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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Royal Wedding Stamps - by Sean Banville

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Royal Wedding Stamps Split William and Kate (13th April, 2011)


 

The tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has raised eyebrows by issuing royal wedding stamps that split Prince William and his bride-to-be Catherine Middleton. Niue’s government has defended the design of the stamps, which were approved by Prince William’s grandmother - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Some royalists are unhappy that William and Kate are separated on the stamps by a perforated line, which means they can be torn apart. Others call the decision to put William on the $NZ5.80 stamp while his fiancée is on the cheaper $NZ2.40 denomination is sexist. Niue leader Toke Talagi said: "People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, meant the couple will separate in future. I don't know why they would interpret it that way."


Mr Talagi said the stamps had become very popular around the world and were becoming a collector’s item. He was excited about the prospect of them leading to a tourism boom for his country, which has a population of just 1,400. He told the AFP news agency: "I suspect in future a lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from." New Zealand Post designed the stamps and said on its website that they "capture the royal couple as we so often see them - graceful, composed and very much in love". Philatelist George Saunders reckoned few people would actually tear the stamps apart. “The happy couple just look too good together,” he said. The royal wedding takes place in London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April. It will be televised to a global audience of over two billion.


WARM-UPS

1. THE ROYAL WEDDING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about the royal wedding. 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.

 

 island / royal wedding / stamps / raised eyebrows / bride-to-be / torn apart / sexist / popular / collector’s item / tourism boom / royal couple / in love / global audience

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

3. MEMORABILIA: What’s good, what’s not to collect for royal weddings (or other big occasions)? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Good?

Not?

stamps

 

 

mugs

 

 

T-shirts

 

 

gold coins

 

 

posters

 

 

mouse pads

 

 

4. WEDDINGS: Students A strongly believe weddings are over-rated; Students B strongly believe they aren’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. ROYALTY: What do you think? Rank these words and share your rankings with your partner. Put the ones you most agree with at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • essential
  • interesting
  • overrated
  • waste of money
  • leeches
  • heroes
  • respected
  • autocrats

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

Prince William and his bride-to-be argued over royal wedding stamps.

T / F

b.

William didn’t like how an artist drew Kate’s eyebrows on the stamps.

T / F

c.

Kate is on a step that is cheaper to buy than the stamp William is on.

T / F

d.

Niue’s leader understands the stamps suggest the couple may split up.

T / F

e.

Many people might collect and save the stamps of the royal couple.

T / F

f.

The stamps may bring many visitors to the nation of Niue.

T / F

g.

A stamp expert believes most people will tear the stamps apart.

T / F

h.

Around two billion people will watch William and Kate get married.

T / F

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

1.

tiny

a.

article

2

raised eyebrows

b.

guess

3.

approved

c.

surprised people

4.

separated

d.

calm

5.

interpret

e.

OK’d

6.

item

f.

understand

7.

suspect

g.

minute

8.

graceful

h.

viewers

9.

composed

i.

divided

10.

audience

j.

elegant

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

1.

The tiny Pacific island

a.

a perforated line

2

raised

b.

much in love

3.

bride-

c.

item

4.

separated on the stamps by

d.

to-be

5.

I don't know why they would

e.

boom

6.

becoming a collector’s

f.

nation of Niue

7.

tourism

g.

over two billion

8.

composed and very

h.

interpret it that way

9.

tear the

i.

eyebrows

10.

a global audience of

j.

stamps apart

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The tiny Pacific island (1) ____________ of Niue has raised eyebrows by issuing royal wedding stamps that (2) ____________ Prince William and his bride-to-be Catherine Middleton. Niue’s government has defended the design of the stamps, which were (3) ____________ by Prince William’s grandmother - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Some (4) ____________ are unhappy that William and Kate are separated on the stamps by a perforated line, which means they can be torn (5) ____________. Others call the decision to put William on the $NZ5.80 stamp while his fiancée is on the (6) ____________ $NZ2.40 denomination is (7) ____________. Niue leader Toke Talagi said: "People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, meant the couple will separate in future. I don't know why they would (8) ____________ it that way."

                                                                                       

 

 

cheaper
royalists
split
interpret
sexist
nation
apart
approved

Mr Talagi said the stamps had become very (9) ____________ around the world and were becoming a collector’s (10) ____________. He was excited about the prospect of them leading to a tourism (11) ____________ for his country, which has a population of just 1,400. He told the AFP news agency: "I (12) ____________ in future a lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from." New Zealand Post designed the stamps and said on its website that they "(13) ____________ the royal couple as we so often see them - graceful, composed and very (14) ____________ in love". Philatelist George Saunders reckoned few people would actually tear the stamps apart. “The happy couple (15) ____________ look too good together,” he said. The royal wedding takes place in London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April. It will be televised to a global (16) ____________ of over two billion.

 

 

much
item
audience
boom
capture
just
popular
suspect

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has ___________________ issuing royal wedding stamps that split Prince William and his bride-to-be Catherine Middleton. Niue’s government has ___________________ of the stamps, which were approved by Prince William’s grandmother - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Some _____________________ that William and Kate are separated on the stamps by a perforated line, which _____________________ apart. Others call the decision to put William on the $NZ5.80 stamp while his fiancée is on the cheaper $NZ2.40 denomination is sexist. Niue leader Toke Talagi said: "People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, _____________________ separate in future. I don't know why they would _____________________."

