My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |  HELP MY SITE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book
 
 

Date: May 18, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:30 - 177.5 KB - 16kbps)

To download the listening, right-click or option-click the link.

THE ARTICLE

A 31-year-old Norwegian man has died in a failed bid to parachute from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He was apparently attempting to film the jump as a publicity stunt for a Norwegian clothing brand. He had managed to smuggle his parachute and a helmet fitted with a tiny video camera past the security check at the Parisian landmark.

The jump from the 115-metre-high second level did not go according to plan. An unnamed police source said the man’s parachute became snared on the monument and detached from him as he leapt off. He died instantly on impact when he hit the frame of the first level of the tower’s structure.

The 324-metre-high Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, attracts over six million visitors a year. Hundreds of people have leapt to their deaths before, usually to commit suicide. The first parachute death was Austrian daredevil Franz Reichelt, who, in 1912, tried to test his novel invention - the “parachute coat”.

WARM-UPS

1. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics you are interested in, which do not look interesting and which look really boring:

Norwegians / parachuting / Eiffel Tower / Paris / publicity stunts / clothing brands / tourist attractions / parachute coats / bungee jumping

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. PARIS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with Paris. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. OPINIONS: With a partner, talk about whether you agree or disagree with these opinions.

  1. Anyone who tries to parachute from the Eiffel Tower is totally crazy.
  2. The Eiffel Tower management knows it is a popular place from which to jump – there should be much tighter security.
  3. The Norwegian clothing brand should be charged with manslaughter.
  4. They should now install some kind of safety net on the Eiffel Tower to stop maniacs from jumping.
  5. The Norwegian government should pay compensation to the Eiffel Tower.
  6. I can’t think of a worse way to die.
  7. Publicity stunts like this should be made into a criminal offence.
  8. Daredevils like this man should think of the people who have to clear up the mess afterwards.
  9. Given the chance, I’d love to try a parachute jump from the Eiffel Tower – right from the top.
  10. Parachuting from the Eiffel Tower is an old idea. It’s not such an original publicity stunt.

4. X-SPORTS: Parachuting from buildings is called base jumping. It is an X-sport, the abbreviated form of “extreme sport”. “Extreme” may mean “extremely dangerous” or “extremely crazy”. Have you tried any extreme sports? Would you like to? Talk about this list of extreme sports with your partner:

  • Bungee jumping
  • Elevator surfing (standing on top of elevators as they go up and down)
  • Whitewater kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Skateboarding
  • Base jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Snowboarding
  • Rock climbing
  • Mountain biking
  • Caving

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A parachutist died when he landed on top of the Eiffel Tower.

T / F

b.

A man died in a failed parachute jump from the Eiffel Tower.

T / F

c.

The jump was an unauthorized publicity stunt for a clothing brand.

T / F

d.

The man had forgotten to put his parachute on and jumped.

T / F

e.

The man died shortly after being taken to a Parisian hospital.

T / F

f.

The Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited sight.

T / F

g.

Hundreds of people have committed suicide from the Eiffel Tower.

T / F

h.

Someone once tested a “parachute coat” from the Eiffel Tower.

T / F

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

a.

bid

went awry

b.

stunt

plunge

c.

smuggle

draws

d.

jump

sneak

e.

snared

unhitched

f.

did not go according to plan

attempt

g.

detached

lunatic

h.

attracts

entangled

i.

daredevil

innovative

j.

novel

caper

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

failed

police source

b.

He was apparently

tourist attractions

c.

publicity

attempting to film the jump

d.

did not go

suicide

e.

unnamed

attempt

f.

He died instantly

to their deaths

g.

most visited

invention

h.

leapt

according to plan

i.

commit

stunt

j.

novel

on impact

WHILE READING / LISTENING

SENTENCE ORDER: Complete the following paragraphs by choosing the correct sentences from the list below.  Each paragraph needs two more sentences.

Paragraph 1

A 31-year-old Norwegian man has died in a failed bid to parachute from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

a)

b)

Paragraph 2

The jump from the Eiffel Tower’s 115-metre-high second level did not go according to plan.

a)

b)

Paragraph 3

The 324-metre-high Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, attracts over six million visitors a year.

a)

b)

An unnamed police source said the man’s parachute became snared on the monument and detached from him as he leapt off.

He died instantly on impact when he hit the frame of the first level of the tower’s structure.

The first parachute death was Austrian daredevil Franz Reichelt, who, in 1912, tried to test his novel invention - the “parachute coat”.

He had managed to smuggle his parachute and a helmet fitted with a tiny video camera past the security check at the Parisian landmark.

He was apparently attempting to film the jump as a publicity stunt for a Norwegian clothing brand.

Hundreds of people have leapt to their deaths before, usually to commit suicide.


 
 

AFTER READING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘publicity’ and ‘stunt’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. SENTENCE ORDER: In pairs / groups, compare and talk about your answers to this exercise. After you agree, check your answers against the text.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT PHOBIAS SURVEY: In pairs / groups write down questions about phobias (such as a fear of heights, etc).

