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Level ≥ Lower intermediate Style ≥ Lesson plan
Welcome to the Guardian Weekly’s special news-based materials to support learners and teachers of English. Each month, the Guardian Weekly newspaper selects topical news articles that can be used to practise English language skills. The materials are graded for two levels: advanced and lower intermediate. These worksheets can be downloaded free from guardianweekly.co.uk/learningenglish/. You can also find more advice for teachers and learners on the site.
Fugitive’s Facebook habit leads to arrest
Materials prepared by Janet Hardy-Gould
Lesson focus: Materials sheet: Time:
listening, reading, writing copies of the article 60 minutes the notes. Then give out copies of the article. Students read, circle the key information and check their answers. During class feedback encourage students to explain what Maxi Sopo did in their own words. 10 mins Answers: 26, Mexico, US Police, Cameroon, bank fraud, February. 4 Write up these questions and quickly go through them. Students read the rest of the article and decide if they are true or false. Class feedback. 10 mins a [ ] Investigators immediately found Sopo on Facebook. b [ ] A secret service agent found a photo of Sopo partying. c [ ] Sopo’s profile was open to everybody. d [ ] One of Sopo’s friends was linked to the US justice department. e [ ] The friend told Scoville where Sopo was living. f [ ] Sopo might go to prison for a long time. Answers: a F b T c F d F e T f T 5 Tell students that they have been sent to prison but have been allowed to write a short Facebook update about their new life. They should comment on the food, accommodation, daily routine and other prisoners plus include personal clues to show that they have written it. At the end, put the texts on the wall (without names) or read them to the class. Students guess who wrote the updates. 25 mins
1 Discuss as a class what Facebook is. Establish key vocabulary: update (noun/verb), social networking site, profile. Ask: How can Facebook get you into trouble? For example: you tell everybody at work that you’re ill but you secretly go on holiday. Somebody sees your holiday photos on Facebook and tells your boss. Students think of further examples in pairs. Class feedback. 10 mins 2 Tell students the article is about a fugitive called Maxi Sopo. Write the headline on the board. Ask: How did Facebook get Maxi Sopo into trouble? Students guess. 5 mins 3 Write up this profile for students to copy. Check the type of word that could go in each category. Brainstorm crimes for the “wanted for” category, include fraud. Name: Maxi Sopo Age: __________ In hiding in: __________ Wanted by: __________ Originally from: __________ Wanted for: __________ Disappeared: __________ (date) Read the first three paragraphs of the article twice to the class. Use mime and gesture to help convey meaning. At the end of each listening, students try to complete
News-based English language activities from the global newspaper
Article: Fugitive’s Facebook habit leads to arrest
1 Some people are good at being fugitives from the police. They stay at home, they go out in disguise or even create a new identity. Others are not so successful. 2 Take the case of Maxi Sopo, a 26-year-old criminal who was in hiding in Mexico from the US police. His first big mistake was to use his Facebook page to tell his friends about the fun he was having. In regular updates on Facebook, Sopo said he was “living in paradise” in Mexico and “loving it”. 3 Sopo, who arrived in the US from Cameroon in 2003, made money by selling roses in Seattle nightclubs. Then he moved on to bank fraud. But he soon learnt that police were investigating him and drove a rented car to Mexico in February. 4 Investigators looked at social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace but they could find no sign of him at first and couldn’t see his location in Mexico. 5 Several months later, a secret service agent checked Facebook again and suddenly found Maxi Sopo. His photo showed him partying in front of a backdrop with BMW and Courvoisier cognac logos on it. 6 Although Sopo’s profile was private, his list of friends was not. Assistant US Attorney, Michael Scoville, who helped to find Sopo, began to look through the list. He was surprised that one friend was linked to the Mexican justice department. Scoville immediately sent a message to the man. 7 “We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet,” Scoville said. 8 The official told Scoville he had met Sopo in Cancun’s nightclubs a few times. He learned where Sopo was living and passed the information back to Scoville, who informed the Mexican police. They arrested Sopo last month. 9 If convicted of fraud, Sopo could go to prison for up to 30 years. Plenty of time to update a Facebook page. Original article byAlexandra Topping, rewritten by Janet Hardy-Gould
Wanted ... Maxi Sopo in front of luxury logos
1 Complete this profile: Name: Maxi Sopo Age: __________________________________________________________________ In hiding in: _______________________________________________________ Wanted by: ________________________________________________________ Originally from: _________________________________________________ Wanted for: _______________________________________________________ Disappeared: ____________________________________________ (date) 2 After reading the article, decide if these questions are true (T) or false (F). a Investigators immediately found Sopo on Facebook. b A secret service agent found a photo of Sopo partying. c Sopo’s profile was open to everybody. d One of Sopo’s friends was linked to the US justice department. e The friend told Scoville where Sopo was living. f Sopo might go to prison for a long time.