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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Light Bulbs - by Sean Banville

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September 1, 2009

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EU Switching to Greener Light Bulbs

The European Union began a switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs on September the 1st. New rules see Europe phasing out 100-watt light bulbs. Euro officials are encouraging citizens in the 27 EU countries to use long-life fluorescent or halogen bulbs instead. The EU hopes its policy will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy bills. Consumers can still buy the old energy-hungry bulbs, but only while stocks last. Companies can no longer make them in Europe and shops cannot import or sell them. The new bulbs can provide energy savings of up to 75 per cent compared to the traditional ones. This will save the average Euro household around 50 Euros ($70) a year.


A little piece of history will disappear with the 100-watt bulb. Europeans have used them since their invention by Thomas Edison over a century ago. Not everyone is happy with this change. Health officials in Britain fear for people with light-sensitive illnesses. Campaigner David Price said the government was ignoring public concerns. He said the energy-saving bulbs give many people bad headaches and can cause skin problems and vomiting. A leading British newspaper backed the campaigners. The ‘Daily Mail’ gave away 25,000 of the traditional bulbs. It said this was in "outrage at further European intervention in British affairs". Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have sky-rocketed across Britain.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. LIGHT BULBS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about light bulbs. Change partners often. Sit with your first 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.

 

European Union / switches / new rules / greenhouse gas emissions / energy savings / a little piece of history / inventions / illnesses / headaches / outrage / campaigners

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

3. ENERGY SAVINGS: How? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share your ideas.  Change again and share what you heard.

Thing

How to save energy

I will (not) do this because…

lights

 

 

washing machine

 

 

TV

 

 

computer

 

 

transport

 

 

elevators

 

 

4. LET THERE BE LIGHT: Students A strongly believe switching to energy-efficient light bulbs is a total a waste of time and will not help the Earth a bit; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. GREEN ME: Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = I am so green with this; 1 = totally colour-less here. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • turning off lights
  • not using escalators / elevators
  • using less paper
  • conserving water
  • transportation
  • recycling
  • buying energy-efficient things
  • educating others about global warming

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Europeans are buying green lights to give their room a hint of nature.

T / F

b.

Citizens in every European country will now use energy-saving lights.

T / F

c.

EU countries cannot buy 100-watt light bulbs from other countries.

T / F

d.

All households in the EU will save $70 a year using long-life light bulbs.

T / F

e.

A man called Edison invented the light bulb over 100 years ago.

T / F

f.

The new bulbs will be great for people who are sensitive to light.

T / F

g.

There are fears the new energy-saving bulbs will make people sick.

T / F

h.

Sales of the old, energy-hungry bulbs went up in Britain.

T / F

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

1.

switch

a.

reduce

2

phasing out

b.

matters

3.

lower

c.

give

4.

stocks

d.

supported

5.

provide

e.

change

6.

piece

f.

supplies

7.

fear

g.

affected by

8.

sensitive to

h.

bit

9.

backed

i.

ending

10.

affairs

j.

worry

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a switch to more energy-

a.

emissions

2

New rules see Europe phasing

b.

affairs

3.

lower greenhouse gas

c.

up to 75 per cent

4.

while stocks

d.

problems

5.

provide energy savings of

e.

efficient light bulbs

6.

A little piece of

f.

for people

7.

Health officials in Britain fear

g.

sky-rocketed

8.

can cause skin

h.

out 100-watt light bulbs

9.

European intervention in British

i.

last

10.

Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have

j.

history will disappear

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The European Union began a ____________ to more energy-efficient light bulbs on September the 1st. New rules see Europe ____________ out 100-watt light bulbs. Euro officials are encouraging citizens in the 27 EU countries to use long-____________ fluorescent or halogen bulbs instead. The EU hopes its ____________ will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy bills. Consumers can still buy the old energy-____________ bulbs, but only while stocks last. Companies can no longer make them in Europe and shops cannot ____________ or sell them. The new bulbs can provide energy ____________ of up to 75 per cent compared to the traditional ones. This will save the ____________ Euro household around 50 Euros ($70) a year.

