The
1,000 IDEAS
Breaking News
e-Book

Breaking News English
ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on the Euro - by Sean Banville

000s
MORE
LESSONS

from Sean's other sites

PRINT

13-Page PDF
Handout -
with
all-skills activities

 

LISTEN

MP3 (2:22 - 1,138KB)

   PLAY

   GAMES

E-mail this lesson
to
a student or
a colleague

 



 

U.K. Says Goodbye to 500-Euro Notes (14th May, 2010)


 

The British government has decided to take the 500-euro Euro banknote out of circulation. Not many ordinary British people or visitors to Britain will notice this change, unless they are criminals. The bill is worth about $630, so it is very attractive to criminal gangs. They use it to launder money or to transport large sums of money. This will have a big impact on organized crime in Britain. It used to be easy for them to take huge sums of cash into Britain. A million dollars in €500 notes weighs just 2.2kg. That’s very easy to carry on board a plane. The same amount in £50 notes weighs 22kg, which is the weight limit for a suitcase in economy class. A spokesman said “the €500 note is a comfortable choice” for criminals, but now the ban means their “comfort zone” has gone.


Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said 90 per cent of the €500 notes in the U.K. was being used for criminal purposes. A spokesman said there was no “legitimate use for the €500 note in the UK” and that “easy access to them in the UK is a key enabler of criminal activity”. He added the notes allowed criminals “to move large volumes of cash effectively". The €500 note is currently the second largest value banknote in the world. The most valuable bill is the 1,000 Swiss Franc note, which is worth around US$900. None of these bills can compare to the note former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced in the 1930s. His $100,000 bills were for certificates for people who owned gold. In today’s money, one of these notes would be worth $1.6 million.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. BANKNOTES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about banknotes. 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.

 

governments / visitors / criminal gangs / large sums of money / comfort zones / organized crime / easy access / cash / banknotes / the euro / dollars / gold

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

3. MONEY: What do you think about it? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard. Change and share again.

 

Good things

Bad things

coins

 

 

banknotes

 

 

credit cards

 

 

e-money

 

 

cheques

 

 

debit cards

 

 

4. CASH: Students A strongly believe cash is better than credit cards; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. MILLION DOLLARS: What would you do with it? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Talk about your rankings with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

  • buy a house
  • give it to charity
  • invest it
  • share it with family
  • start your own business
  • retire
  • start your own foundation
  • keep it under the bed

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

Britain has decided to pull out of the euro.

T / F

b.

Many British people will not like the changes to the euro.

T / F

c.

One million dollars in €500 notes weighs just over 22kg.

T / F

d.

The €500 note is a comfortable choice for criminals to move money.

T / F

e.

Only 10% of €500 notes in Britain are used for non-criminal purposes.

T / F

f.

A spokesman said the €500 note aided crime in Britain.

T / F

g.

The highest value banknote in the world is from Switzerland.

T / F

h.

An American banknote in the 1930s was worth $100,000.

T / F

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

1.

ordinary

a.

effect

2

notice

b.

reasons

3.

impact

c.

precious

4.

sums

d.

option

5.

choice

e.

observe

6.

purposes

f.

vital

7.

legitimate

g.

common

8.

key

h.

possess

9.

valuable

i.

amounts

10.

own

j.

valid

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

1.

take the 500-euro Euro banknote out

a.

money

2

visitors to Britain will notice

b.

banknote in the world

3.

They use it to launder

c.

into Britain

4.

take huge sums of cash

d.

purposes

5.

the weight limit for a suitcase in

e.

who owned gold

6.

being used for criminal

f.

of circulation

7.

move large

g.

worth $1.6 million

8.

the second largest value

h.

economy class

9.

certificates for people

i.

this change

10.

one of these notes would be

j.

volumes of cash

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The British government has ____________ to take the 500-euro Euro banknote out of circulation. Not many ____________ British people or visitors to Britain will notice this change, ____________ they are criminals. The bill is worth about $630 dollars, so it is very attractive to criminal gangs. They use it to ____________ money or to transport large sums of money. This will have a big impact on organized crime in Britain. It used to be easy for them to take huge ____________ of cash into Britain. A million dollars in €500 notes weighs just 2.2kg. That’s very easy to carry on ____________ a plane. The same amount in £50 notes weighs 22kg, which is the weight limit for a suitcase in ____________ class. A spokesman said “the €500 note is a comfortable choice” for criminals, but now the ban means their “comfort ____________” has gone.

