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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Shakespeare's Face - by Sean Banville

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Chinese Writer to Have Shakespeare’s Face (22nd April, 2011)


 

A well-known Chinese writer is planning to go under the knife to become a William Shakespeare look-alike. The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that best-selling author Zhang Yiyi will undergo ten operations in the next ten months. After the surgeries he will be the spitting image of Britain’s most famous writer. Mr Zhang said he wants to “let the people across the world mourn” one of the world's greatest ever playwrights and literary figures. The cost of the plastic surgery will be around $150,000 – the same as the royalties he earned for his last book. Zhang justified the surgery and cost, saying: "Life is a process of striving to become a better person. I think the surgeries are worth the money."


Zhang Yiyi’s upcoming surgeries have become a talking point in China. He is already a controversial figure after he compared himself to China’s great philosopher Confucius. Many Chinese believe he is simply an attention seeker while others believe he has the right to spend his money the way he wants. He is set to become the most famous cosmetic surgery patient since Michael Jackson. Zheng Churong, the head of the team of surgeons who will perform the operations, told reporters that the surgeries would not be so difficult. He said Zhang’s face is the right shape, with a “sharp nose” and “deep eyes”. The big question on everyone’s lips is whether Zhang’s new look will prompt him to write as well as Shakespeare.


WARM-UPS

1. SHAKESPEARE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Shakespeare. 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.

 

well-known writers / look-alikes / / mourn / plastic surgery / royalties / striving / controversial / Confucius / attention seekers / the right-shaped face / Shakespeare

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

3. LOOK-ALIKE: Who would you like to look like or be like? Choose the looks and/or talents of five people. Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

My 5 people

What you want

Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. COSMETIC SURGERY: Students A strongly believe cosmetic surgery is ridiculous; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. COPYCAT: Which of these would you most like to be? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • sports star
  • writer
  • top gamer
  • actor
  • scientist
  • politician
  • model
  • entrepreneur

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

A Chinese write is going to have a face transplant.

T / F

b.

The writer will have an operation a month for ten months.

T / F

c.

The writer hopes his new face will allow people to mourn Shakespeare.

T / F

d.

He said life is a process in which you try to make your face better.

T / F

e.

The writer is no stranger to controversy in China.

T / F

f.

Chinese people are divided in their opinion on the writer’s plan.

T / F

g.

A surgeon said the writer’s face is a good shape to copy Shakespeare’s.

T / F

h.

The Chinese believe he will write like Shakespeare after the surgeries.

T / F

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

1.

well-known

a.

making an effort

2

go under the knife

b.

stimulate

3.

mourn

c.

hot

4.

figures

d.

grieve for

5.

striving

e.

carry out

6.

controversial

f.

famous

7.

philosopher

g.

personalities

8.

perform

h.

have surgery

9.

surgeries

i.

thinker

10.

prompt

j.

operations

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

1.

become a

a.

ten operations

2

undergo

b.

write as well as Shakespeare

3.

the spitting

c.

to become a better person

4.

playwrights

d.

image of

5.

striving

e.

point

6.

a talking

f.

seeker

7.

He is already

g.

on everyone’s lips

8.

an attention

h.

William Shakespeare look-alike

9.

The big question

i.

a controversial figure

10.

prompt him to

j.

and literary figures

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A well-known Chinese writer is planning to go (1) ____________ the knife to become a William Shakespeare look-(2) ____________. The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that best-selling author Zhang Yiyi will (3) ____________ ten operations in the next ten months. After the surgeries he will be the (4) ____________ image of Britain’s most famous writer. Mr Zhang said he wants to “let the people across the world mourn” one of the world's greatest ever playwrights and (5) ____________ figures. The cost of the plastic surgery will be around $150,000 – the same as the royalties he (6) ____________ for his last book. Zhang justified the surgery and cost, saying: "Life is a (7) ____________ of striving to become a better person. I think the surgeries are (8) ____________ the money."

