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My 1,000
Ideas
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Date: May 19, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:02 - 239.9 KB - 16kbps)

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THE ARTICLE

An amazing new invention by a British student will help children who are overweight. It will also reduce the number of hours of television they watch every day. The technology is nicknamed “Square-Eyes”. It is a tiny, computerized sensor that fits into children’s shoes. It measures the number of steps the child takes during the day and sends this information to the family computer. Software then tells the child how many hours of TV he or she can watch that evening. One hundred steps equal one minute of TV. If children use up all of their viewing time, they must do more walking.

The designer Gillian Swan says this “will help children to include exercise in their daily routines from an early age.” She said that ten years ago children were healthier because they played outside with their friends. She said today’s children spend too much time in front of the TV and don’t exercise. This means children have weight problems and become fat. “Square-eyes” is a nickname often given to children who watch too much television. It may now have a new meaning. The new technology is the beginning of computers becoming a part of our clothes. What we wear will soon monitor our health.

WARM-UPS

1. HEADLINES: In pairs / groups, make as many newspaper headlines as you can that include the two words “television” and “shoes”. Talk about these headlines and make stories for them. Change partners and “swap” your headlines and stories.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics are most interesting and which are most boring.

inventions / overweight children / children’s television / technology / square eyes / bedrooms / computerized clothing / health

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

3. SHOES: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with shoes. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

4. COMPUTER CLOTHES: Tiny computers and monitors will become part of the clothes we wear in the future. In pairs / groups, talk about the health or lifestyle benefits of these computerized clothes. Would you like to wear them?

  • Hat
  • Glasses
  • Underwear
  • Watch
  • Shoes
  • Gloves
  • Coat
  • Suit
  • Underpants
  • Socks

5. TV KIDS: In pairs / groups, talk about watching TV when you were a kid. What were your favorite programmes? Did you watch Sesame Street? Were you glued to the TV set all day? Are things different for children today?

6. TWO–MINUTE TV DEBATES: With different partners. have these fun 2-minute debates. Your teacher will time you and tell you to change partners.

  1. TV should be for Mondays only. vs. No way.
  2. Children should exercise for 6 hours a day. vs. That’s too long.
  3. Children should not be allowed to have a TV in their bedrooms. vs. Bad idea.
  4. TV is educational. vs. TV damages young minds.
  5. Kids should only be allowed to watch TV if they exercise. vs. Not with today’s kids.
  6. Children should be able to carry mobile TVs. vs. Mobile TVs means no exercise.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):
 

a.

New shoes have been invented that have TV screens.

T / F

b.

The new shoes may reduce how much TV kids watch.

T / F

c.

Walking 10,000 steps means children can watch an hour of TV.

T / F

d.

Children must walk more if they want to watch more TV.

T / F

e.

The technology will mean healthier lifestyles for children.

T / F

f.

“Square –eyes” is a nickname for televisions.

T / F

g.

The new technology will change what we wear.

T / F

h.

What we wear will soon monitor our health.

T / F

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

a.

amazing

calculates

b.

overweight

watching

c.

measures

have

d.

during

inventor

e.

viewing

unbelievable

f.

designer

gadget

g.

device

introduce

h.

include

obese

i.

take on

check

j.

monitor

throughout

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

An amazing new

of hours

b.

reduce the number

in front of the TV

c.

The technology is nicknamed

soon monitor our health

d.

It measures

equals one minute of TV

e.

One hundred steps

the number of steps

f.

daily

a new meaning

g.

played

invention

h.

children spend too much time

outside with their friends

i.

take on

routines

j.

What we wear will

“Square-Eyes”

WHILE READING / LISTENING

SYNONYM FILL: There are six gaps in the article. There are six groups of synonyms below the article. Place the number of the synonym group in the correct gap (It is not important to guess a correct word - any of the synonyms from each group could be put into the relevant gap).

An amazing new ______ by a British student will help children who are overweight. It will also reduce the number of hours of television they watch every day. The technology is nicknamed “Square-Eyes”. It is a tiny, computerized sensor that fits into children’s shoes. It measures the number of steps the child takes during the day and ______ this information to the family computer. Software then tells the child how many hours of ______ he or she can watch that evening. One hundred steps equal one minute of TV. If children use up all of their viewing time, they must do more walking.

The designer, Gillian Swan, says the device “will help children to
______ exercise in their daily routines from an early age.” She said that ten years ago children were healthier because they played outside with their friends. She said today’s children spend too much time in front of the TV and don’t exercise. This means children have weight problems and become ______ . “Square-eyes” is a nickname often given to children who watch too much television. It may now take on a new meaning. The new technology is the beginning of computers becoming a part of our clothes. What we wear will soon ______ our health.

1
include
introduce
add
involve

2
monitor
check
watch
track

3
invention
device
gadget
gizmo
 

4
fat
obese
overweight
tubby

5
TV
the tube
the box
the telly

6
sends
transmits
transfers
forwards


 
 

AFTER READING

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

  • 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. SYNONYM FILL: In pairs / groups, compare and talk about your answers to this exercise. After you agree, check your answers against the text. Research some of the words that are new to you.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT KIDS TV SURVEY: In pairs / groups write down questions about children and television.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make a mini-presentation to another group / the class on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • amazing
  • reduce
  • fits
  • sends
  • software
  • more walking
  • designer
  • daily routines
  • in front of the TV
  • nickname
  • beginning
  • monitor

LANGUAGE

SYNONYM FIND:

1. In pairs / groups, find two synonyms for each word in italics that fit in the spaces. When you have finished, compare and swap synonyms with other students.

An amazing new [invention _________ / _________ ] by a British student will help children who are overweight. It will also reduce the number of hours of television they watch every day. The technology is nicknamed “Square-Eyes”. It is a [tiny _________ / _________ ], computerized sensor that fits into children’s shoes. It measures the number of steps the child takes during the day and sends this information to the family computer. Software then [tells _________ / _________ ]  the child how many hours of TV he or she can watch that evening. One hundred steps equal one minute of TV. If children [use up _________ / _________ ] all of their viewing time, they must do more walking.

The [designer _________ / _________ ]  Gillian Swan says this “will help children to include exercise in their daily routines from an early age.” She said that ten years ago children were healthier because they played outside with their friends. She said today’s children spend too much time in front of the TV and don’t [exercise _________ / _________ ]. This means children have weight problems and become fat. “Square-eyes” is a [nickname  _________ / _________ ] often given to children who watch too much television. It may now have a new meaning. The new technology is the beginning of computers becoming [a part of _________ / _________ ]  our clothes. What we wear will soon monitor our health.

2. Talk about whether any of your synonyms would be better than the words used in the text.

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What was your image when you read the headline of this article?
  2. Do you like reading about technology?
  3. What do you think of the new invention?
  4. Do you think this device will be popular?
  5. How would you feel if you had to walk for four hours every day to watch your favorite TV drama or news programme?
  6. Do you think kids will find a way to beat the walking counter?
  7. How much TV did you watch when you were a child?
  8. Did you spend a long time in your room when you were younger?
  9. What was your favorite children’s programme?
  10. Are you going to buy the Square-eyes shoes?

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

  1. Did you like reading the article?
  2. Do you need these new shoes?
  3. What other computerized clothes would be useful?
  4. What do you think kids will think about this new invention?
  5. Is your daily routine healthy?
  6. What do you think of the name “square eyes” for kids who watch too much TV and for the new invention?
  7. Do you think kids who watch a lot of TV become strange adults?
  8. Is obesity in children a problem in your country?
  9. Will this new invention work?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

SMART CLOTHES: You are workers in a clothes company that must design a new item of “smart” clothing. In pairs / groups decide on the following:

The item of clothing

 

A nice hi-tech name

 

The slogan for TV ads

 

What does it do?

 

What does it replace?

 

What are the advantages?

 

How will it make our lives better?

 

What kind of design (materials, sizes, colors etc)?

 

How much will it cost?

 

After you have finished, present your ideas to other students and give each other feedback. Suggest changes that might improve each idea.

Only one idea from the class can go into production. In different pairs / groups argue that your idea should end up on the market.

Repeat the above activity. This time you cannot choose your own product.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Television shoes

An amazing new invention by a British student will help children ___ ___ _________. It will also reduce the number of hours of television they watch every day. The technology is nicknamed “Square-Eyes”. It is a tiny, computerized sensor
____ ____ ____ children’s shoes. It measures the number of steps the child takes during the day ___ _____ ____ information to the family computer. Software then tells the child how many hours of TV he or she can watch that evening. One hundred steps equal one minute of TV. If children ___ __ ___ __ ____ viewing time, they must do more walking.

The designer Gillian Swan ____ ____ ____ ____ children to include exercise in their daily routines from an early age.” She said that ten years ago children were healthier because ____ ______ ________ with their friends. She said today’s children spend too much time
__ _____ __ ___ __ and don’t exercise. This means children have weight problems and become fat. “Square-eyes” is a nickname often given to children who watch too much television. It may now have a new meaning. The new technology is the beginning of computers becoming a part of our clothes. ______ ___ _____ will soon monitor our health.

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 information on the Square-eyes invention. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. SMART-CLOTHES: Write an imaginary article for a fashion magazine. Explain in the article what the future of fashion will look like and how the function of our clothes will change.

4. A CHILD: Imagine you are a child. Write a letter to the children’s newspaper to tell people what you think of this new invention

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

amazing

unbelievable

b.

overweight

obese

c.

measures

calculates

d.

during

throughout

e.

viewing

watching

f.

designer

inventor

g.

device

gadget

h.

include

introduce

i.

take on

have

j.

monitor

check

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

An amazing new

invention

b.

reduce the number

of hours

c.

The technology is nicknamed

“Square-Eyes”

d.

It measures

the number of steps

e.

One hundred steps

equal one minute of TV

f.

daily

routines

g.

played

outside with their friends

h.

children spend too much time

in front of the TV

i.

take on

a new meaning

j.

What we wear will

soon monitor our health

SYNONYM FILL:

An amazing new ----3---- by a British student will help children who are overweight. It will also reduce the number of hours of television they watch every day. The technology is nicknamed “Square-Eyes”. It is a tiny, computerized sensor that fits into children’s shoes. It measures the number of steps the child takes during the day and ----6---- this information to the family computer. Software then tells the child how many hours of ----5---- he or she can watch that evening. One hundred steps equal one minute of TV. If children use up their viewing time, they must do more walking.

The designer, Gillian Swan, says the device “will help children to
----1---- exercise in their daily routines from an early age.” She said that ten years ago children were healthier because they played outside with their friends. She said today’s children spend too much time in front of the TV and don’t exercise. This means children have weight problems and become ----4----. “Square-eyes” is a nickname often given to children who watch too much television. It may now take on a new meaning. The new technology is the beginning of computers becoming a part of our clothes. What we wear will soon ----2---- our health.

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