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Monday December 27, 2005

Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

The world’s biggest earthquake in 40 years hit southern Asia yesterday causing wide scale death and destruction across swathes of Southern and South-East Asia. The quake, which measured 8.9 on the Richter Scale, occurred off of the Northeast coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, and unleashed killer tidal waves that swamped towns and communities across the region. It washed away whole communities and has so far cost 11,000 lives. The enormity of the tsunami means the death toll will rise. The tsunami, reported to be ten metres high, have devastated large parts of the Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. All of these places were packed with Christmas holidaymakers, many of whom it is feared have lost their lives. In Tamil Nadu, India, five thousand fishermen are missing. In Thailand hundreds of holidaymakers were swept out of their hotel rooms. The governments of Sri Lanka and the Maldives have declared national states of emergency. The waves traveled at hundreds of kilometers per hour and left the people of the affected areas with very little time to move to safer ground.

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about earthquakes / tsunami / natural disasters  /  South-East Asia  / how to help / …
To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to energize the class.

2. MY COUNTRY: Students talk to each other about the natural disasters that occur in their countries and how they deal with them.

3. MANMADE DISASTERS: Brainstorm a list of manmade disasters for students to talk about in pairs (greenhouse gasses, deforestation, Chernobyl, Bhopal, oil tanker spills, species extinction ….)

4. NATURAL DISASTERS: Brainstorm a list of natural disasters for students to talk about in pairs (earthquake, tidal wave, hurricane, typhoon, floods, forest fires, landslides, avalanches, volcanoes, drought …)

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘wave’, and ‘quake’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Students look at the headline and predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:
(a)  The world’s biggest earthquake in 40 years hit Asia yesterday.  T / F
(b)  The magnitude of the earthquake was a powerful 7.2 on the Richter Scale.  T / F
(c)  The earthquake unleashed killer tidal waves.  T / F
(d)  The death toll of 11,000 is not set to rise.  T / F
(e)  The tsunami was reported to be fifty metres high.  T / F
(f)  Hundreds of Christmas holidaymakers lost their lives. T / F
(g)  Governments have declared national states of emergency.  T / F
(h)  The waves traveled at 65 kilometers per hour.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Students match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

earthquake

set off

(b)

hit

crisis

(c)

occurred

trembler

(d)

unleashed

jammed / crammed

(e)

swamped

tourists

(f)

packed

strike

(g)

holidaymakers

happened

(h)

emergency

damaged

(i)

affected

flooded

4. PHRASE MATCH: Students match the following phrases based on the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

… biggest earthquake

8.9 on the Richter Scale

(b)

death

of emergency

(c)

measured

toll

(d)

washed

in 40 years

(e)

death

their lives

(f)

packed

ground

(g)

lost

very little time

(h)

national state

and destruction

(i)

left with

away whole communities

(j)

safer

with holidaymakers

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

Killer tsunamis strike Asia

The world’s biggest earthquake in 40 years hit southern Asia yesterday _________ wide scale death and destruction across swathes of Southern and South-East Asia. The quake, which _________ 8.9 on the Richter Scale, occurred off of the North-east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, and _________ killer tidal waves which swamped towns and communities across the _________. It washed away whole communities and has so far cost 11,000 lives. The enormity of the tsunami means the death _________ will rise. The tsunami, reported to be ten metres high, have devastated large parts of the Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. All of these places were _________ with Christmas holidaymakers, many of whom it is feared have lost their lives. In Tamil Nadu, India, five thousand fishermen are missing. In Thailand hundreds of holidaymakers were _________ out of their hotel rooms. The governments of Sri Lanka and the Maldives have declared national states of _________. The waves traveled at hundreds of kilometers per hour and left the people of the _________ areas with very little time to move to safer ground.
 

 

unleashed
packed
affected
causing
region
measured
toll
swept
emergency

2. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS:  Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ‘WAVE’/ ‘QUAKE’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:  Students ask each other the following questions:
(a)  Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
(b)  Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
(c)  What is the best thing to do in the event of a natural disaster?
(d)  What can we do now to help the people affected by the tsunamis?
(e)  What do you know of the tsunamis so far?
(f)  Have you been to any of the affected areas?
(g)  What would you say is the scariest natural disaster?
(h)  What is the scariest manmade disaster?
(i)  Do governments do enough to help people affected by disasters?
(j)  Other teacher’s questions???

7. AID NOW:  In pairs / groups, students create plans to help people affected by the tsunamis. The plans must be implementable (and implemented!) in the next 24 hours. Students present their plans (including asking for real help) to the class. A vote is taken on the best plan of action.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or the Google search field to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on tsunamis. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. YOUR PLAN OF ACTION: Create a poster detailing your plan of aid action to help the people of South Asia and South-East Asia.

4. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: Imagine you experienced the tsunami. Write a short report for a newspaper explaining your experiences.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:
(a)  The world’s biggest earthquake in 40 years hit Asia yesterday.  T
(b)  The magnitude of the earthquake was a powerful 7.2 on the Richter Scale.  F
(c)  The earthquake unleashed killer tidal waves.  T
(d)  The death toll of 11,000 is not set to rise.  F
(e)  The tsunami was reported to be fifty metres high.  F
(f)  Hundreds of Christmas holidaymakers lost their lives. T
(g)  Governments have declared national states of emergency.  T
(h)  The waves traveled at 65 kilometers per hour.  F

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

earthquake

trembler

(b)

hit

strike

(c)

occurred

happened

(d)

unleashed

set off

(e)

swamped

flooded

(f)

packed

jammed / crammed

(g)

holidaymakers

tourists

(h)

emergency

crisis

(i)

affected

damaged

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

… biggest earthquake

in 40 years

(b)

death

toll

(c)

measured

8.9 on the Richter Scale

(d)

washed

away whole communities

(e)

death

and destruction

(f)

packed

with holidaymakers

(g)

lost

their lives

(h)

national state

of emergency

(i)

left with

very little time

(j)

safer

ground

 

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