The Reading / Listening - Hajj - Level 6

The annual Hajj is set to take place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the Muslim calendar. It lasts approximately 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. Hajj must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims. However, they must be physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been greatly scaled down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been put in place. The pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment for pilgrims.



The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced last month that it was severely limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the holy site this year. Officials said the measures were to avoid any further outbreaks of COVID-19 and contain the risks of infection. Many Muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result is that Mecca will see only a tiny fraction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during Hajj. This year, places will be restricted to a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not upset by the Hajj news this year as I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this precious spiritual time."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Hajj - Level 4  or  Hajj - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.arabnews.com/node/1711031/saudi-arabia
  • https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/hajj-2020-latest-updates-as-the-pilgrimage-begins-1.1055536
  • https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/haj-2020-pilgrims-from-160-nationalities-set-to-perform-rituals-1.72803704
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajj


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. HAJJ: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about Hajj. 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?
       annual / Hajj / sacred / Mecca / pilgrimage / religious / duty / journey / pandemic /
       holy / site / officials / measures / outbreak / infection / fraction / precious / spiritual
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. PILGRIMAGE: Students A strongly believe everyone should go on a pilgrimage once in their lives; Students B strongly believe this isn't necessary.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. RELIGIOUS DUTIES: How important are these religious duties to you? Why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Important?

Why?

Prayer

 

 

Charity

 

 

Attend places of worship

 

 

Love thy neighbour

 

 

Fasting

 

 

Marriage until death

 

 

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. ANNUAL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "annual". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. PRAYER: Rank these with your partner. Put the best important things to pray for at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • World peace
  • Your family
  • Good health
  • A COVID-19 vaccine
  • Wealth
  • The poor and sick
  • Salvation
  • Love

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. annual a. Promising to do a particular thing.
      2. sacred b. A journey to a place associated with someone or something well known or respected, or of religious importance.
      3. pilgrimage c. Regarded with great respect by a particular religion.
      4. approximately d. The action of causing or arranging for something to take place at a time later than that first scheduled.
      5. undertaking e. Occurring once every year.
      6. precautionary f. Used to show that something is almost, but not completely, accurate or exact; roughly.
      7. postponement g. Carried out or done to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening.

    Paragraph 2

      8. severely h. A plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose.
      9. measure i. Limited in extent, number, scope, or action.
      10. infection j. Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
      11. fraction k. The process of infecting or the state of being infected.
      12. restricted l. Of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
      13. precious m. A small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something.
      14. spiritual n. To an undesirably great or intense degree.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Hajj can last for up to six days.     T / F
  2. All adult Muslims should attend Hajj at least once in their lives.     T / F
  3. A Muslim must be in good physical and financial health to attend Hajj.  T / F
  4. Very few Muslims are disappointed that events have been postponed.     T / F
  5. The Ministry of Hajj announced the limiting of numbers in April.     T / F
  6. Many Muslim-majority countries are going ahead with their pilgrimages.  T / F
  7. Only a limited number of Saudi citizens will be attending this year's Hajj. T / F
  8. A twenty-two-time pilgrim will attend her twenty-third Hajj this year.     T / F

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

  1. sacred
  2. mandatory
  3. undertaking
  4. precautionary
  5. postponement
  6. limiting
  7. contain
  8. fraction
  9. take advantage of
  10. precious
  1. embarking on
  2. part
  3. restricting
  4. deferral
  5. exploit
  6. compulsory
  7. valuable
  8. preventative
  9. restrain
  10. holy

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

  1. the sacred
  2. one of the most important events
  3. a mandatory religious
  4. they must be physically
  5. the postponement of numerous
  6. it was severely limiting
  7. avoid any further outbreaks
  8. only a tiny fraction
  9. I know there are plenty
  10. take
  1. of the two million
  2. duty for Muslims
  3. the number of pilgrims
  4. events
  5. advantage of this
  6. city of Mecca
  7. of ways
  8. of COVID-19
  9. in the Muslim calendar
  10. and financially capable

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
duty
considerable
calendar
capable
place
set
approximately
scaled

