Japanese Forced to Leave Homes (Advanced)

[Download Free ESL Japan News Lesson plan here: Japanese_Forced_to_Leave_Homes_Adv_03162011.doc)]

Japan News Lesson Plan: Warm-up Questions

1)    What kinds of natural disasters exist?
2)    What are some examples of non-natural disasters?
3)    Is there any threat of a disaster in your area?
4)    What are some major disasters that you can remember?

Japanese Forced to Leave Homes (March 16, 2011)

In addition to the one-half-million people made homeless by last week's magnitude-9.0 quake and huge tsunami, there are 200,000 more Japanese who have been ordered from their homes.
The Koriyama High School gymnasium is now home, indefinitely, to more than 350 evacuees from Okuma, the town where the Fukushima-1 nuclear facility is located. These people were living near a crippled nuclear power plant, severely damaged by the natural disaster that has been leaking radiation. Harumi Takahashi is here with several children and grandchildren. When asked about the white smoke and invisible radiation billowing from the damaged nuclear plant near her home in Okuma, she replies that it is difficult to render an opinion because she is not receiving any information. And she complains that without a television, they are not able to view the graphic images of the crippled reactors that are being broadcast to the rest of the country.
Another evacuee, Keishu Maeda, used to work at the Fukushima nuclear plant. He says the events of the past few days have changed his opinion. "I think I was a good supporter for the [Japanese] atomic energy policy, but not anymore,." says Maeda.
Others in the shelter, on the verge of tears, say they were always opposed to the construction of nuclear reactors in their town. One thing everyone here does appear to agree on is, that with the nuclear crisis still unfolding, they will have plenty of time to ponder their plight, sitting and sleeping on the hardwood floor of a basketball court.  [254 words]
[Original: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/Japans-Nuclear-Evacuees-Ponder-Their-Fate-118089349.html]

Japan News Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

1)    How many people have been made homeless?
2)    Why have the people in the town of Okuma left their homes?
3)    What problem(s) is Harumi Takahashi having?
4)    What has Keishu Maeda changed his mind about? What is his opinion now?
5)    How long do the people plan to stay in the gymnasium?
Answers
  1. One-half-million people (not including people who have homes but can't return to them)
  2. They were forced to leave because of radiation leaking from a nearby nuclear reactor.
  3. She is not receiving any information about the crisis. (And also, she has  been forced to leave her home.)
  4. Japan's atomic energy plan. He no longer supports it because of the current crisis it has caused.
  5. They do not know.

Match the words with their meaning as used in the article.

indefinite
crippled
evacuation
billow
render
graphic
on the verge (of)
ponder

plight

vivid
hardship, difficulty
disabled
indeterminate
contemplate
puff out
abandonment
about to

give

Answers

indefinite-indeterminate
crippled-disabled
evacuation-abandonment
billow-puff out
render-give
graphic-vivid
on the verge (of)-about to
ponder-contemplate
plight-hardship/difficulty

Master the language: Use a word in the left column (above) to reword the below sentences.
1)     The movie contained detailed scenes of violence.
2)     The fire chief ordered the abandonment of the entire apartment building.
3)     Emergency response specialists gave assistance to the victims of the disaster.
4)     The man was severely handicapped by the disease.
5)     Great clouds of smoke puffed out of the factory's chimneys.
6)     I'm about to have a nervous breakdown.
7)     The film about the difficulties of refugees in Africa saddened Carol.
8)     He will continue living abroad for an unknown amount of time.
9)     The prisoner had years to think about his mistake while in jail.
Answers
1)     The movie contained graphic scenes of violence.
2)     The fire chief ordered the evacuation of the entire apartment building.
3)     Emergency response specialists rendered assistance to the victims of the disaster.
4)     The man was severely crippled by the disease.
5)     Great clouds of smoke billowed (out) of the factory's chimneys.
6)     I'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
7)     The film about the plight of refugees in Africa saddened Carol.
8)     He will continue living abroad (indefinitely. / for an indefinite amount of time).
9)     The prisoner had years to ponder his mistake while in jail.

Japan News Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

1)    If you had one minute to leave your home, what would you take with you?
2)    What would you do if you lost all of your possessions?
3)    How do you get your news? How could you stay informed in an emergency?
4)    Do you trust your government?
5)    What is your opinion of nuclear energy?
6)    What type of energy do you support?
7)    Concerning the production of energy, which is the most important consideration: human risk or environmental risk?
8)    Would you consider donating money to help the Japanese?
9)    Could you live in an area that could have a natural disaster at any moment?
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News lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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