The Reading / Listening - Sydney Bushfires - Level 6

Firefighters in the Australian state of New South Wales are battling what is being called the worst fire ever seen in the region. Eight different bushfires have combined north of the city of Sydney to form what people have dubbed a "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is just an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are in its path. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is roughly 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to contain. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions ease."



The ease with which over 100 separate fires are spreading across the state has been exacerbated by a prolonged drought. This is concerning authorities who say it is very early in the season for the ground to be so dry. A spokesman said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen the horrific consequences of fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from hazardous and toxic smoke from the fire. The city is shrouded in the choking smoke. Residents have received advisories about exercising outside. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "People's emotions are very, very tested and frail at the moment."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Sydney Bushfires - Level 4  or  Sydney Bushfires - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/australia-bushfires-combine-form-mega-fire-north-sydney-191206074513633.html
  • https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/another-tough-day-nsw-firefighters-battling-city-sized-inferno-20191207-p53hs3.html
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/how-rfs-are-tackling-nsw-mega-fire-bigger-than-sydney/11776874


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. BUSHFIRES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about bushfires. 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?
       firefighters / fire / city / Sydney / homes / inferno / out of control / vast / burning /
       ease / drought / authorities / season / consequences / smoke / toxic / exercise / frail
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. CLIMATE CHANGE: Students A strongly believe climate change is responsible for the fires; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. NATURAL DISASTERS: How dangerous are these disasters? What can he do to survive them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Dangerous?

How To Survive

Bushfires

 

 

Earthquakes

 

 

Hurricanes

 

 

Drought

 

 

Tsunami

 

 

Volcano

 

 

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. BURN: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "burn". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. ESCAPE: Rank these with your partner. Put the most important things to take in the event of a fire at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Smartphone
  • Clothes
  • A pet
  • Money
  • Passport
  • Your favourite soft toy
  • Photos
  • Food

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. battling a. Joined together; united; merged.
      2. combined b. Of very great size or extent; huge or enormous.
      3. dubbed c. A lengthy and difficult conflict or struggle.
      4. gigantic d. A broad strip or area of something.
      5. blaze e. A very large or fiercely burning fire.
      6. swath f. Absence of difficulty or effort.
      7. ease g. Gave an unofficial name or nickname to someone or something.

    Paragraph 2

      8. exacerbated h. Weak and delicate.
      9. prolonged i. Results or effects of an action or condition.
      10. drought j. Risky; dangerous.
      11. consequences k. Made a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling worse.
      12. hazardous l. Continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.
      13. toxic m. Poisonous.
      14. frail n. A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Firefighters in Australia say a bushfire is one of the worst they've seen.   T / F
  2. The bushfire is a combination of eight different fires.     T / F
  3. The bushfire left a path of tens of thousands destroyed homes.     T / F
  4. A firefighter boss said they cannot stop the fires.     T / F
  5. A long drought has made the fires worse.     T / F
  6. Authorities say the ground was too damp for fires to spread.     T / F
  7. A spokesperson said there was a tough few years ahead.     T / F
  8. Residents in Sydney have received no advice about exercising outside.   T / F

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

  1. battling
  2. combined
  3. dubbed
  4. inferno
  5. ease
  6. separate
  7. prolonged
  8. toxic
  9. shrouded
  10. frail
  1. covered
  2. fire
  3. distinct
  4. amalgamated
  5. elongated
  6. poisonous
  7. fighting
  8. delicate
  9. named
  10. abate

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

  1. what people have dubbed
  2. businesses and other properties
  3. Authorities say it is burning
  4. too vast
  5. keep burning until conditions
  6. exacerbated by a prolonged
  7. the horrific consequences
  8. suffering from hazardous and
  9. The city is shrouded in the
  10. emotions are very, very tested
  1. to contain
  2. choking smoke
  3. drought
  4. and frail
  5. out of control
  6. toxic smoke
  7. are in its path
  8. ease
  9. a "mega-fire"
  10. of fire

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
dubbed
swath
ease
blaze
state
contain
combined
roughly

Firefighters in the Australian (1) ____________ of New South Wales are battling what is being called the worst fire ever seen in the region. Eight different bushfires have (2) ____________ north of the city of Sydney to form what people have (3) ____________ a "mega-fire". The gigantic (4) ____________ is just an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are in its path. The giant inferno is burning across a (5) ____________ of land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is (6) ____________ 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to (7) ____________. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions (8) ____________."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
season
advisories
toxic
frail
exacerbated
worst
horrific
shrouded