The annual Hajj is (1) _____________________ to take place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the Muslim (2) _____________________. It lasts (3) _____________________ 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious (4) _____________________ for Muslims. Hajj must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims. However, they must be physically and financially (5) _____________________ of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been greatly (6) _____________________ down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been put in (7) _____________________. The pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing (8) _____________________ disappointment for pilgrims.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
tiny
upset
announced
restricted
risks
plenty
holy
precious

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (9) _____________________ last month that it was severely limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the (10) _____________________ site this year. Officials said the measures were to avoid any further outbreaks of COVID-19 and contain the (11) _____________________ of infection. Many Muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result is that Mecca will see only a (12) _____________________ fraction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during Hajj. This year, places will be (13) _____________________ to a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not (14) _____________________ by the Hajj news this year as I know there are (15) _____________________ of ways to take advantage of this (16) _____________________ spiritual time."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The annual Hajj is set to take place in ______
     a.  the sacred citadel
     b.  the sacred city
     c.  the sacred sighting
     d.  the scared city
2)  The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in ______
     a.  the Muslim calendar
     b.  the Muslim colander
     c.  the Muslim coriander
     d.  the Muslim cleanser
3)  It lasts approximately 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory ______
     a.  religious duly
     b.  religious dew tea
     c.  religious due tea
     d.  religious duty
4)  they must be physically and financially capable of ______
     a.  undertaken the journey
     b.  under take in the journey
     c.  under taking the journey
     d.  undertaking the journey
5)  The pandemic has meant the postponement ______
     a.  of numeral events
     b.  of numerals events
     c.  of numerous events
     d.  of numbers events

6)  it was severely limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter ______
     a.  the wholly site
     b.  the holy site
     c.  the holey site
     d.  the whole lea site
7)  Officials said the measures were to avoid ______
     a.  any furthered outbreaks
     b.  any furthers outbreaks
     c.  any farther outbreaks
     d.  any further outbreaks
8)  of COVID-19 and contain the ______
     a.  risks soft infection
     b.  risks of infection
     c.  risk soft infection
     d.  risks off infection
9)  the result is that Mecca will see only ______
     a.  a tiny friction
     b.  a tiny function
     c.  a tiny faction
     d.  a tiny fraction
10)  there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this ______
     a.  precious spirit all time
     b.  precious spirit tall time
     c.  precious spirit Yule time
     d.  precious spiritual time

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The annual Hajj is set to take place in (1) ____________________ of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the Muslim calendar. (2) ____________________ 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory (3) ____________________ Muslims. Hajj must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims. However, they (4) ____________________ and financially capable of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their family (5) ____________________. This year's Hajj has been greatly scaled down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been (6) ____________________. The pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment for pilgrims.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced last month that it was (7) ____________________ number of pilgrims allowed to enter the holy site this year. Officials said the measures were to (8) ____________________ outbreaks of COVID-19 and contain the (9) ____________________. Many Muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result is that Mecca will see only (10) ____________________ of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during Hajj. This year, places will be (11) ____________________ few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not upset by the Hajj news this year as I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this (12) ____________________."

Comprehension questions

  1. How long can Hajj last?
  2. How many times must adult Muslims attend Hajj in their lifetime?
  3. What must pilgrims be able to support in their absence?
  4. What have precautionary measures been put in place for?
  5. What has the pandemic caused the postponement of?
  6. What Saudi ministry made an announcement to scale down Hajj?
  7. What did the authorities want to contain the risk of?
  8. Who has cancelled pilgrimages to the Hajj?
  9. How many people usually attend Hajj?
  10. How many times has Wafa Shaheen attended Hajj?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  How long can Hajj last?
a) 3 days
b) 5 or 6 days
c) 3 or 4 days
d) 8 days
2) How many times must adult Muslims attend Hajj in their lifetime?
a) ten times
b) three times
c) twice
d) once
3) What must pilgrims be able to support in their absence?
a) their family
b) their country
c) themselves
d) the poor
4) What have precautionary measures been put in place for?
a) bad weather
b) large crowds
c) the coronavirus
d) cyber-attacks
5) What has the pandemic caused the postponement of?
a) a meeting
b) numerous events
c) flights
d) the opening of a building

