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12 Killed in Batman Shooting in U.S. (21st July, 2012)

A gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 at a Colorado cinema early Friday morning. Police apprehended the killer and identified him as James Eagan Holmes, 24, a former neuroscience PhD student. He armed himself with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol and fired at random at moviegoers attending the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises". Holmes had dyed his hair red, just like Batman's nemesis the Joker, and wore full body armour and a gas mask. Many initially thought he was part of a stunt for the movie screening. Cinemas in New York got police protection after the shooting to prevent copycat killings. The premiere in Paris was immediately cancelled.

U.S. President Barack Obama has led the mourning after the massacre, ordering flags to be lowered to half-mast. He said: "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection." The shooting has once again reignited the debate on gun control in America. All the weapons used in the killings were bought legally in a local gun store. The shooting brings back memories of the 1999 Columbine High School murders, just 25km from the cinema, in which 13 people lost their lives. Tragedies like this are becoming all too common but do little to get tighter gun controls enforced. Gun ownership is a right in the USA. There are an estimated 192 million firearms in the country.

WARM-UPS

1. GUN CONTROL: Walk around the class and talk to other students about gun control. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

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

 

gunman / identified / shotgun / moviegoers / Batman premiere / gas mask / stunt / mourning / massacre / flags at half-mast / gun control / all too common / a right

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

3. GUNS: Who should be allowed to carry them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Who?

When?

Where?

Why?

Citizens

 

 

 

Police

 

 

 

Farmers

 

 

 

Hunters

 

 

 

Politicians

 

 

 

Stars

 

 

 

4. BANNED: Students A strongly believe guns should be banned; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. WEAPONS: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the worst at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Guns
  • The Internet
  • Knives
  • Words
  • Tanks
  • Tear gas
  • Biological weapons
  • Fists

6. KILLER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'killer'. 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 massacre happened at a movie theater in the USA.

T / F

b.

The killer was an uneducated man who lived locally.

T / F

c.

The killer dressed up as The Penguin – a character from Batman.

T / F

d.

The Paris premiere of the new Batman movie was cancelled.

T / F

e.

Barack Obama requested that flags be lowered in the U.S.A.

T / F

f.

The guns used in the killing were bought illegally.

T / F

g.

This latest massacre happened near the scene of a 1999 gun massacre.

T / F

h.

There are around 92 million guns in the USA.

T / F

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

1.

wounded

a.

archrival

2.

apprehended

b.

frequent

3.

identified

c.

arrested

4.

nemesis

d.

grieving

5.

prevent

e.

implemented

6.

mourning

f.

injured

7.

reflection

g.

conjures up

8.

brings back

h.

named

9.

common

i.

stop

10.

enforced

j.

thought

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

1.

A gunman killed 12 people

a.

killings

2.

a former neuroscience

b.

debate on gun control

3.

He armed himself with

c.

192 million firearms

4.

Many initially thought he was

d.

PhD student

5.

prevent copycat

e.

an assault rifle

6.

flags to be lowered

f.

common

7.

reignited the

g.

and wounded 59

8.

becoming all too

h.

to half-mast

9.

do little to get tighter

i.

part of a stunt

10.

There are an estimated

j.

gun controls enforced


 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 at a Colorado cinema early Friday morning. Police (1) ____________ the killer and identified him as James Eagan Holmes, 24, a (2) ____________ neuroscience PhD student. He armed himself with an assault    (3) ____________, a shotgun and a pistol and fired at random at moviegoers attending the midnight (4) ____________ of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises". Holmes had                (5) ____________ his hair red, just like Batman's nemesis the Joker, and wore full body armour and a (6) ____________ mask. Many initially thought he was part of a stunt for the movie        (7) ____________. Cinemas in New York got police protection after the shooting to prevent (8) ____________ killings. The premiere in Paris was immediately cancelled.

 

 

 

gas
rifle
copycat
premiere
apprehended
screening
former
dyed

U.S. President Barack Obama has (9) ____________ the mourning after the massacre, ordering flags to be                  (10) ____________ to half-mast. He said: "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and     (11) ____________." The shooting has once again reignited the (12) ____________ on gun control in America. All the weapons used in the killings were bought (13) ____________ in a local gun store. The shooting brings back memories of the 1999 Columbine High School murders, just 25km from the cinema, in which 13 people (14) ____________ their lives. Tragedies like this are becoming all too (15) ____________ but do little to get tighter gun controls enforced. Gun ownership is a right in the USA. There are an (16) ____________ 192 million firearms in the country.

 

 

lost
reflection
estimated
led
debate
common
lowered
legally

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 at a Colorado cinema early Friday morning. Police (1) _________________________ and identified him as James Eagan Holmes, 24, a former neuroscience PhD student. He armed (2) _________________________ rifle, a shotgun and a pistol and fired at random at moviegoers attending (3) _________________________ of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises". Holmes                                 (4) _________________________, just like Batman's nemesis the Joker, and wore full body armour and a gas mask. Many initially thought he was part of a stunt (5) _________________________. Cinemas in New York got police protection after the (6) _________________________ copycat killings. The premiere in Paris was immediately cancelled.

U.S. President Barack Obama (7) _________________________ after the massacre, ordering flags to be (8) _________________________. He said: "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection." The shooting has once again                                   (9) _________________________ on gun control in America. All the weapons used in the killings (10) _________________________ a local gun store. The shooting (11) _________________________ of the 1999 Columbine High School murders, just 25km from the cinema, in which 13 people lost their lives. Tragedies like this are becoming all too common but do little to get tighter (12) _________________________. Gun ownership is a right in the USA. There are an estimated 192 million firearms in the country.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'gun' and 'control'.

gun

control

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • early
  • former
  • armed
  • midnight
  • full
  • copycat
  • flags
  • prayer
  • debate
  • memories
  • lost
  • right

GUN CONTROL SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about gun control 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.


