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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 from the Guardian Weekly’s Learning English section on the site.
DIY spectacles for Mexico’s schools
Materials prepared by Janet Hardy-Gould
Lesson focus: Materials sheet: Time:
reading, discussion copies of the article, objects, bilingual dictionaries 60 minutes d In some _______ places a lot of children needed spectacles. e The biggest problem for Béhar was the _______ of the glasses. f When you pick up the spectacles, they are very _______. g The _______ choose the colour and shape of the glasses. Answers: a laptop b school c blackboards; books d poorer e cost f light g children 5 Read out the questions below one-by-one. Students answer as quickly as possible. 6 mins How many …? a laptops went to children in developing countries? b children needed glasses in poorer areas? c free glasses will the Mexican government give to students? d parts does each pair of glasses have? e weeks does it take for the new glasses to arrive? Answers a 1m b 11% of children c 400,000 every year d two e a couple 6 Ask students: Which everyday object would you like to redesign? eg classroom chair. Why? How would you change it? Students work in groups, make notes, then present ideas to the class. 20 mins
1 Tell students the lesson is about an everyday object. Bring into class these objects (or pictures): spectacles (glasses), sunglasses, scissors, headphones, binoculars, goggles, shorts, jeans, trousers. Hold up the scissors and elicit: a pair of scissors. Ask: Why do we say a pair of when it’s one object? – Because it’s made of two joined parts. In pairs students write down the names of other objects with the help of a dictionary, eg : a pair of sunglasses. Feedback. 12 mins 2 Explain that we usually use a plural verb after a pair of: “I like this pair of trousers. They’re very nice.” We can also miss out a pair of and just say: glasses, jeans but remember these are plural words: “Look at those jeans.” 4 mins 3 Give out copies of the article. Focus students on the headline/photo. Ask: What has Yves Béhar designed? Some spectacles. Who are they for? Children in Mexico’s schools. Ask: What do you think about the spectacles? 3 mins 4 Write up the sentences below. Students read the article and choose a word from the text to complete the sentences. Feedback. 15 mins a Two years ago, Yves Béhar designed a new _______. b Some Mexican children had problems with work at _______. c The children couldn’t easily read _______ or _______.
News-based English language activities from the global newspaper
Article: DIY spectacles for Mexico’s schools
1 Two years ago, designer Yves Béhar showed that a complicated object like a laptop could be reduced to its basics and sold for just $100. Since then, more than 1m computers with his design have been given to children in developing countries. 2 Now the California-based designer has started to work on another everyday object: spectacles. 3 Béhar began to look at spectacles after a Mexican company, Augen, contacted him. The company discovered that students’ poor eyesight was having a negative effect on their school work. 4 Research showed that 11% of children in Mexico were not learning because they could not read blackboards or books. The company found that in some poorer areas up to 70% of pupils needed glasses. 5 Augen have begun to work with the Mexican government to launch a new programme. The plan is to provide 400,000 free pairs of glasses to students every year. 6 The main problem was the cost, but Béhar did not want to compromise on quality or style. “I want to design products that are suited to the children’s specific needs, life and environment,” he said. 7 Béhar made the glasses fashionable by giving them “key customisation elements like shape and colour that make wearing the glasses fun and personal”. 8 The incredibly light and almost unbreakable glasses are made from plastic and have a two-part design. 9 The frame is in two halves – top and bottom – giving children the option to mix colours and shapes when they choose their frames. This allows for individual expression and easy assembly. 10 The glasses will be distributed by optometrists, who will travel to the schools, test the children and then place the order with the factory. A couple of weeks later, the children will receive glasses that are truly personal to them. Original article by Henrietta Thompson, rewritten by Janet Hardy-Gould
Fun frames ... Yves Béhar’s design
1 Choose a word from the article to complete each of these sentences. a Two years ago, Yves Béhar designed a new . b Some Mexican children had problems with work at . c The children couldn’t easily read or . d In some places a lot of children needed spectacles. e The biggest problem for Béhar was the of the glasses. f When you pick up the spectacles, they are very . choose g The the colour and shape of the glasses. 2 How many ...? a laptops went to children in developing countries? b children needed glasses in poorer areas? c free glasses will the Mexican government give to students? d parts does each pair of glasses have? e weeks does it take for the new glasses to arrive?