6) What Saudi ministry made an announcement to scale down Hajj?
a) the Saudi Ministry of Employment
b) the Saudi Ministry of Travel
c) the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah
d) the Saudi Ministry of Security
7) What did the authorities want to contain the risk of?
a) stampedes
b) bad weather
c) sandstorms
d) infection
8) Who has cancelled pilgrimages to the Hajj?
a) many Muslim-majority countries
b) Saudi Arabia
c) an imam
d) tour operators
9) How many people usually attend Hajj?
a) two million
b) half-a-million
c) one million
d) three million
10) How many times has Wafa Shaheen attended Hajj?
a) twenty-one
b) twenty-two
c) nineteen
d) thirty-two

Role play

Role  A – World Peace
You think world peace is the greatest thing to pray for. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): good health, love or a COVID-19 vaccine.

Role  B – Good Health
You think good health is the greatest thing to pray for. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): world peace, love or a COVID-19 vaccine.

Role  C – Love
You think love is the greatest thing to pray for. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): good health, world peace or a COVID-19 vaccine.

Role  D – A COVID-19 Vaccine
You think a COVID-19 vaccine is the greatest thing to pray for. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): good health, love or world peace.

After reading / listening

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

'sacred'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'city'.

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

    • annual
    • lasts
    • least
    • financially
    • measures
    • numerous
    • severely
    • site
    • risks
    • result
    • few
    • time




    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 - Hajj

    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 'Hajj'?
    3. What do you know about Hajj?
    4. What do you know about Mecca?
    5. What are the most important events in your religion's calendar?
    6. What mandatory religious duties are there in your religion?
    7. What kind of pilgrimage would you like to go on?
    8. What precautions have you taken regarding coronavirus?
    9. Have you ever been disappointed because something was postponed?
    10. How important is religion to you?

    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 'pilgrimage'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What holy sites have you visited?
    5. How do you feel when you enter a place of worship?
    6. What can authorities do to lower the risks of infection?
    7. What happens at Mecca during Hajj?
    8. Would you like to visit Saudi Arabia?
    9. How do you take advantage of precious spiritual time?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the pilgrims?

    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)

    The annual Hajj is (1) ____ to take place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the Muslim calendar. It lasts (2) ____ 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. Hajj must be carried out at least once in the (3) ____ of all adult Muslims. However, they must be physically and financially (4) ____ of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been greatly scaled down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been put (5) ____ place. The pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment (6) ____ pilgrims.

    The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced last month that it was (7) ____ limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the (8) ____ site this year. Officials said the measures were to avoid any further outbreaks of COVID-19 and contain the risks of (9) ____. Many Muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result is that Mecca will see only a tiny fraction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during Hajj. This year, places will be restricted (10) ____ a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-(11) ____ pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not upset by the Hajj news this year as I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this (12) ____ spiritual time."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     bet     (b)     met     (c)     let     (d)     set    
    2. (a)     approximation     (b)     approx.     (c)     approximate     (d)     approximately    
    3. (a)     lifeless     (b)     lifetime     (c)     lifelike     (d)     lifeline    
    4. (a)     culpable     (b)     capacity     (c)     capable     (d)     cable    
    5. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     in     (d)     of    
    6. (a)     for     (b)     of     (c)     at     (d)     as    
    7. (a)     selfless     (b)     severely     (c)     clarity     (d)     await    
    8. (a)     holy     (b)     holly     (c)     wholly     (d)     holey    
    9. (a)     inflection     (b)     infection     (c)     infraction     (d)     inflation    
    10. (a)     on     (b)     of     (c)     to     (d)     at    
    11. (a)     timely     (b)     timed     (c)     time     (d)     times    
    12. (a)     polished     (b)     pernicious     (c)     precocious     (d)     precious

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. The iggemarlpi is one of the most important events
    2. a ytmdaoran religious duty
    3. elapacb of undertaking the journey
    4. aetanriupcyro measures
    5. the eopetmposntn of numerous events
    6. causing oesedcrbilna disappointment

    Paragraph 2

    1. it was rvlseeye limiting
    2. meraessu were to avoid any further outbreaks
    3. contain the risks of iofcneitn
    4. see only a tiny critafno
    5. cretteirsd to a few thousand
    6. oruisepc spiritual time