Mr Talagi said the stamps had _____________________ around the world and were becoming a collector’s item. He was excited about the prospect of them leading _____________________ for his country, which has a population of just 1,400. He told the AFP news agency: "_____________________ lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from." New Zealand Post designed the stamps and said on its website that they "_____________________ couple as we so often see them - graceful, composed and very much in love". Philatelist George Saunders _____________________  would actually tear the stamps apart. “The happy couple just look too good together,” he said. The royal wedding takes place in London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April. It will be televised to _____________________ over two billion.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

happy

couple

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • tiny
  • approved
  • royalists
  • torn
  • sexist
  • interpret
  • popular
  • boom
  • lot
  • capture
  • tear
  • global

STUDENT STAMPS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about stamps 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.

ROYAL WEDDING 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 ‘wedding’?

c)

Are you following the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton?

d)

What do you know about the relationship between William and Kate?

e)

What do you think of the commemorative stamps from Niue?

f)

Do you think it’s wrong to have a perforated line that separates them?

g)

Why are so many people interested in the wedding?

h)

Do you like royal / celebrity / other weddings?

i)

Is it sexist to put Kate on the cheaper stamp?

j)

Have you ever done something that raised eyebrows?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why do people collect stamps?

c)

What do you know about Niue?

d)

What do you think of the happy couple?

e)

What advice would you give to them on their wedding day?

f)

Would you like to be a prince/princess?

g)

Many people in Britain say there should not be a national holiday for this wedding. What do you think?

h)

Do you agree with having a monarchy?

i)

Will you be watching the wedding?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Kate Middleton?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has raised (1) ____ by issuing royal wedding stamps that split Prince William and his bride-to-(2) ____ Catherine Middleton. Niue’s government has defended the design of the stamps, which were approved (3) ____ Prince William’s grandmother - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Some royalists are unhappy that William and Kate are separated on the stamps by a perforated line, which means they can be (4) ____ apart. Others call the (5) ____ to put William on the $NZ5.80 stamp while his fiancée is on the cheaper $NZ2.40 denomination is sexist. Niue leader Toke Talagi said: "People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, meant the couple will separate in future. I don't know why they would interpret (6) ____ that way."

Mr Talagi said the stamps had become very popular around the world and were becoming a collector’s (7) ____. He was excited about the prospect of them leading to a tourism (8) ____ for his country, which has a population of just 1,400. He told the AFP news agency: "I (9) ____ in future a lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from." New Zealand Post designed the stamps and said on its website that they "(10) ____ the royal couple as we so often see them - graceful, composed and very (11) ____ in love". Philatelist George Saunders reckoned few people would actually tear the stamps apart. “The happy couple just look too good together,” he said. The royal wedding takes place in London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April. It will be televised to a global (12) ____ of over two billion.

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

1.

(a)

eyelashes

(b)

eyelets

(c)

eyeballs

(d)

eyebrows

2.

(a)

have

(b)

get

(c)

be

(d)

do

3.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

on

(d)

so

4.

(a)

torn

(b)

tearing

(c)

tears

(d)

tear

5.

(a)

decide

(b)

decides

(c)

decision

(d)

deciding

6.

(a)

these

(b)

them

(c)

their

(d)

it

7.

(a)

things

(b)

item

(c)

property

(d)

hobby

8.

(a)

boom

(b)

boot

(c)

boon

(d)

boo

9.

(a)

suspicious

(b)

suspect

(c)

suspicion

(d)

suspects

10.

(a)

photo

(b)

design

(c)

capture

(d)

marry

11.

(a)

much

(b)

most

(c)

many

(d)

more

12.

(a)

crowd

(b)

viewers

(c)

spectators

(d)

audience

WRITING

Write about stamps 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 royal wedding between Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

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

4. STAMPS: Write a magazine article about the Niue stamps. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against them.

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 Prince William. Ask him three questions about his upcoming wedding. Give him three pieces of advice on how to be a good royal husband. 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.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

tiny

a.

minute

2

raised eyebrows

b.

surprised people

3.

approved

c.

OK’d

4.

separated

d.

divided

5.

interpret

e.

understand

6.

item

f.

article

7.

suspect

g.

guess

8.

graceful

h.

elegant

9.

composed

i.

calm

10.

audience

j.

viewers

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The tiny Pacific island

a.

nation of Niue

2

raised

b.

eyebrows

3.

bride-

c.

to-be

4.

separated on the stamps by

d.

a perforated line

5.

I don't know why they would

e.

interpret it that way

6.

becoming a collector’s

f.

item

7.

tourism

g.

boom

8.

composed and very

h.

much in love

9.

tear the

i.

stamps apart

10.

a global audience of

j.

over two billion

GAP FILL:

Royal wedding stamps split William and Kate

The tiny Pacific island (1) nation of Niue has raised eyebrows by issuing royal wedding stamps that (2) split Prince William and his bride-to-be Catherine Middleton. Niue’s government has defended the design of the stamps, which were (3) approved by Prince William’s grandmother - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Some (4) royalists are unhappy that William and Kate are separated on the stamps by a perforated line, which means they can be torn (5) apart. Others call the decision to put William on the $NZ5.80 stamp while his fiancée is on the (6) cheaper $NZ2.40 denomination is (7) sexist. Niue leader Toke Talagi said: "People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, meant the couple will separate in future. I don't know why they would (8) interpret it that way."

Mr Talagi said the stamps had become very (9) popular around the world and were becoming a collector’s (10) item. He was excited about the prospect of them leading to a tourism (11) boom for his country, which has a population of just 1,400. He told the AFP news agency: "I (12) suspect in future a lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from." New Zealand Post designed the stamps and said on its website that they "(13) capture the royal couple as we so often see them - graceful, composed and very (14) much in love". Philatelist George Saunders reckoned few people would actually tear the stamps apart. “The happy couple (15) just look too good together,” he said. The royal wedding takes place in London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April. It will be televised to a global (16) audience of over two billion.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

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