The Reading / Listening - Potato Shortage - Level 3

A poor potato harvest in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than usual. The poor harvest is because of the very hot summer Europe had. There were record hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave caused a lack of rain, which meant farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than they normally do. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers' association in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal. The effect of this is that potato prices are up and the average size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said: "Because the potatoes are smaller at the moment, we will all be eating smaller chips."



Belgium is one country where the potato shortage is a big talking point. Fries are the national dish in Belgium. The country has over 5,000 eateries specializing in fries. Belgians love their fries so much that there is a campaign to rename them "Belgian fries" instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented in their country. Belgium is one of the largest exporters of frozen fries in the world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of them every year. Mr Lebron explained why fries would be shorter. He said: "Generally, to have long fries, we work with potatoes with a diameter of more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Potato Shortage - Level 0 Potato Shortage - Level 1   or  Potato Shortage - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/2018/09/23/french-fries-likely-lose-inch-europe/1406665002/
  • https://potatonewstoday.com/2018/09/21/british-chips-to-become-much-shorter/
  • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/18/british-chips-3cm-shorter-usual-belgian-potatoes-hit-dry-hot/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. POTATOES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about potatoes. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       poor / harvest / centimeters / temperatures / heatwave / potatoes / effect / prices /
       shortage / national dish / specializing / campaign / frozen fries / exporters / time
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. FRENCH FRIES: Students A strongly believe French fries are one of the best foods in the world; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. FOOD: How tasty and useful are these different foods? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Tastiness

Usefulness

Potatoes

 

 

Eggs

 

 

Bread

 

 

Rice

 

 

Tomatoes

 

 

Onions

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. HARVEST: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "harvest". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. POTATO DISHES: Rank these with your partner. Put the best potato dishes at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Baked potato
  • Potato salad
  • Potato pancakes
  • Boiled potatoes
  • French fries
  • Mashed potato
  • Roast potato
  • Hash browns

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. poor a. The most, biggest, best, worst, smallest, biggest, fastest, etc. of something.
      2. harvest b. A change on one thing because of another thing.
      3. record c. Worse than is usual, expected, or wanted; of a lower standard or quality.
      4. heatwave d. The process or period of cutting and collecting vegetables, fruit and wheat, rice, etc.
      5. lack e. A long, long period of very, very hot weather.
      6. effect f. There not being enough of something.
      7. average g. Usual, normal, standard.

    Paragraph 2

      8. shortage h. Created or designed  something that has not existed before.
      9. national dish i. A state or situation in which something is not there in enough amounts.
      10. campaign j. As an alternative (a different choice) for something.
      11. instead of k. Things that one country sells to another or others.
      12. invented l. The food that a country decides is its most famous or best loved.
      13. exports m. A straight line passing from side to side through the center of a circle.
      14. diameter n. An organized course of action to achieve a particular goal.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. French fries will be shorter because of poor potato harvests in the USA.   T / F
  2. Farmers in Europe produced 25% fewer potatoes than usual.     T / F
  3. The price of potatoes has increased and potatoes have got smaller.     T / F
  4. French fries will be smaller because potatoes are smaller.     T / F
  5. French fries are the national dish in Belgium.     T / F
  6. There are 15,000 places that sell fries in Belgium.     T / F
  7. People in Belgium prefer the name 'French fries'.     T / F
  8. Potatoes with a diameter of 50mm give fries that are 18cm long.     T / F

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

  1. poor
  2. usual
  3. lack
  4. effect
  5. average
  6. dish
  7. campaign
  8. explained
  9. generally
  10. as
  1. drive
  2. result
  3. because
  4. shortage
  5. described
  6. bad
  7. as a rule
  8. standard
  9. food
  10. normal

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

  1. A poor potato
  2. three centimeters shorter
  3. There were record hot temperatures
  4. The heatwave caused a lack
  5. the average
  6. the potato shortage is
  7. there is a campaign to rename them
  8. one of the largest exporters
  9. potatoes with a diameter of
  10. Then you get fries
  1. of 8 to 9 cm
  2. of rain
  3. size of potatoes
  4. than usual
  5. "Belgian fries"
  6. more than 50mm
  7. a big talking point
  8. harvest in Europe
  9. of frozen fries
  10. in many countries

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
lack
harvest
average
grew
record
moment
usual
effect

