The Reading / Listening - Europe's Floods - Level 6

Germany's leader has expressed her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the severe flooding in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was horrified by the destruction across swathes of her country. She visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and listened to accounts of the disaster from local residents. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can pretty much say that the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that has been wreaked." Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle the climate crisis. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in the fight against climate change."

Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers to swell and overflow last week. Many burst their banks and caused flash floods in adjacent towns and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The death toll stands at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in debris. The floods reshaped many parts of towns beyond recognition, which Ms Merkel described as being "surreal". Armin Laschet, the premier of the flood-stricken state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up operation would take "years". He questioned Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness of flood defences.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Europe's Floods - Level 4  or  Europe's Floods - Level 5

Sources
  • https://news.yahoo.com/merkel-visit-flood-zone-western-051016535.html
  • https://www.politico.eu/article/merkel-pledges-stronger-post-flood-focus-on-climate-protection/
  • https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/reuters/-it-s-terrifying---merkel-shaken-as-flood-deaths-rise-to-188-in-europe/46796240


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. FLOODS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about floods. 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?
       leader / fears / climate change / destruction / swathes / disaster / language / crisis /
       torrential rain / rivers / floodwaters / bridges / debris / surreal / clean-up / surreal
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. TAX: Students A strongly believe there should be a tax on companies that add to global warming; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. NATURAL DISASTERS: How can we prepare for these natural disasters? What should governments do after they happen? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Disaster Preparation

What Governments Should Do

Floods

 

 

Wildfires

 

 

Earthquakes

 

 

Droughts

 

 

Hurricanes

 

 

Heatwaves

 

 

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. FEAR: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "fear". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. CLIMATE CHANGE: Rank these with your partner. Put the best things to do to help prevent climate change at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Walk more
  • Turn off lights
  • Eat less meat
  • Fly less
  • Recycle more
  • Use LED lights
  • Electric cars
  • Buy used goods

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. expressed a. Increased rapidly
      2. devastation b. Great destruction or damage.
      3. severe c. A broad area of something.
      4. swathes d. Made a thought or feeling known in words or by gestures and conduct.
      5. wreaked e. Make determined efforts to deal with a problem or difficult task.
      6. escalate f. Of something bad or undesirable; very great; intense.
      7. tackle g. Caused a large amount of damage or harm.

    Paragraph 2

      8. torrential h. Next to or adjoining something else.
      9. swell i. Break open or apart suddenly and violently, especially as a result of an impact or internal pressure.
      10. burst j. Scattered pieces of rubbish or remains.
      11. adjacent k. Of rain falling rapidly and in huge quantities.
      12. toll l. Become larger or rounder in size, typically as a result of a build-up of water or liquid.
      13. debris m. Bizarre and unlike anything we normally imagine.
      14. surreal n. The number of deaths or casualties arising from a natural disaster, conflict, accident, etc.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Germany's leader was devastated by the recent floods in Europe.     T / F
  2. Ms Merkel was horrified at the destruction across swathes of Germany.    T / F
  3. Ms Merkel said German did not have the words to describe the damage.  T / F
  4. Ms Merkel said the world had to tackle escalators.     T / F
  5. Many of Europe's major rivers became swollen and their banks burst.     T / F
  6. The article says over 190 people are still missing in the floods.     T / F
  7. Ms Merkel said what she saw in flooded towns was surreal.     T / F
  8. A state premier said it would take decades for towns to recover.     T / F

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

  1. expressed
  2. devastation
  3. horrified
  4. residents
  5. escalate
  6. torrential
  7. adjacent
  8. surreal
  9. stricken
  10. preparedness
  1. adjoining
  2. shocked
  3. increase
  4. readiness
  5. destruction
  6. unreal
  7. conveyed
  8. affected
  9. relentless
  10. citizens

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

  1. expressed her
  2. devastation caused by the severe
  3. she was horrified
  4. I can pretty
  5. the world had to escalate
  6. torrential
  7. flash
  8. death
  9. which Ms Merkel described
  10. He questioned Germany's preparedness
  1. rains
  2. by the destruction
  3. toll
  4. its efforts
  5. for floods
  6. fears
  7. as being "surreal"
  8. floods
  9. flooding
  10. much say that

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
horrified
describe
pretty
severe
escalate
residents
swathes
crisis

Germany's leader has expressed her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the (1) _____________________ flooding in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was (2) _____________________ by the destruction across (3) _____________________ of her country. She visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and listened to accounts of the disaster from local (4) _____________________. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can (5) _____________________ much say that the German language does not have words to (6) _____________________ the destruction that has been wreaked." Ms Merkel said the world had to (7) _____________________ its efforts to tackle the climate (8) _____________________. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in the fight against climate change."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
toll
surreal
banks
debris
defences
swell
operation
adjacent

Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers to (9) _____________________ and overflow last week. Many burst their (10) _____________________ and caused flash floods in (11) _____________________ towns and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The death (12) _____________________ stands at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in (13) _____________________. The floods reshaped many parts of towns beyond recognition, which Ms Merkel described as being "(14) _____________________". Armin Laschet, the premier of the flood-stricken state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up (15) _____________________ would take "years". He questioned Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness of flood (16) _____________________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by ______
     a.  the sever flooding
     b.  the server flooding
     c.  the severe flooding
     d.  the several flooding
2)  visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and ______
     a.  listened to account
     b.  listened to recounts
     c.  listened to a counts
     d.  listened to accounts
3)  the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that ______
     a.  has been wrecked
     b.  has been wreaked
     c.  has been reeked
     d.  has been leaked
4)  Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle ______
     a.  a climate crisis
     b.  their climate crisis
     c.  them climate crisis
     d.  the climate crisis
5)  She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in the fight______."
     a.  again climate change
     b.  aghast climate change
     c.  agate climate change
     d.  against climate change

6)  Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major ______
     a.  rivers to swell
     b.  rivers to swollen
     c.  rivers to swells
     d.  rivers to swelling
7)  Many burst their banks and caused flash floods ______
     a.  in a jay cent towns
     b.  in A.J. sent towns
     c.  in adjacent towns
     d.  in a joy sent towns
8)  Towns are now ______
     a.  covered in debris
     b.  covered in hubris
     c.  covered in debits
     d.  covered in hermits
9)  The floods reshaped many parts of towns _______
     a.  behind recognition
     b.  beyond recognition
     c.  bend recognition
     d.  bind recognition
10)  He questioned Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness ______
     a.  of flooding defences
     b.  of floods defences
     c.  of flood defences
     d.  of floods defences

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Germany's leader has (1) ____________________ about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the (2) ____________________ Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was horrified by the destruction across swathes of her country. She visited some of the (3) ____________________ in Germany and listened to accounts of the disaster from local residents. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can (4) ____________________ that the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that (5) ____________________." Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its (6) ____________________ the climate crisis. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in the fight against climate change."

Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers to (7) ___________________ last week. Many burst their banks and caused flash floods (8) ___________________ and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The (9) ____________________ at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in debris. The floods reshaped many parts of (10) ____________________, which Ms Merkel described as being "surreal". Armin Laschet, the premier of the flood-(11) ____________________ North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up operation would take "years". He questioned Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness (12) ____________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. How did Angela Merkel feel about the flooding in Europe?
  2. Whose accounts of the disaster did Ms Merkel listen to?
  3. What did Ms Merkel say lacked words to describe the destruction?
  4. What did Ms Merkel say the world had to escalate?
  5. What did Ms Merkel say the world had to do in the climate change fight?
  6. What does the article say caused rivers to swell and overflow?
  7. What does the article say washed away roads and bridges?
  8. What are many towns now covered in?
  9. How did Ms Merkel describe reshaped towns as being?
  10. How long did a state premier say it would take to clean up the damage?




Multiple choice quiz

1) How did Angela Merkel feel about the flooding in Europe?
a) in two minds
b) sad
c) horrified
d) miserable
2) Whose accounts of the disaster did Ms Merkel listen to?
a) local residents
b) journalists
c) rescuers
d) emergency workers
3) What did Ms Merkel say lacked words to describe the destruction?
a) the Internet
b) the German language
c) newspapers
d) humans
4) What did Ms Merkel say the world had to escalate?
a) laws
b) change
c) education
d) its efforts
5) What did Ms Merkel say the world had to do in the climate change fight?
a) fight harder
b) use electric cars
c) hurry
d) win

6) What does the article say caused rivers to swell and overflow?
a) poor flood defences
b) torrential rains
c) human activity
d) strong winds
7) What does the article say washed away roads and bridges?
a) raging torrents
b) gushing water
c) white water
d) floodwaters
8) What are many towns now covered in?
a) plastic
b) debris
c) water
d) sludge
9) How did Ms Merkel describe reshaped towns as being?
a) sad
b) surreal
c) unrealistic
d) tragic
10) How long did a state premier say it would take to clean up the damage?
a) years
b) months
c) decades
d) a century

Role play

Role  A – Walk More
You think to walk more is the best thing to prevent climate change. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): eat less meat, buy used goods or use LED lights.

Role  B – Eat Less Meat
You think to eat less meat is the best thing to prevent climate change. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): walk more, buy used goods or use LED lights.

Role  C – Buy Used Goods
You think to buy used goods is the best thing to prevent climate change. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): eat less meat, walk more or use LED lights.

Role  D – Use LED Lights
You think to use LED lights is the best thing to prevent climate change. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): eat less meat, buy used goods or walk more.

After reading / listening

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

'flood'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'danger'.

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

    • leader
    • horrified
    • hit
    • pretty
    • crisis
    • fight
    • major
    • banks
    • washed
    • beyond
    • clean
    • defences

    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 - Europe's Floods

    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 'flood'?
    3. What do you know about the floods in Europe?
    4. How worried are you about climate change?
    5. What do you do to help stop global warming?
    6. How has the climate been changing in your country?
    7. Have you experienced any severe weather events?
    8. What would you do in a flood?
    9. What damage do floods cause?
    10. What advice do you have for those affected by the floods?

    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 'danger'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What is the heaviest rain you have experienced?
    5. How can the world help people hit hard by the floods?
    6. What is the most surreal thing you've seen in your town?
    7. How can flood defences be made more effective?
    8. Will humans ever be able to protect against the power of nature?
    9. How prepared are you for emergencies?
    10. What questions would you like to ask Angela Merkel?

    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)

    Germany's leader has (1) ____ her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the (2) ____ flooding in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was horrified by the destruction across swathes of her country. She visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and listened to (3) ____ of the disaster from local residents. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can (4) ____ much say that the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that has been (5) ____." Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle the climate crisis. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster (6) ____ the fight against climate change."

    Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers (7) ____ swell and overflow last week. Many burst their (8) ____ and caused flash floods in adjacent towns and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The death (9) ____ stands at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in (10) ____. The floods reshaped many parts of towns beyond recognition, which Ms Merkel described as being "(11) ____". Armin Laschet, the premier of the flood-stricken state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up operation would take "years". He questioned Germany's preparedness (12) ____ floods and the effectiveness of flood defences.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     expresses     (b)     expressive     (c)     expression     (d)     expressed    
    2. (a)     several     (b)     severed     (c)     sever     (d)     severe    
    3. (a)     vignettes     (b)     accounts     (c)     chapters     (d)     volumes    
    4. (a)     petty     (b)     patty     (c)     pretty     (d)     putty    
    5. (a)     wrecked     (b)     waked     (c)     wreaked     (d)     wracked    
    6. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     of     (d)     by    
    7. (a)     at     (b)     to     (c)     for     (d)     on    
    8. (a)     banks     (b)     offices     (c)     agencies     (d)     stations    
    9. (a)     toil     (b)     toll     (c)     till     (d)     tell    
    10. (a)     hubris     (b)     brisk     (c)     debris     (d)     debrief    
    11. (a)     ordeal     (b)     surrogate     (c)     surreal     (d)     ethereal    
    12. (a)     on     (b)     of     (c)     at     (d)     for

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Germany's leader has exressdep her fears
    2. visiting the atsvoatndei
    3. ereves flooding
    4. across aewstsh of her country
    5. the destruction that has been kwerdea
    6. latecsae its efforts

    Paragraph 2

    1. troneatirl rains
    2. flash floods in ndeactja towns
    3. beyond neonrotiicg
    4. described as being aesulrr
    5. the flood-sreitkcn state
    6. Germany's rsepaesnerdp for floods

    Put the text back together

    (...)  Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers to swell and overflow last week. Many burst their
    (...)  much say that the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that has been
    1  ) Germany's leader has expressed her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused
    (...)  accounts of the disaster from local residents. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can pretty
    (...)  premier of the flood-stricken state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up
    (...)  wreaked." Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle the climate
    (...)  crisis. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in the fight against climate change."
    (...)  banks and caused flash floods in adjacent towns and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads
    (...)  beyond recognition, which Ms Merkel described as being "surreal". Armin Laschet, the
    (...)  toll stands at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in debris. The floods reshaped many parts of towns
    (...)  of her country. She visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and listened to
    (...)  by the severe flooding in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was horrified by the destruction across swathes
    (...)  and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The death
    (...)  operation would take "years". He questioned Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness of flood defences.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. leader fears her about expressed climate change. Germany's
    2. destruction. the She was horrified she said by
    3. doesn't have German the words to describe destruction.
    4. efforts crisis. climate to Escalate its tackle the
    5. climate the Be fight faster in against change.
    6. Torrential caused Europe's major to rains overflow. rivers
    7. and their burst banks flash Rivers caused floods.
    8. recognition. parts beyond of many reshaped Floodwater towns
    9. clean-up said He take years. operation would the
    10. floods effectiveness and Preparedness defences. for of the

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Germany's leader has expressive / expressed her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the severe / several flooding in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was horrific / horrified by the destruction across swathes / clothes of her country. She visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Germany and listened to accounts / account of the disaster from local / locale residents. She told reporters: "It's shocking. I can pretty / beauty much say that the German language does not have words to describe the destruction that has been wrecked / wreaked." Ms Merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle / foul the climate crisis. She said: "We must hurry. We have to be faster in / on the fight against climate change."

    Torrential rains caused many of Europe's major rivers to swollen / swell and overflow last week. Many burst / worst their banks and caused flash floods in near / adjacent towns and villages. The floodwaters washed away houses, roads and bridges across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The death / dead toll stands at 190, with many more people missing. Towns are now covered in hubris / debris. The floods reshaped many parts of towns beyond recognition / recognise, which Ms Merkel described as being / been "surreal". Armin Laschet, the premier of the flood-stricken state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the clean-up surgery / operation would take "years". He questioned / asked Germany's preparedness for floods and the effectiveness of floods / flood defences.

    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)

    G_rm_ny's  l__d_r  h_s  _xpr_ss_d  h_r  f__rs  _b__t  cl_m_t_  ch_ng_  _ft_r  v_s_t_ng  th_  d_v_st_t__n  c__s_d  by  th_  s_v_r_  fl__d_ng  _n  __r_p_.  Ch_nc_ll_r  _ng_l_  M_rk_l  s__d  sh_  w_s  h_rr_f__d  by  th_  d_str_ct__n  _cr_ss  sw_th_s  _f  h_r  c__ntry.  Sh_  v_s_t_d  s_m_  _f  th_  h_rd_st-h_t  _r__s  _n  G_rm_ny  _nd  l_st_n_d  t_  _cc__nts  _f  th_  d_s_st_r  fr_m  l_c_l  r_s_d_nts.  Sh_  t_ld  r_p_rt_rs:  "_t's  sh_ck_ng.  _  c_n  pr_tty  m_ch  s_y  th_t  th_  G_rm_n  l_ng__g_  d__s  n_t  h_v_  w_rds  t_  d_scr_b_  th_  d_str_ct__n  th_t  h_s  b__n  wr__k_d."  Ms  M_rk_l  s__d  th_  w_rld  h_d  t_  _sc_l_t_  _ts  _ff_rts  t_  t_ckl_  th_  cl_m_t_  cr_s_s.  Sh_  s__d:  "W_  m_st  h_rry.  W_  h_v_  t_  b_  f_st_r  _n  th_  f_ght  _g__nst  cl_m_t_  ch_ng_."

    T_rr_nt__l  r__ns  c__s_d  m_ny  _f  __r_p_'s  m_j_r  r_v_rs  t_  sw_ll  _nd  _v_rfl_w  l_st  w__k.  M_ny  b_rst  th__r  b_nks  _nd  c__s_d  fl_sh  fl__ds  _n  _dj_c_nt  t_wns  _nd  v_ll_g_s.  Th_  fl__dw_t_rs  w_sh_d  _w_y  h__s_s,  r__ds  _nd  br_dg_s  _cr_ss  G_rm_ny,  B_lg__m,  L_x_mb__rg,  Sw_tz_rl_nd  _nd  th_  N_th_rl_nds.  Th_  d__th  t_ll  st_nds  _t  190,  w_th  m_ny  m_r_  p__pl_  m_ss_ng.  T_wns  _r_  n_w  c_v_r_d  _n  d_br_s.  Th_  fl__ds  r_sh_p_d  m_ny  p_rts  _f  t_wns  b_y_nd  r_c_gn_t__n,  wh_ch  Ms  M_rk_l  d_scr_b_d  _s  b__ng  "s_rr__l".  _rm_n  L_sch_t,  th_  pr_m__r  _f  th_  fl__d-str_ck_n  st_t_  _f  N_rth-Rh_n_  W_stph_l__,  s__d  th_  cl__n-_p  _p_r_t__n  w__ld  t_k_  "y__rs".  H_  q__st__n_d  G_rm_ny's  pr_p_r_dn_ss  f_r  fl__ds  _nd  th_  _ff_ct_v_n_ss  _f  fl__d  d_f_nc_s.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    germanys leader has expressed her fears about climate change after visiting the devastation caused by the severe flooding in europe chancellor angela merkel said she was horrified by the destruction across swathes of her country she visited some of the hardesthit areas in germany and listened to accounts of the disaster from local residents she told reporters its shocking i can pretty much say that the german language does not have words to describe the destruction that has been wreaked ms merkel said the world had to escalate its efforts to tackle the climate crisis she said we must hurry we have to be faster in the fight against climate change

    torrential rains caused many of europes major rivers to swell and overflow last week many burst their banks and caused flash floods in adjacent towns and villages the floodwaters washed away houses roads and bridges across germany belgium luxembourg switzerland and the netherlands the death toll stands at 190 with many more people missing towns are now covered in debris the floods reshaped many parts of towns beyond recognition which ms merkel described as being surreal armin laschet the premier of the floodstricken state of northrhine westphalia said the cleanup operation would take years he questioned germanys preparedness for floods and the effectiveness of flood defences

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Germany'sleaderhasexpressedherfearsaboutclimatechangeaftervis
    itingthedevastationcausedbytheseverefloodinginEurope.Chancellor
    AngelaMerkelsaidshewashorrifiedbythedestructionacrossswathesof
    hercountry.Shevisitedsomeofthehardest-hitareasinGermanyandli
    stenedtoaccountsofthedisasterfromlocalresidents.Shetoldreporters
    :"It'sshocking.IcanprettymuchsaythattheGermanlanguagedoesnot
    havewordstodescribethedestructionthathasbeenwreaked."MsMerk
    elsaidtheworldhadtoescalateitseffortstotackletheclimatecrisis.Shes
    aid:"Wemusthurry.Wehavetobefasterinthefightagainstclimatechan
    ge."TorrentialrainscausedmanyofEurope'smajorriverstoswellandov
    erflowlastweek.Manybursttheirbanksandcausedflashfloodsinadjace
    nttownsandvillages.Thefloodwaterswashedawayhouses,roadsandb
    ridgesacrossGermany,Belgium,Luxembourg,SwitzerlandandtheNet
    herlands.Thedeathtollstandsat190,withmanymorepeoplemissing.T
    ownsarenowcoveredindebris.Thefloodsreshapedmanypartsoftowns
    beyondrecognition,whichMsMerkeldescribedasbeing"surreal".Armi
    nLaschet,thepremieroftheflood-strickenstateofNorth-RhineWestp
    halia,saidtheclean-upoperationwouldtake"years".HequestionedGe
    rmany'spreparednessforfloodsandtheeffectivenessofflooddefences.

    Free writing

    Write about Europe's floods for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Climate change is not high on the to-do list of most governments. 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. FLOODS: Make a poster about floods. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. CLIMATE CHANGE: Write a magazine article about taxing every company that adds to global warming. 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 floods. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to prevent them in the future. 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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