2011 News in Review & New Year’s (Upper-Intermediate Lesson Plan)

Download the 2011 News in Review lesson plan here: 2011-News-Review-UppIntermediate-25122011b.doc

The 2011 News in Review Lesson Plan: Upper-Intermediate

Upper-Intermediate 2011 News Review ESL Lesson Plan: Warm-up (Pair Work)

  1. How was 2011 for you? Did you accomplish your goals?
  2. Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2012?
  3. How is New Years celebrated in your culture? What did you do on 31/12/1999?

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Brainstorm (Group Work)

A) In pairs or small groups, make a list of the major events of 2011. Include local, national, and international news. When finished, present your list of news items to the class and discuss them.
B) Which items in your list affected you personally?

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Read the 2011 news items while filling in the blanks.

·     01/14 – The Tunisian government falls after a month of violent protests; President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.
·     02/11 – Egyptian President Hosni _________ ousted after widespread protests, ceding control of Egypt to the military until an election can be held.
·     03/11 – A 9.1-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit _________, killing 15,840 and leaving 3,926 missing. Emergencies declared at four nuclear power plants.
·     03/17 – The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to create a no-fly zone over _________ in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.
·     04/29 – An estimated two billion people watch Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and _________ exchange vows at Westminster Abbey.
·     05/01 – Barack Obama announces that _________ has been killed in Pakistan.
·     05/16 – The European Union agree to a €78 billion bailout for _________.
·     07/22 – 76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in _________ after a bombing in a government center and a shooting at a political youth camp.
·     08/05 – NASA announces that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible _________ on Mars during warm seasons.
·     08/20-28 – In the Battle of Tripoli, Libyan rebels seize the nation’s capital, effectively toppling the government of Muammar _________.
·     10/18 – Israel and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas begin a major prisoner swap, in which _________ captured Israeli soldier is exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli-Arab prisoners held in Israel, including 280 prisoners serving life sentences for perpetrating terror attacks.
·     10/20 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed, ending the war.
·     10/31 – Date selected by the UN as the date when global population reaches _________.
·    12/15 – The United States formally declares an end to the _________.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011)
Answers: Mubarak, Japan, Libya, Catherine Middleton, Bin Laden, Portugal, Norway, liquid water, Gaddafi, one, 7 billion, Iraq War

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
declare (verb)
seize (verb)
swap (verb)
perpetrate (verb)
flee (verb)
resign (verb)
surrender (verb)
  • allegation – a claim that sb has done sth illegal/bad
  • aggression – hostile or violent behavior
  • declare – announce formally
  • seize – capture
  • swap – exchange
  • perpetrate – commit, carry out (a bad act)
  • flee – run away
  • magnitude – greatness in size or extent
  • subsequent – following, coming after
  • resign – leave a job/position by choice
  • surrender – give up, stop resisting

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
allegation / corruption
control / aggression
declare / swap / prisoner
seize / control
surrender / flee
earthquake / magnitude
subsequent / tsunami
resign / retired
perpetrate / attack

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Role-Play

(note: each student reads his/her role only)

Student A: You are not looking forward to 2012. You’re depressed and unsure whether life is worth living. You have three major problems: 1) the world is falling apart; 2) your English isn’t improving, and 3) (think of one more problem on your own). When ready, Student B, your friend, will talk with you.

Student B: Student A is your friend. Ask him/her “How are you?” and then try to suggest solutions to his/her problems. Cheer him/her up. (Don’t start until Student A is ready).

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Holiday Proposal (Pair Work)

Your president wants to create an additional national holiday in 2012. You and your partner, both civil servants, have been asked to submit a proposal outlining 1) what kind of holiday it should be and 2) when it should be. Work on an idea with your partner and then present it to the class.

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Adverbs of Frequency

Write sentences about your plans for 2012 using the adverbs in brackets.
In 2012, I

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Predictions (Optional)

What changes do you think 2012 will bring regarding:
world peace:
the environment:
your career:

2011 News ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

  1. Generally speaking, is following the news depressing?
  2. “History Repeats Itself” – do you believe this? If so, can you give examples?
  3. Back to the Past: Given the knowledge you have of 2011, how would you live your life differently if you could travel back in time to January 1st, 2011 and re-live the year?
  4. Time Travel: If you could travel back in time, to any period, what year would you go to and why?
  5. My Generation: How would you compare your generation to the current generation of youngsters? Would you rather have been born now than when you were?
  6. The Arts: What were the best films of the year? Books?
  7. Sports: What were the major developments in the sporting world?

Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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