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My 1,000
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Date: Jul 14, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:38 - 193 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Kenya has introduced a new system to make shopping more eco-friendly. The Environment Ministry has launched a campaign to encourage the use of biodegradable shopping bags across Kenya. The East African Standard reported that the Environment and Natural Resources minister launched the new bags, which are designed to reduce litter and prevent pollution. A spokesperson said: “This will make our landscape less of an eyesore.”

It was difficult to introduce the new bags in Kenya. Manufacturers complained that changing from the traditional plastic bags would cost 20,000 jobs. Environmentalists argued that reducing litter and pollution was far more important. The new biodegradable bags will also help reduce Kenya’s high rates of malaria. The new “green” bags decompose and thus prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A nationwide ban on plastic bags is next on the agenda in Kenya.

WARM-UPS

1. PLASTIC BAGS: In pairs / groups, talk about plastic bags from supermarkets and stores. Do you ever think about the damage these bags cause the environment? Do you take your own bag? Is there a policy in your country to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags?

2. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Students A are the bosses of companies that manufacture plastic shopping bags. You don’t care about the environment. You only care about profits. Students B are environmentalists. You think plastic bags are a huge environmental threat. In pairs, role play a discussion between manufacturers and environmentalists.

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

Kenya / supermarkets / shopping bags / eco-friendly / natural resources / eyesores / litter / pollution / malaria / mosquitoes / plastic

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

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

5. PLASTIC OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, discuss how far you agree with these opinions on plastic:

  1. Plastic should be banned worldwide.
  2. Countries should educate people about how to correctly dispose of plastic.
  3. Plastic shopping bags are very, very useful.
  4. Supermarkets shouldn’t provide any bags. Lazy customers should bring their own.
  5. Litter bugs should be fined a lot of money for throwing bags onto the street.
  6. The biggest problem is that there aren’t enough public rubbish bins / trash cans.
  7. Environmentalists worry too much.
  8. If people had to pay 10 cents for a plastic bag, the litter problem would disappear.
  9. I hate it when the handle of the bag breaks or there’s a hole at the bottom.
  10. Plastic bags are a huge threat to the ozone layer.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

The Kenyan government has banned plastic shopping bags.

T / F

b.

Kenya’s government is encouraging the use of “green” shopping bags.

T / F

c.

Kenya’s shopping bag policy is aimed at reducing pollution.

T / F

d.

Plastic bags cause irritation to the eyes that can lead to blindness.

T / F

e.

Shopping bag manufacturers were happy with the new campaign.

T / F

f.

Environmentalists were very worried about job losses.

T / F

g.

Plastic shopping bags encourage malaria to spread.

T / F

h.

A nationwide ban on plastic toys is next in Kenya.

T / F

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

a.

launched

stop

b.

encourage

list

c.

reduce

much

d.

prevent

promote

e.

eyesore

problematic

f.

difficult

rot

g.

complained

started

h.

far

mess

i.

decompose

moaned

j.

agenda

lessen

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

a.

introduced a

prevent pollution

b.

launched

more important

c.

encourage the use

to introduce the new bags

d.

designed to reduce litter and

a campaign

e.

make our landscape

20,000 jobs

f.

It was difficult

the agenda

g.

cost

new system

h.

far

grounds for mosquitoes

i.

prevent breeding

of biodegradable shopping bags

j.

next on

less of an eyesore

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Kenya disposes of disposable bags

Kenya has ________ a new system to make shopping ________ eco-friendly. The Environment Ministry has launched a ________ to encourage the ________ of biodegradable shopping bags across Kenya. The East African Standard ________ that the Environment and Natural Resources minister launched the new bags, which are ________ to reduce litter and prevent ________. A spokesperson said: “This will make our landscape less of an ________.”

 

 

designed
eyesore
more
 use
pollution
introduced
campaign
reported

It was ________ to introduce the new bags in Kenya. Manufacturers ________ that changing from the traditional plastic bags would ________ 20,000 jobs. Environmentalists argued that ________ litter and pollution was ________ more important. The new biodegradable bags will also help reduce Kenya’s high ________ of malaria. The new “________” bags decompose and thus prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A nationwide ban on plastic bags is next on the ________ in Kenya.

