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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Money Worries Causing Ill Health

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Date: September 9, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Credit crunch making Britons ill

An old saying says that money is the root of all evil. It is also the cause of increasing health problems in Britain. The recent ill health of the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried out jointly by the UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel less well than they did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people cut back on healthy food and fitness clubs. Their research coincides with the launch of a campaign called Know Your Numbers Week, during which Britons can get free blood pressure checks. The aim is to warn people early that their health may be worsening.


 
 

Money worries could have serious consequences for people in Britain. Mark Jones, a Friends Provident spokesman, said: “The credit crunch appears to be having serious [effects]. Lifestyle changes, poor diet and lack of exercise in particular, can have a negative effect on people's blood pressure and consequently their long-term health.” Many people are worrying more about spiralling food and fuel prices, home loan repayments, and rising debt. Nearly one in five of those surveyed said they were sleeping less, 56% are buying cheaper food and cutting back on fruit and vegetables, while 6% have started smoking. Professor Graham Macgregor of the Blood Pressure Association warned: “The lack of concern over long-term health is putting the nation at risk of a blood-pressure ticking time bomb.”


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. MONEY: Walk around the class and talk to other students about money. 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.

 

evil / health problems / world economy / credit crunch / fitness clubs / blood pressure / lifestyle changes / exercise / food prices / debt / cutting back / smoking / risk

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

3. CUTTING BACK: Have you cut back on what you spend? Complete the table below. How could you cut back more? How would you feel? Change partners and share your ideas and feelings.

Spending

Cutbacks

Feelings

Food

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

Bills

 

 

Going out

 

 

Retirement plan

 

 

Shopping

 

 

4. THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: Students A strongly believe that money is the root of all evil; Students B strongly believe money is a force for good. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

5. WORRIES: What do you worry about most? Rank the following in order. Change partners to share and discuss your ranking.

_____  money

_____  health

_____  English level

_____  the future

_____  what to have for dinner

_____  your looks

_____  the size of your stomach

_____  the environment

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

Credit cards in the UK are making people sick.

T / F

b.

About 67% of British people feel better now than they three years ago.

T / F

c.

People are exercising more because they are stressed.

T / F

d.

Britons have a week to take a free blood pressure check.

T / F

e.

The diets of British people are getting worse because of money worries.

T / F

f.

Twenty percent of people are having problems sleeping.

T / F

g.

More and more people are quitting smoking to save money.

T / F

h.

People are also afraid of a time bomb that is ticking away.

T / F

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

1.

saying

a.

spend less

2

root

b.

seems

3.

concerns

c.

increasing

4.

cut back

d.

cause

5.

worsening

e.

effects

6.

consequences

f.

declining

7.

appears

g.

expression

8.

consequently

h.

country

9.

spiralling

i.

therefore

10.

nation

j.

worries

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

1.

An old saying says that money is

a.

were sleeping less

2

The recent ill health of

b.

on healthy food

3.

concerns about the economy are

c.

consequences

4.

people cut back

d.

may be worsening

5.

warn people early that their health

e.

driving up stress levels

6.

Money worries could have serious

f.

of exercise

7.

lack

g.

the root of all evil

8.

spiralling food

h.

the world economy

9.

one in five of those surveyed said they

i.

over long-term health

10.

The lack of concern

j.

and fuel prices

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

An old __________ says that money is the root of all evil. It is also the cause of increasing health problems in Britain. The __________ ill health of the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried out __________ by the UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel __________ well than they did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and __________ about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people cut __________ on healthy food and fitness clubs. Their research coincides with the __________ of a campaign called Know Your Numbers Week, during which Britons can get free blood pressure checks. The aim is to warn people early that their health may be __________.

 

jointly
worsening
saying
back
recent
less
launch
concerns

Money worries could have __________ consequences for people in Britain. Mark Jones, a Friends Provident spokesman, said: “The credit crunch __________ to be having serious [effects]. Lifestyle changes, poor diet and __________ of exercise in particular, can have a negative effect on people's blood pressure and consequently their __________ -term health.” Many people are worrying more about spiralling food and fuel prices, home __________ repayments, and rising debt. Nearly one in __________ of those surveyed said they were sleeping less, 56% are buying cheaper food and cutting back on fruit and vegetables, while 6% have started smoking. Professor Graham Macgregor of the Blood Pressure Association __________: “The lack of concern over long-term health is putting the nation at risk of a blood-pressure __________ time bomb.”

 

five
 
appears
loan
long
warned
serious
ticking
lack

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

An old saying says that money is the ________________. It is also the cause of increasing health problems in Britain. The ________________ the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried ________________ UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel ________________ did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people ________________ healthy food and fitness clubs. Their research coincides with the launch of a campaign called Know Your Numbers Week, during which Britons can get free blood pressure checks. ________________ people early that their health may be worsening.

Money worries ________________ consequences for people in Britain. Mark Jones, a Friends Provident spokesman, said: “The credit crunch appears to be having serious [effects]. Lifestyle changes, poor diet and ________________ in particular, can have a negative effect on people's blood pressure and consequently their ________________.” Many people are worrying more about spiralling food and fuel prices, home loan repayments, and rising debt. Nearly ________________ those surveyed said they were sleeping less, 56% are buying cheaper food and cutting back on fruit and vegetables, ________________ started smoking. Professor Graham Macgregor of the Blood Pressure Association warned: “The lack of concern over long-term health is putting the nation at risk of a blood-pressure ________________.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

credit

crunch

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • root
  • cause
  • jointly
  • driving
  • launch
  • warn
  • serious
  • poor
  • consequently
  • rising
  • sleeping
  • risk

STUDENT MONEY SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about money 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.