 

 

 

earned
literary
alike
undergo
worth
under
process
spitting

Zhang Yiyi’s (9) ____________ surgeries have become a talking point in China. He is already a controversial figure after he (10) ____________ himself to China’s great philosopher Confucius. Many Chinese believe he is simply an attention (11) ____________ while others believe he has the (12) ____________ to spend his money the way he wants. He is set to become the most famous cosmetic surgery (13) ____________ since Michael Jackson. Zheng Churong, the head of the team of surgeons who will (14) ____________ the operations, told reporters that the surgeries would not be so difficult. He said Zhang’s face is the right shape, with a “sharp nose” and “deep eyes”. The big question on everyone’s (15) ____________ is whether Zhang’s new look will (16) ____________ him to write as well as Shakespeare.

 

 

seeker
perform
upcoming
prompt
compared
lips
right
patient

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A well-known Chinese writer is ____________________ the knife to become a William Shakespeare look-alike. The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that best-selling author Zhang Yiyi ____________________ operations in the next ten months. After the surgeries he will ____________________ of Britain’s most famous writer. Mr Zhang said he wants to “let the people across the world mourn” one of the world’s greatest ever playwrights ____________________. The cost of the plastic surgery will be around $150,000 – the same as the ____________________ for his last book. Zhang justified the surgery and cost, saying: "Life is a ____________________ become a better person. I think the surgeries are worth the money."

Zhang Yiyi’s upcoming surgeries have become a talking point in China. He is already ____________________ after he compared himself to China’s great philosopher Confucius. Many Chinese believe he is ____________________ seeker while others believe ____________________ spend his money the way he wants. He is set to become the most famous cosmetic surgery patient since Michael Jackson. Zheng Churong, the head of the team of surgeons ____________________ operations, told reporters that the surgeries would not be so difficult. He said Zhang’s face is the right shape, with a “sharp nose” and “deep eyes”. The big question ____________________ whether Zhang’s new look ____________________ write as well as Shakespeare.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

cosmetic

surgery

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • knife
  • undergo
  • image
  • figures
  • earned
  • worth
  • point
  • simply
  • right
  • famous
  • shape
  • prompt

STUDENT SHAKESPEARE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Shakespeare 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.

COSMETIC SURGERY 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 name ‘Shakespeare’?

c)

What do you think of cosmetic surgery?

d)

What do you think of Zhang Yiyi’s idea?

e)

Who would you like to look like (and why)?

f)

Which of your facial features are you unhappiest about?

g)

Are we becoming obsessed with our looks?

h)

What are the dangers of cosmetic surgery?

i)

What three adjectives would you use to describe Zhang (and why)?

j)

How are you striving to become a better person?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think cosmetic surgery makes people happier?

c)

Who do you compare yourself to?

d)

To what degree are you an attention seeker?

e)

What do you think of Michael Jackson’s cosmetic surgery?

f)

Would you be more successful in life if you had cosmetic surgery (beautiful people tend to do better)?

g)

What’s the difference between plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery?

h)

What advoce would you give to Zhang?

i)

Could Zhang’s new look prompt him to write better?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Zhang Yiyi?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A well-known Chinese writer is planning to (1) ____ under the knife to become a William Shakespeare look-alike. The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that best-selling author Zhang Yiyi will (2) ____ ten operations in the next ten months. After the surgeries he will be the (3) ____ image of Britain’s most famous writer. Mr Zhang said he wants to “(4) ____ the people across the world mourn” one of the world’s greatest ever playwrights and literary figures. The cost of the plastic surgery will be around $150,000 – the same as the royalties he (5) ____ for his last book. Zhang justified the surgery and cost, saying: "Life is a process of striving (6) ____ become a better person. I think the surgeries are worth the money."