 

 

 

policy
life
average
import
switch
savings
phasing
hungry

A little ____________ of history will disappear with the 100-watt bulb. Europeans have used them since their ____________ by Thomas Edison over a century ago. Not everyone is happy with this change. Health officials in Britain ____________ for people with light-sensitive illnesses. Campaigner David Price said the government was ignoring public ____________. He said the energy-saving bulbs give many people bad headaches and can cause skin problems and ____________. A leading British newspaper ____________ the campaigners. The ‘Daily Mail’ gave away 25,000 of the traditional bulbs. It said this was in "outrage at ____________ European intervention in British affairs". Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have sky-rocketed ____________ Britain.

 

 

vomiting
invention
concerns
further
piece
fear
across
backed

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The European Union __________________ more energy-efficient light bulbs on September the 1st. New rules see Europe __________________-watt light bulbs. Euro officials are encouraging citizens in the 27 EU countries to use long-life fluorescent or halogen bulbs instead. The EU hopes its policy will lower greenhouse gas emissions and __________________. Consumers can still buy the old energy-hungry bulbs, but ____________________. Companies can no longer make them in Europe and shops cannot __________________. The new bulbs can provide energy savings of up to 75 per cent compared to the traditional ones. This will save the average Euro __________________ Euros ($70) a year.

A little __________________ disappear with the 100-watt bulb. Europeans have used them since their invention by Thomas Edison __________________. Not everyone is happy with this change. Health officials in Britain fear for people __________________ illnesses. Campaigner David Price said the government was ____________________. He said the energy-saving bulbs give many people bad headaches _____________________ problems and vomiting. A leading British newspaper backed the campaigners. The ‘Daily Mail’ gave away 25,000 of the traditional bulbs. It said this was ____________________ European intervention in British affairs". Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have sky-rocketed across Britain.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

light

bulb

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • switch
  • rules
  • 27
  • stocks
  • import
  • average
  • disappear
  • century
  • fear
  • public
  • backed
  • sky

STUDENT LIGHT BULBS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about light bulbs 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.

LIGHT BULBS 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 ‘greenhouse gas’?

c)

How conscious are you at saving energy?

d)

Do you think the EU switch to greener light bulbs will help the Earth?

e)

What other things should countries do to cut down on energy?

f)

Is your government good at getting people to save energy?

g)

If electricity was more expensive, would you turn off more lights?

h)

What would encourage you more to save electricity, a $70-a-year saving or the thought that you are helping the Earth?

i)

What was the last thing you did that was environmentally friendly?

j)

What was the last thing you did that was environmentally unfriendly?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think people will be sad that the 100-watt bulb will disappear?

c)

How do you rate the following in terms of being green: the USA, the EU, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China?

d)

Should people be allowed to buy the 100-watt bulbs if the energy-efficient ones make them ill?

e)

What do you think of the British newspaper getting angry about the EU decision to phase out energy-hungry light bulbs?

f)

What could you do this evening to reduce your electricity consumption and make your house more environmentally friendly?

g)

What are you going to do this evening to reduce your electricity consumption and make your house more environmentally friendly?

h)

What will the Earth be like 50 years from now?

i)

Can we save our planet?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the ‘Daily Mail’ owner?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The European Union began a (1) ____ to more energy-efficient light bulbs on September the 1st. New (2) ____ see Europe phasing out 100-watt light bulbs. Euro officials are encouraging citizens in the 27 EU countries to use long-life fluorescent or halogen bulbs (3) ____. The EU hopes its policy will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy bills. Consumers can still buy the old energy-(4) ____ bulbs, but only while stocks last. Companies can no longer make them in Europe and shops cannot import or sell them. The new bulbs can provide energy savings (5) ____ up to 75 per cent compared to the traditional ones. This will save the (6) ____ Euro household around 50 Euros ($70) a year.

