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TeachingEnglish | Lesson plans Carnivores vs herbivores

The lesson focuses on the difference between carnivores and herbivores. Students watch the video Triumph of the Herbivores, available from BBC Earth, about how herbivores escape being eaten by carnivores and then do one of the suggested followup activities. Topic: Age: Level: Time: Aims: Animals; carnivores and herbivores Teenage/adult B1 and up 45 60 min To practise listening for specific information To discuss interesting facts about animals

Sub-aims: To promote critical thinking skills (categorising and classifying) To learn vocabulary related to animals including names of animals To practise food vocabulary

Lesson Outline
Activity / Stage Lead-in / Before you watch Useful terms Task 1 Task 2 Follow-up Task 3 Time 10 min 10 min 10-15 min 10 min 10 min 5 min optional / need computers & Internet optional (depending on how many times you want to play the video_ Remarks

Lead in Some animals feed on plants while others are meat-eaters. Ask your students if they know names for these types of animals in English (herbivores and carnivores). Ask for examples for each type. BBC | British Council 2012

TeachingEnglish | Lesson plans

Before you watch Ask students in pairs / groups to put the animals into two categories. If you have access to the Internet, ask them to look up on the Internet.

Tip: If you feel that your students might know the animals in this activity replace some of these with the animals indigenous to your country but leave in cheetah, gazelle and North American pronghorn as these appear in the video Check the answers. Ask students if they can add any other animals to these two categories.

Answers: Carnivores Lion Cheetah Wolf Herbivores Gazelle Antelope Zebra Koala Buffallo North American pronghorn

Baboon is both (omnivore) Useful terms There are some terms such as prey, predator, hooves etc which appear in the video. They are contextualized and should not pose difficulty while watching. However if you feel your students would benefit from pre-learning some of these, do this vocabulary activity. Ask students in pairs / groups to match the words with the definitions in the right Early finishers / stronger students can proceed to Activity B Check the answers. Provide translations, if appropriate

Bear in mind that some of these words are similar sounding (hooves, horns, herd) and have confusing meanings (predator, prey) and its generally not a good idea to teach them together. Students may remember the meanings and the word forms but confuse which goes with which, a phenomenon known as cross-association which often occurs when you teach antonyms e.g. left/right, deep/shallow. So dont expect your students to retain these words straight away they only need them to understand the video. BBC | British Council 2012

TeachingEnglish | Lesson plans

Answers carnivore herbivore predator prey an animal that eats meat an animal that eats only plants an animal that kills and eats other animals an animal that is killed for food by another animal

hoof (plural hooves) two hard pointed growths on the heads of some animals horns herd the hard part on the bottom of some animals foot a large group of animals that live and eat together

A predator is any animal that hunts and eats other animals, which are called the prey. Generally, carnivores are predators and herbivores are prey. To be successful hunters, predators need to be able to see, smell or hear their prey. To avoid being eaten, the prey have to run fast or defend themselves by using their horns or kicking with their hooves. Predators are very important in the balance of nature, usually hunting only the sick or weak members of a herd. This leaves the strong and healthy animals to reproduce.

Task 1: Never-ending battle on the plains

Ask students to read the facts about animals and decide in pairs / groups whether they are true or false before watching the video. Play the Youtube clip: Triumph of the herbivores After watching students compare and discuss the answers in their groups. Play the clip a second and third time if necessary Conduct whole class feedback BBC | British Council 2012

TeachingEnglish | Lesson plans

Answers Animals gathering in herds have a lower chance of escaping predators False (Numbers bring safety) The cheetah is the fastest running animal in the world True (fastest sprinter; the North American pronghorn is the second fastest sprinter on the planet but over long distances its the world champion) Zebras can put their heads down to feed and adjust their eyes to watch for carnivores at the same time Not mentioned Carnivores run on tiptoes (=with just their toes touching the ground and the rest of the foot in the air) False (All herbivores have to be able to run fast. They run on tiptoes so that they cover more ground with each stride) Gazelles have eyes on the sides of their heads and cannot see forward True (Having eyes on the sides of their heads so that you cant see directly forward can be catastrophic) Antelopes ears can turn in different directions to watch out for predators while they are feeding Not mentioned Many herbivores use hooves and horns to defend against predators True (Kicking hooves and thrusting horns are formidable weapons) Koalas sometimes sleep for up to 18 hours a day Not mentioned

Task 2: Discussion
Students discuss the questions in small groups. There are no correct answers here. Encourage students to express their opinion and share ideas.

Follow up
Feed the animals In this online game, students should take the animals to the right feeding station according to their diet. If you dont have access to the Internet in class, students can play this game at home. BBC | British Council 2012

TeachingEnglish | Lesson plans

Task 3: Verbs with starting outThe task focuses on the verbs with the prefix outAnswers In the story, the wolf is stronger, but the fox manages to outsmart him. All things considered, the advantages clearly outweigh the possible disadvantages. In our class, the girls outnumber the boys. Last year Toyota outperformed other Japanese cars.

All these verbs appear in situations where you compare things (e.g. fox and wolf, Toyota and other cars) and have to do with one doing more or better than the other (e.g. outweigh = weigh more than)

Homework suggestions Students look up the remaining facts (the ones not mentioned in the video), find videos on Youtube that illustrate them and present them in class Students find other interesting facts about animals and present them in class

More activities using Youtube, go to An article on importance of pre-listening tasks and suggested pre-listening activities: BBC | British Council 2012