The Reading / Listening - Mouse Plague - Level 3

Millions of mice have been creating havoc in Australia. The state of New South Wales is suffering from its worst mouse plague in decades. The mouse population started growing on farms in spring last year because of a bumper wheat harvest. The rodents have been causing farmers a major headache for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has been forced to evacuate. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other jails in the region because of health and safety reasons. It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs to electric cables and woodwork to be carried out.

Mice have been causing damage to buildings throughout the region. Their droppings have become a health hazard that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. In addition, they have chewed through electrical wiring, which has become a danger to property and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke about the cleaning and repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and wellbeing of staff and inmates is our number one priority, so it's important for us to act now to carry out the vital repair work....We need to take this step now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at ways to protect against plagues in the future.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Mouse Plague - Level 0 Mouse Plague - Level 1   or  Mouse Plague - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7307607/nsw-jail-evacuated-because-of-mice-plague/
  • https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/everywhere-s-bad-farmers-eye-long-campaign-against-mouse-plague-20210607-p57yor.html
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-06-23/bromadiolone-mouse-plague-poison-rejected-for-use/100218864


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Warm-ups

1. MICE: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about mice. 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?
       millions / havoc / plague / decades / wheat / harvest / prison / evacuate / cables /
       damage / health hazard / thousands / repair / wellbeing / vital / infrastructure / future
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. PRISONS: Students A strongly believe prisons are good; Students B strongly believe prisons are bad. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. PESTS: What do you think of these pests? What damage do they do? How can we control them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Think

The Damage They Do

How to Control Them

Mice

 

 

 

Locusts

 

 

 

Rats

 

 

 

Cockroaches

 

 

 

Weeds

 

 

 

Mosquitoes

 

 

 

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. FARM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "farm". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. RODENTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the most interesting rodents at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Beavers
  • Guinea pigs
  • Prairie dogs
  • Porcupines
  • Hamsters

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. havoc a. All of the crops grown and gathered in a season.
      2. decade b. Widespread destruction.
      3. population c. All the people of a particular town, area, or country.
      4. harvest d. Remove someone from a place of danger to a safe place.
      5. rodent e. A thick rope of wire or nonmetallic fiber, usually used for construction, tying up ships, and towing cars, or for transporting electricity.
      6. evacuate f. A period of ten years.
      7. cable g. A mammal that includes rats, mice, squirrels, hamsters, etc. with strong, large front teeth.

    Paragraph 2

      8. throughout h. Buildings and land that belong to someone.
      9. droppings i. In a way that covers every detail.
      10. chew j. Totally necessary or important; essential.
      11. property k. Bite at something non-stop.
      12. wellbeing l. The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
      13. vital m. In every part of.
      14. thoroughly n. The solid waste of animals, such as mice, sheep, birds, and insects.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The article says 10 million mice are creating havoc in Australia.     T / F
  2. The numbers of mice increased due to the production of lots of wheat.     T / F
  3. The mice plague forced the permanent closure of a prison near Sydney.   T / F
  4. It will take less than two weeks to repair the prison's electric cables.     T / F
  5. It is costing millions of dollars to deal with mice droppings.    T / F
  6. Millions of mice died after chewing through electrical wiring.     T / F
  7. The wellbeing of staff is the prison's top priority.     T / F
  8. Staff are looking at ways to deal with future mouse plagues.     T / F

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

  1. havoc
  2. decade
  3. harvest
  4. prison
  5. transferred
  6. region
  7. chewed
  8. danger
  9. vital
  10. protect
  1. crop
  2. hazard
  3. area
  4. gnawed
  5. ten years
  6. safeguard
  7. moved
  8. chaos
  9. jail
  10. essential

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

  1. Millions of mice have been creating
  2. causing farmers a major
  3. forced to
  4. because of health and
  5. repairs to electric
  6. causing damage to buildings
  7. Their droppings have become
  8. a danger to property
  9. The health, safety and
  10. our number one
  1. evacuate
  2. a health hazard
  3. cables
  4. throughout the region
  5. headache
  6. priority
  7. havoc in Australia
  8. wellbeing of staff
  9. safety reasons
  10. and human life

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
bumper
region
cables
havoc
reasons
major
decades
evacuate

