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October 13, 2009

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Children Can “Imagine” Pain Away

Scientists have found a new use for children’s imaginations. To make the pain from stomachaches go away. The BBC reports on a new study that shows: “Children can be taught to use their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain.” This may be very good news for parents who need a quick remedy for their sick children. Any mother or father understands stomach problems are one of the most frequent things their children complain about. Around twenty per cent of children suffer from stomachaches that doctors cannot find a reason for. This new research is especially good for kids with active imaginations. Researchers found that the more creative the child is, the better he or she is at imagining the pain away.


The researchers, from America’s University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, used a relaxation CD with children. The kids listened to a voice that guided them through different fantasy situations. One of these was pretending to be floating on a cloud. Thirty children took part in the tests. Half of them used the “guided imagery” techniques, the other half received normal medicines. Researchers found 73.3 per cent of the CD users reported a reduction in pain. This compared to only 26.7 per cent of kids who got normal treatment. Study leader Dr Miranda van Tilburg was very excited about her findings. She believes it could be a very cheap and easy way to stop children’s stomach pains. She said it would not work as well with adults.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. STOMACH PAIN: Walk around the class and talk to other students about stomach pain. 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.

 

scientists / imaginations / good news / parents / sick kids / complaining / doctors / researchers / relaxation / fantasies / pretending / medicines / pain / being excited

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

3. IMAGINATION: How can you use yours? Complete this table. Share with your partner what you wrote. Change partners and share again.

Use it…

How I do this now

How I could do this more

to stop pain

 

 

to lie

 

 

on the computer

 

 

to create something

 

 

to daydream

 

 

to have fun

 

 

4. PAIN: Students A strongly believe we can use our imagination to make pain disappear; Students B strongly believe that’s impossible.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FANTASY: Take part in “guided imageries” with your partner(s). Talk about these fantasies. Change partners and share what you heard. Change and share again.

  • floating on a cloud
  • being in a land of chocolate
  • speaking English fluently
  • having all the money in the world
  • being 10 metres tall
  • being the only person on Earth
  • the ability to do all kinds of magic
  • your idea _______________________

6. STOMACH: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘stomach’. 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 discovered kids can imagine a world without pain.

T / F

b.

Parents know that very few children complain about stomachaches.

T / F

c.

Around one in five kids get stomachaches for unknown reasons.

T / F

d.

More imaginative children are better at “imagining” pain away.

T / F

e.

Children in a test listened to a CD about stomach problems.

T / F

f.

Nearly three quarters of kids who listened to the CD felt less pain.

T / F

g.

The lead researcher is worried her treatment might be too expensive.

T / F

h.

The researcher said her treatment works better on kids than adults.

T / F

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

1.

use

a.

cure

2

study

b.

conclusions

3.

tackle

c.

report

4.

remedy

d.

led

5.

active

e.

methods

6.

guided

f.

application

7.

techniques

g.

low-cost

8.

reduction

h.

stop

9.

findings

i.

lively

10.

cheap

j.

lessening

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

1.

Scientists have found a new use

a.

imagery” techniques

2

tackle frequent bouts

b.

children complain about

3.

parents who need a quick

c.

floating on a cloud

4.

one of the most frequent things their

d.

of stomach pain

5.

especially good for kids

e.

different fantasy situations

6.

a voice that guided them through

f.

a reduction in pain

7.

pretending to be

g.

for children’s imaginations

8.

Half of them used the “guided

h.

well with adults

9.

73.3% of the CD users reported

i.

remedy for their sick children

10.

She said it would not work as

j.

with active imaginations

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Scientists have found a new ____________ for children’s imaginations. To make the pain from stomachaches go away. The BBC reports on a new study that shows: “Children can be taught to use their imagination to ____________ frequent bouts of stomach pain.” This may be very good news for parents who need a quick ____________ for their sick children. Any mother or father understands stomach problems are one of the most ____________ things their children complain about. Around twenty per cent of children ____________ from stomachaches that doctors cannot find a ____________ for. This new research is especially good for kids with ____________ imaginations. Researchers found that the ____________ creative the child is, the better he or she is at imagining the pain away.

 

 

 

more
frequent
tackle
reason
remedy
use
active
suffer

The researchers, from America’s University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, ____________ a relaxation CD with children. The kids listened to a ____________ that guided them through different fantasy situations. One of these was pretending to be ____________ on a cloud. Thirty children took part in the tests. Half of them used the “guided imagery” ____________, the other half received ____________ medicines. Researchers found 73.3 per cent of the CD users reported a ____________ in pain. This compared to only 26.7 per cent of kids who got normal treatment. Study leader Dr Miranda van Tilburg was very ____________ about her findings. She believes it could be a very cheap and easy way to stop children’s stomach pains. She said it would not work as well with ____________.

 

 

excited
voice
normal
floating
adults
used
reduction
techniques

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have ______________________ children’s imaginations. To make the pain from stomachaches go away. The BBC reports on a new study that shows: “Children ______________________ their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain.” This may be very good news for parents who ______________________ for their sick children. Any mother or father understands stomach problems ______________________ frequent things their children complain about. Around twenty per cent of children suffer from stomachaches that doctors ______________________. This new research is especially good for kids with active imaginations. Researchers found that the more creative the child is, ______________________ at imagining the pain away.