Zhang Yiyi’s upcoming surgeries have become a (7) ____ point in China. He is already a controversial figure after he compared himself to China’s great philosopher Confucius. Many Chinese believe he is (8) ____ an attention seeker while others believe he has the right to spend his money the way he wants. He is (9) ____ to become the most famous cosmetic surgery patient since Michael Jackson. Zheng Churong, the head of the (10) ____ of surgeons who will perform the operations, told reporters that the surgeries would not be so difficult. He said Zhang’s face is the right shape, with a “sharp nose” and “(11) ____ eyes”. The big question on everyone’s lips is whether Zhang’s new look will (12) ____ him to write as well as Shakespeare.

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

1.

(a)

arrive

(b)

come

(c)

leave

(d)

go

2.

(a)

undergo

(b)

undercut

(c)

undermine

(d)

underworld

3.

(a)

chewing

(b)

salivating

(c)

spitting

(d)

munching

4.

(a)

allow

(b)

let

(c)

consider

(d)

permit

5.

(a)

remunerated

(b)

earned

(c)

paid

(d)

taxed

6.

(a)

by

(b)

for

(c)

to

(d)

and

7.

(a)

talking

(b)

shouting

(c)

whispering

(d)

discussing

8.

(a)

simple

(b)

simpler

(c)

simpleton

(d)

simply

9.

(a)

get

(b)

let

(c)

bet

(d)

set

10.

(a)

players

(b)

team

(c)

squad

(d)

coaches

11.

(a)

deep

(b)

deepening

(c)

deepen

(d)

depend

12.

(a)

prom

(b)

promise

(c)

prompt

(d)

promiscuous

WRITING

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

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

4. COSMETIC SURGERY: Write a magazine article about Zhang Yiyi. Include imaginary interviews with him and with someone who is against his upcoming operations to look like Shakespeare.

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 Zhang Yiyi. Ask him three questions about Shakespeare. Give him three of your opinions on his plan. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

well-known

a.

famous

2

go under the knife

b.

have surgery

3.

mourn

c.

grieve for

4.

figures

d.

personalities

5.

striving

e.

making an effort

6.

controversial

f.

hot

7.

philosopher

g.

thinker

8.

perform

h.

carry out

9.

surgeries

i.

operations

10.

prompt

j.

stimulate

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

become a

a.

William Shakespeare look-alike

2

undergo

b.

ten operations

3.

the spitting

c.

image of

4.

playwrights

d.

and literary figures

5.

striving

e.

to become a better person

6.

a talking

f.

point

7.

He is already

g.

a controversial figure

8.

an attention

h.

seeker

9.

The big question

i.

on everyone’s lips

10.

prompt him to

j.

write as well as Shakespeare

GAP FILL:

Chinese writer to have Shakespeare’s face

A well-known Chinese writer is planning to go (1) under the knife to become a William Shakespeare look-(2) alike. The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that best-selling author Zhang Yiyi will (3) undergo ten operations in the next ten months. After the surgeries he will be the (4) spitting image of Britain’s most famous writer. Mr Zhang said he wants to “let the people across the world mourn” one of the world's greatest ever playwrights and (5) literary figures. The cost of the plastic surgery will be around $150,000 – the same as the royalties he (6) earned for his last book. Zhang justified the surgery and cost, saying: "Life is a (7) process of striving to become a better person. I think the surgeries are (8) worth the money."

Zhang Yiyi’s (9) upcoming surgeries have become a talking point in China. He is already a controversial figure after he (10) compared himself to China’s great philosopher Confucius. Many Chinese believe he is simply an attention (11) seeker while others believe he has the (12) right to spend his money the way he wants. He is set to become the most famous cosmetic surgery (13) patient since Michael Jackson. Zheng Churong, the head of the team of surgeons who will (14) perform the operations, told reporters that the surgeries would not be so difficult. He said Zhang’s face is the right shape, with a “sharp nose” and “deep eyes”. The big question on everyone’s (15) lips is whether Zhang’s new look will (16) prompt him to write as well as Shakespeare.

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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