CREDIT CRUNCH 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 term ‘credit crunch’?

c)

Do you worry about money?

d)

Do you think money is the root of all evil? How does money make us some people bad?

e)

Do you think worrying about money could affect your health?

f)

Has the ill health of the world’s economy affected your life?

g)

What do you know about the credit crunch? What is the crunch?

h)

Have you ever cut back on doing or buying anything?

i)

How is your blood pressure?

j)

What should Britons do to make sure their money worries do not affect their health?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What serious consequences might money worries have for people?

c)

Do you think people worry too much about money?

d)

What are your biggest worries at the moment?

e)

What do you think about debt, i.e. borrowing money and spending more than you have?

f)

Are food prices in your country spiralling?

g)

What things cause you to lose sleep?

h)

Do you ever think about your long-term health?

i)

What kinds of time bombs are ticking in your country?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Professor Graham Macgregor?

LANGUAGE

An old (1) ____ says that money is the (2) ____ of all evil. It is also the cause of increasing health problems in Britain. The recent ill health of the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried out (3) ____ by the UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel less (4) ____ than they did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people cut (5) ____ on healthy food and fitness clubs. Their research coincides with the launch of a campaign called Know Your Numbers Week, during which Britons can get free blood (6) ____ checks. The aim is to warn people early that their health may be worsening.

Money worries could have serious consequences (7) ____ people in Britain. Mark Jones, a Friends Provident spokesman, said: “The credit crunch appears to be having serious [effects]. Lifestyle changes, poor diet and (8) ____ of exercise in particular, can have a negative effect (9) ____ people's blood pressure and consequently their long-term health.” Many people are worrying more about spiralling food and fuel prices, home loan repayments, and rising (10) ____. Nearly (11) ____ in five of those surveyed said they were sleeping less, 56% are buying cheaper food and cutting back on fruit and vegetables, while 6% have started smoking. Professor Graham Macgregor of the Blood Pressure Association warned: “The lack of concern over long-term health is putting the nation (12) ____ risk of a blood-pressure ticking time bomb.”

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

1.

(a)

says

(b)

say

(c)

sayings

(d)

saying

2.

(a)

trunk

(b)

root

(c)

branch

(d)

twig

3.

(a)

jointly

(b)

join

(c)

joined

(d)

joints

4.

(a)

better

(b)

good

(c)

well

(d)

best

5.

(a)

side

(b)

front

(c)

back

(d)

bottom

6.

(a)

pleasure

(b)

pressure

(c)

pressing

(d)

plaster

7.

(a)

for

(b)

in

(c)

by

(d)

of

8.

(a)

lacks

(b)

black

(c)

slack

(d)

lack

9.

(a)

to

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

for

10.

(a)

doubt

(b)

debut

(c)

debit

(d)

debt

11.

(a)

ones

(b)

once

(c)

one

(d)

one’s

12.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

on

WRITING: 

Write about money 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 credit crunch. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MONEY WORRIES: Make a poster about the different things people worry about over money. Include advice for each thing. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CUTTING BACK: Write a magazine article about someone badly affected by the credit crunch. What are they cutting back on? How different is their life?

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. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are seriously affected by the credit crunch. Your lifestyle has changed completely. Write about one day in your life. What do you miss about your old lifestyle when you had more money? Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to your government. Ask them three questions about the credit crunch. Make three suggestions on what they should do to make things better for everyone. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

saying

a.

expression

2

root

b.

cause

3.

concerns

c.

worries

4.

cut back

d.

spend less

5.

worsening

e.

declining

6.

consequences

f.

effects

7.

appears

g.

seems

8.

consequently

h.

therefore

9.

spiralling

i.

increasing

10.

nation

j.

country

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

An old saying says that money is

a.

the root of all evil

2

The recent ill health of

b.

the world economy

3.

concerns about the economy are

c.

driving up stress levels

4.

people cut back

d.

on healthy food

5.

warn people early that their health

e.

may be worsening

6.

Money worries could have serious

f.

consequences

7.

lack

g.

of exercise

8.

spiralling food

h.

and fuel prices

9.

one in five of those surveyed said they

i.

were sleeping less

10.

The lack of concern

j.

over long-term health

GAP FILL:

Credit crunch making Britons ill

An old saying says that money is the root of all evil. It is also the cause of increasing health problems in Britain. The recent ill health of the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried out jointly by the UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel less well than they did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people cut back on healthy food and fitness clubs. Their research coincides with the launch of a campaign called Know Your Numbers Week, during which Britons can get free blood pressure checks. The aim is to warn people early that their health may be worsening.

Money worries could have serious consequences for people in Britain. Mark Jones, a Friends Provident spokesman, said: “The credit crunch appears to be having serious [effects]. Lifestyle changes, poor diet and lack of exercise in particular, can have a negative effect on people's blood pressure and consequently their long-term health.” Many people are worrying more about spiralling food and fuel prices, home loan repayments, and rising debt. Nearly one in five of those surveyed said they were sleeping less, 56% are buying cheaper food and cutting back on fruit and vegetables, while 6% have started smoking. Professor Graham Macgregor of the Blood Pressure Association warned: “The lack of concern over long-term health is putting the nation at risk of a blood-pressure ticking time bomb.”

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

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