A poor potato (1) ____________ in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than (2) ____________. The poor harvest is because of the very hot summer Europe had. There were (3) ____________ hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave caused a (4) ____________ of rain, which meant farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than they normally do. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers' association in Belgium, said farmers (5) ____________ 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal. The (6) ____________ of this is that potato prices are up and the (7) ____________ size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said: "Because the potatoes are smaller at the (8) ____________, we will all be eating smaller chips."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
in
exporters
dish
long
campaign
diameter
shortage
explained

Belgium is one country where the potato (9) ____________ is a big talking point. Fries are the national (10) ____________ in Belgium. The country has over 5,000 eateries specializing (11) ____________ fries. Belgians love their fries so much that there is a (12) ____________ to rename them "Belgian fries" instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented in their country. Belgium is one of the largest (13) ____________ of frozen fries in the world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of them every year. Mr Lebron (14) ____________ why fries would be shorter. He said: "Generally, to have (15) ____________ fries, we work with potatoes with a (16) ____________ of more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  French fries are up to three centimeters ______
     a.  shorter that usually
     b.  shorter they usual
     c.  shorter than usual
     d.  shorten that usual
2)  farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than ______
     a.  they normal do
     b.  they normally done
     c.  they normally doing
     d.  they normally do
3)  a potato growers' association in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent ______
     a.  fewer potatoes
     b.  few are potatoes
     c.  few or potatoes
     d.  few as potatoes
4)  The effect of this is that potato prices are up and the ______ potatoes
     a.  averages size of
     b.  average size of
     c.  averaged size of
     d.  averaging size of
5)  Because the potatoes are smaller at the moment, we will all be ______ chips
     a.  eat in smaller
     b.  eating smaller
     c.  eaten smaller
     d.  eat tin smaller

6)  Belgium is one country where the potato shortage is a ______ point
     a.  big talk in
     b.  bigger talking
     c.  big talk king
     d.  big talking
7)  The country has over 5,000 eateries ______ fries
     a.  specializing on
     b.  specializing an
     c.  specializing in
     d.  specializing inn
8)  ... instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was ______ country
     a.  invent it in their
     b.  invented in there
     c.  invent it in they're
     d.  invented in their
9) Generally, to have long fries, we work with potatoes with a ______ than 50mm
     a.  diameter of more
     b.  diameter rough more
     c.  diameter off more
     d.  diameter oft more
10)  This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries ______
     a.  will being shorten
     b.  will be shorten
     c.  will been shorter
     d.  will be shorter

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A poor potato harvest in Europe this (1) ___________________ French fries are up to three centimeters (2) ___________________. The poor harvest is because of the very hot summer Europe had. There were record hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave (3) ___________________ of rain, which meant farmers produced (4) ___________________ potatoes than they normally do. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers' association in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal. The (5) ___________________ is that potato prices are up and the average size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said: "Because the potatoes are smaller at the moment, we will (6) ___________________ smaller chips."

Belgium is one country where the potato shortage is a (7) ___________________. Fries are the national dish in Belgium. The country has over 5,000 eateries (8) ___________________. Belgians love their fries so much that there (9) ___________________ to rename them "Belgian fries" instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented in their country. Belgium is one of (10) ___________________ of frozen fries in the world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of them every year. Mr Lebron explained why fries (11) ___________________. He said: "Generally, to have long fries, we work with potatoes with (12) ___________________ more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

Comprehension questions

  1. Where was there a poor potato harvest?
  2. What kind of temperatures did the article talk about?
  3. What kind of association is Pierre Lebrun a spokesman for?
  4. How many fewer potatoes did farmers grow?
  5. Why will we be eating smaller chips?
  6. What country has fries as its national dish?
  7. How many eateries are there in Belgium that serve fries?
  8. Where do Belgians believe French fries were invented?
  9. How many tons of frozen French fries does Belgium export each year?
  10. What diameter of potato is needed to make 9cm-long French fries?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Where was there a poor potato harvest?
a) Japan
b) the USA
c) Europe
d) Africa
2) What kind of temperatures did the article talk about?
a) record temperatures
b) scorching hot temperatures
c) average temperatures
d) cooler temperatures
3) What kind of association is Pierre Lebrun a spokesman for?
a) waffle makers
b) potato growers
c) French fries stores
d) meteorologists
4) How many fewer potatoes did farmers grow?
a) 18% fewer
b) 20% fewer
c) 22% fewer
d) 25% fewer
5) Why will we be eating smaller chips?
a) government rules
b) cost
c) potatoes are smaller
d) people want to be healthy

