How to ace the dreaded IELTS ‘matching headings’ reading task, even when the environment’s the topic!

Did you also think that the IELTS reading section was easy until you attempted a task in which you match headings to the paragraphs? Now you might be feeling demotivated but fear not, help is at hand. Just follow the steps shown in this activity so that from this point onward, you’ll be saying ‘IELTS reading: bring it on!’

In this activity you will

  • Look at the importance of prediction followed by gist reading the whole text.
  • Learn about the ‘traffic light’ rule for unknown vocabulary in a text.
  • Practice an IELTS type text in which you match headings to paragraphs.
  • investigate an important issue of our times.

How to survive the environment question in the IELTS exam!

Is the environment a topic you would feel confident dealing with in the IELTS exam. If the answer is ‘No!’ you are not alone.

Don’t worry, help is at hand. Try this activity and you’ll find the environment topic is far less scary than… well than some of the environmental problems we currently face.

 

You will:

  • Learn exam preparation techniques
  • learn environment vocabulary
  • watch an inspiring video with 2017 winners of the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change by http://biomovies.tve.org/

Are you ready? Click on the Sway below.

 

#PlasticFreeJuly

This month is #PlasticFreeJuly

barefoot beach blur break
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Learn about it and improve your English with this activity.

You will:

  • watch a video
  • look at vocabulary from the video
  • read the ingredients for plastic free products you can make
  • Create and share an advertising poster

#OceanPlastic

A lesson on this important issue for children. Here you will

  • Learn about our oceans and how to protect them
  • Learn the names of sea creatures
  • Watch 2 short videos on the topic and answer questions.

Are you ready? Click on the presentation below and press > to go from page to page. Have fun!

#CleanSeas Break-Up

Try this activity, watch a great video and learn lots of vocabulary on a surprising topic! Just click through the Sway presentation (< and > symbols, bottom right) and enjoy the lesson, whether you are in your living room, a café or the classroom – just remember your re-usable cup! Note the lesson continues after the video.

If you’re a kid… What are you doing for Earth Day?

Parents: If you are a parent and would like your child to learn English and learn about being sustainable, sit them down here and they will gain the following:

  • Learners find out about Earth day and how it is relevant to them.
  • Learn vocabulary related to being green.
  • Practice listening with a great song about being green.

Teachers: here is a slideshow for classroom use, a lesson plan here, and worksheets here!

Children: If you want to dance and sing along to this song while you do the exercises, please do! 🙂

Before the Song:

April 22nd is Earth Day. On this day people do things that are good for the Earth, such as plant trees or recycle plastic. What other things do you think they do? Make a list of 4 or 5 things.

While you listen to the song:

Are any of the things on your list in the song? Listen, and find out (by all means sing along and dance too!)

Language Learning:

Read these phrases. Listen to the song again. Which phrases are in the song and which are not? Put a tick or a cross.

Continue reading “If you’re a kid… What are you doing for Earth Day?”

What are you doing this Earth Hour?

What will you find here?

You will find out about Earth Hour which takes place on 24th March. You will match up expressions of strong intention which will make your speaking very persuasive if you use them, and you will come up with ideas of things to do for Earth Hour. Teachers:  a PowerPoint version for class: What are you doing this Earth Hour!

Preparation 

Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature. What do you think people will do for Earth Hour and why? 

 

While you watch 

Watch the video. Are people doing the things you thought of in Preparation? Are some of them doing different things? Why are they doing them? 

Check your understanding 

After you’ve watched the video, decide if the following are true or false: 

  1. Earth Hour happens in countries all across the world. 
  2. Earth Hour is about governments and businesses doing things to protect the world. 
  3. According to Leonardo DiCaprio, we cannot reverse climate change. 
  4. In many cities, the lights are switched off from famous buildings. 

Continue reading “What are you doing this Earth Hour?”

Zero Waste Cold and Flu Medicine

How to get over the flu or a cold the eco-friendly way

Have you ever wondered if the medicines we take for a cold might not be the best thing not only for ourselves but also for the planet? Here comes YouTuber of Trash is for Tossers Lauren Singer with a solution!

Outcomes

You will watch a ‘how to’ video by YouTuber Lauren Singer from www.trashisfortossers.com, learn vocabulary such as ‘ingredients’, ‘stir’, ‘add some garlic’ and find out how to make a cold or flu remedy that is great for the planet and great for you!

Before you watch

Think about the following:
When did you last have a cold or the flu?
What medicine did you take?
Lauren will talk about a home-made remedy. What do you think will be in the medicine she makes?

While you watch

Watch the video to see if you guessed correctly the ingredients she will use.

Check your understanding

Are the following true or false?
1. She has a cold at the moment?
2. She adds an alcoholic drink to the remedy
3. The remedy she makes is not very strong.

