current events lesson

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current events lesson Powered By Docstoc
                                                          David Deubelbeiss

             In this lesson we will listen for “gist” or general meaning, using
             various current events / news reports. We will discuss why using
             current events is a great thing for your classroom and look at some
             specific sites and techniques helpful for your own classroom teaching.

1.  Using the news and current events in your classroom is a great teaching strategy for
language teachers. Can you think of some reasons why it is such a great thing?

                                     Current Events in
                                      the classroom

 Here are the top 10 reasons for using current events in your
classroom! Let’s read them – did you mention these? (see appendix)

Let’s watch the Newsround Headline news. Listen for detail and list the 5 main news
stories discussed. Can you catch them all?

1. ________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________

5. ________________________________________________

Now quiz your partner about each story using the 5 Ws that journalists use.
[Who? Where? When? What? Why?]






This is an excellent resource for use in the classroom and one which
students can also use outside the classroom. Let’s look at one lesson -
$100 Laptop. Get more examples in karaoke here.

                    1. MY COMPUTER HISTORY:
In pairs / groups, talk about your history with computers. Can you remember the first
time you used one? Do you have a love-hate relationship with them? How important have
they become in your life?

2. ENABLING: Talk with your partner(s) about how computers benefit the lives of the
following people:

      Children in Cambodian villages               Four-year-old children
      Senior citizens                              Backpackers
      The US President                             Artists
      Soccer players                               English students
      ______________________                       ____________________
3. COMPUTERS: In pairs / groups, agree on the endings to the following sentences
about computers. Talk about what you wrote. Change partners and share your sentences
and ideas.

     a. Computers are ___________________________________________________.
     b. Computers should _________________________________________________.
     c. Computers can ____________________________________________________.
     d. Computers can’t ___________________________________________________.
     e. Computers will ____________________________________________________.
     f. Computers may ___________________________________________________.
     g. Computers could __________________________________________________.
     h. Computers have ___________________________________________________.

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are
true (T) or false (F):

a.   Third World children can buy recycled laptop computers for $100.              T/F
b.   A university head wants developing world children to have computers.          T/F
c.   The idea came from children in a Massachusetts elementary school.             T/F
d.   The computers need lots of batteries.                                         T/F
e.   A wind-up hand crank gives the computers ten minutes of power.                T/F
f.   The laptops cannot do most of what more expensive computers can.              T/F
g.   Each laptop will come with a free pencil.                                     T/F
h.   Plans are to produce 15 million of the laptops over the next five years.      T/F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:
a.   unveiled                                     guarantee
b.   revolutionize                                connections
c.   initiative                                   usual
d.   ensure                                       machines
e.   robust                                       transform
f.   crank                                        sturdy
g. conventional                                   made public
h. ports                                          contact
i.   interaction                                  starter
j.   devices                                      enterprise
3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more
than one combination is possible):
a.   unveiled                                    en masse
b.   set up a new                                by clockwork
c.   distribute the new machines                 anywhere in the world
d.   Mr. Negroponte stumbled                     to increase their sturdiness
e.   robust enough to be used                    learning through independent interaction
f.   The laptops are powered                     plans
g.   winding up a hand crank                     initiative called One Laptop Per Child
h.   encased in rubber                           produces ten minutes of power
i.   One laptop per child                        across the idea
j.   learn                                       rather than per community


Listen and fill in the spaces.

$100 laptop for world’s poor children

BNE: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has _________ plans to produce

a laptop computer for under $100 that will revolutionize computer ______________ to

children in developing countries. Nicholas Negroponte, head of MIT’s Media Lab, has

set up a new ______________ called One Laptop Per Child. It is a non-profit

organization that will distribute the new machines ___ ______ and ensure the world’s

poor don't end up on the wrong side of a digital divide. Mr. Negroponte ___________

across the idea after observing how children in a Cambodian village learned from a

laptop. He decided to design a computer that was cheap and ___________ enough to be

used anywhere in the world and that did not need electricity or batteries.

The laptops are ___________ by clockwork. One minute of winding up a hand

___________ produces ten minutes of power. They are ___________ in more ways than

a conventional laptop and are ___________ in rubber to increase their sturdiness. They

will be able to do almost everything a $1,000 model can do except store huge amounts of
data. The machines have color screens, 1GB of memory and four USB ___________.

Negroponte is aiming at one laptop per child rather than per community as he wants

computers to be personal learning tools. He said: “One does not think of community

___________.” He explained: “They are a wonderful way for all children to ‘learn

learning’ through independent ___________ and exploration.” Plans are now in place to

distribute 15 million of the ___________ over the next five years.


$100: In pairs / groups, discuss what you think of the idea of the products in the left hand
column being sold for $100. How would they be different from conventional, more
expensive products? What differences would they make to the world? How possible is it
to produce / offer these products for $100?

PRODUCTS              DIFFERENT               DIFFERENCES             $100?



Small house

Water purification
Long-haul air

Your idea

Change partners and tell each other what you discussed with your previous

Now let’s look at some other examples of news stories used with text to speech
technology. Listen and answer the comprehension questions which follow............


Jeopardy is a very popular TV game show which deals with knowledge of the world and
current events. Let’s play and see how much you know..... Current Events One Two
           "TOP TEN" reasons for using current events in the classroom

   1. It's an adult medium. No big seventh grader who can't read likes to
       be seen carrying around "Six Ducks in a Pond" but he's proud to
       be seen reading the newspaper, watching the news.
   2. It deals in reality, in what is happening here and now. Motivation
       is built-in.
   3. It bridges the gap between the classroom and the "real" world
   4. It contains history as it happens, reported as completely and as objectively as is
       humanly possible.
   5. It's the ideal text for individualized instruction because it contains something for
       every student -the comics for the slower reader, the editorials for the brighter
       youngster; math problems ranging from number recognition to understanding
       stock market reports.
   6. It contains practical vocabulary, the words students will use over and over again
       throughout their lives.
   7. It contains in its news stories the best modes for clear, concise, simple writing /
       speaking. A great model!
   8. It is the perfect model for teaching students to write for a purpose and for a
       particular audience.
   9. It is the only up-to-date social studies provider there is.
   10. It is the only text the majority of students will continue to read / listen to
       throughout their lives.

*** an informed society is the best society and a guarantee that democracy will survive
and society grow in its level of humanity and compassion.
      adapted from the Augusta Chronicle