6) What country has fries as its national dish?
a) Uganda
b) Belgium
c) the USA
d) Brazil
7) How many eateries are there in Belgium that serve fries?
a) exactly 5,000
b) less than 5,000
c) about 5,000
d) more than 5,000
8) Where do Belgians believe French fries were invented?
a) Switzerland
b) Belgium
c) France
d) Italy
9) How many tons of frozen French fries does Belgium export each year?
a) 3.2 million tons
b) 2.3 million tons
c) 23 million tons
d) 32 million tons
10) What diameter of potato is needed to make 9cm-long French fries?
a) 50mm
b) 45mm
c) 40mm
d) 35mm

Role play

Role  A – French Fries
You think French fries are the best potato dish. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their dishes. Also, tell the others which is the least tasty of these (and why): hash browns, potato salad or roast potatoes.

Role  B – Hash Browns
You think hash browns are the best potato dish. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their dishes. Also, tell the others which is the least tasty of these (and why): French fries, potato salad or roast potatoes.

Role  C – Potato Salad
You think potato salad is the best potato dish. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their dishes. Also, tell the others which is the least tasty of these (and why): hash browns, French fries or roast potatoes.

Role  D – Roast Potato
You think roast potatoes are the best potato dish. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their dishes. Also, tell the others which is the least tasty of these (and why): hash browns, potato salad or French fries.

After reading / listening

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

'potato'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'fry'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • big
    • 5,000
    • much
    • largest
    • year
    • time
    • poor
    • hot
    • lack
    • normally
    • effect
    • average




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - French fries will be 3cm shorter

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'potato'?
    3. How important are potatoes?
    4. What do you think of French fries?
    5. What happens to farmers if there is a heatwave?
    6. How long should French fries be, and why?
    7. How often do you eat French fries?
    8. How has bad weather affected the food you eat?
    9. What is the best thing to eat French fries with?
    10. Is the term 'French fries' or 'chips' better?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'fry'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What food do people in your country talk about a lot?
    5. What do you think of your country's national dish?
    6. Should French fries be renamed 'Belgian fries'?
    7. What do you know about French fries?
    8. How do you make French fries?
    9. What can you do with a potato?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the potato growers' spokesman?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    A (1) ____ potato harvest in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than usual. The poor harvest is (2) ____ of the very hot summer Europe had. There were (3) ____ hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave caused a lack of rain, which meant farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than they normally (4) ____. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers' association in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal. The effect of (5) ____ is that potato prices are up and the average size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said: "Because the potatoes are smaller (6) ____ the moment, we will all be eating smaller chips."

    Belgium is (7) ____ country where the potato shortage is a big talking point. Fries are the national dish in Belgium. The country has over 5,000 eateries specializing (8) ____ fries. Belgians love their fries so much that there is a campaign to rename them "Belgian fries" (9) ____ of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented in their country. Belgium is one of the largest exporters of frozen fries in the world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of (10) ____ every year. Mr Lebron explained why fries would be shorter. He said: "Generally, to have (11) ____ fries, we work with potatoes with a diameter of more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, (12) ____ the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     poor     (b)     poorly     (c)     poverty     (d)     poorness    
    2. (a)     due     (b)     cause     (c)     because     (d)     that    
    3. (a)     recorder     (b)     recording     (c)     records     (d)     record    
    4. (a)     done     (b)     do     (c)     doing     (d)     does    
    5. (a)     those     (b)     these     (c)     them     (d)     this    
    6. (a)     on     (b)     by     (c)     at     (d)     to    
    7. (a)     once     (b)     one     (c)     only     (d)     onus    
    8. (a)     in     (b)     by     (c)     at     (d)     of    
    9. (a)     instead     (b)     rather     (c)     place     (d)     prefer    
    10. (a)     that     (b)     this     (c)     them     (d)     their    
    11. (a)     length     (b)     longest     (c)     longing     (d)     long    
    12. (a)     its     (b)     as     (c)     was     (d)     has

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. A poor potato aerhvst in Europe
    2. three centimeters shorter than luasu
    3. There were roredc hot temperatures
    4. a potato growers' sataioocisn
    5. The ectffe of this
    6. the vgeraea size of potatoes

    Paragraph 2

    1. the potato tgheorsa is a big talking point
    2. Fries are the naoiltan dish in Belgium
    3. a apmgaicn to rename them
    4. It ropxste around 2.3 million tons
    5. eanlregly, to have long fries
    6. a mirdetae of more than 50mm