Millions of mice have been creating (1) _____________________ in Australia. The state of New South Wales is suffering from its worst mouse plague in (2) _____________________. The mouse population started growing on farms in spring last year because of a (3) _____________________ wheat harvest. The rodents have been causing farmers a (4) _____________________ headache for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has been forced to (5) _____________________. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other jails in the (6) _____________________ because of health and safety (7) _____________________. It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs to electric (8) _____________________ and woodwork to be carried out.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
priority
hazard
protect
throughout
chewed
ensure
wellbeing
wiring

Mice have been causing damage to buildings (9) _____________________ the region. Their droppings have become a health (10) _____________________ that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. In addition, they have (11) _____________________ through electrical (12) _____________________, which has become a danger to property and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke about the cleaning and repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and (13) _____________________ of staff and inmates is our number one (14) _____________________, so it's important for us to act now to carry out the vital repair work....We need to take this step now to (15) _____________________ the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at ways to (16) _____________________ against plagues in the future.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) Millions of mice have been creating ______
     a.  hake in Australia
     b.  haddock in Australia
     c.  havoc in Australia
     d.  halibut in Australia
2)  The state of New South Wales is suffering from its worst mouse ______
     a.  plague on decades
     b.  plague in decades
     c.  plague on decade
     d.  plague in decodes
3) started growing on farms in spring last year because of a ______
     a.  bump per wheat harvest
     b.  bum per wheat harvest
     c.  bum pair wheat harvest
     d.  bumper wheat harvest
4)  The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has been ______
     a.  forced to evacuate
     b.  force to evacuate
     c.  forced too evacuate
     d.  forced two evacuate
5)  It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs ______
     a.  to electric key balls
     b.  to electric cay balls
     c.  to electric cab bales
     d.  to electric cables

6)  Mice have been causing damage to buildings ______
     a.  through want the region
     b.  threw outer region
     c.  though out the region
     d.  throughout the region
7)  In addition, they have chewed ______
     a.  through electrical wring
     b.  through electrical why ring
     c.  through electrical whey ring
     d.  through electrical wiring
8)  The health, safety and wellbeing of staff and inmates is our ______
     a.  number win priority
     b.  number once priority
     c.  number one priority
     d.  number won priority
9)  so it's important for us to act now to carry out the ______
     a.  bite all repair work
     b.  by tall repair work
     c.  bite tall repair work
     d.  vital repair work
10) now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and ______
     a.  infrastructure as repaired
     b.  infrastructure is repaired
     c.  infrastructures repaired
     d.  infrastructure is reap paired

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Millions of mice have been (1) ____________________ Australia. The state of New South Wales is (2) ____________________ worst mouse plague in decades. The mouse population started growing on farms in spring last year because of a bumper wheat harvest. The (3) ____________________ causing farmers a major headache for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has (4) ____________________ evacuate. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other jails (5) ____________________ because of health and safety reasons. It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for (6) ____________________ cables and woodwork to be carried out.

Mice have been causing (7) ____________________ throughout the region. Their droppings have become (8) ____________________ that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. In addition, they have chewed through electrical wiring, which has become a (9) ____________________ and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke about the cleaning and repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and (10) ____________________ and inmates is our number one priority, so it's important for us to act now to carry out the (11) ____________________....We need to take this step now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at (12) ____________________ against plagues in the future.

Comprehension questions

  1. What Australian state is the mice plague in?
  2. What was there a bumper harvest of?
  3. How far west of Sydney is the prison in the article?
  4. How many prisoners were transferred to other prisons?
  5. How long will the cleaning of the prison take?
  6. What does the article say is a health hazard?
  7. What have mice chewed through?
  8. Who is Peter Severin?
  9. Who is the number one priority of the prison?
  10. What will prison staff hope to safeguard against in the future?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What Australian state is the mice plague in?
a) Tasmania
b) Victoria
c) New South Wales
d) Queensland
2) What was there a bumper harvest of?
a) wheat
b) corn
c) apples
d) rice
3) How far west of Sydney is the prison in the article?
a) 350km
b) 380km
c) 250km
d) 280km
4) How many prisoners were transferred to other prisons?
a) 400
b) 420
c) 450
d) 480
5) How long will the cleaning of the prison take?
a) 40 days
b) 30 days
c) 20 days
d) 10 days

6) What does the article say is a health hazard?
a) repair operations
b) mice droppings
c) bumper wheat
d) wellbeing
7) What have mice chewed through?
a) electrical wiring
b) cheese
c) sacks of wheat
d) metal
8) Who is Peter Severin?
a) a prisoner
b) a mouse expert
c) the prison spokesperson
d) a repair person
9) Who is the number one priority of the prison?
a) Peter Severin
b) repair people
c) nurses and doctors
d) staff and inmates
10) What will prison staff hope to safeguard against in the future?
a) plagues
b) floods
c) natural disasters
d) electrical fires

Role play

Role  A – Mice
You think mice are the most interesting rodents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their rodents aren't as interesting. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): squirrels, hamsters or beavers.

Role  B – Squirrels
You think squirrels are the most interesting rodents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their rodents aren't as interesting. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): mice, hamsters or beavers.

Role  C – Hamsters
You think hamsters are the most interesting rodents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their rodents aren't as interesting. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): squirrels, mice or beavers.

Role  D – Beavers
You think beavers are the most interesting rodents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their rodents aren't as interesting. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): squirrels, hamsters or mice.

After reading / listening

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

'mouse'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'plague'.

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

    • havoc
    • spring
    • major
    • forced
    • reasons
    • carried
    • causing
    • droppings
    • chewed
    • wellbeing
    • number
    • protect

    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 - Mouse Plague

    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 'mouse'?
    3. What do you think of mice?
    4. What would you do if you saw thousands of mice?
    5. What good do mice do?
    6. What headaches do mice cause farmers?
    7. What problems could mice cause a prison?
    8. Why are mice called pests?
    9. What others things cause farmers headaches?
    10. What things in life cause you headaches?

    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 'plague'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Why are some people afraid of mice?
    5. Have you ever had mice in your house?
    6. What is the best way to get rid of mice in your house?
    7. How could mice affect the wellbeing of people?
    8. Do mice make good pets?
    9. How can we stop plagues of mice in the future?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the head of the prison?

    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)

    Millions of mice have been creating havoc (1) ____ Australia. The state of New South Wales is suffering from its worst mouse plague in (2) ____. The mouse population started growing on farms in spring last year because of a bumper wheat (3) ____. The rodents have been causing farmers a major (4) ____ for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has been forced to (5) ____. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other jails in the region because of health and safety reasons. It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs to electric cables and woodwork to be carried (6) ____.

    Mice have been causing damage to buildings (7) ____ the region. Their droppings have become a health (8) ____ that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. In addition, they have chewed through electrical wiring, which has become a danger (9) ____ property and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke about the cleaning and repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and (10) ____ of staff and inmates is our number one priority, so it's important (11) ____ us to act now to carry out the vital repair work....We need to take this step now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at ways to protect (12) ____ plagues in the future.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     at     (b)     on     (c)     to     (d)     by    
    2. (a)     times     (b)     year     (c)     century     (d)     decades    
    3. (a)     sew     (b)     harvest     (c)     progress     (d)     seed    
    4. (a)     painful     (b)     throb     (c)     headache     (d)     tractor    
    5. (a)     evacuate     (b)     rattle     (c)     elevate     (d)     project    
    6. (a)     out     (b)     up     (c)     of     (d)     in    
    7. (a)     course     (b)     area     (c)     inner     (d)     throughout    
    8. (a)     hazard     (b)     blizzard     (c)     gizzard     (d)     wizard    
    9. (a)     at     (b)     to     (c)     by     (d)     as    
    10. (a)     beginning     (b)     well     (c)     wellbeing     (d)     wells    
    11. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     for     (d)     up    
    12. (a)     so     (b)     against     (c)     for     (d)     over

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. mice have been creating hoavc
    2. its worst mouse plague in saeddec
    3. because of a bumper wheat svrahte
    4. forced to tcueaaev
    5. other jails in the rgnioe
    6. repairs to electric cslaeb

    Paragraph 2

    1. a health arzahd
    2. they have wheced through electrical wiring
    3. a danger to yterropp
    4. The health, safety and bllgnewei of staff
    5. carry out the lvtia repair work
    6. ensure the site is ohghuytolr cleaned

    Put the text back together

    (...)  west of Sydney, has been forced to evacuate. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have
    (...)  from its worst mouse plague in decades. The mouse population started growing on farms in spring last
    1  ) Millions of mice have been creating havoc in Australia. The state of New South Wales is suffering
    (...)  been transferred to other jails in the region because of health and safety reasons. It will take
    (...)  out the vital repair work....We need to take this step now to ensure the site is
    (...)  Mice have been causing damage to buildings throughout the region. Their droppings have become
    (...)  thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at ways to protect against plagues in the future.
    (...)  wellbeing of staff and inmates is our number one priority, so it's important for us to act now to carry
    (...)  a health hazard that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. In addition, they have chewed
    (...)  10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs to electric cables and woodwork to be carried out.
    (...)  about the cleaning and repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and
    (...)  through electrical wiring, which has become a danger to property and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke
    (...)  headache for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km
    (...)  year because of a bumper wheat harvest. The rodents have been causing farmers a major

    Put the words in the right order

    1. mice   Australia   .   created   have   Millions   of   havoc   in
    2. mouse   its   in   Suffering   plague   from   decades   .   worst
    3. have   major   farmers   a   headache   .   Rodents   been   causing
    4. plague   The   for   a   problems   has   prison   .   caused
    5. the   days   to   It'll   clean   10   prison   .   take
    6. damage   buildings   .   Mice   to   causing   been   have
    7. droppings   health   become   a   hazard   .   have   Their
    8. electrical   chewed   they   wiring   .   have   through   addition,   In
    9. for   important   It   now   .   is   to   us   act
    10. future   .   to   Ways   plagues   the   in   against   protect

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Millions of mice have been creating hammock / havoc in Australia. The state of New South Wales is suffering from its bad / worst mouse plague in decades. The mouse population started growing / grown on farms in spring last year because of a bump / bumper wheat harvest. The rodents have been causing farmers a major backache / headache for over a year. The plague has now caused problems for a prison. The Wellington Correctional Centre, about 350km west of Sydney, has been forced to excavate / evacuate. Up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other / another jails in the region because of health and safe / safety reasons. It will take 10 days for the prison to be cleanse / cleaned and for repairs to electric cables and woodwork to be carried in / out.

    Mice have been causing damage to buildings thoroughly / throughout the region. Their droppings have become a health / healthy hazard that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean down / up. In addition, they have chewed through electrical wring / wiring, which has become a danger to / at property and human life. Prisons spokesperson Peter Severin spoke about the cleaning and prepare / repair operations at Wellington. He said: "The health, safety and wellbeing of staff and inmates is our numeral / number one priority, so it's important for us to act now to carry out the virtual / vital repair work....We need to take this step now to sure / ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired." Staff will also look at ways to / for protect against plagues in the future.

    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)

    M_ll__ns  _f  m_c_  h_v_  b__n  cr__t_ng  h_v_c  _n  __str_l__.  Th_  st_t_  _f  N_w  S__th  W_l_s  _s  s_ff_r_ng  fr_m  _ts  w_rst  m__s_  pl_g__  _n  d_c_d_s.  Th_  m__s_  p_p_l_t__n  st_rt_d  gr_w_ng  _n  f_rms  _n  spr_ng  l_st  y__r  b_c__s_  _f  _  b_mp_r  wh__t  h_rv_st.  Th_  r_d_nts  h_v_  b__n  c__s_ng  f_rm_rs  _  m_j_r  h__d_ch_  f_r  _v_r  _  y__r.  Th_  pl_g__  h_s  n_w  c__s_d  pr_bl_ms  f_r  _  pr_s_n.  Th_  W_ll_ngt_n  C_rr_ct__n_l  C_ntr_,  _b__t  350km  w_st  _f  Sydn_y,  h_s  b__n  f_rc_d  t_  _v_c__t_.  _p  t_  200  st_ff  _nd  420  pr_s_n_rs  h_v_  b__n  tr_nsf_rr_d  t_  _th_r  j__ls  _n  th_  r_g__n  b_c__s_  _f  h__lth  _nd  s_f_ty  r__s_ns.  _t  w_ll  t_k_  10  d_ys  f_r  th_  pr_s_n  t_  b_  cl__n_d  _nd  f_r  r_p__rs  t_  _l_ctr_c  c_bl_s  _nd  w__dw_rk  t_  b_  c_rr__d  __t.

    M_c_  h_v_  b__n  c__s_ng  d_m_g_  t_  b__ld_ngs  thr__gh__t  th_  r_g__n.  Th__r  dr_pp_ngs  h_v_  b_c_m_  _  h__lth  h_z_rd  th_t  h_s  c_st  h_ndr_ds  _f  th__s_nds  _f  d_ll_rs  t_  cl__n  _p.  _n  _dd_t__n,  th_y  h_v_  ch_w_d  thr__gh  _l_ctr_c_l  w_r_ng,  wh_ch  h_s  b_c_m_  _  d_ng_r  t_  pr_p_rty  _nd  h_m_n  l_f_.  Pr_s_ns  sp_k_sp_rs_n  P_t_r  S_v_r_n  sp_k_  _b__t  th_  cl__n_ng  _nd  r_p__r  _p_r_t__ns  _t  W_ll_ngt_n.  H_  s__d:  "Th_  h__lth,  s_f_ty  _nd  w_llb__ng  _f  st_ff  _nd  _nm_t_s  _s  __r  n_mb_r  _n_  pr__r_ty,  s_  _t's  _mp_rt_nt  f_r  _s  t_  _ct  n_w  t_  c_rry  __t  th_  v_t_l  r_p__r  w_rk....W_  n__d  t_  t_k_  th_s  st_p  n_w  t_  _ns_r_  th_  s_t_  _s  th_r__ghly  cl__n_d  _nd  _nfr_str_ct_r_  _s  r_p__r_d."  St_ff  w_ll  _ls_  l__k  _t  w_ys  t_  pr_t_ct  _g__nst  pl_g__s  _n  th_  f_t_r_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    millions of mice have been creating havoc in australia the state of new south wales is suffering from its worst mouse plague in decades the mouse population started growing on farms in spring last year because of a bumper wheat harvest the rodents have been causing farmers a major headache for over a year the plague has now caused problems for a prison the wellington correctional centre about 350km west of sydney has been forced to evacuate up to 200 staff and 420 prisoners have been transferred to other jails in the region because of health and safety reasons it will take 10 days for the prison to be cleaned and for repairs to electric cables and woodwork to be carried out

    mice have been causing damage to buildings throughout the region their droppings have become a health hazard that has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up in addition they have chewed through electrical wiring which has become a danger to property and human life prisons spokesperson peter severin spoke about the cleaning and repair operations at wellington he said the health safety and wellbeing of staff and inmates is our number one priority so its important for us to act now to carry out the vital repair workwe need to take this step now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired staff will also look at ways to protect against plagues in the future

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    MillionsofmicehavebeencreatinghavocinAustralia.ThestateofNewSo
    uthWalesissufferingfromitsworstmouseplagueindecades.Themouse
    populationstartedgrowingonfarmsinspringlastyearbecauseofabum
    perwheatharvest.Therodentshavebeencausingfarmersamajorhead
    acheforoverayear.Theplaguehasnowcausedproblemsforaprison.Th
    eWellingtonCorrectionalCentre,about350kmwestofSydney,hasbee
    nforcedtoevacuate.Upto200staffand420prisonershavebeentransfer
    redtootherjailsintheregionbecauseofhealthandsafetyreasons.Itwillt
    ake10daysfortheprisontobecleanedandforrepairstoelectriccablesan
    dwoodworktobecarriedout.Micehavebeencausingdamagetobuilding
    sthroughouttheregion.Theirdroppingshavebecomeahealthhazardth
    athascosthundredsofthousandsofdollarstocleanup.Inaddition,theyh
    avechewedthroughelectricalwiring,whichhasbecomeadangertoprop
    ertyandhumanlife.PrisonsspokespersonPeterSeverinspokeaboutth
    ecleaningandrepairoperationsatWellington.Hesaid:"Thehealth,safe
    tyandwellbeingofstaffandinmatesisournumberonepriority,soit'simp
    ortantforustoactnowtocarryoutthevitalrepairwork....Weneedtotake
    thisstepnowtoensurethesiteisthoroughlycleanedandinfrastructureis
    repaired."Staffwillalsolookatwaystoprotectagainstplaguesinthefutu
    re.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    We should do more to cut the numbers of pests like mice. 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. MICE: Make a poster about mice. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. PESTS: Write a magazine article about doing more to cut the numbers of pests like mice. 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 mice. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to stop mice becoming a problem. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.





    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

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    Answers

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

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