 

 

cost
complained
green
reducing
agenda
rates
difficult
far


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 PLASTIC BAG SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about plastic bags and the environment.

  • 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:

  • new system
  • encourage
  • across
  • reported
  • designed
  • eyesore
  • introduce
  • jobs
  • far
  • malaria
  • grounds
  • agenda

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 article?
  3. What is your opinion on plastic shopping bags?
  4. Have you ever thrown a plastic bag on the street?
  5. Would you say anything to someone you saw throw litter on the street?
  6. Are you a litter bug?
  7. What do you do to recycle?
  8. What would you think if supermarkets charged a fee for shopping bags?
  9. What is the best way to deal with the problem of plastic?
  10. Which is more important, jobs or the environment?

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 of the new system in Kenya?
  4. Does your country need to clean up its environment?
  5. Are there any parts of your town that are an eyesore?
  6. Do you think you should take your own shopping bag when you go to the supermarket?
  7. In what other ways do you use your plastic bags?
  8. Do you agree with a nationwide ban on plastic shopping bags?
  9. What other environmental issues should be on the agenda?
  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

GOODBYE PLASTIC

In pairs / groups, find alternatives to the use of plastic in the products below. What are the alternatives? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives?

 

PRODUCT

 

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

Shopping bags
 

 

 

 

Food wrapping
 

 

 

 

Pens
 

 

 

 

Children’s toys
 

 

 

 

Bottles
 

 

 

 

Your choice

___________
 

 

 

 

After you have finished, change partners and discuss your alternatives and their advantages or disadvantages compared with plastic. Decide whether or not an alternative material should replace the plastic.

Return to your original partner(s) and compare the decisions you made.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Kenya disposes of disposable bags

Kenya has __________ a new system to make shopping more eco-friendly. The Environment Ministry has _________ a campaign to __________ the use of biodegradable shopping bags across Kenya. The East African Standard ________ that the Environment and Natural Resources minister launched the new bags, which are _________ to reduce litter and prevent pollution. A spokesperson said: “This will make our landscape ____ of an ________.”

It was difficult to __________ the new bags in Kenya. Manufacturers __________ that changing from the __________ plastic bags would cost 20,000 jobs. Environmentalists argued that __________ litter and pollution was far more important. The new biodegradable bags will also help reduce Kenya’s ____ _____ of malaria. The new “green” bags ___________ and thus prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A nationwide ____ on plastic bags is next on the _______ in Kenya.

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 plastic. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. RECYCLE: Make a poster that shows the best way to recycle the things you throw away every day. Show and explain your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you put similar things on your posters?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of Kenya’s Environment Ministry to tell him / her what you think of the decision to promote biodegradable shopping bags. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

launched

started

b.

encourage

promote

c.

reduce

lessen

d.

prevent

stop

e.

eyesore

mess

f.

difficult

problematic

g.

complained

moaned

h.

far

much

i.

decompose rot

j.

agenda list

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

introduced a

new system

b.

launched

a campaign

c.

encourage the use

of biodegradable shopping bags

d.

designed to reduce litter and

prevent pollution

e.

make our landscape

less of an eyesore

f.

It was difficult

to introduce the new bags

g.

cost

20,000 jobs

h.

far

more important

i.

prevent breeding

grounds for mosquitoes

j.

next on

the agenda

GAP FILL:

Kenya disposes of disposable bags

Kenya has introduced a new system to make shopping more eco-friendly. The Environment Ministry has launched a campaign to encourage the use of biodegradable shopping bags across Kenya. The East African Standard reported that the Environment and Natural Resources minister launched the new bags, which are designed to reduce litter and prevent pollution. A spokesperson said: “This will make our landscape less of an eyesore.”

It was difficult to introduce the new bags in Kenya. Manufacturers complained that changing from the traditional plastic bags would cost 20,000 jobs. Environmentalists argued that reducing litter and pollution was far more important. The new biodegradable bags will also help reduce Kenya’s high rates of malaria. The new “green” bags decompose and thus prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A nationwide ban on plastic bags is next on the agenda in Kenya.

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