Continue reading “Zero Waste Cold and Flu Medicine”

What do rising sea levels have to do with gin & tonics?

pexels-photo-616836.jpegOutcomes

You will watch a video for specific information and learn vocabulary on the topic of sea levels and climate change.

Preparation

  1. Imagine you have a cool drink with ice. What happens to the drink as the ice melts – does it go up, go down or stay the same?
  2. Does the same thing happen if the ice in the ocean melts?

While you watch

Watch the video. Do the results of the experiment match what you thought? Do they match what the man in the pub said?

Continue reading “What do rising sea levels have to do with gin & tonics?”

The diet that helps fight climate change (level B2+)

Outcomes

You will look at a graph to check information, watch a video for specific information and learn vocabulary on the topic of food and climate change.

Preparation

They say the best way to save the planet is to change how we eat. What do  you think the following are true or false?

  1. Eating beef has a bigger impact than eating vegetables.
  2. Eating farmed fish has a bigger impact than eating beef.
  3. Farming chickens causes is a bigger cause of climate change than farming cows.

Now look at the graph to check. The answers are also in the key at the bottom of the page.

Continue reading “The diet that helps fight climate change (level B2+)”

Why your old phones collect in a junk draw of sadness (level B2+)

Outcomes

You will practice understanding advanced texts, vocabulary on the topic of climate change and increase understanding of an important issue.

Preparation

What do you think the ‘sadness’ in the title refers to?

  1. the waste from throwing away old mobile phones
  2. the memories associated with your old mobile phone
  3. the environmental damage caused by mobile phones in their production, use and disposal

Guess which one, and watch the video to check if you are right. (Answers at bottom of page)

 

Check your understanding

Are the following true or false? How do you know?

  1. The presenter likes nature and and he likes technology.
  2. Most of the environmental damage caused by phones is caused when we throw them away.
  3. There is a company called Fairphone that makes phones that are easy to repair.
  4. The battery is the most toxic part of a phone.
  5. Liam the robot can take apart an iPhone 6 in 1 minute.
  6. New technology could reduce the environmental impact of phones.

(Answers at bottom of page)

Continue reading “Why your old phones collect in a junk draw of sadness (level B2+)”

Can I find out more about you?

I publish new material when the inspiration comes. But who visits this blog? What are they looking for? How can I meet these needs? Please spare a moment to help me find out!

Saving Water

This cartoon camel rapping will get children thinking about saving water. Add to that questions to focus them on routines involving water (brushing your teeth, having a shower) using present continuous, and this is ready to go with A1 level young learners. The video is posted on the excellent islcollective website, a mine of resources.

https://en.islcollective.com/video-lessons/embed/30891

water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface_-_28529

I Like Clean Air

This lesson plan is based on the excellent campaign ‘I Like Clean Air’ in which London parents and kids  fight pollution. Students discuss air pollution, listen to a fantastic song created for the campaign, read and analyse a letter by a child requesting a change to improve air quality and learn how to write a letter asking for something to be done about an issue important to them.

clean air

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (A2) upwards

Learner type: Primary and Secondary Young Learners

Time: 90 minutes

Outcomes:

  • Language: Learners can differentiate between and use correctly complex and simple expressions for a transactional letter.
  • Skills: Learners write a letter requesting action to improve their cities air quality
  • Content: Learners explore the issue of air quality and become empowered to take action on it.

Materials:

  • PowerPoint Air Quality Lesson
  • 1 copy of the song lyrics I Like Clean Air for the teacher
  • 1 copy of I Like Clean Air worksheet per student.

Procedure:

  1. Ask students to discuss in groups what they love about their city and what they don’t love about it. Feedback to class and put ideas on the table in the PowerPoint.
  2. Tell learners that students in London produced a song about their city. Students Brainstorm 3 things they might love about London and 3 things they don’t love. Feedback to class and add ideas to the table on slide 2.
  3. Listen to the song. http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/clean-air-song/ What is it about?
  4. Give out the worksheet I Like Clean Air Students read it, predict what the missing words are. They listen to the song again to check.
  5. Students read the letter on the accompanying PowerPoint slide 4 and answer the following: Who is it from? Who is it to? What is it about? What is the format?
  6. Elicit from students what expressions the writer of the letter uses to ask someone to do something. Then go to slide 5 on the PowerPoint and students match up the simple and complex phrases according to function. Elicit the pros of more complex language (more precise meaning) and the cons (can be less clear).
  7. Ask what air quality issues there are in the students’ town or city. Who could they contact to do something about it? Complete the table on slide 6 and add ideas.
  8. Students write a letter to a person of their choice on an air quality issue of their choice. This can be displayed on the classroom walls for the other students to read and then hand in.

Downloadable materials:

lesson plan Air quality Lesson Plan

PowerPoint Air Quality lesson

Thank you to Shazia from I Like Clean Air for permission to use the materials on http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/