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make a mini-presentation to another group / the class on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • failed
  • brand
  • helmet
  • plan
  • snared
  • impact
  • frame
  • attractions
  • suicide
  • novel

LANGUAGE

NATIONALITIES:

The man who died at the Eiffel Tower was Norwegian. Fill in the table of nationality words below. Check in a dictionary or on the Internet.

Country

Adjective

Person

Nation

Norway

Norwegian

Norwegian

the Norwegians

Afghanistan

 

 

 

Egypt

 

 

 

Greece

 

 

 

Iceland

 

 

 

Iraq

 

 

 

Israel

 

 

 

Peru

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

 

Sudan

 

 

 

Thailand

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

 

(My country)

 

 

 

 

After you have finished, write down five questions using the nationality words of your own country. Ask other students your questions. Sit with a new partner and tell them about what you were told by other students.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you saw the headline of this article?
  2. Do you like reading about strange news?
  3. What do you think of the man who tried to parachute from the Eiffel Tower?
  4. Do you think the Norwegian clothing manufacturer should be liable for his death in any way?
  5. Do you have a head for heights?
  6. Have you ever tried or would you like to try parachuting?
  7. What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
  8. Are there any extreme sports you’d like to try?
  9. Would you give elevator surfing a go?
  10. What do you do for an adrenalin rush?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading the article?
  2. What word would you use to describe the parachutist?
  3. Is there a daredevil in you?
  4. Do you know of any other crazy publicity stunts?
  5. Would you ever do anything crazy to launch a new company or make your company famous?
  6. What do you think of elevator surfing
  7. Would you consider buying a parachute coat?
  8. Would you consider testing a parachute coat?
  9. What is the most famous landmark in the world?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

PUBLICITY STUNTS: You are members of a marketing team for a new company. You are 100 per cent convinced that your company will be an international success. You are sure it will make millions of dollars. All it needs is a little publicity. Your job is to think of the publicity stunt that will give your company worldwide attention. The crazier, the better. In pairs / groups decide on the following:

Name of the company

 

Product

 

Product name

 

Advertising slogan

 


The publicity stunt

Location

Equipment needed

Illegal?

Dangers

Impact on people

Newspapers and TV

Who will do it?

 

After you have finished, show your ideas to other students and give each other feedback. Suggest changes in each other’s ideas that might make the publicity stunt more effective.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Eiffel Tower parachutist dies

A 31-year-old Norwegian man has died ___ __ ______ ___ to parachute from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He was
__________ _________ __ _____ the jump as a publicity stunt for a Norwegian clothing brand. He had managed to smuggle his parachute and a helmet fitted with a tiny video camera ____ ___ ________ ______ at the Parisian landmark.

The jump from the 115-metre-high second level did not
__ __________ __ ____. An unnamed police source said the man’s parachute became snared on the monument and ________ ____ ___ as he leapt off. He died
_________ ___ _______ when he hit the frame of the first level of the tower’s structure.

The 324-metre-high Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, _______ ____ __ ________ visitors a year. Hundreds of people have ______ __ ____ ______ before, usually to commit suicide. The first parachute death was Austrian daredevil Franz Reichelt, who, in 1912, tried to test his novel invention - the “parachute coat”.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY 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.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on the Eiffel Tower. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. LANDMARK: Choose your favorite world landmark. Make a tourist poster for it so that people will want to come to visit. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson.

4. REPORTER: Imagine you were a reporter at the Eiffel Tower. Write your report for this evenings newspaper. Describe what you saw and include other eyewitness accounts in your story.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH

a.

bid

attempt

b.

stunt

caper

c.

smuggle

sneak

d.

jump

plunge

e.

snared

entangled

f.

did not go according to plan

went awry

g.

detached

unhitched

h.

attracts

draws

i.

daredevil

lunatic

j.

novel

innovative

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

failed

attempt

b.

He was apparently

attempting to film the jump

c.

publicity

stunt

d.

did not go

according to plan

e.

unnamed

police source

f.

He died instantly

on impact

g.

most visited

tourist attractions

h.

leapt

to their deaths

i.

commit

suicide

j.

novel

invention

NATIONALITIES:

Country

Adjective

Person

Nation

Afghanistan

Afghan

an Afghan

the Afghans

Egypt

Egyptian

an Egyptian

the Egyptians

Greece

Greek

a Greek

the Greeks

Iceland

Icelandic

an Icelander

the Icelanders

Iraq

Iraqi

an Iraqi

the Iraqis

Israel

Israeli

an Israeli

the Israelis

Peru

Peruvian

a Peruvian

the Peruvians

Poland

Polish

a Pole

the Poles

Sudan

Sudanese

a Sudanese

the Sudanese

Thailand

Thai

a Thai

the Thais

Turkey

Turkish

a Turk

the Turks

 

TOP

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book



 
 


 
 

Copyright © 2004-2005 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy

 
 
SHARE THIS LESSON: E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

000's more free lessons.