The ease with which over 100 separate fires are spreading across the state has been (9) ____________ by a prolonged drought. This is concerning authorities who say it is very early in the (10) ____________ for the ground to be so dry. A spokesman said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen the (11) ____________ consequences of fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from hazardous and (12) ____________ smoke from the fire. The city is (13) ____________ in the choking smoke. Residents have received (14) ____________ about exercising outside. Locals say it is the "(15) ____________ ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "Peoples' emotions are very, very tested and (16) ____________ at the moment."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  combined north of the city of Sydney to form what people have ______
     a.  dubbed a "mega-fire"
     b.  dubbed a "giga-fire"
     c.  dubbed a "tera-fire"
     d.  dubbed a "kilo-fire"
2)  Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties ______
     a.  are in its apathy
     b.  are in its pathos
     c.  are in its part
     d.  are in its path
3)  The giant inferno is burning across a ______
     a.  swath off land
     b.  swath or land
     c.  swath of land
     d.  swath on land
4)  Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too ______
     a.  vast to containing
     b.  vast to contains
     c.  vast to container
     d.  vast to contain
5)  They will just keep burning until ______
     a.  conditions easy
     b.  conditions ease
     c.  conditions appease
     d.  conditions please

6)  fires are spreading across the state has been exacerbated by ______
     a.  a prolonged brought
     b.  a prolonged draught
     c.  a prolonged drought
     d.  a prolonged ought
7)  This is concerning authorities who say it is very early ______
     a.  in the season
     b.  in a season
     c.  in there season
     d.  inner season
8) a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen ______
     a.  the horrific consequential
     b.  the horrific consequences
     c.  the horrific con sequences
     d.  the horrific cons sequences
9)  People in Sydney are suffering from hazardous ______
     a.  and toxic smoke
     b.  and toxic smoky
     c.  and toxic smoked
     d.  and toxic smoker
10)  Peoples' emotions are very, very ______
     a.  tested and free
     b.  tested and frail
     c.  tested and trial
     d.  tested and trail

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Firefighters in the Australian state of New South Wales (1) ___________________ is being called the worst fire ever seen in the region. Eight different bushfires (2) ___________________ of the city of Sydney to form what people have (3) ___________________. The gigantic blaze is just an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are (4) ___________________. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is (5) ___________________. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to contain. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning (6) ___________________."

The ease with which over (7) ___________________ are spreading across the state has been exacerbated by (8) ___________________. This is concerning authorities who say it is very early in the season for the ground to be so dry. A spokesman said: "There's (9) ___________________ of months ahead and we've already seen the horrific consequences of fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from (10) ___________________ smoke from the fire. The city is shrouded in the choking smoke. Residents have received advisories (11) ___________________. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "Peoples' emotions are very, very tested (12) ___________________ the moment."

Comprehension questions

  1. In what state in Australia are the fires burning out of control?
  2. How many different bushfires combined to make the "mega-fire"?
  3. How far north of Sydney by car are the fires?
  4. How wide is the front face of the fire?
  5. What did a firefighter say is the only way the fires could be stopped?
  6. What has exacerbated the fires?
  7. What did authorities say was a concern so early in the season?
  8. What kind of smoke did the article say was in Sydney?
  9. What did the article say Sydney was shrouded in?
  10. What did an official say people's emotions were besides tested?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  In what state in Australia are the fires burning out of control?
a) Queensland
b) New South Wales
c) Tasmania
d) Victoria
2)  How many different bushfires combined to make the "mega-fire"?
a) 5
b) 6
c) 7
d) 8
3) How far north of Sydney by car are the fires?
a) an hour
b) a quarter of an hour
c) 90 minutes
d) a few minutes
4) How wide is the front face of the fire?
a) 40 km, give or take a kilometre
b) around 50kn
c) roughly 60km
d) about 90km
5) What did a firefighter say is the only way the fires could be stopped?
a) if Mother Nature acted
b) if conditions eased
c) if a tropical cyclone came
d) if the weather turned

6) What has exacerbated the fires?
a) a prolonged drought
b) camp fires
c) permafrost
d) CO2
7) What did authorities say was a concern so early in the season?
a) exploding gas tanks
b) koalas
c) dry ground
d) trash in forests
8) What kind of smoke did the article say was in Sydney?
a) hazardous and toxic smoke
b) wafting smoke
c) noxious smoke
d) thick, black smoke
9) What did the article say Sydney was shrouded in?
a) choking smoke
b) worry
c) fear
d) secrecy

10) What did an official say people's emotions were besides tested?
a) free
b) fragile
c) fraught
d) frail

Role play

Role  A – Smartphone
You think your smartphone is the most important thing to rescue in the event of a fire. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important to rescue. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): clothes, pet or money.

Role  B – Clothes
You think clothes the most important things to rescue in the event of a fire. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important to rescue. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): smartphone, pet or money.

Role  C – A Pet
You think a pet is the most important thing to rescue in the event of a fire. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important to rescue. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): clothes, smartphone or money.

Role  D – Money
You think money is the most important thing to rescue in the event of a fire. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important to rescue. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): clothes, pet or smartphone.

After reading / listening

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

'bush'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'fire'.

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

    • battling
    • region
    • tens
    • covering
    • control
    • keep
    • 100
    • concerning
    • tough
    • toxic
    • choking
    • frail




    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 - Sydney Bushfires

    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 'bush'?
    3. What do you know about Sydney?
    4. Why does Australia have so many bushfires?
    5. How would you deal with a bushfire?
    6. What damage do bushfires do?
    7. How worried are you about fires?
    8. What should the firefighters do?
    9. What do you think of firefighters?
    10. What advice do you have for the people of Sydney?

    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 'fire'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What can Australia do to ease drought conditions?
    5. What hazards are there to our health from bushfires?
    6. To what degree has global warming made the bushfires worse?
    7. Why is the earth seeing more natural disasters?
    8. What is the worst disaster seen by your town?
    9. When in your life have you felt frail?
    10. What questions would you like to ask a firefighter?

    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)

    Firefighters in the Australian (1) ____ of New South Wales are battling what is being called the worst fire ever seen in the region. Eight different bushfires have (2) ____ north of the city of Sydney to form what people have (3) ____ a "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is just an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are in its (4) ____. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is (5) ____ 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too (6) ____ to contain. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions ease."

    The ease with which over 100 separate fires are spreading across the state has been (7) ____ by a prolonged drought. This is concerning authorities who say it is very early (8) ____ the season for the ground to be so dry. A spokesman said: "There's a tough couple of months (9) ____ and we've already seen the horrific consequences of fire so (10) ____ this season." People in Sydney are suffering from hazardous and toxic smoke from the fire. The city is (11) ____ in the choking smoke. Residents have received advisories about exercising outside. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "People's emotions are very, very tested and (12) ____ at the moment."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     hemisphere     (b)     zone     (c)     state     (d)     pact    
    2. (a)     combined     (b)     conspired     (c)     condoned     (d)     convened    
    3. (a)     dubbed     (b)     curbed     (c)     rubbed     (d)     sobbed    
    4. (a)     path     (b)     short cut     (c)     road     (d)     street    
    5. (a)     coarsely     (b)     roughly     (c)     brutally     (d)     violently    
    6. (a)     vest     (b)     bust     (c)     baste     (d)     vast    
    7. (a)     congregated     (b)     ameliorated     (c)     exacerbated     (d)     dilated    
    8. (a)     by     (b)     of     (c)     at     (d)     in    
    9. (a)     ahead     (b)     forward     (c)     future     (d)     advance    
    10. (a)     few     (b)     far     (c)     many     (d)     much    
    11. (a)     adorned     (b)     shrouded     (c)     bedecked     (d)     dressed    
    12. (a)     grail     (b)     trail     (c)     frail     (d)     rail

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. what people have bubedd a "mega-fire"
    2. The gigantic zalbe
    3. The giant reifnon is burning
    4. the mega-fire is hurgylo 60km wide
    5. too avst to contain
    6. keep burning until conditions seea

    Paragraph 2

    1. exacerbated by a prolonged udhtrgo
    2. a thguo couple of months ahead
    3. the horrific enqsesuenocc of fire
    4. suffering from zaaurshod and toxic smoke
    5. The city is eduordsh in the choking smoke
    6. aflri at the moment

    Put the text back together

    (...)  hazardous and toxic smoke from the fire. The city is shrouded in the choking smoke. Residents have received
    1  ) Firefighters in the Australian state of New South Wales are battling what is being called the worst fire ever
    (...)  form what people have dubbed a "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is just an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens
    (...)  The ease with which over 100 separate fires are spreading across the state has been exacerbated
    (...)  seen the horrific consequences of fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from
    (...)  seen in the region. Eight different bushfires have combined north of the city of Sydney to
    (...)  of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are in its path. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of
    (...)  land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is roughly 60km
    (...)  official said: "Peoples' emotions are very, very tested and frail at the moment."
    (...)  advisories about exercising outside. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An
    (...)  by a prolonged drought. This is concerning authorities who say it is very early in the season for the ground to be so
    (...)  dry. A spokesman said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already
    (...)  wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to contain. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner
    (...)  Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions ease."

    Put the words in the right order

    1. a   prolonged   It   exacerbated   drought   .   has   by   been
    2. in   to   season   so   be   the   dry   .   Early
    3. of   seen   the   horrific   fire   .   already   consequences   We've
    4. are   in   People   smoke   .   from   Sydney   toxic   suffering
    5. about   exercising   outside   .   Residents   advisories   have   received
    6. the   region   .   The   seen   in   fire   ever   worst
    7. hour's   is   blaze   drive   .   an   gigantic   The   just
    8. of   giant   burning   is   across   land   .   inferno   swaths   The
    9. control   .   it   Authorities   burning   out   is   of   say
    10. until   just   ease   .   keep   will   conditions   They   burning

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Firefighters in the Australian regional / state of New South Wales are battling what is being called the worst fire never / ever seen in the region. Eight different bushfires have combined / contrived north of the city of Sydney to form what people have dabbed / dubbed a "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is just an hour's / hourly drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other properties are in its path / road. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land covering over 300,000 hectares. The front of the mega-fire is rough / roughly 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast / aghast to contain. Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said: "We cannot stop these / them fires. They will just keep burning until conditions tease / ease."

    The ease with which over 100 separate fires are spearheading / spreading across the state has been exacerbated by a prolonged draft / drought. This is concerning authority / authorities who say it is very early in the session / season for the ground to be so drought / dry. A spokesman said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen the horrific consequences of fire so far / many this season." People in Sydney are suffering from hazardous and toxic smoky / smoke from the fire. The city is shrouded in the choking smoke. Residents have received advise / advisories about exercising out / outside. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "Peoples' emotions are very, very tested and frail / trail at the moment."

    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)

    F_r_f_g h t_r s _n t h_ A_s t r_l__ n s t_t_ _f N_w S__ t h W_l_s _r_ b_t t l_n g w h_t _s b__ n g c_l l_d t h_ w_r s t f_r_ _v_r s__ n _n t h_ r_g__ n . E_g h t d_f f_r_n t b_s h f_r_s h_v_ c_m b_n_d n_r t h _f t h_ c_t y _f S y d n_y t_ f_r m w h_t p__ p l_ h_v_ d_b b_d _ " m_g_- f_r_" . T h_ g_g_n t_c b l_z_ _s j_s t _n h__ r ' s d r_v_ f r_m S y d n_y . T_n s _f t h__ s_n d s _f h_m_s , b_s_n_s s_s _n d _t h_r p r_p_r t__ s _r_ _n _t s p_t h . T h_ g__ n t _n f_r n_ _s b_r n_n g _c r_s s _ s w_t h _f l_n d c_v_r_n g _v_r 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 h_c t_r_s . T h_ f r_n t _f t h_ m_g_- f_r_ _s r__ g h l y 6 0 k m w_d_. A_t h_r_t__ s s_y _t _s b_r n_n g __ t _f c_n t r_l _n d _s t__ v_s t t_ c_n t__ n . F_r_ S_r v_c_ D_p_t y C_m m_s s__ n_r R_b R_g_r s s__ d : " W_ c_n n_t s t_p t h_s_ f_r_s . T h_y w_l l j_s t k__ p b_r n_n g _n t_l c_n d_t__ n s __ s_. "

    T h_ __ s_ w_t h w h_c h _v_r 1 0 0 s_p_r_t_ f_r_s _r_ s p r__ d_n g _c r_s s t h_ s t_t_ h_s b__ n _x_c_r b_t_d b y _ p r_l_n g_d d r__ g h t . T h_s _s c_n c_r n_n g __ t h_r_t__ s w h_ s_y _t _s v_r y __ r l y _n t h_ s__ s_n f_r t h_ g r__ n d t_ b_ s_ d r y . A s p_k_s m_n s__ d : " T h_r_' s _ t__ g h c__ p l_ _f m_n t h s _h__ d _n d w_' v_ _l r__ d y s__ n t h_ h_r r_f_c c_n s_q__ n c_s _f f_r_ s_ f_r t h_s s__ s_n . " P__ p l_ _n S y d n_y _r_ s_f f_r_n g f r_m h_z_r d__ s _n d t_x_c s m_k_ f r_m t h_ f_r_. T h_ c_t y _s s h r__ d_d _n t h_ c h_k_n g s m_k_. R_s_d_n t s h_v_ r_c__ v_d _d v_s_r__ s _b__ t _x_r c_s_n g __ t s_d_. L_c_l s s_y _t _s t h_ " w_r s t _v_r " f_r_ _n d _s "_n p r_c_d_n t_d " . A n _f f_c__ l s__ d : " P__ p l_s ' _m_t__ n s _r_ v_r y , v_r y t_s t_d _n d f r__ l _t t h_ m_m_n t . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    firefighters in the australian state of new south wales are battling what is being called the worst fire ever seen in the region eight different bushfires have combined north of the city of sydney to form what people have dubbed a megafire the gigantic blaze is just an hours drive from sydney tens of thousands of homes businesses and other properties are in its path the giant inferno is burning across a swath of land covering over 300000 hectares the front of the megafire is roughly 60km wide authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to contain fire service deputy commissioner rob rogers said we cannot stop these fires they will just keep burning until conditions ease

    the ease with which over 100 separate fires are spreading across the state has been exacerbated by a prolonged drought this is concerning authorities who say it is very early in the season for the ground to be so dry a spokesman said theres a tough couple of months ahead and weve already seen the horrific consequences of fire so far this season people in sydney are suffering from hazardous and toxic smoke from the fire the city is shrouded in the choking smoke residents have received advisories about exercising outside locals say it is the worst ever fire and is unprecedented an official said peoples emotions are very very tested and frail at the moment

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    FirefightersintheAustralianstateofNewSouthWalesarebattlingwhati
    sbeingcalledtheworstfireeverseenintheregion.Eightdifferentbushfir
    eshavecombinednorthofthecityofSydneytoformwhatpeoplehavedu
    bbeda"mega-fire".Thegiganticblazeisjustanhour'sdrivefromSydne
    y.Tensofthousandsofhomes,businessesandotherpropertiesareinits
    path.Thegiantinfernoisburningacrossaswathoflandcoveringover300
    ,000hectares.Thefrontofthemega-fireisroughly60kmwide.Authoriti
    essayitisburningoutofcontrolandistoovasttocontain.FireServiceDep
    utyCommissionerRobRogerssaid:"Wecannotstopthesefires.Theywil
    ljustkeepburninguntilconditionsease."Theeasewithwhichover100se
    paratefiresarespreadingacrossthestatehasbeenexacerbatedbyaprol
    ongeddrought.Thisisconcerningauthoritieswhosayitisveryearlyinth
    eseasonforthegroundtobesodry.Aspokesmansaid:"There'satoughc
    oupleofmonthsaheadandwe'vealreadyseenthehorrificconsequences
    offiresofarthisseason."PeopleinSydneyaresufferingfromhazardousa
    ndtoxicsmokefromthefire.Thecityisshroudedinthechokingsmoke.Re
    sidentshavereceivedadvisoriesaboutexercisingoutside.Localssayitis
    the"worstever"fireandis"unprecedented".Anofficialsaid:"Peoples'e
    motionsarevery,verytestedandfrailatthemoment."

    Free writing

    Write about Sydney bushfires for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Climate change is responsible for the increase in natural disasters. 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. BUSHFIRES: Make a poster about bushfires. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. CLIMATE CHANGE: Write a magazine article about the increase in bushfires being because of climate change. Include imaginary interviews with people who agree and disagree with 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 bushfires. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on how to stop bushfires. 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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