    Put the text back together

    (...)  important events in the Muslim calendar. It lasts approximately 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious
    (...)  duty for Muslims. Hajj must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims. However, they must
    (...)  The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced last month that it was severely limiting the number of
    (...)  measures for coronavirus have been put in place. The pandemic has meant the postponement
    (...)  of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment for pilgrims.
    (...)  family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been greatly scaled down because precautionary
    (...)  world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result is that Mecca will see only a tiny
    (...)  few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not
    (...)  fraction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during Hajj. This year, places will be restricted to a
    1  ) The annual Hajj is set to take place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most
    (...)  be physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their
    (...)  upset by the Hajj news this year as I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this precious spiritual time."
    (...)  of COVID-19 and contain the risks of infection. Many Muslim-majority countries around the
    (...)  pilgrims allowed to enter the holy site this year. Officials said the measures were to avoid any further outbreaks

    Put the words in the right order

    1. city   .   place   in   take   to   sacred   Set   the
    2. important   most   the   Muslim   calendar   .   events   in   The
    3. must   least   be   out   carried   once   .   Hajj   at
    4. year's   down   .   scaled   Hajj   has   This   greatly   been
    5. events   .   the   meant   The   has   pandemic   postponement   of
    6. limiting   of   pilgrims   .   number   the   severely   was   It
    7. further   any   to   were   Measures   outbreaks   .   avoid
    8. tiny   the   A   pilgrims   .   fraction   of   two   million
    9. will   thousand   .   to   a   Places   be   few   restricted
    10. of   this   spiritual   advantage   Take   precious   time   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The annual Hajj is set / bet to take place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the Muslim calendar / journal. It lasts appropriately / approximately 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious dutiful / duty for Muslims. Hajj must be carried in / out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims. However, they must be physically and financially capability / capable of undertaking the journey and must be ability / able to support their family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been greatly scaled / slated down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been put on / in place. The pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment for / by pilgrims.

    The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah renounced / announced last month that it was severely limiting the number of pilgrims allowed / permit to enter the holy site this year. Officials said the measures were to evade / avoid any further outbreaks of COVID-19 and contain the risks of infected / infection. Many Muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. The result be / is that Mecca will see only a tiny fraction / friction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives among / during Hajj. This year, places will be restricted at / to a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens. Twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen said: "I was not upset / reset by the Hajj news this year as I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this precious / precocious spiritual time."

    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)

    T h_ _n n__ l H_j j _s s_t t_ t_k_ p l_c_ _n t h_ s_c r_d c_t y _f M_c c_, S__ d_ A r_b__ . T h_ p_l g r_m_g_ _s _n_ _f t h_ m_s t _m p_r t_n t _v_n t s _n t h_ M_s l_m c_l_n d_r . I t l_s t s _p p r_x_m_t_l y 5 t_ 6 d_y s _n d _s _ m_n d_t_r y r_l_g___s d_t y f_r M_s l_m s . H_j j m_s t b_ c_r r__ d __ t _t l__ s t _n c_ _n t h_ l_f_t_m_ _f _l l _d_l t M_s l_m s . H_w_v_r , t h_y m_s t b_ p h y s_c_l l y _n d f_n_n c__ l l y c_p_b l_ _f _n d_r t_k_n g t h_ j__ r n_y _n d m_s t b_ _b l_ t_ s_p p_r t t h__ r f_m_l y d_r_n g t h__ r _b s_n c_. T h_s y__ r ' s H_j j h_s b__ n g r__ t l y s c_l_d d_w n b_c__ s_ p r_c__ t__ n_r y m__ s_r_s f_r c_r_n_v_r_s h_v_ b__ n p_t _n p l_c_. T h_ p_n d_m_c h_s m__ n t t h_ p_s t p_n_m_n t _f n_m_r__ s _v_n t s , c__ s_n g c_n s_d_r_b l_ d_s_p p__ n t m_n t f_r p_l g r_m s .

