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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Flip-Flops and Healthy Footwear

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Date: June 8, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Flip-flops could be bad for our health

Flip-flops, the slip-on, slip-off footwear most of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can trigger aches and pains all over the body, not just make our feet sore. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, even worse than high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about stubbing their toes" and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the foot and did not go flying off.


 
 

The flip-flop research involved 39 male and female graduates. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and in athletic shoes. The researchers compared the length of people’s stride and limb angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps, gripped more with their toes and moved their ankles in a wider angle. All of these changes to our walking style cause unnatural shocks to our joints. This can create stresses which can lead to serious injury if they are repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average person takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be multiplied thousands of times if we wear flip-flops all day. The researchers advised wearing flip-flops for short periods of time only.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. SHOES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about shoes. 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.

 

flip-flops / the beach / sports medicine / aches and pains / high heels / hips / toes / graduates / length of stride / ankles / serious injury / healthy walking style

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

3. DANGER WEAR: Is everything we wear safe? With your partner(s), discuss the dangers of the items in the table. Write your ideas. Change partners and share your ideas.

Danger

Is it worth the danger?

Alternatives

flip-flops

music headphones

sunglasses

body piercing

perfume

religious things

4. SENTENCE STARTERS: Finish the following beginnings to sentences about feet and shoes. Show what you wrote to your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote.

a)    The best thing about feet _______________________________________________

b)    Other people’s feet ____________________________________________________

c)    The most stupid shoes _________________________________________________

d)    The word ‘flip-flops’ is _________________________________________________

e)    My feet are __________________________________________________________

f)     My favourite shoes ____________________________________________________

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. FEET: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘feet’. 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 rubber from flip-flops could give us blood poisoning.

T / F

b.

Research shows flip-flops can cause aches and pains all over our body.

T / F

c.

A study said high heels are the footwear that damages our feet most.

T / F

d.

People change their walking style to stop flip-flops from flying off.

T / F

e.

Flip-flops researchers videoed the walking style of 39 athletes.

T / F

f.

People who wear flip-flops generally take shorter strides.

T / F

g.

On average, we take somewhere in the region of 15,000 steps a day.

T / F

h.

Researchers recommended a global ban on the wearing of flip-flops.

T / F

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

1.

according to

a.

change

2

trigger

b.

arm or leg

3.

alter

c.

grasped

4.

gait

d.

remained

5.

stayed put

e.

step

6.

limb

f.

result in

7.

stride

g.

in the opinion of

8.

gripped

h.

increased

9.

lead to

i.

walk

10.

multiplied

j.

cause

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

1.

Flip-flops, the slip-on,

a.

foot and did not go flying off

2

walking in flip-flops can trigger

b.

thousands of times

3.

even worse

c.

their toes

4.

very concerned about stubbing

d.

to our joints

5.

make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the

e.

took shorter steps

6.

The researchers compared the length

f.

slip-off footwear

7.

flip-flop wearers

g.

15,000 steps each day

8.

cause unnatural shocks

h.

of people’s stride

9.

multiplied

i.

aches and pains

10.

the average person takes

j.

than high heels

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Flip-flops, the slip-on, slip-off __________ most of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study __________ out by the American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can __________ aches and pains all over the body, not just make our feet __________. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, even __________ than high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the __________ and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about __________ their toes" and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the foot and did not go __________ off.

 

hips
carried
sore
flying
footwear
worse
stubbing
trigger

The flip-flop research __________ 39 male and female graduates. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and in athletic shoes. The researchers __________ the length of people’s stride and limb angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps, __________ more with their toes and moved their ankles in a __________ angle. All of these changes to our walking style cause unnatural shocks to our __________. This can create stresses which can lead to __________ injury if they are repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average person takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be __________ thousands of times if we wear flip-flops all day. The researchers __________ wearing flip-flops for short periods of time only.

 

gripped
 
advised
serious
compared
joints
multiplied
involved
wider

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Flip-flops, __________________ footwear most of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study _________________ American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can trigger __________________ all over the body, not just make our feet sore. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, __________________ high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, __________________ problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about __________________ " and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the foot and __________________.

The flip-flop research involved 39 male __________________. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and __________________. The researchers compared the length of people’s stride and limb angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers __________________, gripped more with their toes and moved their ankles in a wider angle. All of these changes __________________ cause unnatural shocks to our joints. This can create stresses which can lead to serious __________________ repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average person takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be multiplied thousands of __________________ flip-flops all day. The researchers advised wearing flip-flops __________________ time only.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

flip

flop

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • footwear
  • trigger
  • far
  • alter
  • lower
  • flying
  • male
  • limb
  • gripped
  • serious
  • multiplied
  • short

STUDENT FOOTWEAR SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about footwear 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.

