in November.

There are still six more states that are yet to vote for their presidential nominee. It seems likely that the race between the two candidates will go right to the wire. However, more and more people now predict that Obama will win the right to challenge Republican John McCain to be America’s 44th President. On Friday, a former candidate in the race, John Edwards, said that Senator Obama was now the party's "likely presidential nominee". This is another blow to Mrs Clinton’s campaign. She is now running out of big-name supporters as well as money. She must dip into her own personal fortune if she wants to continue on the campaign trail. She suggested she would join forces with Obama if she lost the race. “We will stand together and…go on to the White House,” she said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

Help Support This Web Site

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You

Copyright © 2004-2008 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy