My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |  HELP MY SITE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book
 
 

Date: Jul 2, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:51 - 219 KB - 16kbps)

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

 

THE ARTICLE

Police in Australia are investigating threats that Mars and Snickers chocolate bars have been poisoned. An anonymous group has warned the manufacturer that seven chocolate bars are currently on supermarket or convenience store shelves. The threat is being taken seriously by food stores, which have acted quickly in removing all of the products from their shelves. Masterfoods, the food company that makes the chocolate bars in Australia, has confirmed that tests done on a Snickers bar contained an unknown chemical.

Masterfoods doesn’t know why its products are being targeted. It has received three threatening letters since May. None of the letters contains any demands for money. The company said its biggest concern was for public health. It advised anyone who had recently purchased a Mars or Snickers bar to destroy it. Police think the whole thing might be a hoax. They suspect someone with a grudge is behind the threats. Meanwhile, Australian chocoholics are waiting for the green light to continue eating the chocolate.

WARM-UPS

1. ADVANTAGES: In pairs / groups, make a list of all of the advantages and disadvantages of eating chocolate. Change partners and compare your lists. When you have finished, talk about whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Would the disadvantages stop you eating chocolate? Would you cut down on chocolate?

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

Police / Australia / chocolate bars / convenience stores / threatening letters / public health / hoaxes / grudges / chocoholics

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

3. CHOCOLATE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “chocolate”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. PUBLIC HEALTH: How worried would you be if the police announced your favorite chocolate bars had been poisoned? What do you think of the following comments?

  1. I wouldn’t buy the chocolates until the police said it was OK.
  2. I’d continue to buy the chocolates. It is very unlikely I would buy one of the poisoned bars.
  3. I love chocolate too much. I’d die for chocolate. I would still buy it.
  4. I’d be a little cautious. I’d buy the chocolate bar but give some to my pet dog first to see if it’s safe.
  5. I’d be very worried. It could be terrorist activity from Al-Qaeda.
  6. I’d never buy another bar of chocolate again. It’s getting too dangerous.
  7. It’s a great excuse to go on a quick diet.
  8. It all sounds like a big practical joke to me. I’d still buy the chocolate bars.

5. YUM: In pairs / groups, talk about which of these chocolaty things would make you lick your lips or make your mouth water.

  • Mars or Snickers bar
  • Chicken in spicy chocolate sauce (Mexico)
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Chocolate cake
  • Chocolate and mustard bar (Japan)
  • Chocolate milk shake
  • Chocolate fondue
  • Hot chocolate drink
  • Chocolate coated banana
  • Other

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Mars and Snickers chocolate bars in Australia are poisonous.

T / F

b.

Al-Qaeda has announced it poisoned chocolate bars in Australia.

T / F

c.

Supermarkets have emptied their shelves of Mars and Snickers.

T / F

d.

The manufacturer said an unknown substance was found in a bar.

T / F

e.

The manufacturer has received hundreds of threatening e-mails.

T / F

f.

The group behind the threats wants $10,000,000.

T / F

g.

The police think the whole thing might be a hoax.

T / F

h.

Australian chocoholics are waiting for a green light.

T / F

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

a.

investigating

presently

b.

poisoned

trick

c.

currently

requests

d.

confirmed

hatred

e.

chemical

looking into

f.

demands

go-ahead

g.

concern

explained

h.

hoax

worry

i.

grudge

contaminated

j.

green light

substance

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

a.

Police in Australia are

seriously

b.

chocolate bars have been

continue eating the chocolate

c.

convenience store

chemical

d.

The threat is being taken

for money

e.

contained an unknown

poisoned

f.

its products

a grudge

g.

demands

might be a hoax

h.

the whole thing

investigating threats

i.

someone with

are being targeted

j.

waiting for the green light to

shelves

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

Chocolate bars poisoned in Australia

Police in Australia are investigating _______ that Mars and Snickers chocolate bars have been _______. An anonymous group has _______ the manufacturer that seven chocolate bars are currently on supermarket or convenience store _______. The threat is being taken _______ by food stores, which have acted quickly in removing all of the _______ from their shelves. Masterfoods, the food company that makes the chocolate bars in Australia, has _______ that tests done on a Snickers bar contained an _______ chemical.

 

 

products
shelves
poisoned
seriously
threats
unknown
confirmed
warned

Masterfoods doesn’t know why its products are being _______. It has received three _______ letters since May. None of the letters contains any _______ for money. The company said its biggest _______ was for public health. It advised anyone who had recently _______ a Mars or Snickers bar to destroy it. Police think the whole thing might be a _______. They suspect someone with a _______ is behind the threats. Meanwhile, Australian chocoholics are waiting for the green _______ to continue eating the chocolate.

 

 

purchased
light
concern
targeted
hoax
demands
grudge
threatening


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 gap fill. 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. STUDENT CHOCOLATE SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about chocolate.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups 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:

  • investigating
  • anonymous
  • convenience
  • seriously
  • shelves
  • unknown
  • targeted
  • threatening
  • concern
  • destroy
  • grudge
  • light

 DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you first saw this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the story?
  3. Did the article make you worry about food safety?
  4. Do you ever think about whether the food you buy is safe to eat?
  5. Have you ever suffered from food poisoning?
  6. Do you think the Australian food stores are doing the right thing?
  7. Are there stories of food contamination in your country?
  8. Do you think terror groups could contaminate food as a new way of frightening people?
  9. Why do you think someone is poisoning food?
  10. Would you buy a Mars or Snickers bar in Australia right now?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What do you think about chocolate?
  4. Are you a chocoholic?
  5. What are your favorite foods that contain chocolate?
  6. Do you think this chocolate poisoning story is very serious?
  7. Do you think this could hurt Australia’s chocolate industry?
  8. Have you ever been the target of a hoax?
  9. Have you ever had a grudge against a company?
  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

ROLE PLAY: This role play is to discuss whether or not to give the green light for the sale of Mars and Snickers bars in Australia. Team up with classmates who have the same role as you. Develop your ideas and “strategies” before the role play begins.

Introduce yourself to the other role players before the role play begins.

Student A

You are head of the food company. Profits are most important. No one has been ill. Your testing laboratories told you the unknown substance found in the chocolate bars came from the wrapping of the chocolate bar. The substance is harmless. You are convinced the chocolate bars are safe to eat.
 

Student B

You love playing practical jokes – the bigger the better. Pretend that you used to belong to Al-Qaeda but you were thrown out of the organization. You have “secret” information that Al-Qaeda wants to poison people via chocolate bars. The wrapping from the chocolate bar poisons the chocolate.
 

Student C

You are a doctor who once treated student B for mental problems. He/She often believed he/she had a different personality. One of the effects of his/her condition was that he/she loved practical jokes. The last time you heard from your patient was a postcard you received from Afghanistan.
 

Student D

You are the head of Australia’s security services. You cannot take any risks with public safety. You understand that Al-Qaeda can operate in many different ways. You have to make 100 per cent sure that the chocolate bars are not a risk to your country. You must prepare a statement for the public. You will decide whether or not to allow the sale of the chocolate bars.
 

Change roles and repeat the role play. Comment in groups about the differences between the two role plays.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Chocolate bars poisoned in Australia

Police in Australia are _____________ _______ that Mars and Snickers chocolate bars have ____ ________. An anonymous group has ______ ___ ____________ that seven chocolate bars are currently on supermarket or convenience store shelves. The threat is _____ _____ seriously by food stores, which have acted quickly in removing all of the products ____ _____ _______. Masterfoods, the food company that makes the chocolate bars in Australia, has confirmed that tests done on a Snickers bar _________ __ ________ chemical.

Masterfoods doesn’t know why its products are _____ ________. It has received _____ __________ letters since May. None of the letters contains any _______ ___ ______. The company said its biggest concern was for public health. It advised anyone who had ________ _________ a Mars or Snickers bar to ________ __. Police think the whole thing might ___ __ _____. They suspect someone with a grudge is ______ ___ _______. Meanwhile, Australian chocoholics are waiting for the _____ ______ to continue eating the chocolate.

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 more information on the Australian chocolate poisoning. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. CHOCOLATE: Create a fact sheet about the benefits and dangers of chocolate to your health. Show your fact sheets to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to Australia’s head of police in New South Wales. Give him/her advice on what he/she should do about the chocolate poisoning. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all give similar advice?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. T

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

investigating

looking into

b.

poisoned

contaminated

c.

currently

presently

d.

confirmed

explained

e.

chemical

substance

f.

demands

requests

g.

concern

worry

h.

hoax

trick

i.

grudge

hatred

j.

green light go-ahead

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

Police in Australia are

investigating threats

b.

chocolate bars have been

poisoned

c.

convenience store

shelves

d.

The threat is being taken

seriously

e.

contained an unknown

chemical

f.

its products

are being targeted

g.

demands

for money

h.

the whole thing

might be a hoax

i.

someone with

a grudge

j.

waiting for the green light to

continue eating the chocolate

GAP FILL:

Chocolate bars poisoned in Australia

Police in Australia are investigating threats that Mars and Snickers chocolate bars have been poisoned. An anonymous group has warned the manufacturer that seven chocolate bars are currently on supermarket or convenience store shelves. The threat is being taken seriously by food stores, which have acted quickly in removing all of the products from their shelves. Masterfoods, the food company that makes the chocolate bars in Australia, has confirmed that tests done on a Snickers bar contained an unknown chemical.

Masterfoods doesn’t know why its products are being targeted. It has received three threatening letters since May. None of the letters contains any demands for money. The company said its biggest concern was for public health. It advised anyone who had recently purchased a Mars or Snickers bar to destroy it. Police think the whole thing might be a hoax. They suspect someone with a grudge is behind the threats. Meanwhile, Australian chocoholics are waiting for the green light to continue eating the chocolate.

TOP



 
 


 
 

Copyright © 2004-2005 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy

 
 
SHARE THIS LESSON: E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

000's more free lessons.