A little (7) ____ of history will disappear with the 100-watt bulb. Europeans have used them since their invention by Thomas Edison over a century ago. Not everyone is happy with this change. Health officials in Britain (8) ____ for people with light-sensitive illnesses. Campaigner David Price said the government was (9) ____ public concerns. He said the energy-saving bulbs give many people bad headaches and can cause skin problems and vomiting. A leading British newspaper (10) ____ the campaigners. The ‘Daily Mail’ gave away 25,000 of the traditional bulbs. It said this was in "(11) ____ at further European intervention in British affairs". Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have (12) ____ -rocketed across Britain.

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

1.

(a)

dial

(b)

lever

(c)

button

(d)

switch

2.

(a)

rules

(b)

ruling

(c)

ruled

(d)

ruler

3.

(a)

except

(b)

replace

(c)

instead

(d)

because

4.

(a)

hungered

(b)

hungry

(c)

hunger

(d)

hungers

5.

(a)

for

(b)

of

(c)

by

(d)

at

6.

(a)

norm

(b)

second-rate

(c)

average

(d)

mode

7.

(a)

piece

(b)

peace

(c)

peas

(d)

pieced

8.

(a)

concern

(b)

phobia

(c)

afraid

(d)

fear

9.

(a)

ignore

(b)

ignored

(c)

ignores

(d)

ignoring

10.

(a)

backing

(b)

backed

(c)

backers

(d)

back-up

11.

(a)

outrage

(b)

outage

(c)

outside

(d)

outer

12.

(a)

moon

(b)

cloud

(c)

sky

(d)

planet

WRITING

Write about light bulbs 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 light bulbs. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SAVE ENERGY: Make a poster about how people can do small things in their homes to save energy. Try to find out how much energy they can save doing these things. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. EARTH 2050: Write a magazine article about what the Earth will be like in 2050. Include imaginary interviews with a scientist who is worried about our future and someone who isn’t.

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 leader of your country. Ask him/her three questions about your country’s carbon footprint. Give him/her three suggestions on what he/she should do to reduce it. 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.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

switch

a.

change

2

phasing out

b.

ending

3.

lower

c.

reduce

4.

stocks

d.

supplies

5.

provide

e.

give

6.

piece

f.

bit

7.

fear

g.

worry

8.

sensitive to

h.

affected by

9.

backed

i.

supported

10.

affairs

j.

matters

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a switch to more energy-

a.

efficient light bulbs

2

New rules see Europe phasing

b.

out 100-watt light bulbs

3.

lower greenhouse gas

c.

emissions

4.

while stocks

d.

last

5.

provide energy savings of

e.

up to 75 per cent

6.

A little piece of

f.

history will disappear

7.

Health officials in Britain fear

g.

for people

8.

can cause skin

h.

problems

9.

European intervention in British

i.

affairs

10.

Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have

j.

sky-rocketed

GAP FILL:

EU switching to greener light bulbs

The European Union began a switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs on September the 1st. New rules see Europe phasing out 100-watt light bulbs. Euro officials are encouraging citizens in the 27 EU countries to use long-life fluorescent or halogen bulbs instead. The EU hopes its policy will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy bills. Consumers can still buy the old energy-hungry bulbs, but only while stocks last. Companies can no longer make them in Europe and shops cannot import or sell them. The new bulbs can provide energy savings of up to 75 per cent compared to the traditional ones. This will save the average Euro household around 50 Euros ($70) a year.

A little piece of history will disappear with the 100-watt bulb. Europeans have used them since their invention by Thomas Edison over a century ago. Not everyone is happy with this change. Health officials in Britain fear for people with light-sensitive illnesses. Campaigner David Price said the government was ignoring public concerns. He said the energy-saving bulbs give many people bad headaches and can cause skin problems and vomiting. A leading British newspaper backed the campaigners. The ‘Daily Mail’ gave away 25,000 of the traditional bulbs. It said this was in "outrage at further European intervention in British affairs". Sales of the 100-watt bulbs have sky-rocketed across Britain.

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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