The researchers, from America’s University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, ______________________ with children. The kids listened ______________________ them through different fantasy situations. One of these was pretending to be floating on a cloud. Thirty children ______________________ tests. Half of them used the “guided imagery” techniques, the other half received normal medicines. Researchers found 73.3 per cent of ______________________ a reduction in pain. This compared to only 26.7 per cent of kids who got normal treatment. Study leader Dr Miranda van Tilburg was ______________________ findings. She believes it could be a very cheap and easy way to stop children’s stomach pains. She said it would ______________________ adults.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

stomach

ache

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • use
  • reports
  • tackle
  • quick
  • suffer
  • creative
  • CD
  • situations
  • part
  • 73.3
  • treatment
  • adults

STUDENT STOMACH PAIN SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about stomach pain 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.

STOMACH PAIN 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 ‘imagination’?

c)

What do you think of this article?

d)

Do you think it’s impossible to imagine pain away?

e)

Have you ever tried to imagine a pain away?

f)

What do you usually do when you have a pain?

g)

How often do you suffer from stomachaches? What do you do for them?

h)

What other things do children frequently complain about?

i)

Why do some kids have more active imaginations than others?

j)

How can children make pain disappear through their imagination?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Have you ever used a relaxation CD?

c)

Do you think the CD would work to make your pains go away?

d)

How often do you imagine yourself in fantasy situations? What kind of situations?

e)

What things would you imagine if you were floating on a cloud?

f)

Do you think the CDs will become bestsellers?

g)

How powerful do you think our imagination is to heal our own body?

h)

Why would the CDs work better with kids than adults?

i)

How creative are you?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr Miranda van Tilburg?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists have found a new (1) ____ for children’s imaginations. To make the pain from stomachaches go away. The BBC reports on a new study that shows: “Children can be taught to use their imagination to (2) ____ frequent bouts of stomach pain.” This may be very good news for parents who need a quick remedy (3) ____ their sick children. Any mother or father understands stomach problems are one of the most (4) ____ things their children complain about. Around twenty per cent of children suffer from stomachaches that doctors cannot find a reason for. This new research is (5) ____ good for kids with active imaginations. Researchers found that the more (6) ____ the child is, the better he or she is at imagining the pain away.

The researchers, from America’s University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, used a relaxation CD (7) ____ children. The kids listened to a voice that guided them through different fantasy situations. One of these (8) ____ pretending to be floating on a cloud. Thirty children took part in the tests. Half of them used the “guided imagery” techniques, the (9) ____ half received normal medicines. Researchers found 73.3 per cent of the CD users reported a reduction in pain. This compared (10) ____ only 26.7 per cent of kids who got normal treatment. Study leader Dr Miranda van Tilburg was very (11) ____ about her findings. She believes it could be a very cheap and easy way to stop children’s stomach pains. She said it would not work as (12) ____ with adults.

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

1.

(a)

use

(b)

used

(c)

using

(d)

used to

2.

(a)

tackling

(b)

tackle

(c)

tackles

(d)

tackled

3.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

for

(d)

to

4.

(a)

frequently

(b)

frequented

(c)

frequency

(d)

frequent

5.

(a)

special

(b)

specialize

(c)

especial

(d)

especially

6.

(a)

creation

(b)

creatively

(c)

creative

(d)

creates

7.

(a)

with

(b)

to

(c)

at

(d)

by

8.

(a)

by

(b)

was

(c)

be

(d)

on

9.

(a)

others

(b)

another

(c)

other

(d)

the other

10.

(a)

to

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

by

11.

(a)

excitedly

(b)

excitement

(c)

excite

(d)

excited

12.

(a)

good

(b)

well

(c)

best

(d)

better

WRITING

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

3. IMAGINATION: Make a poster about our imagination. How big is it? What can it do? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. IMAGINED AWAY: Write a magazine article about the power of our imagination. Include imaginary interviews with a doctor who believes our imagination is like magic.

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 a doctor. Ask him/her three questions about stomach pain. Give him/her three things you do to make stomachaches disappear. 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.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

use

a.

application

2

study

b.

report

3.

tackle

c.

stop

4.

remedy

d.

cure

5.

active

e.

lively

6.

guided

f.

led

7.

techniques

g.

methods

8.

reduction

h.

lessening

9.

findings

i.

conclusions

10.

cheap

j.

low-cost

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Scientists have found a new use

a.

for children’s imaginations

2

tackle frequent bouts

b.

of stomach pain

3.

parents who need a quick

c.

remedy for their sick children

4.

one of the most frequent things their

d.

children complain about

5.

especially good for kids

e.

with active imaginations

6.

a voice that guided them through

f.

different fantasy situations

7.

pretending to be

g.

floating on a cloud

8.

Half of them used the “guided

h.

imagery” techniques

9.

73.3% of the CD users reported

i.

a reduction in pain

10.

She said it would not work as

j.

well with adults

GAP FILL:

Children can “imagine” pain away

Scientists have found a new use for children’s imaginations. To make the pain from stomachaches go away. The BBC reports on a new study that shows: “Children can be taught to use their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain.” This may be very good news for parents who need a quick remedy for their sick children. Any mother or father understands stomach problems are one of the most frequent things their children complain about. Around twenty per cent of children suffer from stomachaches that doctors cannot find a reason for. This new research is especially good for kids with active imaginations. Researchers found that the more creative the child is, the better he or she is at imagining the pain away.

The researchers, from America’s University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, used a relaxation CD with children. The kids listened to a voice that guided them through different fantasy situations. One of these was pretending to be floating on a cloud. Thirty children took part in the tests. Half of them used the “guided imagery” techniques, the other half received normal medicines. Researchers found 73.3 per cent of the CD users reported a reduction in pain. This compared to only 26.7 per cent of kids who got normal treatment. Study leader Dr Miranda van Tilburg was very excited about her findings. She believes it could be a very cheap and easy way to stop children’s stomach pains. She said it would not work as well with adults.

LANGUAGE WORK:

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

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