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September 16, 2009

PRINT:  13-Page Class Handout
LISTEN: MP3 (2:00 - 948KB)
PLAY:    Online Quiz

Taking A Shower May Be Bad For You

Scientists have found that taking a shower might not be so good for you. New research from the University of Colorado has found there can be a build-up of harmful bacteria in showerheads. Researchers said the very first jets of water from the shower are the most dangerous. The shower acts like an aerosol, spraying the bacteria into the air. This means having a daily shower may not be as hygienic as we think. Scientists tested 50 different showers across nine US cities. They discovered that a third of these had very high levels of bacteria that can cause lung damage. Researcher Laura Baumgartner advised: “For most people, the answer is simple. Don’t stand in front of the shower when the first blast comes out."


The research is part of a wider project that is looking at our daily environment. In particular, the research team is looking at the microbiology of water and air in schools, homes and public buildings. Research into the bathroom environment provided interesting results. Ms. Baumgartner said showers were more dangerous than baths because they act like aerosol sprays. Showerheads are much harder to clean than baths because they are enclosed. Furthermore, it is easier for us to inhale the bacteria into our lungs because of the steam in the shower. Baumgartner did say we should not be too concerned about her discovery: "I take showers every day, and I’m not at all worried," she said.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. SHOWERS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about showers. 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.

 

taking a shower / bacteria / showerheads / aerosol / hygienic / lung damage / answer / our daily environment / microbiology / public buildings / baths / being worried

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

3. DAILY ENVIRONMENT: Is your environment safe? Complete this table. Talk about what you wrote to your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard.

 

Possible dangers

What I’ll do from now to avoid these dangers

My bathroom

 

 

My pillow

 

 

My toilet

 

 

My kitchen

 

 

My computer

 

 

4. MORE DANGERS: Students A strongly believe the environment we live in is getting more dangerous; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SAFER: Which of these things is safer. Talk about them with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you talked about.

  • shower or bath
  • car or train
  • office or home
  • doing homework / not doing it
  • taking medicine / no medicine
  • being 100% honest / lying sometimes
  • online shopping / going to the mall
  • having a pet cat / having a pet bird

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

Scientists say our heads can be full of harmful bacteria in the shower.

T / F

b.

It takes a few minutes for bacteria to come out of the showerhead.

T / F

c.

Around thirty per cent of showers in a test had high bacteria levels.

T / F

d.

A researcher advised us to avoid the first water from the showerhead.

T / F

e.

The research project focused wholly on showers in our homes.

T / F

f.

Research found baths to be even more dangerous than showers.

T / F

g.

Bacteria gets into our lungs from the steam in the shower.

T / F

h.

A researcher is concerned about her findings.

T / F

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

1.

found

a.

rates

2

build-up

b.

findings

3.

hygienic

c.

larger

4.

levels

d.

discovered

5.

blast

e.

gave

6.

wider

f.

accumulation

7.

daily

g.

spurts

8.

provided

h.

breathe in

9.

results

i.

germ-free

10.

inhale

j.

everyday

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

1.

taking a shower might not be

a.

inhale the bacteria

2

there can be a build-up of harmful

b.

hygienic as we think

3.

the very first jets

c.

lung damage

4.

having a daily shower may not be as

d.

of water and air

5.

high levels of bacteria that can cause

e.

to clean than baths

6.

The research is part of

f.

so good for you

7.

the microbiology

g.

too concerned

8.

Showerheads are much harder

h.

bacteria

9.

it is easier for us to

i.

of water

10.

we should not be

j.

a wider project

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Scientists have found that ____________ a shower might not be so good for you. New research from the University of Colorado has found there can be a ____________ -up of harmful bacteria in showerheads. Researchers said the very first ____________ of water from the shower are the most dangerous. The shower acts like an ____________, spraying the bacteria into the air. This means having a daily shower may not be as ____________ as we think. Scientists tested 50 different showers across nine US cities. They discovered that a ____________ of these had very high levels of bacteria that can cause lung ____________. Researcher Laura Baumgartner advised: “For most people, the answer is simple. Don’t stand in ____________ of the shower when the first blast comes out."

 

 

 

damage
build
third
aerosol
taking
hygienic
front
jets

The research is part of a ____________ project that is looking at our daily environment. In particular, the research ____________ is looking at the microbiology of water and air in schools, homes and public buildings. Research ____________ the bathroom environment provided interesting results. Ms. Baumgartner said showers were more dangerous than baths because they ____________ like aerosol sprays. Showerheads are much harder to clean than baths because they are ____________. Furthermore, it is easier for us to ____________ the bacteria into our lungs because of the ____________ in the shower. Baumgartner did say we should not be too ____________ about her discovery: "I take showers every day, and I’m not at all worried," she said.

 

 

enclosed
concerned
team
act
steam
wider
inhale
into

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have found that taking a shower _____________________ for you. New research from the University of Colorado has found there can be _____________________ harmful bacteria in showerheads. Researchers said the very first jets of water from the shower are the most dangerous. The shower acts like an aerosol, spraying the _____________________. This means having a daily shower may _____________________ we think. Scientists tested 50 different showers across nine US cities. They discovered that a third of these had _____________________ bacteria that can cause lung damage. Researcher Laura Baumgartner advised: “For most people, the answer is simple. Don’t stand in front of the shower _____________________ comes out."