    Put the text back together

    (...)  hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave caused a lack of rain, which meant farmers
    (...)  produced a lot fewer potatoes than they normally do. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers'
    (...)  more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."
    (...)  world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of them every year. Mr Lebron explained why fries would be
    (...)  usual. The poor harvest is because of the very hot summer Europe had. There were record
    (...)  much that there is a campaign to rename them "Belgian fries" instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was
    1  ) A poor potato harvest in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than
    (...)  association in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal. The effect
    (...)  invented in their country. Belgium is one of the largest exporters of frozen fries in the
    (...)  "Because the potatoes are smaller at the moment, we will all be eating smaller chips."
    (...)  Belgium is one country where the potato shortage is a big talking point. Fries are the national
    (...)  dish in Belgium. The country has over 5,000 eateries specializing in fries. Belgians love their fries so
    (...)  of this is that potato prices are up and the average size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said:
    (...)  shorter. He said: "Generally, to have long fries, we work with potatoes with a diameter of

    Put the words in the right order

    1. A   poor   this   harvest   summer   .   Europe   in   potato
    2. the   of   very   summer   Because   had   .   Europe   hot
    3. record   hot   were   There   in   countries   .   many   temperatures
    4. fewer   do   .   than   Produced   they   potatoes   normally
    5. average   potatoes   size   is   of   The   smaller   .
    6. point   .   is   The   potato   talking   shortage   big   a
    7. fries   .   specializing   eateries   in   The   has   country   5,000
    8. fries   .   One   frozen   of   exporters   of   largest   the
    9. them   .   of   around   million   It   tons   exports   2.3
    10. more   with   50mm   .   of   a   diameter   Potatoes   than

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    A poor / poverty potato harvest in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than usually / usual. The poor harvest is because for / of the very hot summer Europe had. There were record hot temperatures in many countries. The heatwave caused a slack / lack of rain, which meant farmers produced a lot fewer / few potatoes than they normally do. Pierre Lebrun, a spokesman from a potato growers' association / associating in Belgium, said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than / that normal. The affect / effect of this is that potato prices are up and the average / averages size of potatoes is smaller. Mr Lebrun said: "Because the potatoes are smaller at the moment / monument, we will all be eating smaller chips."

    Belgium is one country where the potato shortening / shortage is a big talking point. Fries are the nation / national dish in Belgium. The country has over / overly 5,000 eateries specializing in fries. Belgians love them / their fries so much that there is a campaign to remain / rename them "Belgian fries" instead of "French fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented on / in their country. Belgium is one of the largest experts / exporters of frozen fries in the world. It exports around 2.3 million tons of them every year. Mr Lebron explained why fries would be shorter / shorten. He said: "Generally, to have long fries, we work with potatoes with a data / diameter of more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as / was the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    A p__ r p_t_t_ h_r v_s t _n E_r_p_ t h_s s_m m_r c__ l d m__ n F r_n c h f r__ s _r_ _p t_ t h r__ c_n t_m_t_r s s h_r t_r t h_n _s__ l . T h_ p__ r h_r v_s t _s b_c__ s_ _f t h_ v_r y h_t s_m m_r E_r_p_ h_d . T h_r_ w_r_ r_c_r d h_t t_m p_r_t_r_s _n m_n y c__ n t r__ s . T h_ h__ t w_v_ c__ s_d _ l_c k _f r__ n , w h_c h m__ n t f_r m_r s p r_d_c_d _ l_t f_w_r p_t_t__ s t h_n t h_y n_r m_l l y d_. P__ r r_ L_b r_n , _ s p_k_s m_n f r_m _ p_t_t_ g r_w_r s ' _s s_c__ t__ n _n B_l g__ m , s__ d f_r m_r s g r_w 2 5 p_r c_n t f_w_r p_t_t__ s t h_n n_r m_l . T h_ _f f_c t _f t h_s _s t h_t p_t_t_ p r_c_s _r_ _p _n d t h_ _v_r_g_ s_z_ _f p_t_t__ s _s s m_l l_r . M r L_b r_n s__ d : " B_c__ s_ t h_ p_t_t__ s _r_ s m_l l_r _t t h_ m_m_n t , w_ w_l l _l l b_ __ t_n g s m_l l_r c h_p s . "

    B_l g__ m _s _n_ c__ n t r y w h_r_ t h_ p_t_t_ s h_r t_g_ _s _ b_g t_l k_n g p__ n t . F r__ s _r_ t h_ n_t__ n_l d_s h _n B_l g__ m . T h_ c__ n t r y h_s _v_r 5 , 0 0 0 __ t_r__ s s p_c__ l_z_n g _n f r__ s . B_l g__ n s l_v_ t h__ r f r__ s s_ m_c h t h_t t h_r_ _s _ c_m p__ g n t_ r_n_m_ t h_m " B_l g__ n f r__ s " _n s t__ d _f " F r_n c h f r__ s " b_c__ s_ B_l g__ n s s_y t h_ f r y w_s _n v_n t_d _n t h__ r c__ n t r y . B_l g__ m _s _n_ _f t h_ l_r g_s t _x p_r t_r s _f f r_z_n f r__ s _n t h_ w_r l d . I t _x p_r t s _r__ n d 2 . 3 m_l l__ n t_n s _f t h_m _v_r y y__ r . M r L_b r_n _x p l__ n_d w h y f r__ s w__ l d b_ s h_r t_r . H_ s__ d : " G_n_r_l l y , t_ h_v_ l_n g f r__ s , w_ w_r k w_t h p_t_t__ s w_t h _ d__ m_t_r _f m_r_ t h_n 5 0 m m . T h_n y__ g_t f r__ s _f 8 t_ 9 c m . T h_s t_m_, _s t h_ p_t_t__ s _r_ s m_l l_r , t h_ f r__ s w_l l b_ s h_r t_r . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    a poor potato harvest in europe this summer could mean french fries are up to three centimeters shorter than usual the poor harvest is because of the very hot summer europe had there were record hot temperatures in many countries the heatwave caused a lack of rain which meant farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than they normally do pierre lebrun a spokesman from a potato growers association in belgium said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes than normal the effect of this is that potato prices are up and the average size of potatoes is smaller mr lebrun said because the potatoes are smaller at the moment we will all be eating smaller chips

    belgium is one country where the potato shortage is a big talking point fries are the national dish in belgium the country has over 5000 eateries specializing in fries belgians love their fries so much that there is a campaign to rename them belgian fries instead of french fries because belgians say the fry was invented in their country belgium is one of the largest exporters of frozen fries in the world it exports around 23 million tons of them every year mr lebron explained why fries would be shorter he said generally to have long fries we work with potatoes with a diameter of more than 50mm then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm this time as the potatoes are smaller the fries will be shorter"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ApoorpotatoharvestinEuropethissummercouldmeanFrenchfriesare
    uptothreecentimetersshorterthanusual.Thepoorharvestisbecauseo
    ftheveryhotsummerEuropehad.Therewererecordhottemperaturesi
    nmanycountries.Theheatwavecausedalackofrain,whichmeantfarm
    ersproducedalotfewerpotatoesthantheynormallydo.PierreLebrun,a
    spokesmanfromapotatogrowers'associationinBelgium,saidfarmers
    grew25percentfewerpotatoesthannormal.Theeffectofthisisthatpota
    topricesareupandtheaveragesizeofpotatoesissmaller.MrLebrunsaid
    :"Becausethepotatoesaresmalleratthemoment,wewillallbeeatings
    mallerchips."Belgiumisonecountrywherethepotatoshortageisabigta
    lkingpoint.FriesarethenationaldishinBelgium.Thecountryhasover5,
    000eateriesspecializinginfries.Belgianslovetheirfriessomuchthatthe
    reisacampaigntorenamethem"Belgianfries"insteadof"Frenchfries"b
    ecauseBelgianssaythefrywasinventedintheircountry.Belgiumisoneo
    fthelargestexportersoffrozenfriesintheworld.Itexportsaround2.3mil
    liontonsofthemeveryyear.MrLebronexplainedwhyfrieswouldbeshort
    er.Hesaid:"Generally,tohavelongfries,weworkwithpotatoeswithadia
    meterofmorethan50mm.Thenyougetfriesof8to9cm.Thistime,asthe
    potatoesaresmaller,thefrieswillbeshorter."

    Free writing

    Write about potato shortage for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Potatoes are the most important food in the world. Discuss.

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    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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. POTATOES: Make a poster about potatoes. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. BELGIAN?: Write a magazine article about French fries being renamed 'Belgian fries'. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on potatoes. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on potatoes. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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