    T h_ S__ d_ M_n_s t r y _f H_j j _n d U m r_h _n n__ n c_d l_s t m_n t h t h_t _t w_s s_v_r_l y l_m_t_n g t h_ n_m b_r _f p_l g r_m s _l l_w_d t_ _n t_r t h_ h_l y s_t_ t h_s y__ r . O f f_c__ l s s__ d t h_ m__ s_r_s w_r_ t_ _v__ d _n y f_r t h_r __ t b r__ k s _f C O V I D - 1 9 _n d c_n t__ n t h_ r_s k s _f _n f_c t__ n . M_n y M_s l_m - m_j_r_t y c__ n t r__ s _r__ n d t h_ w_r l d h_v_ c_n c_l l_d p_l g r_m_g_s t_ M_c c_. T h_ r_s_l t _s t h_t M_c c_ w_l l s__ _n l y _ t_n y f r_c t__ n _f t h_ t w_ m_l l__ n p_l g r_m s _t _s__ l l y r_c__ v_s d_r_n g H_j j . T h_s y__ r , p l_c_s w_l l b_ r_s t r_c t_d t_ _ f_w t h__ s_n d S__ d_ A r_b__ n c_t_z_n s . T w_n t y - t w_- t_m_ p_l g r_m W_f_ S h_h__ n s__ d : " I w_s n_t _p s_t b y t h_ H_j j n_w s t h_s y__ r _s I k n_w t h_r_ _r_ p l_n t y _f w_y s t_ t_k_ _d v_n t_g_ _f t h_s p r_c___s s p_r_t__ l t_m_. "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the annual hajj is set to take place in the sacred city of mecca, saudi arabia. the pilgrimage is one of the most important events in the muslim calendar. it lasts approximately 5 to 6 days and is a mandatory religious duty for muslims. hajj must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult muslims. however, they must be physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and must be able to support their family during their absence. this year's hajj has been greatly scaled down because precautionary measures for coronavirus have been put in place. the pandemic has meant the postponement of numerous events, causing considerable disappointment for pilgrims.

    the saudi ministry of hajj and umrah announced last month that it was severely limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the holy site this year. officials said the measures were to avoid any further outbreaks of covid-19 and contain the risks of infection. many muslim-majority countries around the world have cancelled pilgrimages to mecca. the result is that mecca will see only a tiny fraction of the two million pilgrims it usually receives during hajj. this year, places will be restricted to a few thousand saudi arabian citizens. twenty-two-time pilgrim wafa shaheen said: "i was not upset by the hajj news this year as i know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this precious spiritual time

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    TheannualHajjissettotakeplaceinthesacredcityofMecca,SaudiArabia
    .ThepilgrimageisoneofthemostimportanteventsintheMuslimcalenda
    r.Itlastsapproximately5to6daysandisamandatoryreligiousdutyforM
    uslims.HajjmustbecarriedoutatleastonceinthelifetimeofalladultMusl
    ims.However,theymustbephysicallyandfinanciallycapableofunderta
    kingthejourneyandmustbeabletosupporttheirfamilyduringtheirabse
    nce.Thisyear'sHajjhasbeengreatlyscaleddownbecauseprecautionar
    ymeasuresforcoronavirushavebeenputinplace.Thepandemichasme
    antthepostponementofnumerousevents,causingconsiderabledisap
    pointmentforpilgrims.TheSaudiMinistryofHajjandUmrahannounced
    lastmonththatitwasseverelylimitingthenumberofpilgrimsallowedtoe
    ntertheholysitethisyear.Officialssaidthemeasuresweretoavoidanyfu
    rtheroutbreaksofCOVID-19andcontaintherisksofinfection.ManyMus
    lim-majoritycountriesaroundtheworldhavecancelledpilgrimagest
    oMecca.TheresultisthatMeccawillseeonlyatinyfractionofthetwomilli
    onpilgrimsitusuallyreceivesduringHajj.Thisyear,placeswillberestrict
    edtoafewthousandSaudiArabiancitizens.Twenty-two-timepilgrimW
    afaShaheensaid:"IwasnotupsetbytheHajjnewsthisyearasIknowther
    eareplentyofwaystotakeadvantageofthispreciousspiritualtime."

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Everyone should go on a pilgrimage once in their life. 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. HAJJ: Make a poster about Hajj. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. CORONAVIRUS: Write a magazine article about things like Hajj carrying on as normal despite coronavirus. 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 Hajj. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on the importance of Hajj. 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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