The research _____________________ project that is looking at our daily environment. In particular, the research team is looking _____________________ of water and air in schools, homes and public buildings. Research into the bathroom environment _____________________. Ms. Baumgartner said showers were more dangerous than baths because _____________________ sprays. Showerheads are much harder to clean than baths because they are enclosed. Furthermore, it _____________________ inhale the bacteria into our lungs because of the steam in the shower. Baumgartner did say we should _____________________ about her discovery: "I take showers every day, and I’m not at all worried," she said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

shower

head

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • taking
  • build-up
  • jets
  • daily
  • across
  • damage
  • wider
  • air
  • results
  • clean
  • steam
  • discovery

STUDENT SHOWERS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about showers 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.

SHOWERS 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 ‘shower’?

c)

Do you prefer showers of baths?

d)

What do you think of the findings in this article?

e)

What other dangers do you think there might be in showering?

f)

Will this article make you shower differently?

g)

Taking a shower too often washes away the skin’s necessary oils? Do you think this is bad for us?

h)

What’s the best shower you’ve ever used?

i)

Do you prefer to take a shower in the morning or evening? Why?

j)

Do you think there are too many studies that tell us what is bad for us?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is your environment full of dangers?

c)

Would you like to know more about this research?

d)

What do you think the microbiology of your kitchen and bathroom is like?

e)

Will you now go home and clean the inside of your showerhead? Why?

f)

Are we becoming too worried about safety?

g)

What would life be like without baths and showers?

h)

What will showers of the future be like?

i)

Would you like to be part of this research team?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Laura Baumgartner?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists have (1) ____ that taking a shower might not be so good for you. New research from the University of Colorado has found there can be a build-(2) ____ of harmful bacteria in showerheads. Researchers said the very first (3) ____ of water from the shower are the most dangerous. The shower acts like an aerosol, spraying the bacteria into the air. This (4) ____ having a daily shower may not be as hygienic as we think. Scientists tested 50 different showers across nine US cities. They discovered that (5) ____  third of these had very high levels of bacteria that can cause lung damage. Researcher Laura Baumgartner (6) ____: “For most people, the answer is simple. Don’t stand in front of the shower when the first blast comes out."

The research is part of a wider project that is looking at our (7) ____ environment. In particular, the research team is looking at the microbiology of water and air in schools, homes and public buildings. Research (8) ____ the bathroom environment provided interesting results. Ms. Baumgartner said showers were more dangerous than baths because they act (9) ____ aerosol sprays. Showerheads are much harder to clean than baths because they are enclosed. Furthermore, it is easier for us to (10) ____ the bacteria into our lungs because (11) ____ the steam in the shower. Baumgartner did say we should not be too concerned about her discovery: "I take showers every day, and I’m not at (12) ____ worried," she said.

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

1.

(a)

findings

(b)

finding

(c)

find

(d)

found

2.

(a)

up

(b)

in

(c)

on

(d)

to

3.

(a)

jet

(b)

jets

(c)

jet set

(d)

jettison

4.

(a)

meaning

(b)

meant

(c)

means

(d)

meanie

5.

(a)

over

(b)

two

(c)

a

(d)

the

6.

(a)

advice

(b)

advised

(c)

advise

(d)

advisory

7.

(a)

day

(b)

daytime

(c)

days

(d)

daily

8.

(a)

into

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

onto

9.

(a)

likely

(b)

like

(c)

likes

(d)

liked

10.

(a)

exhale

(b)

impale

(c)

digest

(d)

inhale

11.

(a)

to

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

on

12.

(a)

all

(b)

every

(c)

most

(d)

some

WRITING

Write about showers 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 this research into showers. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SHOWERS: Make a poster about showers; the different types, the history, etc. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BAD FOR US? Write a magazine article about our world. Include imaginary interviews with one person who things it is becoming more dangerous and another person who thinks it is becoming safer.

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 Laura Baumgartner. Ask her three questions about showers. Give her three suggestions on what she should research next. 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.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

found

a.

discovered

2

build-up

b.

accumulation

3.

hygienic

c.

germ-free

4.

levels

d.

rates

5.

blast

e.

spurts

6.

wider

f.

larger

7.

daily

g.

everyday

8.

provided

h.

gave

9.

results

i.

findings

10.

inhale

j.

breathe in

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

taking a shower might not be

a.

so good for you

2

there can be a build-up of harmful

b.

bacteria

3.

the very first jets

c.

of water

4.

having a daily shower may not be as

d.

hygienic as we think

5.

high levels of bacteria that can cause

e.

lung damage

6.

The research is part of

f.

a wider project

7.

the microbiology

g.

of water and air

8.

Showerheads are much harder

h.

to clean than baths

9.

it is easier for us to

i.

inhale the bacteria

10.

we should not be

j.

too concerned

GAP FILL:

Taking a shower may be bad for you

Scientists have found that taking a shower might not be so good for you. New research from the University of Colorado has found there can be a build-up of harmful bacteria in showerheads. Researchers said the very first jets of water from the shower are the most dangerous. The shower acts like an aerosol, spraying the bacteria into the air. This means having a daily shower may not be as hygienic as we think. Scientists tested 50 different showers across nine US cities. They discovered that a third of these had very high levels of bacteria that can cause lung damage. Researcher Laura Baumgartner advised: “For most people, the answer is simple. Don’t stand in front of the shower when the first blast comes out."

The research is part of a wider project that is looking at our daily environment. In particular, the research team is looking at the microbiology of water and air in schools, homes and public buildings. Research into the bathroom environment provided interesting results. Ms. Baumgartner said showers were more dangerous than baths because they act like aerosol sprays. Showerheads are much harder to clean than baths because they are enclosed. Furthermore, it is easier for us to inhale the bacteria into our lungs because of the steam in the shower. Baumgartner did say we should not be too concerned about her discovery: "I take showers every day, and I’m not at all worried," she said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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