FOOTWEAR 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 ‘flip-flops’?

c)

Are you a flip-flops person?

d)

Do you always wear shoes that are good for your feet?

e)

What footwear do you wear to the beach?

f)

Do your shoes ever trigger aches and pains all over your body?

g)

What do you think of your gait? Are you happy with the way you walk?

h)

Do you worry about keeping your flip-flops or sandals on your feet?

i)

Have your shoes ever come flying off your feet?

j)

Are you surprised that flip-flops harm your feet more than high heels?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Would you like to take part in research on footwear?

c)

Do you have a short or long stride? Which is best?

d)

Have you ever had problems with your joints?

e)

Do you think the most fashionable shoes are the least comfortable?

f)

What could people wear instead of flip-flops?

g)

Do you think you take 15,000 steps a day? Do you take more or fewer steps a day now than you did five years ago?

h)

What do you think of the word ‘flip-flops’?

i)

What questions would you like to ask the flip-flops researchers?

j)

Did you like this discussion on flip-flops and footwear?

LANGUAGE

Flip-flops, the slip-on, slip-off footwear (1) ____ of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study carried (2) ____ by the American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can (3) ____ aches and pains all over the body, not just make our feet (4) ____. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, even worse than high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they (5) ____ their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about stubbing their toes" and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed (6) ____ on the foot and did not go flying off.

The flip-flop research involved 39 male and female (7) ____. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and in athletic shoes. The researchers compared the length of people’s stride and (8) ____ angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps, gripped more with their toes and moved their (9) ____ in a wider angle. All of these changes to our walking style cause unnatural shocks to our joints. This can create stresses which can lead (10) ____ serious injury if they are repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average (11) ____ takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be multiplied thousands of times if we wear flip-flops all day. The researchers (12) ____ wearing flip-flops for short periods of time only.

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

1.

(a)

must

(b)

mast

(c)

mostly

(d)

most

2.

(a)

out

(b)

outside

(c)

over

(d)

on

3.

(a)

pistol

(b)

bullet

(c)

trigger

(d)

barrel

4.

(a)

sorely

(b)

sore

(c)

soreness

(d)

sores

5.

(a)

altar

(b)

alter

(c)

alto

(d)

alt key

6.

(a)

bit

(b)

get

(c)

put

(d)

sit

7.

(a)

graduates

(b)

graduation

(c)

grades

(d)

graders

8.

(a)

limber

(b)

limbo

(c)

limp

(d)

limb

9.

(a)

anklets

(b)

uncles

(c)

clogs

(d)

ankles

10.

(a)

in

(b)

to

(c)

a

(d)

by

11.

(a)

person

(b)

walk

(c)

people

(d)

ankle

12.

(a)

advisor

(b)

advice

(c)

advised

(d)

advising

WRITING: 

Write about  footwear  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 more about the study carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FOOTWEAR: Make a poster about different kinds of footwear around the world. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. HEALTHY FEET: Write a magazine article about healthy feet. What do we need to do to keep our feet healthy? Include imaginary interviews with foot experts.

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 head of the research team. Ask him/her three questions about flip-flops. Give him/her three pieces of advice on what makers should do to make flip-flops healthier for us. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are one of your feet. Write your diary entry about one day in your life. Include your thoughts on how your owner looks after you, the shoes that are put on you and what you like to do to relax. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

according to

a.

in the opinion of

2

trigger

b.

cause

3.

alter

c.

change

4.

gait

d.

walk

5.

stayed put

e.

remained

6.

limb

f.

arm or leg

7.

stride

g.

step

8.

gripped

h.

grasped

9.

lead to

i.

result in

10.

multiplied

j.

increased

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Flip-flops, the slip-on,

a.

slip-off footwear

2

walking in flip-flops can trigger

b.

aches and pains

3.

even worse

c.

than high heels

4.

very concerned about stubbing

d.

their toes

5.

make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the

e.

foot and did not go flying off

6.

The researchers compared the length

f.

of people’s stride

7.

flip-flop wearers

g.

took shorter steps

8.

cause unnatural shocks

h.

to our joints

9.

multiplied

i.

thousands of times

10.

the average person takes

j.

15,000 steps each day

GAP FILL:

Flip-flops could be bad for our health

Flip-flops, the slip-on, slip-off footwear most of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can trigger aches and pains all over the body, not just make our feet sore. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, even worse than high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about stubbing their toes" and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the foot and did not go flying off.

The flip-flop research involved 39 male and female graduates. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and in athletic shoes. The researchers compared the length of people’s stride and limb angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps, gripped more with their toes and moved their ankles in a wider angle. All of these changes to our walking style cause unnatural shocks to our joints. This can create stresses which can lead to serious injury if they are repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average person takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be multiplied thousands of times if we wear flip-flops all day. The researchers advised wearing flip-flops for short periods of time only.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - b

6 - c

7 - a

8 - d

9 -d

10 - b

11 - a

12 - c

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