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My 1,000
Ideas
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Date: March 1, 2005
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Downloads: Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

THE ARTICLE

Daredevil Steve Fossett’s attempt earlier today to become the first person to fly solo around the world in a single engine airplane without refueling has been delayed by wind. The 60-year old millionaire was due to depart after breakfast from Salina Airport in Kansas. He was to embark on a dangerous mission to circle the globe at an altitude of 16,000 metres, almost twice as high as an average commercial airliner. His Global Flyer airplane is sponsored by that other thrill seeker, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic. There are many dangers involved with Fosset’s mission, perhaps the biggest being the possibility of his jet fuel freezing at such low temperatures. Another may be fatigue – he has to stay awake and make life-or-death decisions for 66 hours on the 37,000-kilometre journey. He has been helped in his quest by China and Libya opening their air space to allow him to fly the most direct, and least fuel-consuming route. He is no stranger to danger or world-beating achievements. He has a passion for breaking aviation records, most famously his nonstop circling of the globe in a hot air balloon in 2002.

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about daredevils / adventure / excitement / world records / danger / hot air balloon / …

To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to energize the class.

2. AIRPLANE BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘airplane'. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. SOLO: Which of the following would you prefer to do solo, or with someone else:

  1. Travel around the world for a year.
  2. Live in the jungle for six months.
  3. Walk across Africa.
  4. Attend a live concert of your favorite pop/rock star and attend the party at his/her hotel room after.
  5. Start your own company.
  6. Climb Mount Everest.
  7. Go to the dentist.
  8. Be a photojournalist in Iraq for a month.
  9. Go shopping with $1,000,000 in cash.
  10. Study for an important exam.

4. DAREDEVIL ME: Talk to your partner/group about some of the exciting (daredevil) things you have done in your life - exaggerating a little (lot) is OK:


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘take’ and ‘off’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Someone is going to fly around the world alone.  T / F
  2. No one has ever flown nonstop around the world in a single engine airplane.  T / F
  3. The pilot, Steve Fossett, will need to refuel three times.  T / F
  4. He will fly at a height three times greater than a commercial passenger jet.  T / F
  5. His journey is relatively risk free.  T / F
  6. Fatigue is a danger during his 66-hour record-breaking attempt.  T / F
  7. He cannot fly over China or Libya.  T / F
  8. He was the first person to circle the Earth nonstop in a hot air balloon.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

daredevil

height

(b)

solo

earth

(c)

millionaire

undertaking

(d)

circle

craving

(e)

globe

adventurer

(f)

altitude

tycoon

(g)

mission

goal

(h)

fatigue

circumnavigate

(i)

quest

unaided

(j)

passion

exhaustion

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases based on the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

took

mission

(b)

fly

high as an average commercial airliner

(c)

dangerous

to danger

(d)

circle

temperatures

(e)

an altitude of

off

(f)

almost twice as

balloon

(g)

dangers

the globe

(h)

such low

involved

(i)

He is no stranger

solo around the world

(j)

hot air

16,000 metres

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

Daredevil nonstop solo flight

Daredevil Steve Fossett’s attempt __________ today to become the first person to fly solo around the world in a single engine airplane without refueling has been delayed by wind. The 60-year old millionaire was due to depart after breakfast from Salina Airport in Kansas. He was to embark on a dangerous __________ to circle the globe at an altitude of 16,000 metres, almost __________ as high as an average commercial airliner. His Global Flyer airplane is sponsored by that other thrill seeker, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic. There are many __________ involved with Fosset’s mission, perhaps the biggest being the possibility of his jet fuel freezing at such __________ temperatures. Another may be __________ – he has to stay awake and make life-or-death decisions for 66 hours on the 37,000-kilometre journey. He has been helped in his quest by China and Libya opening their __________ space to allow him to fly the most direct, and least fuel-consuming route. He is no stranger to danger or world-beating achievements. He has a __________ for breaking aviation records, most famously his nonstop circling of the globe in a hot air balloon in 2002.

 

 

dangers
earlier
low
fatigue
mission
passion
twice
air

2. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS:  Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH:  Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ‘TAKE’/ ‘OFF’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:  Students ask each other the following questions:

  1. What do you think of this article?
  2. Are you a daredevil?
  3. When was the last time you tried something dangerous?
  4. Would you like to try what Steve Fossett is doing?
  5. Do you prefer to do things with other people or alone?
  6. What one adventure would you most like to take?
  7. Would you like to learn to fly a plane?
  8. Why do people risk their lives doing crazy things?
  9. Would you do (have you done) bungee jumping or sky diving?
  10. How do you get your thrills?
  11. If you could break a world record, what would it be?
  12. Where would you like to fly over in a hot air balloon?
  13. Do you have a passion or craving for something?
  14. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. RISKY LIFESTYLE: Everything in life has an element of risk. With a partner, think of the biggest danger for each of the following, then compare your list with other students:

  1. eating convenience store food
  2. riding the subway
  3. doing English homework
  4. watching TV
  5. washing your hair with shampoo
  6. walking to the bus stop / train station
  7. using a computer

HOMEWORK

1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

3. LETTER: Write a letter to a Steve Fossett wishing him good luck on his mission .

4. MY DAREDEVIL MISSION: Make a plan for your own daredevil mission.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Someone is going to fly around the world alone.  T / F
  2. No one has ever flown nonstop around the world in a single engine airplane.  T / F
  3. The pilot, Steve Fossett, will need to refuel three times.  T / F
  4. He will fly at a height three times greater than a commercial passenger jet.  T / F
  5. His journey is relatively risk free.  T / F
  6. Fatigue is a danger during his 66-hour record-breaking attempt.  T / F
  7. He cannot fly over China or Libya.  T / F
  8. He was the first person to circle the Earth nonstop in a hot air balloon.  T / F

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

daredevil

adventurer

(b)

solo

unaided

(c)

millionaire

tycoon

(d)

circle

circumnavigate

(e)

globe

earth

(f)

altitude

height

(g)

mission

undertaking

(h)

fatigue

exhaustion

(i)

quest

goal alone

(j)

passion

craving

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

took

off

(b)

fly

solo around the world

(c)

dangerous

mission

(d)

circle

the globe

(e)

an altitude of

16,000 metres

(f)

almost twice as

high as an average commercial airliner

(g)

dangers

involved

(h)

such low

temperatures

(i)

He is no stranger

to danger

(j)

hot air

balloon

 

FULL TEXT

Daredevil nonstop solo flight

Daredevil Steve Fossett’s attempt earlier today to become the first person to fly solo around the world in a single engine airplane without refueling has been delayed by wind. The 60-year old millionaire was due to depart after breakfast from Salina Airport in Kansas. He was to embark on a dangerous mission to circle the globe at an altitude of 16,000 metres, almost twice as high as an average commercial airliner. His Global Flyer airplane is sponsored by that other thrill seeker, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic. There are many dangers involved with Fosset’s mission, perhaps the biggest being the possibility of his jet fuel freezing at such low temperatures. Another may be fatigue – he has to stay awake and make life-or-death decisions for 66 hours on the 37,000-kilometre journey. He has been helped in his quest by China and Libya opening their air space to allow him to fly the most direct, and least fuel-consuming route. He is no stranger to danger or world-beating achievements. He has a passion for breaking aviation records, most famously his nonstop circling of the globe in a hot air balloon in 2002.

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