 

 

 

sums
unless
economy
launder
zone
decided
board
ordinary

Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said 90 per cent of the €500 ____________ in the U.K. was being used for criminal purposes. A spokesman said there was no “____________ use for the €500 note in the UK” and that “easy ____________ to them in the UK is a key enabler of criminal activity”. He added the notes allowed criminals “to move large ____________ of cash effectively". The €500 note is currently the second largest value banknote in the world. The most ____________ bill is the 1,000 Swiss Franc note, which is ____________ around US$900. None of these bills can compare to the note ____________ U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced in the 1930s. His $100,000 bills were for certificates for people who owned gold. In today’s ____________, one of these notes would be worth $1.6 million.

 

 

volumes
money
legitimate
former
access
worth
notes
valuable

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The British government has decided to take the 500-euro Euro banknote ____________________. Not many ordinary British people or visitors to Britain ____________________, unless they are criminals. The bill is worth about $630 dollars, so it is very attractive to criminal gangs. They use it to ____________________ transport large sums of money. This will have a big impact on organized crime in Britain. It used to be easy for them to take ____________________ Britain. A million dollars in €500 notes weighs just 2.2kg. That’s very easy to carry on board a plane. The same amount in £50 ____________________, which is the weight limit for a suitcase in economy class. A spokesman said “the €500 note is a comfortable choice” for criminals, but now the ban means their ____________________.

Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said 90 per cent of the €500 notes in the U.K. was being ____________________. A spokesman said there was ____________________ the €500 note in the UK” and that “____________________ the UK is a key enabler of criminal activity”. He added the notes allowed criminals “to move large volumes of cash effectively". The €500 note is currently the ____________________ banknote in the world. The most valuable bill is the 1,000 Swiss Franc note, which is worth around US$900. None of these bills ____________________ note former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced in the 1930s. His $100,000 bills were for certificates for people who owned gold. In today’s money, one of these notes ____________________ $1.6 million.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

bank

note

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • decided
  • ordinary
  • sums
  • board
  • limit
  • zone
  • purposes
  • access
  • key
  • move
  • compare
  • gold

STUDENT BANKNOTES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about banknotes 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.

BANKNOTES 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 ‘cash’?

c)

Do you prefer cash or credit cards?

d)

What do you think of €500 notes, or other notes with a very high value?

e)

When do you think banknotes and coins will disappear?

f)

What do you think of the term “launder money”?

g)

What’s the largest sum of cash you’ve ever had on you?

h)

What will criminals in England do now the €500 note has gone?

i)

What do you think of the banknotes in your country?

j)

Do ever worry about the weight of the banknotes you carry around?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What is the use of such high value banknotes?

c)

What do criminals do with the €500 notes?

d)

What would you do with a suitcase full of cash?

e)

Will governments ever be able to stop criminals laundering money?

f)

What is the best alternative for banknotes?

g)

What do you think of the idea of a cashless society?

h)

What do you think of the idea of a single world currency?

i)

What name would you give to a single world currency?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

From  http://www.BreakingNewsEnglish.com/1005/100514-euros.html

The British government has (1) ____ to take the 500-euro Euro banknote out of circulation. Not many ordinary British people or visitors to Britain will notice this change, (2) ____ they are criminals. The bill is worth about $630 dollars, so it is very attractive to criminal gangs. They use it to launder money or to transport large (3) ____ of money. This will have a big impact on organized crime in Britain. It used to be easy for them to take huge sums of cash into Britain. A million dollars in €500 notes (4) ____ just 2.2kg. That’s very easy to carry on (5) ____ a plane. The same amount in £50 notes weighs 22kg, which is the weight limit for a suitcase in economy class. A spokesman said “the €500 note is a comfortable choice” for criminals, but now the (6) ____ means their “comfort zone” has gone.

Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said 90 per cent of the €500 notes in the U.K. was being used for (7) ____ purposes. A spokesman said there was no “legitimate use for the €500 note in the UK” and that “easy (8) ____ to them in the UK is a key enabler of criminal activity”. He added the notes allowed criminals “to move large volumes of cash effectively". The €500 note is (9) ____ the second largest value banknote in the world. The most (10) ____ bill is the 1,000 Swiss Franc note, which is worth around US$900. None of these bills can   (11) ____ to the note former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced in the 1930s. His $100,000 bills were for certificates for people who owned gold. In today’s (12) ____, one of these notes would be worth $1.6 million.

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

1.

(a)

deciding

(b)

decision

(c)

decides

(d)

decided

2.

(a)

unless

(b)

useless

(c)

less

(d)

any less

3.

(a)

some

(b)

sum

(c)

sums

(d)

same

4.

(a)

weight

(b)

weighs

(c)

weigh

(d)

weighing

5.

(a)

boarded

(b)

board

(c)

boarding

(d)

bored

6.

(a)

bans

(b)

banned

(c)

ban

(d)

banner

7.

(a)

criminal

(b)

crimes

(c)

criminalize

(d)

criminality

8.

(a)

excess

(b)

in excess

(c)

accesses

(d)

access

9.

(a)

currency

(b)

currants

(c)

current

(d)

currently

10.

(a)

valued

(b)

valuable

(c)

values

(d)

valuation

11.

(a)

compare

(b)

comparison

(c)

comparative

(d)

compares

12.

(a)

monetary

(b)

moneyed

(c)

money

(d)

monies

WRITING

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

3. BANKNOTES: Make a poster about banknotes. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CASH: Write a magazine article about a cashless society. Include imaginary interviews with a criminal and an average person.

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 police officer who fights money laundering. Ask him/her three questions about his/her. Give him/her three suggestions on how to stop the criminals. 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.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

ordinary

a.

common

2

notice

b.

observe

3.

impact

c.

effect

4.

sums

d.

amounts

5.

choice

e.

option

6.

purposes

f.

reasons

7.

legitimate

g.

valid

8.

key

h.

vital

9.

valuable

i.

precious

10.

own

j.

possess

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

take the 500-euro Euro banknote out

a.

of circulation

2

visitors to Britain will notice

b.

this change

3.

They use it to launder

c.

money

4.

take huge sums of cash

d.

into Britain

5.

the weight limit for a suitcase in

e.

economy class

6.

being used for criminal

f.

purposes

7.

move large

g.

volumes of cash

8.

the second largest value

h.

banknote in the world

9.

certificates for people

i.

who owned gold

10.

one of these notes would be

j.

worth $1.6 million

GAP FILL:

U.K. says goodbye to 500-Euro notes

The British government has decided to take the 500-euro Euro banknote out of circulation. Not many ordinary British people or visitors to Britain will notice this change, unless they are criminals. The bill is worth about $630 dollars, so it is very attractive to criminal gangs. They use it to launder money or to transport large sums of money. This will have a big impact on organized crime in Britain. It used to be easy for them to take huge sums of cash into Britain. A million dollars in €500 notes weighs just 2.2kg. That’s very easy to carry on board a plane. The same amount in £50 notes weighs 22kg, which is the weight limit for a suitcase in economy class. A spokesman said “the €500 note is a comfortable choice” for criminals, but now the ban means their “comfort zone” has gone.

Britain's Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said 90 per cent of the €500 notes in the U.K. was being used for criminal purposes. A spokesman said there was no “legitimate use for the €500 note in the UK” and that “easy access to them in the UK is a key enabler of criminal activity”. He added the notes allowed criminals “to move large volumes of cash effectively". The €500 note is currently the second largest value banknote in the world. The most valuable bill is the 1,000 Swiss Franc note, which is worth around US$900. None of these bills can compare to the note former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced in the 1930s. His $100,000 bills were for certificates for people who owned gold. In today’s money, one of these notes would be worth $1.6 million.

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

 

Help Support This Web Site

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You

Copyright © 2004-2010 by Sean Banville | Current Events | Links | About | Privacy Policy