 
 

GUN CONTROL 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 term 'gun control'?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

Is gun crime a problem in your country?

e)

What do you think makes people go on a killing spree with guns?

f)

Do you think people need guns?

g)

Do you think movie theaters and other public places need x-ray security machines?

h)

Do you think violent movies encourage the use of guns?

i)

How can society reduce the number of gun crimes?

j)

Will gun crime be worse in the future?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is "prayer and reflection" enough?

c)

Would you have a gun if you had the choice?

d)

What checks should there be made before someone can buy a gun?

e)

Guns don't kill people, people do. What do you think of this?

f)

What do you think of the fact that gun ownership is a right in the USA?

g)

Do you think it's a person's right to own a gun?

h)

What do you think of the fact that there are around 192 million firearms in the USA?

i)

Martin Luther King said: "By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim...we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes." Do you agree with him?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Barack Obama?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 at a Colorado cinema early Friday morning. Police apprehended the killer and (1) ____ him as James Eagan Holmes, 24, a former neuroscience PhD student. He (2) ____ himself with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol and fired (3) ____ random at moviegoers attending the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises". Holmes had dyed his hair red, just like Batman's (4) ____ the Joker, and wore full body armour and a gas mask. Many (5) ____ thought he was part of a stunt for the movie screening. Cinemas in New York got police protection after the shooting to prevent (6) ____ killings. The premiere in Paris was immediately cancelled.

U.S. President Barack Obama has led the mourning after the massacre, ordering flags to be lowered to half-(7) ____. He said: "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and (8) ____." The shooting has once again reignited the debate (9) ____ gun control in America. All the weapons used in the killings were bought legally in a local gun store. The shooting (10) ____ back memories of the 1999 Columbine High School murders, just 25km from the cinema, in which 13 people lost their lives. Tragedies like this are becoming (11) ____ too common but do little to get tighter gun controls enforced. Gun ownership is a right in the USA. There are an (12) ____ 192 million firearms in the country.

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

1.

(a)

ID

(b)

identifies

(c)

identification

(d)

identified

2.

(a)

headed

(b)

armed

(c)

backed

(d)

handed

3.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

as

(d)

in

4.

(a)

genesis

(b)

hypothesis

(c)

nemesis

(d)

parenthesis

5.

(a)

cordially

(b)

partially

(c)

initially

(d)

spatially

6.

(a)

top dog

(b)

copycat

(c)

fat cat

(d)

doggy

7.

(a)

mast

(b)

past

(c)

last

(d)

fast

8.

(a)

mirrors

(b)

thinks

(c)

highlights

(d)

reflection

9.

(a)

as

(b)

on

(c)

by

(d)

to

10.

(a)

shoots

(b)

signals

(c)

creates

(d)

brings

11.

(a)

every

(b)

whole

(c)

all

(d)

entire

12.

(a)

estimated

(b)

guessed

(c)

anomaly

(d)

universal


 
 

WRITING

Write about gun control 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 the gun control debate in the USA. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. GUN CONTROL: Make a poster about gun control. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. GUNS: Write a magazine article about the right to own a gun. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

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 a top lawmaker. Ask him/her three questions about gun control. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

F

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

wounded

a.

injured

2.

apprehended

b.

arrested

3.

identified

c.

named

4.

nemesis

d.

archrival

5.

prevent

e.

stop

6.

mourning

f.

grieving

7.

reflection

g.

thought

8.

brings back

h.

conjures up

9.

common

i.

frequent

10.

enforced

j.

implemented

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A gunman killed 12 people

a.

and wounded 59

2.

a former neuroscience

b.

PhD student

3.

He armed himself with

c.

an assault rifle

4.

Many initially thought he was

d.

part of a stunt

5.

prevent copycat

e.

killings

6.

flags to be lowered

f.

to half-mast

7.

reignited the

g.

debate on gun control

8.

becoming all too

h.

common

9.

do little to get tighter

i.

gun controls enforced

10.

There are an estimated

j.

192 million firearms

GAP FILL:

12 killed in Batman shooting in U.S.

A gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 at a Colorado cinema early Friday morning. Police (1) apprehended the killer and identified him as James Eagan Holmes, 24, a (2) former neuroscience PhD student. He armed himself with an assault (3) rifle, a shotgun and a pistol and fired at random at moviegoers attending the midnight (4) premiere of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises". Holmes had (5) dyed his hair red, just like Batman's nemesis the Joker, and wore full body armour and a (6) gas mask. Many initially thought he was part of a stunt for the movie (7) screening. Cinemas in New York got police protection after the shooting to prevent (8) copycat killings. The premiere in Paris was immediately cancelled.

U.S. President Barack Obama has (9) led the mourning after the massacre, ordering flags to be (10) lowered to half-mast. He said: "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and (11) reflection." The shooting has once again reignited the (12) debate on gun control in America. All the weapons used in the killings were bought (13) legally in a local gun store. The shooting brings back memories of the 1999 Columbine High School murders, just 25km from the cinema, in which 13 people (14) lost their lives. Tragedies like this are becoming all too (15) common but do little to get tighter gun controls enforced. Gun ownership is a right in the USA. There are an (16) estimated 192 million firearms in the country.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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